I recently sat in a pub and tried to convince a good friend of mine why they could/should blog. Their point of view was that they couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to read what they had to say. My point is that everyone has something interesting to say but, they don’t necessarily know what that something is.
Step 1: Dispose of blogging myths
People have misconceptions about blogging which include:
- Blogging is for nerds
- Blogging is hard
- Nobody will be interested in what I have to say
- Blogging will give me no tangible benefits
Blogging isn’t for nerds and it isn’t hard
Blogging was nerdy but, now with it being so easy to setup a free blogger/wordpress/vox blog account it is no longer nerdy nor difficult. If your friends, family, clients can set up a MySpace, they can setup a blog.
Once you’re into the blogging world you can get gradually nerdier and learn about things like blogrolls, templates, rss, plug-ins and all that jazz but when you first start all of that is irrelevant.
People will be interested if you’re interesting
My friend, who inspired this post, is a young chef – from all accounts a very good young chef – making his way up the ranks in a top London restaurant. Quite frankly, I can’t think of anything people would find more interesting to people than finding out how someone is getting along in the professional culinary world.
Nobody will want to read your blog about your cats/baby/pet snake because that only interests you but, everybody does something within the realms of popular culture that they can put their own perspective on. I have currently have 3 friends who blog:
- Craig who writes about his Maths PhD and that that fits into his life. This blog won’t appeal to everyone as it talks about maths (alot) but it will appeal to others thinking of taking a PhD, already taking a PhD or interested in Maths.
- Andy is learning to be an animator and so blogs about that. The audience for his blog is people in the same position plus potential employers who can keep tabs on him and see how he is progressing.
- Rosie, is a music journalist who blogs about topics she can’t write about at her day job for risk of being too controversial, and also points to articles she’s written on her employer’s website. The benefits of her blog, are hopefully to build a reputation in her field and get noticed.
All the blogs are good and readable yet completely different and they all have an audience.
Blogging can give you tangible benefits
I blog to get my name known in the industry and to improve my writing skills. If I apply for a job I put the address of my blog on my CV with the hope that the people hiring will read it and see that I have the skills I claim to have on my CV. Several times, people have read my blog and contacted me out of the blue practically offering me a job which is morale boosting.
From your client’s perspective, it’s important they blog to allow them to interact more with their market but also to try and draw in new customers. A great example of a well written company blog is by Campaign Monitor who write e-newsletter software.They talk aboutthe industry they’re in, thye try and give helpful hints and tips which are good not just for their customers but for anyone involved in sending out/designing e-newsletters. The exposure the get within the industry from their useful tips/articles undoubtedly generate more business for them.
My writing skills have improved no end since blogging. Prior to blogging, the very thought of having to write anything was a bit much for me e.g. having to write a 1000 word essays was so difficult for me but now, that’s like water off a duck’s back.
So get everyone you know blogging because it’ll only do them good.