We live in a new age, what one might call the age of communication. The line between our physical lives and our virtual lives has disappeared. Every time we step away from our desktop computer we have our portable computer (aka our smart phone) in our hands the very next moment.
Content is king in this age of communication. Some of us can develop content. Some of us can share content. Some of us are consumers of content. Whichever way you slice it, our need for smarter, faster and better content grows by the day.
Joining the blogger ranks is a way for you to stand out in this new age. Blogging will help you develop your writing skills, a talent that will serve you extremely well professionally. Those who can communicate effectively are an invaluable resource for any organization. Blogging will enable you to shape and influence your peers. What do you really care about? What do you think about this issue? Where do you think your industry should be headed? Blogging will give you a platform.
Where to publish your blogs? LinkedIn is a great place to start. How about submitting your blogs to the trade magazines in your industry? Our own Tyler Community platform offers a terrific opportunity to share with your colleagues. WordPress is perhaps the best known of the many blog sites that provide a venue for your thoughts.
Next you have to actually write the blog. My process is as follows:
- Ideas can pop up at any time. A quick jot of the main concept of the idea and it will be ready for further development when you are. When it is time to write I review my list and select the topic that best captures my interest at that moment.
- My first step is to get as many ideas as I can written down. I use a brainstorming approach in this step, trying not to filter out anything that might be useful to the finished product. I do this step using a “mind map” app on my tablet. A mind map is a user friendly visual diagram of an outline. I put all my thoughts into the mind map as single entries and then move them up, down or sideways as I start to put the narrative together.
- It is important to think of the structure of your blog. It needs to have an introduction that will make your reader want to continue, a body that develops your point, and a closing takeaway that makes your point memorable.
- I then find it very helpful to let my draft sit for at least a few hours, or most commonly overnight. I begin again for the final edit the next day with a fresh eye and often better insight into making it great.
- Lastly, share your draft with a trusted editor (friend, colleague, spouse). Being open to suggestions before we publish can be a lifesaver. Now you are ready to get your blog out there.
- The final step is the most important — repeat! This is not a one-time exercise but rather a commitment to a regular and productive writing schedule. Like any acquired skill, the more we do it the better we become.
We are waiting anxiously to hear what you think.