Ive actually been writing since I was about 11 years old. Back then, I wrote short stories about middle-school angst … then it became stories about high-school angst. When I went to college, the stories gave way to research papers. When I graduated, the papers gave way to policy manuals and disciplinary actions. The stuff of life took over and there was no real creativity to be found.
I found inspiration again in my Masters degree thesis. It was 97-pages of brilliance on the emRespective Burden of the Recruiting Life Cycle/em … Truly riveting stuff!! I was stung by the writing bee again — and I was convinced this work of art needed an audience. I started reaching out to people in my network to find a place to publish it.
And they all kept telling me to strongstart a blog/strong.
At the time, I didnt know there were professional blogs out there. I thought blogging was for celebrities and people who were angry about life. emSo I took their suggestions as rejections instead of doing more research on the idea/em. And I put my writing aspirations back on the shelf again.
Then I started seeing the work a title=guest post by Jamie Gaymon href=http://edwin.showit-blog.com/2011/11/02/guest_jamiegaymon/ target=_blankJamie Gaymon /awas doing with his blog and reached out to him about it. He introduced me to a title=Top 50 Blogs to Watch href=http://www.evancarmichael.com/Tools/Top-50-HR-Blogs-In-2009.htm target=_blankEvan Carmichaels list of HR Bloggers/a, where I found a title=follow Laurie on Twitter href=http://twitter.com/#!/lruettimann target=_blankLaurie Ruettimann /aand a title=follow Kris on Twitter href=http://twitter.com/#!/kris_dunn target=_blankKris Dunn /aand a title=follow Sharlyn on Twitter href=http://twitter.com/#!/sharlyn_lauby target=_blankSharlyn Lauby /a–and I knew my friends were onto something! I wish Id listened sooner. I began thinking of all the wonderful stories I could share and tips I could give … But there was just one problem. My employer and their stance on social media. They wanted no affiliation with any of it.
strongTo avoid major conflict,/strong strongI decided to write under a pen name /strongand keep the work me and blog me as completely different entities … which has worked with mixed effectiveness (emMore on that in a future post/em). I spent a few months building content and reading other blogs to see what else was out there and trying to understand the workings of wordpress. It was scary and exciting at the same time. It still is. But I love it and I wouldnt have it any other way!
emYet there are a few things I wish I wouldve known before I started./em So if I could go back to the beginning and give myself advice, heres what I would tell me:
listrongStrive for brevity./strong People are busy and their attention spans are short. Find your point and get there quick — or risk losing your reader./li
listrongKnow your target audience/strong. Be very clear on who you are writing for in every individual post and for your blog overall. This will guide the tone of what you write and keep the path of your blogging journey more clear./li
listrongContent can be scheduled in advance/strong. You do not have to be present at your computer to post something. Commit to post on consistent days and times, but know you dont actually have to be at your computer to do it. Scheduling in advance is a great way to get your writing done during the times that work best for you — but post at the times that work best for your audience. Oh — and that Sunday is not a good time (Hence, why I am revising my posting days. Ha!)/li
listrongUnderstand what SEO and RSS are and how they work/strong. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how people find your blog and its content. The Rich Site Summary (RSS) is the easiest way to keep them coming back once they have found you through a subscription. Both are critical. Learns early how to make them work for you — and continually use them to your advantage./li
listrongBe patient, be still and just be/strong. It takes time to find a rhythm to blogging and it takes time for your audience to find you. Dont give up just because hundreds and thousands of people arent reading yet. Believe in yourself and know that your voice and view have value. Be patient with the journey, enjoy each amazing step and marvel at every milestone./li
Is there any advice you would share with someone who is new or considering joining the blogosphere?