Over the past few weeks, I have recommended blogging to several people. (Yes, I know how cliche it is to write a blog post about blogging). In a way, this has been my short-hand way of telling them to 1) invest in their craft, 2) develop a point of view, find their voice, 3) create remarkable content so their tribe can find them. For professionals interested in sharing their knowledge, serving clients, mentoring others, and feeding their curiosity – Blogging is awesome.
As I told someone today, it’s too easy to say that you “want” to do something, or are “interested” in something. Prove it. Blogging is now your new resume.
Invest in your craft: Writing is like concentrated thinking. It takes editing, organization, tone, syntax, spelling, composition, and most importantly, patience. It’s permanent. It’s public. It’s often a little bit awkward, nerve-wracking, and painful. And yet, beautifully, it’s worth it.
Finding mentors. Writing can be lonely, so completely recommend that you find a group of close friends who can give you honest feedback. Feedback is a blessing.
Develop a point of view: I tell junior consultants all the time that they should do the work, and get competent with the client material and develop a point of view. No client wants to pay $300/hr for a wishy-washy answer of “it depends” all the time. Stand for something.
Note: you gain confidence by being competent. When you are good at something – you are less afraid of standing out, less afraid of being called out, less afraid to potentially be wrong because you did your homework. You did the work. Competence = confidence.
Stay curious: As I said in a previous post, curiosity is fuel for your long-term career. You do not understand a thing truly, until you try to teach it to someone. The act of thinking, writing, communicating, revising is cathartic, and useful.
Create content: When you first start writing, the whiteness of the page can be intimidating. My first blog post was about 150 words here, and honestly, it took me 3-4 hours to write. Laughable. Absolutely hysterical. Really?
Once you get started – you will be on the lookout for good content. I have written about all sorts of things over the years – consulting tools, travel stories, MBB, Olympics, obesity, all sorts of stories. The cool thing is that it is for you to decide. Your boss is not TELLING you what to write. This is your space, and your medium. It belongs entirely to you, not your company.
Make it remarkable: Seth Godin is a bit fan of that word, “remarkable”. Are your ideas worth spreading? Are they worth “making a remark” on? If what you are saying is boring or recursive of what somebody else wrote – no one will care or pay attention. In fact there are 2-3 websites out there that copy/paste this content on their blog. It’s not new, and it is not theirs. It’s not remarkable. Make it your own work, and make it worth remarking.
Be yourself: One Forbes writer called blogging the new resume. I could not agree more. What better way to get to know someone ? If you want to know what I think about business, management, consulting, and the state of affairs – there are more than 210,000 words of content here. It surprisingly adds up. If you can be consistent – you will find that 4-5 years later, you have written a 800 page book.
Don’t expect: In my first month, I think there were 5-6 people who read my posts. Most of those people had no interest in the topic – they just stumbled their internet-way to my site. That’s okay. It’s a S-curve that starts out very slowly. Very slowly.
Give thanks: I have had meaningful email / comments / discussions with many of you. Thanks for reading and being a part of this: Bastien, Allen, Joshua, Carlos, Scarlet, Daryl, Francisco, Bhavishya, Dave, Simon, Brad, and others.
Have fun: Blogging is your chance to geek out on some topic and become the mini-expert. Use it as a form of relaxation – surprisingly, there is little I enjoy more than having a glass of red wine, and writing. So odd, and yet, so good.