One of my Bulgarian friends just posted a presentation for her university students and friends here about blogging. One of her slides includes a powerful rephrasing of a famous quote that I love.
Blogging and sharing your own thoughts and ideas via social media networks is a powerful way to build your network, reach out to people and aggregate the type of content that you need in a quick and efficient way, without having to browse thousands of sources.
I joined an initiative by Dre and Brad from WebDevStudios that requires daily blogging. I tend to blog a lot lately, in our company blog, here, guest blogging and building all sorts of content to repay for my silent 2014 despite of the fact that Matt mentioned me in his top resources.
Power Is a Double Edged Sword
When I started blogging in 2006 or so, I had two goals at first:
- note my challenges at work and document them for future reference, and
- write content that I need to share/discuss with multiple people
Occasionally I search in my blog for code snippets, solutions or best practices of mine, or share a link to friends whenever I’ve elaborated on my philosophy before.
And power is a double edged sword. The word is usually associated with negative examples, such as war leaders or mad scientists willing to take over the Universe. I’m a great fan of power myself for one simple reason: the more influence and manpower I have, the more I can contribute back to the world, win my battles with the bad guys, and bring justice whenever needed.
Think about the Jedi Masters from Star Wars: power is a pure necessity in order to change your environment. The problem is that often power is delegated to greedy and cruel leaders who fight for it, while the common courtesy and values – religious and family ones – teach you to be patient and obedient.
Power of Blogging
You know the influential bloggers from our industry. They spend a lot of time to share their wisdom and their experience with everyone else, which naturally brings them higher on your list of people who you follow, learn from and respect. Chris Lema has a great post named How I grew my blog to 1 million page views in 18 months, explaining the process and the benefits of blogging regularly and sharing your knowledge. This is what Open Source is all about, and given the fact that WordPress is a blog platform in the first place, this is a great opportunity to join the blogging community.
I’ve had clients contacting me through my blog, companies offering me free licenses for their products, or event organizers reaching out for speaking opportunities. I’ve even participated in different events for bloggers, including driving the latest Ford Focus 2012 back in 2011 – a test model, for 10 days with all expenses covered as long as I share my honest opinion – which I did, with all the feedback – with my readers.
Patience is a Virtue
The most common response I get from people who aren’t interested in blogging is: “I won’t get any readers for anything that I write about”. While this may be true at first, blogging takes time – just as it takes time to become an expert in your field, build your network or your email list, grow your portfolio etc.
Blogging requires motivation and organization. Even if you’re not a daily blogger, you need some schedule. Keeping track of your ideas, taking notes, bookmarking other posts that you would like to reply to, or share a different perspective on a subject.
I have a note app for sticky notes where I share all of these, or I write random titles for things that I would like to cover. I also ask my email subscribers here for anything that they’re interested in, and occasionally reply in blog posts as well.
I made an experiment last note, resharing some of my old posts from 2013 and 2014. I got three times the number of shares and retweets on most of my entries, since I managed to grow my network over the past year and a half. I reached out to people who found these incredibly valuable, and I’ll conduct the same experiment next year. While some content may be newsy, many posts are evergreen and they will still be meaningful a year or three later. Some thoughts have a different meaning since the context changes, and your perspective could be valuable for that new world, too.
What is your blogging schedule? If you don’t blog regularly, what is stopping you from doing it?