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So you want to write a blog.

Josh, 22 December, 2011 0 Comments

Now you need to come up with a strategy, an idea and a voice.

Before you start hitting publish on your computer (or smart phone) you need to stop and think about what you’re going to be saying and how you’re going to be saying it.

There are a lot of theories and examples and how to’s out there in the world for you to read and take from. And I’m not here to tell you that any of them are more right or more wrong than any other. But, I will tell you how I feel and why I feel that way. That’s why I’m writing this post.

Be Conversational. I can’t stress this enough. Think back to when you were a student in elementary or high school or even post-secondary classes, were you more engaged and attentive in a lecture format that had you staring with glazed over eyes at a talking head or were you more engaged and excited about what you were being told when you were part of the conversation? For me it was the later. I wanted to be talked to not talked at. I wanted to be part of the discussion. I wanted to raise my hand and be called on. And that’s exactly how I feel about blogging. I want to talk to my readers like they are friends sitting in the living room with me. And that’s how I wanted to be spoken to as well.

Don’t Be Afraid To Brag. If your team is doing fantastic, amazing, terrific things – tell the world! Your people deserve the spotlight and your future clients deserve to know that you are awesome. You may want to hold onto a little bit of humility so you don’t turn into that kid who is always talking about herself in the third person and boasting about her resume, but at the same time you’ll want to slip in some of those accomplishments and make yourself stand out from the crowd. Use your blog space as an opportunity to make announcements about big projects or parties or donations or sponsorships. Use it to tell us about the great new community manager you hired in the office. Use it to tell us the things that you are proud of. Just remember to be humble.

Teach, Don’t Preach. This is a huge issue for me. If you know something, believe something, trust in something with every fibre of your being and you want to tell me about it – DO IT! However, do it in a way that doesn’t leave me feeling like you’re telling me to think like you lest I turn myself into an idiot. Give me a list of reasons why I should believe you and follow your lead. Tell me how green the grass is on the other side. Heck, give me directions on how to get over the fence. Just don’t push me over the fence if I’m not climbing fast enough for you. If you’re talking about something that I’m interested in and want to know more about and get into, I will. You don’t have to be my crossing guard. Just show me that you’re excited and knowledgeable and give me the map. I’ll do the rest.

Proofread. This may seem like a simple step, but it’s one that is far too often missed or done so quickly that errors go live online when they could be avoided. There are going to be times when your fingers slip, your mind starts a sentence in one tense and ends it in another or a word just gets misspelled. It happens. The cool thing is that you can make me forget that it happens by cleaning up your copy before it goes live. Whether you have someone else in the office give your piece a once over or you take a little break, run it through spelling and grammar checks and then send it to the world is your choice. Just make sure that it’s not a step that you skip. Trust me.

These are my 4 biggest things for you to keep in mind. As you go on and get more comfortable with your blog you will find that it starts to come easy. You’ll know what point you want to get across and how you want to do it. You’ll be tearing up the blogosphere and will have people begging for more content. That’s a good position to be in. Prepare yourself, you’re going to get there.

Oh, I forgot one thing – Have Fun! You’re not writing a text book, you’re running a blog. Enjoy yourself, when users can tell you’re enjoying yourself they’ll be back to share in the good times when you post again.

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