One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to blog once a week. I used to blog. I like blogging. Then life got busy – family, kids, running a business, volunteering, coaching – you've heard the excuses before.
I’ve made every justification for not blogging short of “The dog ate my post.” Not that all those things aren’t way more important than blogging. I mean, I do have two Little League championships under my belt.
Enough of the hyperbole. Let’s get to blogging.
I thought it would be a good idea to understand what I’m signing up for. So I did some Googling:
A blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
Sounds easy enough. Check back in December to see how I did.
With this inaugural post, we’ll get into some the reasons to blog.
1. It keeps you sharp.
Too often we get comfortable and content in our professional lives. Contentedness breeds stagnation. Stay in one place long enough and your competition will pass you by. Example: Back in the early days of podcasting (circa 2005), I hosted a podcast called Inside Muskegon. It wasn’t 60 Minutes but, lo and behold, people listened. We produced 122 episodes over a three year span. I got to meet all kinds of amazing people doing incredible things in my hometown. In order to do the podcast, I listened to dozens of other podcasts regularly. It kept me on my game and a step ahead of the other guys.
2. You learn new stuff.
In order to blog, you need to come up with things to blog about. That means researching new topics, exploring the nether regions of the Internet, and unearthing obscure information. For example, did you know that Daniel Boone hated coonskin caps? In other words – learning. And like my first grade teacher Mrs. Davis was fond of saying, “Learning makes you smart.”
3. It’s good business.
When you blog about something, assuming you know what you’re talking about, you instantly become a subject matter expert. Again, the podcasting example. As a result of my podcast, our company started producing podcasts for other companies and nonprofits. It wasn’t big business, but it opened doors to new clients who have now been customers for the past decade. I even got to go speak a national nonprofit convention on, you guessed it – podcasting. Now back to blogging. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers who blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t.
4. It’s fun.
I’ll let you in on a little life secret – blogging is fun! In Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace study, only 30% admitted they honestly enjoy their job. That’s depressing. Blogging can be fulfilling. Not only that, becoming an expert on a topic at your workplace has cachet. And gosh darn it, if earning professional cachet isn’t fun.
So what can you expect from these blog posts?
1. Hopefully, you’ll learn things that will help with your business and professional life. Maybe even a personal tidbit or two.
2. You won’t need a master’s degree in business to decode the information. You’ll get practical tips that you can put to use immediately after reading.
3. You’ll be entertained. Not in the Russell Crowe Gladiator sense, but this ain’t rocket surgery. It should be entertaining.
There you have it. Blog #1 in the can. Share if you enjoyed it. Fifty-one more to go.