A blog starts with writing the first word
Posted by Raashida Khan on 31 May 2016 2:50 PM CAT
The words from the respected futurist, have never been truer in this day and age of the proliferation of the Internet and social media and how this touches and influences all aspects of our lives. I have found this particularly relevant as I have recently embarked on the journey of writing blogs.
I confess that business blog writing was something I resisted for a long time, using all sorts of excuses like not having sufficient time, not feeling confident in any knowledge area, or even trying to convince myself that I was not committed enough. The bottom line though is that I was simply afraid to extend myself beyond my comfort zone and try something new.
Now as I venture into my fourth blog, guess what? I was right – I am NOT familiar with any particular topic or field of expertise; not because I am daft or unable to learn. I am however passionate about many subjects, writing being one of them. This however should not have stopped me (or anyone) from putting myself out there and attempting to write a blog.
So what have I learnt in these short few weeks? Firstly – that you do not have to be an expert to write; passion for a topic is more important. One does need to have some writing competence but this is a skill that can be developed and like most things in life, will get better with practice. If you are serious about it though, there are many free online resources that guide on blogging, and many online courses that can be registered for. Some of these resources have been helpful: The 12 dos and don'ts of writing a blog; How to write a blog post, and How to write great blog content.
My greatest challenge has been getting started, or rather finding, or being inspired by a topic. Once you have a topic, the information is readily available. The trick to the research is trying to figure how to filter the articles and selecting those that you will use information from. Essential too, is to include a personal angle in the article. You are not reporting facts or information – Google is there for that. People want an opinion or something that is thought provoking. Pique your readers’ interest, or you will lose them– there is too much competition out there. Consistency and regularity help your reader to learn to trust you. Once you have won some readers over, they will be keen to hear from you. Make sure though that you are always creating value for them.
So take it from a reformed, previously reluctant blog writer, if you want to try your hand at writing, there’s only one thing to do: start.
Raashida Khan is the account director at Indigo New Media, who dreams of an engaged, collaborative world, and dabbles in writing.