Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blogging Ideas for Non-Writers or Non-Experts

Most people think that you have to be a writer to have a blog.  (I’m teaching a class that will address some of this; so I figured I’d write something about it…and maybe organize some of my thoughts around it.)

See Event Link: Blogging Like It’s Easy

The other misconception is that you have to be an expert to write a good blog.

Of course, each of these things helps, but neither is necessary to publish a blog that people want to see or read.

Key Question: So what if I don’t know how to write or know what to write?

Today, I’ve been doing different variations of marketing and writing that blogging is not that big of a deal for me.  At one time in my life, the thought of having to write anything sent me into something resembling a cardiac arrest.

Here are a few things that today’s version of me would tell that “Fraidy Cat” version of an earlier me.

1. No need to recreate the wheel! Piggy Back on Others’ Expertise
2. Words are great but not always necessary.
3. Gather data and share it.

Okay, now how do I put these tidbits to use?

There are plenty of experts out there, and there are likely to be plenty of them in your field.

In the beginning, share pieces of their stuff, give them credit, and comment on it or explain it.

Find some of the top bloggers in your area.

Example Piggy-back Blog Post #1: Branding: Jeremy Miller of Sticky Branding
In “Why Your Company Needs a Compelling Purpose” by Jeremy Miller of Sticky Branding, he wrote, “When employees don’t have a compelling purpose there’s a high probability they’re working for the weekend.”

He breaks down his post into 3 key sections:
A Reason to Work
Making Progress Every Day
Your Brand is Your Purpose

Here is my summary of the points he made:

He makes the point that many people love helping someone else reach their goals…WHEN they are clear what that other person’s goals are.  Often, people identify with being part of a company with a purpose…and attach their own sense of purpose to it.

Many people don’t have their own purpose.  So they attach onto other people’s.

Maybe you or your company can be one of them.

Of course, if the goal is large enough, it won’t be reached in a day…or even a week…maybe not even a year.

However, if you are always working toward making small steps of progress, eventually you can’t help but get there, especially if you have help from other people who know what you want and want that same thing for you.

Just make sure that you know how to measure your progress!

Essentially, according to Jeremy, Brand = Company’s Purpose

That might be oversimplifying it, but it’s probably the best 2-word description of branding I’ve seen.

What else about branding might you want to learn from Jeremy Miller of Sticky Branding?

Example Piggy-back Blog Post #2: Time Management: Heather Doering of Ace in the Hole Branding
While Heather is excellent at branding, I’m not sure I know 3 people in the entire world who are better at utilizing their time than she is.  So any clues she gives in this area are worth knowing…and probably sharing.

In her post “5 Tips To Make Your “LinkedIn Time” More Productive” she identifies these things:

1. Check your Notifications first
2. Why are you here (in LinkedIn)?
3. Prioritize your time.
4. Right click (to open to a New Tab).
5. Get trained.

Essentially, I take Step 1 to mean that you need to know where to start within LinkedIn before you decide what is urgent, what is important, and what is a potential distraction (without a value that meets your goals).

Step 2 makes you create that “on-site visiting goal list.”  It’s so easy to get distracted on LinkedIn, but it’s a lot easier to stay on task…when you know what that task is.

She gives some excellent examples of different ways to productively spend time on LinkedIn:
--Create Your Own Content (on LinkedIn Pulse)
--Interact with Content from Key LinkedIn Connections
--Search for New Connections (according to specific criteria)
--Give a Status Update (reminding people you’re “here”)

Her “right click” advice is really key.  LinkedIn is awesome, but its interface can be frustrating sometimes.  Most people go back and forth between pages, but LinkedIn does not always “keep your place” when you hit the “Back” button.  Using the “Open in a New Tab” when you click the link with your right button is a smart time-saving tip…and a stress-saver, too.

Finally, when you plan to get trained, you slowly build skills you need to improve your standing and worthiness among your connections.  LinkedIn makes it easy to see what skills you NEED to have to do what you want.  That makes it easier for you to remove those barriers from accomplishing what you want.

Get Skills = Get Better Control on Your Life = Become a More Valuable Connection for People

What else about time management might you want to learn from Heather Doering of Ace in the Hole Branding?

Other Ideas: Piggy Back
You can embed a video and either summarize or comment on it.

I did this within my post about “Video Tip for Bakeries: Show the Goods.”

Actually, I compared video commercials for two (2) different bakeries and commented on each of them while making my own points based off them.

Material does not have to be brand new.  We just need a new spin on it…YOUR SPIN!

Another Idea: Get Data and Share It
You can always take a survey and report the results.

Yes, anyone can do it, but almost nobody takes time to make these surveys.  Even fewer people share the data anywhere were we (the public) can see it.


More importantly, it’s not that hard, even if you’re not really a writer.

…and with the data that YOU collected, guess who is the expert now?  Y.O.U.

Blogging is easy when you realize that you don’t have to start as an expert or even be a great writer.

I know that there are other ideas out there.  Let me know what I missed!

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