Monday, December 14, 2015

Why I (still) blog

“The world doesn't need another blogger.” That’s how I began my very first blog post, in 2008. Then I clarified my view: “At least it doesn't need another ‘the world according to me’ blog. Instead, I intend to share interesting and thought-provoking articles, sites, and ideas in this space.”

And that’s what I did every few weeks. Personally, I was testing this  format, trying to get a handle on what blogging entailed. As I became more familiar with the medium, I began to rethink the purpose of my posts.

There were any number of bloggers curating content. The trend in content marketing was beginning to grow, and eventually platforms like LinkedIn became flooded with people publishing posts to share the latest and greatest ideas.

I needed to take a different tack with my blog if I wanted to stand out from the crowded field of voices vying for attention. So I went back to basics. The world didn’t need another blogger, but my clients, and prospective clients, needed a way to assess my writing skills.

If someone was going to hire me to write a speech, or magazine articles, or an annual report, they could read samples of my work on my website, But if someone wanted to get a feel for my writing, if they wanted to get to know me as a writer, I would need to engage them with stories. My posts would give them bite-sized examples of different writing styles and subjects, while entertaining them on a range of topics. And, because I tend to publish every few weeks, the content would be current, so they could tell I was still alive and writing.

There is another important benefit to writing these posts: it helps me wipe the cobwebs from my brain and loosen up my writing skills. Like stretching before a run or prepping the soil before planting in the garden, these posts are my writing warmup.

As I transitioned from sharing the content of others to featuring my own writing, I changed my blog description to better describe the new direction: Me? I write. You? Read and enjoy.”

I can’t prove this blog has actually gotten me any new clients, but I don’t think it has turned any off. At the very least, my posts – and LinkedIn and Twitter links to the posts – remind people that AMY INK is open and ready for business.

The feedback I’ve gotten tells me my friends enjoy reading the posts. And I enjoy writing them. If I get even one new client as a result, I consider that gravy. For now and into the near future, I will continue blogging unless and until technology delivers something even better for me to use.

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