Saturday, 8 August 2009

Beginning to Blog

This is weird.
I have decided to experiment with blogging. The reasons are various and perhaps by writing this they will become clearer. I feel excited and nervous about being "out there" - and at the same time, increasing my presence is the main reason for beginning to blog.
If you are reading this (is anyone out there??), it might be worth backtracking to help you understand where I am coming from.
I started my training and development business with a typewriter that needed tippex strips to correct errors, spending days before running courses typing up my handouts and preparing acetate slides with wonky Letraset kits. (My Dad was a master printer, so I had good coaching on layout and composition).
I wasn't unusual - that's how everyone did it at the time - in fact, with my Dad's eagle eye on everything I produced, I probably did it better than most.
Since then, I've had over 20 great years of picking up the 'phone, responding to e-mails (later) and executing the projects that my lovely clients briefed me to do. The business grew year on year and all our work was generated by referral and recommendation. I married a man with an eagle eye to compete with my Dad's and an artistic and graphic design passion to boot. I've been lucky - and I am beginning to recognise that I've also been lazy. Quite simply, I have never had to market myself or develop my own brand presence before - and now, I do.
With the current economic climate, it is becoming clear to me that presence in the market is king and nowadays, that means web-presence. The days of reactive consultancy are over. I know I might be slow on the uptake - but I'm there now! So here I am - blogging.
My first challenge was "what to write about" - that's taken me a good while to prevaricate over.
However, my passion and business is about learning and development - and boy am I on a learning curve right now! So - I thought a good way to start might be by recording my learning about blogging so far. This might be useful to someone else, because at the beginning of today, you could take what I knew about blogging, stick it in a mouse's ear and still have room for the Vienna Boy's Choir.
One of my strengths (I think) is that I am endlessly curious, and once I ditched the tippex and typewriter for the internet, I have developed into quite a good researcher. So I decided to do some research on blogging and getting started.
Here's a collection of tips on what I have learned so far....
1) It helps to know why you are blogging and to have a sense of mission. (At the moment I don't - but I think it will develop)
2) Think about your audience, who they are and what they are looking for (hmmm!)
3) Start small and regular - so I need to keep a list of topics I guess and develop as I progress.
4) Think about how I can create links before I publish - that's a tough one as I am developing all sorts of other presence stuff in tandem, so I guess it will all meet up in the end.
5) Read other peoples' bloggs and get a feel for what you like and don't like - so I did that and found some absolute nuggets of wisdom and generosity about blogging....I'm doing a list for my next blog.

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