Blog it to Me
If you are a woman with an opinion ... about anything ... I’d like to challenge you to start a blog. I’m serious.
You already know how to manage your information on Facebook. Lord knows you’ve had your say about various meaningful, heartfelt and humorous topics via wall posts and message chains. A blog is the natural next step.
Plus, blogging platforms like Blogger, Wordpress and Posterous are so user-friendly that there really is no excuse not to do it.
But why? It’s not like you have a lot of spare time. What’s in it for you?
One very important benefit to blogging is that it gives you a published voice. If you are a working woman, give your opinion about the changes, best practices and quirks of your industry. If you are in-between jobs, share the tactics, emotions and story of your journey.
Stick with it, and post often. Pretty soon you’ll find your blog has become a trusted source for many of your peers, friends and perfect strangers.
My blog (FlackRabbit.com) started out as just writing practice. Now I’ve got a handful of loyal followers among the technologically curious.
I know what you are about to say, but don’t think for a moment that no one will read it. Someone will read it. And they’ll be better for it. Trust me; every blog has the potential to be relevant to someone. Blog on things you care about, and you’ll find there’s a host of Internet surfers who care about that, too.
Aside from giving you a voice, a public and eventually credibility, blogging also affords you a comfort level with basic web technology.
Gone are the days when you could get away with saying, “I don’t do email,” or “Yeah, I prefer to get my news on my doorstep.” Like it or not, the world is not just going digital, it’s already there!
Furthermore, if you want to be seen as a tech-savvy gal, you need to show you can actually use the tech tools rather than just talk about them.
So it’s settled then! You are starting a blog. Now onto some basic blog etiquette.
First and foremost, you’ve gotta update it. Keep in mind the very Wikipedia definition of a blog is that it is maintained “with regular entries” of material.
I always tell folks that a blog is like a dog. You’ve got to feed and water it. You’ve got to love on it and take it on long walks in the park. You’ll need to name it. Get it checked out by experts every now and then. Oh! And there will be poop. You’ll need to pick that up. Fail to do these things, and it will die.
Uh, oh. You still there? Hope I didn’t scare you off. I just want to shoot straight that you’ve gotta update it regularly, or it won’t be seen as credible. Trust me, I’ve killed three blogs in my short lifetime.
Also, if and when readers comment on your blog, be sure to comment back. Readers should feel appreciated ... their opinions welcome. Which brings me to another point. Folks are most likely going to disagree with you from time to time. It’s a good thing, so don’t discourage it.
Finally, be thoughtful about your content. All blogs are Google-able. Blogs aren’t private. Even if you haven’t told anyone you are blogging, it’s still out there for the World Wide Web to see. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t want a future employer, husband or grandchild to see it, don’t post it.
And here’s a bonus: having a basic understanding of blogging platforms is something you can add to your resumé.
Practical business application and basic understanding of blogging, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, Twitter, Facebook and the like are indeed skills and should be listed as such on your resumé.
Most of all, have fun! A great big blogging community is out there waiting to welcome you. There is so much to learn from tending your virtual garden — till it up and enjoy the fruits of your well-written labor!
“I was putting up my Christmas tree when I got the phone call,” says Teri Johnson-Hiett, referring to the moment she found out she had breast cancer. It was right around Thanksgiving in 2005, eight short months after losing her mother at age 51 to the same disease. Teri was only 29.
To read this and other Her Well-Being stories, click here.