I’m fast approaching the 10 year anniversary of Game-Changer in a few weeks. Yes, I’ve been writing here for 10 years! Time flies. I remember when I started blogging and had 16 different topical blogs at one point; insane. That was me finding my way around my interests and deciding what to focus on; otherwise I was everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
Initially, as I wrote recently, I didn’t start a blog for marketing and business development reasons. I started it primarily for two reasons:
- To have a place where I could share my thoughts and ideas on whatever topic I felt is important; adding value to people who read them.
- To improve my communication skills.
That last part is important because it’s why I’m writing this post. Even after I’ve written for all of this time I don’t see myself as a writer; strange. But I must be doing something right because I get a lot of questions about writing, and I think right now is a good moment to reflect on what I’ve learned from writing a blog for 10 years.
With that said, here are my 5 lessons on writing from 10 years of blogging:
Focus and commit to being authentic
Back when I started blogging I had 16 different topical blogs because I have many interests; I soon figured out I needed to focus on just one. My blog didn’t get picked up immediately, it took some time before I started seeing repeat traffic and subscribers. Yet, I never got discouraged because I knew that my mindset would challenge and polarize people.
But I kept myself focused on committed into positioning myself as someone who’s been there and done that in the trenches but keeps learning and improving; not try to be something I’m not.
I’m focused on those people who want to be Game-Changers.
Write for one person
I learned this early on. Whenever I wrote something for someone the words came out more fluidly and my writing was on point because it was as if I was talking to someone. Focusing on one person personalizes the piece, and most of the time many people will empathize with what that one person is going through; whether its a particular challenge or need for perspective.
So don’t be afraid of bringing conversations you have with friends and collaborators to your blog, they can inspire very purposeful pieces that engage people more deeply; it’s like dedicating a song to someone.
Write as if you were talking to someone
We need to be great communicators if we’re going to affect people of all walks of life and transcend ourselves. As I said above, I didn’t see myself as being a great communicator so I promised myself to write as if I’m having a conversation with someone.
Again, after 10 years I don’t feel as though I’m great at writing; but I do feel I’ve gotten great at knowing how to write as if I was talking to you face to face. This is important because to influence people you have to be able to dumb it down and be able to talk with anyone without sounding like a one dimensional expert; writing is the same way for me.
Write because you have something to write about
Another reason I was motivated to write a blog about innovation is because I felt something was missing, so I write about what I think is missing out there: an unconventional attitude and perspective on how to approach innovation.
Ask yourself: What do I have to write about?
It’s a simple but very powerful question. I write about stuff that I believe is important; not what’s popular, trendy or what’s sure to generate many clicks and traffic.
This is a hard one for many people and business to understand because they see a blog as a marketing and sales channel, so all they think about is how they can improve their chances of getting a lead.
Rarely have I published something just to check it off my to-do list and get it out there, because for me it started with how is this blog going to help me grow as a person first, business comes second.
So, purpose comes first. The marketing and sales came as a result of this.
Write about what’s happening with you, not about what’s happening
Most of the stuff that’s written is a regurgitation of what someone else said or posted, this leads to more of the same thoughts and ideas without any perspective. I chose not to do that because I want to share with you what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and what I’m thinking.
It’s not about being selfish and only publishing stuff about yourself, but there’s a reason people keep coming back for more: they value my perspective.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t write about what’s happening, but don’t let it be the only thing you have to write about; there’s already enough of that out there.
5 lessons in 10 years is not a lot, I’m still learning today. Heck, I even started writing a book this year (more on that later). How do you make it to 10 years? Be passionate about your topic and challenge yourself to be consistently interesting.
Is writing for everyone? No. But can we all be better communicators? Yes. And writing is a great way to do that.
Writing a blog for as long as I have is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s opened up the world to me as I’ve met, collaborated and become friends with people from all over the world; expanding my perspective and helping me grow as a person.
Everything that’s resulted from that is icing on the cake.
If you’re a long time reader and subscriber, Thank You for making it this far with me; I appreciate your continued attention. Here’s to another 10 years!
Also published on Medium.