34 Ways to Spread your Ideas with a Blog


Blog_letterpress

When you think about it, social media is like sharecropping
— you help build a network with your content and it uses it however
they see fit. What happens if they delete your account or the network
changes its terms and conditions?

It could be an unintentional glitch — and now your data is gone.
Both Flickr and Facebook have given us examples in the last couple of
years. The effects of those actions have been devastating for the
people who had put time and care into building a presence in social
networks with their content.

Which is why I have been and continue to be strongly in favor of using a blog as a base to spread your ideas.

Starting a blog shows commitment to a topic, industry, group, project, brand, etc. It establishes you as someone who can stick with a regular appointment, and has something to say, teach, and learn. There are many more benefits.

As I continue to receive many emails from students and young
professionals about how to find opportunities and differentiate
themselves, I thought it would be helpful to explore 34 ways to spread
your ideas with a blog.

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1. do your internship this way — no reason to wait
for someone to screen you first, or give them an easier way to screen
you in rather than out by taking the initiative

2. practice your writing skills — I can think of no better way to improve writing than developing a regular writing habit

3. network online — with your content all in one place, people will be able to learn about how you think more easily

4. develop your ideas — fleshing them out with the help of the community can be a great accelerator to execution

5. find opportunities to do research — you start a topic with what you know, and expand it into things that others know

6. discover opportunities to expand off line — were
it not for this blog, I would not have gone to many of the meet ups
and conferences I've attended in the last couple of years, met great
people, etc.

7. participate in worthy initiatives — in the last couple of years, we helped promote awareness of worthy causes through Bloggers Unite and Blog Action Day each year. We talked about how social media is greening the planet, poverty and water

8. build a business — many have built businesses off blogs, Darren Rowse with ProBlogger, Brian Clark with Copyblogger, Joe Pulizzi with Junta 42 are a few examples

9. help put a face on your business — organizations
that accept employees can be a passionate extension of the company's
conversation continue to reap positive rewards

10. find mentorsDavid Spinks had a wonderful series of blog posts about mentoring and finding a mentor on Mondays

11. build a tribe — is there a like-minded group
with a problem you can solve? There's your opportunity to fill a
content/community vacuum and get help in amplifying discussions

12. create value by being who you are — there is incredible opportunity on topics, cultures, and points of view that are still unexplored

13. curate the content of others — say you're passionate about a topic and there is already quite a bit of great information online. You could become a relevant filter and curator of that information, the de facto destination on that topic

14. share a fresh perspective — we
need more of those. When you look beyond the known groups, you find
that there are amazing blogs for many fields of knowledge and
specialties

15. find an outlet for your passion — sometimes our
day job doesn't quite align with what you're passionate about, or
doesn't provide enough space to creativity or the pursuit of something
you love

16. attract others who are passionate about a topic — remove geographic constraints, put search in your corner, and you're likely to be surprised finding kindred thinkers

17. establish yourself as a go-to resource — it
used to be that you had to be well known or established in a field or a
profession to publish. With a blog, you can begin today

18. give back to your profession — there are many
ways to do that by helping professional associations, of course.
However, you may find that you can squeeze in time to contribute only
in the wee hours of the night

19. learn how to edit content — this is a skill
that will come in handy in many jobs outside communications. Think
about writing reports, proposals, presentation decks, love notes, etc.

20. tell a story — a blog can be a great
repository for the stories you share here and there. In fact, that's
how blogs got their start, as live journals. Just make sure you back up
your files

21. be a resource for your networks — you may find
as I did that you don't scale so well in one on one conversations.
Authoring a blog gives you the opportunity to share information more
broadly

22. undertake a project — yes, many say that a
blog is an open ended endeavor. I think it's perfectly fine to start
one to support a project. Authors do that to provide companions for
their books, for example 

23. showcase a less known brand on your product line
— not all products get equal marketing budgets and some may be better
suited for the educational and informational approach blogs are suited
for

24. complement or replace your resume — when
making hiring decisions, enlightened companies are starting to screen
candidates by seeking evidence of their skills beyond a carefully
written laundry list of things they have done

25. develop alternative career options — it's no secret that the best way to find the ideal career is to create one for yourself. Plus, here are 50 ways to make limoncello when you've been laid off

26. start something new — the best way to break
through in an industry that is filled with insiders and is fossilized
around the way things are done is to do something else and succeed at
it

27. contribute your knowledge — there are plenty of things we can still learn from each other and your contribution will help all of us

28. gain visibility — by giving passionately and
building on your domain expertise, or gaining one through blogging, you
become more visible in the business community

29. mix it up — by writing a blog, you open your ideas to the comments and perspectives of others, which end up enriching them

30. support a cause you care about — helping spread
the ideas and work of others is very rewarding, and a good way to
donate time to increase awareness on behalf of a good cause

31. document your journey — I've enjoyed reading
blogs written by professionals who were on sabbatical or took some time
off to experience life in different parts of the world, for example

32. collect useful information — maybe you're not
researching for one specific project, yet you keep finding great
resources you want to share with your network along with your comments

33. use it to test drive ideas — nothing wrong with giving it a shot, and the side benefit is improved writing skills

34. change the game on what a blog is
— there is plenty of room to reinvent the medium. Go ahead and do
that, start something new and you'll be the first one to do it

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All this is to say that you can use the tools at your disposal to
make what you envision a reality — a new job or career, practice,
building community, networking, etc. Blogging is no substitute for
doing. It is a complement to it.

 

[updated from archives]

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Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.