It’s competitive out there. It is difficult to get noticed, at least for the right things. A resume is good. But hardly distinctive. Working connections on LinkedIn or Twitter are important to getting your name out there, also. But, again, they’re only pieces of a bigger game of getting noticed, and getting valued.
Look, writing articles for a blog is in many ways old school. So why am I suggesting you make it part of your career development tool kit? Because it gives you a leg up on the competition – plain and simple.
Here are three things to do to make a blog work for you.
1) Write Right. Few people can write well, even fewer can write with particular impact. I read a lot of blogs – I operate a blog platform. I read many papers from my senior college students – I’m a university professor. Trust me, few people write well, much less powerfully.
Potent writing is both art and science. It is developed with study and practice. It is a process that never ends, but never stops paying dividends. What you say today will likely disappear in a moment, but what you write has the potential to impact for generations.
A blog is your stage. It is the classroom for your development. Commit to it.
2) Drill Deep, Not Wide. If we have ever been tempted to write for public consumption, we typically have a lot of ideas in our head. Probably too many ideas. In your area of work, there are many things that may catch your eye as being interesting, wrong, or in need of examination. That doesn’t make them candidates for your writing.
The operational word here is FOCUS. Think hub and spoke. Spend your time building the hub and only after you have done this for a time, do you extend your hub knowledge into subdomains. Drill, drill, and drill some more into your focal domain – the space you will master.
When you think you’ve narrowed it down enough, slice it again – and then again.
And write about it as one intimate with it. Obi Wan-it. It should be evident that the Force is with you. You own it.
3) Expert Often. You’re not an expert occasionally, you’re one often. Once you establish yourself on the stage as one who knows, you must present yourself, your work, regularly.
To deliver good stuff regularly, you have to be in the thick of the ideas that define your domain. You’re active in that space where the ocean wave coming in meets the wave receding from the beach. You become a voice in that confluence of ideas pushing in and those pushing back.
While these forces are engaging each other, you’re the voice connecting to the outside – be it the layperson or the fellow practitioner. Your clear voice is ever-present – articulating the complex and making clear the obfuscated or obscure.
Yes, your blog is your theater – your stage. It is a reputation maker, or breaker. Your reputation will rise or fall based on your performances over time.
If you want to take control of your career, then a blog is critical to demonstrating your mastery of your universe.