Well, of course someone who loves to blog is going to say that it’s never too late to start a blog.
I was asked to give a presentation this past week in London for the London Bloggers Meet-up (many thanks to Bernie, Andy and David for pulling this together). The event took place at the spectacular offices of Google in London (don’t believe me, do a search on this office space, it has been featured in many articles and posts). There were over fifty bloggers in attendance and, instead of just presenting, we decided to do more of a Q&A-type of session. A deep-dive into the merits of blogging. Yes, we all recognize that it’s 2013.
Blogging as a euphemism.
I use blogging as a euphemism for putting your thinking out there. For me, blogging has been that media. I do love the weekly podcast, writing business books, as well as being a contributor to Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review and others, but blogging is where my heart lies. That’s not entirely true. Writing is where my heart lies, and I publish that writing (primarily) on a blog. What I love most about blogging is the immediacy of sharing. The other publishing platforms typically have intermediaries, editors, time to publish and more. So, whether it’s a blog for you, Instagram, posting to Facebook, Pinterest or whatever, let’s (for argument’s sake) just accept blogging as the euphemism for putting yourself out there.
It may seem simple enough, but I labored over those two, simple words. I hesitate to tell you to start because I often find myself wondering if the world needs another blog, another tweet, another post about some wonderful place you’re visiting or how hard of a workout you just had at the gym. The world probably doesn’t need that, but it does need your thinking. Blogging has matured, evolved and changed. It’s no longer the place for random brain droppings (we have a multitude of online social networks that allow that). Blogging has, chiefly, become the publishing channel for those who love to write and to connect more directly with those who are interested in the words. Without a doubt, comments and other social media channels have allowed these pieces to have a sense of distribution and additive insights, but a blog still gives a more personal space to explore with words the critical thinking that is taking place between your two ears.
You have other options.
If you look at platforms like Medium, Quora, Huffington Post and more, they are not only providing a place to blog (if you’re not inclined to own your own space), but a platform of distribution. These spaces are like blogs with built-in audiences. The challenge with them is that – to a certain degree – for your piece to resonate within that channel it has to adopt the likeness of it. The best writers write for the channel. A book is not a blog post and an article on the Huffington Post is not the same as contributing to the Harvard Business Review. Finding the right match between your words, the publication and their platform can be challenging.
A blog is your land.
You can graze, decide what type of voice you want to cultivate, how often you would like to publish, how long (or short) you would like to publish. From there, you create the brand of the space. What the look, feel and vibe of the words will be. If anything, blogging has never been easier to do (check out WordPress), but on the other hand, it has never been harder to be successful at it because of how it has matured and because of the vast quantity of bloggers looking to grow their voice and audience. Still, I’m going to encourage you to either start a blog today or revive the one you may have abandoned.