What is a blog?

What is a blog? It can be everything and it can be nothing. As the Bard said “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so”. During my blogging career, I estimate that I have created between 15 and 20,000 blog posts on every topic from A-to-Z — most of them, unfortunately, ineffective…

And this is only my business blog...
And this is only my business blog…

In this next phase of my business I’m attempting to become more mindful and intentional about what I’m doing online and why in this post is an attempt to unpack blogging from that perspective; more mindfulness and awareness of why we actually do social media and what we can expect from the effort.

What blogging isn’t…

A get rich quick scheme. If you are thinking that this was one of those articles I think you’ll be happier somewhere else on the Internet. But if you’re looking for deeper insight into what blogging is from perspective of mindfulness and intention and what it can do for you then please read on…

What blogging is…

First and foremost for me, blogging represents a way to share my expertise in a cost-effective way. A small story: when I first came to Green Bay to work as a business development manager for a high-tech startup almost 10 years ago, I spent fully 50% of my time courting the journalist from the publication that would write the article that would validate my product. To me, blogging means that I am the journalist and if I want I can validate my product three times before breakfast. This morning for example I saw a blog post from a prominent thought leader that made me think about mindfulness and alignment and social media. While I was in the shower, I sifted through the thoughts around this topic and when I got into the office I launched Microsoft Word and begin to write this post. Because of blogging, I can click the publish button as soon as I think I’m done; I don’t need to pitch any journalists and hope that they’ll pick up my article and publish it in three or four months. Blogging then, gets me a share of voice in the vast internet marketplace. If I use the right tools I may get found by someone who may be inspired by my words and may even need my help and be willing to hire me. In short, this share of voice may get me share of mind or mindshare which may in turn get me share of market, or, to put it bluntly the dollars that I need to sustain my family and my business…

When I first started blogging over seven years ago I used to confuse traffic with thought leadership and sometimes I still make that mistake. My first blog was a political one and when I saw that at the end of the year I had attracted 15,000 visits from 92 countries I was hooked. That however was only the beginning: over time I developed a systematic approach to thought leadership marketing where blogging plays a central role. Being a successful blogger however is much more complex then deciding between Blogger and WordPress and starting to bang on the keyboard. Like the Apostle Paul said “all things are possible but not all things are beneficial”. At this point in my growth and development as a blogger and personal digital coach I’ve come to believe that being an effective blogger starts with a strong sense of what author Nilofer Merchant calls your Onlyness; the unique set of gifts and talents that you bring to the world when you are fully alive and awake. I don’t think you can be an effective blogger until you gain that sense of onlyness; you cannot pass on what you do not possess…

If you think it’s a cool idea to start a blog but you don’t know what you’re going to write about, go ahead — have fun and enjoy yourself — because nothing you do at that point will make a difference from a thought leadership perspective; in the words of the Cheshire CatIf you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there“. If your intention however is to get found when people are looking for what you do — i. e., becoming a transformational thought leader — then here are some things to think about…

If you are blogging to provide social proof of your thought leadership and get found when people are looking for what you do — or in what Google calls the Zero Moment Of Truth — you must be thinking that you have some answers that others don’t have. If you want to position yourself as the solution to problems that people are having then it’s a really good idea to have a deep understanding of who it is you’re trying to reach and what questions they are asking. Much of what got me thinking on this topic is contained in this meditation by Tara Brach starting at 43:37 [although the entire talk is well worth the hour!]…

“We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.” Pema Chödrön

20,000 posts have taught me that a churn and burn curation style of regurgitating other people’s content will probably not get me what I want; in fact, it may get me less. No matter how efficient I am at curation it still takes time and, if all I ever do is curate other people’s content it doesn’t say enough about me and who I really am. It’s this transparency well documented that gives people insight into my thinking and whether or not they might actually like to work with me or at the very least, track my thinking using the mechanism of their choice.

Questions? Feedback? Where would you like me to go next on this topic?

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