Recently we kicked off a discussion between Jade Alphonsine Tuan, a Novus Asia client services manager, and Andrea Edwards, our director of content marketing and training. (Check it out here — and get ready to medidate for 60 seconds.)
Jade is looking to start a blog, but is unsure where to start. Andrea will guide her — and all you other would-be bloggers out there — through the process. They are joined by assistant editor Daniel Seifert.
Andrea: So Jade, last session you mentioned that your goal in life is to lift people up, empower them and let them see their own light. So the next point is your whys; they are really critical. Why do you want to do this? There are so many reasons, as we can see from a presentation slide I recently delivered on becoming a blogger and influencer:
Me? I want to change the world. I believe that social media has the ability to lift business into a new place, but also lift humanity up to the next level of consciousness, so humanity is better because of it. That’s what drives me. Getting companies to tell better stories is part of that.
So, think of it in that context when you blog. Focus on your why. Jade, Dan; you are both young in your careers. So this can support your ambitions. If your ultimate goal is to do something in the wellness space, blogging can get you on that journey.
Jade: How so?
A: Look at your personal brand as a tool for your future, whatever that future looks like. Use it to create the career you want. One of the girls in RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) I did a training session with, she wants to go to New York. She doesn’t know what she wants to do, but she wants to live there. So she’s looking at how can she create a personal brand to help her achieve that.
J: Let’s say I don’t have enough time to blog regularly. How do I fill in the gaps?
A: A big part is identifying content online that speaks to your voice. Because you can’t just share your own content if you want to have a strong, regular presence on social media. You just don’t have that time. So where do you find great thought leadership or news that maps to your story? What are those sites for you? Identify them, subscribe to their emails, check them regularly.
Find a combination of sources to whom you are loyal. Create a folder in your email to file that content. And on the weekend, sort through them. Schedule them on Hootsuite [a platform that lets you pre-schedule social posts] so you can push stuff out regularly.
Daniel: And with each link you share you’re adding your opinion, right?
A: Right. And remember this: always be kind. There are enough trolls out there; we don’t need to be arses. Never criticise anyone. You can disagree, but respectfully. Give commenters a space to open up a discussion. And don’t forget the giving economy.
J: What’s the giving economy?
A: It’s the idea that you share and help. When I link to something you have done, I give people access to my followers, so there’s a greater chance people will read your content. It’s about lifting people up, helping them be successful. Because when your turn comes, that’s when people return the favour. It’s got to be more focused on the giving than the getting.
Here’s a quick breakdown, eight actions to successful blogging. What do you stand for? Really be clear on that. That should be the summary in your Linkedin profile too, what you came up with. Number two: make a commitment. Don’t be random, be regular with your uploads. And make sure whatever you’re doing on social media you’re taking advantage of visuals: “No eggs” means, avoid the blank egg template you get when you don’t input a profile photo in Twitter.
Point four is don’t ever just share content. Always always add your opinion, as we’ve said. As readers scan through LinkedIn, if 15 bloggers share a link and one tells you why to read it, you always gravitate to that one.
A: The basic rule is: it’s not about you. It’s about the value you are delivering. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes. If you want to lift people up, Jade, focus on that. Everything you share becomes about that. You’ll be known for that. People will tell you, “I really like what you shared about meditation, it really helped me.” And you’ll be thinking, “Now I’m achieving what I want to achieve.”
Just be sure to work out your own voice. Somebody once asked me to ghost write a piece for them in the style of Seth Godin. I was like — what? Why would you want to sound like him? The reason he’s successful is that’s his voice. So leverage yours. And don’t be scared. Just get started.
J: So how can I discover what my voice actually is?
D: I think that idea of just starting, getting words on keyboard, is how you discover that voice, sentence by sentence. As you start to write your preferred word choices and the phrases that flow naturally, it will help you discover what tone you want to own. Do you want to be sassy? Serious? Heartfelt?
A: At the end of the day, just believe in yourself. That’s the toughest battle.
J: Thanks guys. Watch this space: I’ll have a think and write my first blog soon!