Blog Art
Credit to Kevin Lim

*I initially wrote this post for the CA User Community

The Clarity Global User Community Board has been posting blog entries on a routine or scheduled basis.  Our goal with blogging was to engage our membership, obtain feedback, and share some of our knowledge and experiences with the community.  My hope is that members see the value in blogging and realize that their words could help and possibly influence others.  Maybe you already have a blog, maybe you don’t, but either way there are benefits to sharing your reviews, ideas, experiences, and opinions and I encourage all of you to begin writing.

For the most part, blogging suits me well because I’m your stereotypical introvert, yet I break out of my shell on occasion.  Writing is obviously easier than talking for me.  I also love to learn, which is fortunate, considering I’ve chosen a career in IT.  I use blogging as an opportunity to develop, share, inspire, market, educate, etc..  Topic selection is normally my biggest challenge.  When one comes to mind I tend to log it on my smartphone or if I’m online, I login to my blog and create a draft with just a title, nothing more.  When the time allows I research my topic and begin drafting my message.

Enough about me, why should you blog?  You have a voice don’t you?  Odds are you have experiences, knowledge, or a skillset that others don’t have so why not share them?  You may surprise yourself with how much you learn when researching topics.  Take a topic you think you know fairly well and cite three to five outside sources discussing that topic.  Add in your own words, reference their data, and formulate your take on the subject matter.  Within that process, you most likely learned something new on a subject you’re already familiar with.  Of course, you could take the opposite approach and pick a topic you know nothing about but have an interest in researching.  For those posts, be sure to reference your sources carefully and avoid plagiarism.  Another key element to blogging is to participate in other people’s blogs.  Post comments, thank them, give them feedback, etc..  I bet many of you who work strictly within your standard role and responsibility have skills that are not being utilized by your organization as often as they could be.  Don’t let those skills fade, stay on them, research what’s current, and apply your knowledge.  Maybe you want to blog about a hobby?  The same principles apply.

Blogging can become an open door to opportunity.  Some people become instantly hooked and begin scheduling entries on their calendar, their network begins expanding faster than it had in the past, and overall their opportunities and earning potential increase.  Keep in mind, I’m assuming your posts are in a professional context.  If you step outside the professional realm, just ensure what your writing won’t damage your career or reputation.  It all comes down to common sense and what your goals are.

Hopefully this information can inspire someone.  Start a blog if you haven’t.  Treat it like a challenge and set goals for yourself.  A friend of mine makes posts daily, works part time and has two kids… I don’t recommend you take on their rash objectives but it is, afterall, a challenge.  Keep it smart, keep it measurable, keep it simple, and have fun with it.

All community members have individual blogs associated to their accounts but if you’d like to blog beyond your CA Community profile, my recommendation would be WordPress.com.  Once you begin writing, creating categories, tagging, and checking your stats, it’s easy to become hooked.

This link is a bit outdated but lists 40+ blog hosting solutions on the market.

Good luck and if you are a blogger or take up blogging, pass your blog link over to me so I can add you to my blogroll (ie. Links/Bookmarks)

**Update – I recently joined Toastmasters International to improve my speaking ability.   Are you an introvert?  You might want to take on a challenge like Toastmasters.

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