It's interesting to reflect upon, but I've been writing in different professional capacities for a while now. Originally as a loan underwriter for commercial loans and over time I've had to write for a diversity of mediums and audiences: from website and product FAQ's, to a social media policy at a bank, to website and product copy for enterprise products, to grant proposals, operations manuals, on-boarding procedures, press releases, flyers and e-newsletters, to name a few.
I definitely do not consider myself an amazing writer, but I've decided to start putting down some thoughts here. Below is a list of several of the benefits I see that ultimately led me to pull the trigger.
Here are some reasons I decided to start this blog:
Writing forces you to think through stuff and have clarity to your thoughts (or at least think through them for a decent amount of time). Clarity and clairvoyance can be fleeting. Writing is an antidote.
Writing helps keep you accountable. It's a lot easier to shirk responsibility and tasks you know you should do when it's just you. We lie to ourselves all the time. Statistically it's proven that you will improve performance when there's a possibility of being publicly shamed or letting down others. Myself being an example of this, when you write you put yourself out there. For all the world to see either how smart or dumb you may be.
To be more connected. Writing is personal. I feel closer to someone when I read their blog. There's an intimacy and connection to them. I feel like if I met them in person we could chat about stuff. And, I figured if I want to travel, and be connected to other entrepreneurs around the globe then the best way others I may meet can get to know me a little better would be to point them to my blog. This goes for future partners, employers, and co-founders as well.
Be seen as a thought leader. Do you ever get tired of seeing other people write about something that you wanted to write about? Me too.
Writing gives you a voice and a platform. Want to chime in on a hot-button issue? Well, responding in a Facebook comment or tweeting at someone or on some hashtag might make you feel better, but it won't allow you to fully describe your thoughts. Not that you should always say something, in fact most of the time I'd elect to not write anything public, but when the opportunity (and maybe necessity arises), with an established blog you have the venue to do so. And it won't seem so crazy to post about it because you've posted about lots of stuff and this is just another blog post amidst your other content. In short, the rest of your blog provides context that helps the audience digest the content in the right way.
A blog is a form of your resume and personal brand. Maybe not a CV, but I believe in this day and age, having your online brand well represented gives you credibility.
Having your personal brand well-represented online is a must for this generation.
So I figured it was time to dive into the most involved form of digital citizenry and personal branding I can think of: blogging.
It saves time, or at least my hypothesis is that it will save me from repeating myself so much (I hope). Over the past year I've had various coffee shop meetings and conversations with startup founders and young entrepreneurs and I noticed I was giving the same thoughts and notes on things multiple times. I'd love to be able to say: "see my blog post about it." Not to blow people off, as I'm all about the 5-minute favors and going out of my way to create value for people, but there's also a balance.
I can use it to test. At first, I want to commit to writing. Then I'll work on making it better. I don't feel the need to do A/B tests, and try and build a large email list. At the start, there is no email newsletter integration. Eventually I probably will do that, but my goal is to learn and grow and hopefully produce good content, consistently.
It will generate more opportunities In general, I have a hypothesis that blogging will lead to more opportunities: relationships, networking, business, mental breakthroughs, etc.. Time will tell.
One last thing I'll mention, is that writing has a particular benefit to your community. You see, I've found from being a part of a city (Honolulu) and state (Hawaii) that's trying to grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and trying to make a name for itself as a startup / innovation hub (#startupparadise) ... we need our entrepreneurs to tell their stories of success and failure and the work they're doing. We absolutely need thought leaders to publish content. The internet is this great equalizer and the more quality content that's being published by people in an off-the-grid startup community, the better the perception and general quality of that community is from outsiders.
Let me know what you think! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @luketucker.