Blogging is a wonderful tool for communicating one’s personal ‘voice’ — one’s views and opinions, one’s professional and (if you choose to do so) one’s private practices.
I would like to single out one blogger in particular as a case study in how blogging can differentiate you on the web.
Dan found me via the Hobson & Holtz Report (of which you are no doubt all aware). As one does, I visited his site to see who was blogging about me.
I have no idea when Dan started his site, but perhaps it was early in his blogging history that he came up on my radar.
His first tentative posts were the type of post that every beginning blogger makes — one or two short paragraph comments about something they had read or heard somewhere.
This is how just about every blogger starts. We don’t just begin our blogging career mouthing off in long paragraphs — we step tentatively into this new world whilst learning how to play in this new sandpit. We want to play ‘nice’ and have people come to visit us, so we keep inflammatory comments to ourselves and post only complimentary or complementary commentary.
As our confidence in both ourselves and this new medium increases, we ‘chance our arm’ and start divulging more of our own thoughts. Deeper, longer, wider-reaching commentary and thoughts begin to inhabit our blog until we reach the point where we feel ‘at home’ amongst the digerati and comfortable about ‘waxing lyrical’.
Which is where Dan now is. Which is why Dan is now in my ‘cappuccino’ feeds: those feeds I read first every morning before reading/doing much of anything else.
So, note to those who are thinking of starting your own blog: don’t expect to be as gobby and mouthy or as ‘obviously comfortable’ as my humble self, or Allan Jenkins, or Seth Godin, or Amy Gahran or Kathy Sierra or Shel Holtz or Neville Hobson or Doug Johnston or … or … or … [insert your own favourite bloggers here].
Start small, take tiny steps to build your confidence, don’t expect to build Rome in a day.
But you will find, as I did and no doubt Dan did, that in the fullness of time your confidence will increase, more of ‘you’ will emerge unconsciously and unbidden in your posts, and your audience will love you for it and grow accustomed to your voice, even missing you when you are not there.
Of course, you may be wondering why you should even bother blogging in the first place. To which I can only point you to both my own comments about why you should, or two excellent commentaries by both said Neville Hobson and Allan Jenkins.
In an age of increasing competition the blogosphere can be a refuge where you don’t have to ‘compete’, where your original (and sometimes unoriginal) views can be aired and still appreciated. And where, suddenly one day, you find yourself unexpectedly and delightfully occupying a google 1-2-3-4-6-7-10 result on your own name.