When I attended the NZTE’s Food & Beverage workshop last week, I remembered what every event used to be like for me.
Events used to be a chance to collect, categorise, reflect and make useful the information and insights I’d gathered.
Many of the posts on this blog are results of events I attended, conversations I had, ideas that came from those conversations.
And somehow, over the last few years, the blogging instinct dried up. Maybe it was through a period of being too busy, or maybe it was learning too much from risk-averse clients (I’m supposed to be influencing them, not the other way around!), or maybe it was just writer’s block.
But in working with clients – and myself – I’m relearning what it is that makes blogs special. I’ve written about blogging before, but here are my latest revelations:
- Bullet points are ok. Yes, longer is usually better, but don’t be afraid to jot down your thoughts. You’ll be surprised who will find them valuable.
- Give us facts, and your opinion. Facts are great, and conference presentations are a great time to pull out little “did you know” facts. That’s great, but also give us your opinion on what the facts mean. Even if we don’t agree, we’ll have more context to think about the facts.
- Whoever comments becomes the expert. As a journalist, and later as a blogger, I discovered this to be true. The very fact that you comment in public, consistently, means you are positioned as someone who knows what they’re talking about (even if you don’t).
- Practice good writing usability. This means short words, short sentences, headings and subheadings, and lists to make the whole piece easier to skim read. Because people don’t read online, they skim.
- Prime the pump. Short of ideas? Or overwhelmed with ideas that need more time? Just do something. For example, this post is a kick in the pants that I needed. And you get the benefit of the end result.
I did a blogging workshop last year, and the wonderful Eve Shepherd wrote up her outtakes from it.