I am not sure what Payne Stewart has to do with #blogchat, but it was a part of a verbal spat during the Twitter chat on Sunday, June 15, 2015. I was sitting watching television while following the chat when this little verbal disagreement broke out. Nothing more than a few heated words, but still this raised a concern for me. Why, I have help clients build communities using hashtag chats. I would hate for something like this to unfold during one of my client’s Twitter chats…but it could happen.
There was a wonderful discussion on #Blogchat Sunday night surrounding how do we find inspiration to blog when we are faced with writers block. Great discussion and great question. I think this is a bigger question than just blogging…it is a creative writing question.
Blogging is a digital display of our most passionate thoughts. It is the place to share our ideas, our thoughts, our visions, our business…it is our editorial voice for online ownership. Blogging is very personal.
So how do we take something so personal and put it to paper, as the old cliche goes. What makes us sit down and type away, and share our thoughts with a mass audience. It comes from inspiration…it is the connection between our ideas and how we articulate these ideas in a digital paradigm. Most people think blogging is just about writing. Some of the best blogs are more that just words, they are pictures, videos, podcasts…they are the visual representation of our thoughts.
In order to understand the question how to find inspiration to blog or write…we must figure out what inspires us. Inspiration comes from connection…how we are able to connect with our ideas and articulate those ideas in a way for others to consume. How, when, where do I find inspiration? It is about trust and listening. We have to trust our instincts and listen to the little creative bug that says, “that is a great idea…so you better write it down.”
Blogging is more than just inspiration. Inspiration comes at the oddest times for me. It might come at 4am when I am laying awake in the bed. It might be standing in the shower. It might be when I am riding down the road. But when a creative thought comes across my mind…I know I must find a way to document and articulate that thought. If I am driving, I might try to record some audio of my thoughts. If it is in the middle of the night…I might pick-up my iPad and jot down some notes. If it is a visual image infront of me, I might pull out my camera and snap a picture.
Blogging is more than just writing…it is capturing and articulating media. So many people preach that we must use pictures, video, and other digital mediums to grab interest or even leverage SEO. Yeah…those are great thoughts. But as a documentary storyteller, I think we should use those mediums to articulate our thoughts. We should use video when video explains our thoughts better than the written word. We should use images or pictures when reinforcing our written argument. We should use audio from a podcast or MP3 when sounds bring meaning and depth to our explanations.
Blogging is more than just communication…it is illustrating our digital thoughts in a way so the visual world can see our world view. Blogging is the one time we can combine all the visual and digital means to share our thoughts. We have the ability to help our audiences navigate through our story.
So where do we find inspiration…make sure we are truly connected to why we write, why we blog, why we share. Trust that if we are not inspired to write, blog, or even share…to trust that inspiration will present itself again. We just have to be willing to listen to our creative inspiration…and share those thoughts.
***Image is from Christina Berry’s Blog: http://christinaberry.me/inspiration/
As I took part in #BlogChat Sunday night…I was so pleased to see the conversation move away from technology, which blog platform to choose, and other topics sometimes I browse through. Finding passion in your blogging and writing has always been my position. Regardless of you blog for advocacy, business development, or even to generate income…you have to have some passion behind your message.
Above is what I think…”Passion is food for the soul…if you can blend that passion into your writing…it can become infectous!” So tell me, what blogs do you connect with…that touch you daily. Is a photo blog, video blog, a business blog, one of advocacy, what is it?
As I was thinking through this topic, the one thing that always finds a way to make it’s way from my subconscience to the forefront of my thinking, how can we convert passionate writing into revenue and a business development tool. I even wrote a blog post about this very topic: Does Passionate Writing (Blogs) Generate Revenue? These is a method to the passion, writing content that passionately connects…thus the SEO argument.
Regardless…this has made me look back at my work and do an assessment, an assessment of my writing and my direction. So the best way I know how to do a simple assessment, create a word cloud from all my writing in my blog.
Here is a word cloud from my personal blog (https://rettewcreative.com/personal-blog):
I chose not to do a word cloud from my tags, because that is just measuring frequency of the words that I deem searchable for each blog post. This is a subjective viewpoint of my writing, looking through a lens completely focused on SEO. Instead, I used Wordle.net to pull all the words from all my posts to assess frequency of the actual content I am actually writing. I am focusing solely on the content in this simple assessment.
So begs the question…are the largest words in the word cloud (which shows the largest frequency of usage my my blogs) match the purpose and mission behind my passion for both my business and personal blogs. My business is based on video, media, blogs, people and those are the largest words in the business blog word cloud. But…based on this simple assessment, I can see words that are apparent that I might want to focus more in my writing. I also see areas in my personal blog that I might want to re-focus a bit…I am wondering if I am talking too much about business in my personal blog?
Passion can be focused!
Over a year ago, I started working with a client on their Social Media strategy and implementation. While in the first training session, the statement was made, “Every major company/organization should have a Facebook Page, it is today’s website.” This statement has been making me think lately…especially while watching the noise level increase across the social media networks.
I jumped into the Social Media space to learn, connect, and build a community around ideas…specifically to find like minded individuals. I believe there are some communities still there especially with arena’s like #blogchat started by Mack Collier (@MackCollier). But technology is becoming the focus; create a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, YouTube Channel and use it for a “Push” mentality.
What do I mean by the “Push” mentality? Basically, one directional communication with a mass or targeted audience. I push my information to you without much social reciprocation.
It has given many businesses, entities, individuals a platform for thought leadership positioning themselves to push, push, push. Join me here, follow me there, agree with my thoughts, join my group…more technology, more groups, more thought leadership fighting for a smaller space of audiences.
It is my humble opinion that Twitter has created a discourse community that has converted how we use and access information in the social space…”Follow.” This positions everyone to be a leader, these leaders engaging in push mentality. One-directional informational flow that does not engage a communal mentality. Now, I understand that this mentality has a tremendous impact in many advertising campaigns, but how many people want to have information always pushed on them…all the time. Less listening and more pushing. Just build another piece of media technology to push more information.
I do think we are seeing a paradigm shift especially with Facebook…the ability to increase privacy settings. Not just to protect ourselves from people looking at our information, but to filter out the push mentality. How many of you have taken the time to hide your status updates from friends/family and even hidden those who are pushing too much information on you? I know I have, hiding status updates so they do not come across my news feed. This is an effective way to hide people’s push mentality without letting them know we do like their updates. Easy way to save face and save space.
Facebook Pages are becoming yesterday’s website, post the information and hope they will come. Is it really necessary to have a website or Facebook Page to push your information, especially if you are not building the community effect that engages a conversation.
I guess it is ok if your whole goal is to build up SEO, but if that search does not lead to a conversation…what is the point? Just more noise in the world of the digital, social space. Another piece of technology and no community. Sometimes we have to step back and say, who do we want to connect with out there and how can we do this? Is it necessary to use a technology to connect if it is more purposeful to just go meet the person face-to-face.
I had a former student ask me, “I want to intern at one of the local (Greenville, SC) ad firms…do you know anyone at these groups?” I asked him which group is he interested…then he listed one or two. I asked him if he had contacted them and he responded saying he sent an email and received no response. He asked,” what should I do next?” Hmm…it is more than just sending one email. It is more than just one chance with one piece of digital technology to illicit a conversation. It is more than just pushing ourselves on others. How about stepping away from what is comfortable, get away from behind the keyboard and find new ways to build a conversation and a community. To my former student, try calling and setting up an appointment, or offer to take someone out to lunch or even coffee. Then have a conversation.