A boomer CEO’s journey through social media, part 2: blogging

Me a blogger? Two years ago I would never have thought so. I’m not a journalist or a pundit. Writing isn’t my easiest activity. Some things come naturally to me, but putting words on paper is not one of them.

My team encouraged me to start this blog last summer as a way to share my insights about marketing. As I’ve learned more about the process there have been a few surprises along the way.

Blogging is a great discipline to clarify your thoughts. If you are like me you have a lot rolling around in your head. By periodically pausing amidst the chaos of the day to express an idea, you’d be amazed at how clear you become about what you believe. I expressed this benefit a while ago in a post called “Why do I blog?”

Blogging is also a terrific way to share who you are and how you think. People want to do business with other people whom they trust. Authentically expressing yourself is a great way for others with a common interest to get to know you. The practice of transparent expression developed while writing posts can also carry over into other forms of expression. I have been accused by members of my team in the past of being guarded in how I share what I’m thinking. It is not an intentional desire to hold back information but an approach that developed over the years of wanting to clarify ideas in my own mind before expressing my thoughts to others. New habits formed while blogging have made it easier for me to be more transparent in my day-to-day communications. I have been surprised by this side benefit in a good way.

Blogging has been a terrific way for me to meet new people who share my passion for marketing. Whether by reading others’ blogs, interviewing executives for their insights or getting input on future posts and receiving comments regarding published posts, I’ve been surprised by the openness of others to connect around a common interest and by the willingness of readers of this blog to share my thoughts with their various networks.

Finally, my blog has become an extension of my personal “brand.” I never gave much thought to what my brand is or should be until I started the blog. Nor did I really consider how my personal brand connects with my company’s brand. But defining the mission of this blog has also brought clarity to my personal mission. This has helped me be more intentional about what I focus on, how I communicate and where I prioritize my finite energy. I’d encourage you to embark on a similar process, which, for me, has been extremely valuable.

If you aren’t blogging today or if you want to improve the one you’ve already started, I’d recommend reading 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net fame. It is a good one-day-at-a-time guide that I’ve found very useful.

Good luck with your blogging future. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised by the experience as well.