How do I write a blog that's professional and personal?
January 8, 2013 1:48 PM Subscribe
I work in communications and would like to start a blog that I could link to from Twitter and LinkedIn. But I'd also like to write about my personal life. How do I thread this needle?
I'm a mid-level communications professional for a major national nonprofit. I also organize a regular get-together for fellow professionals with an email list of 900+ members. I consider myself a writer so I would like to write more and start a blog to show off my writing skills and (barf) build my personal brand.
I'd like to write about work, including writing, social media, communications, as well as work life, like networking and dealing with colleagues. However, I don't just want to write about work life. I'd like to write about things that interest me, events I attend, organizations I volunteer for, activities in which I participate. I'd even like to write about friends, family and my generally boring life.
I'm lousy at self promotion but I pride myself on being genuine, perhaps painfully so. I would like to motivate, encourage and inspire and I think a good way to do that is to write about things with which I have struggled. But I don't want to be in a position where I am applying for a job, someone reads my blog and thinks, this person is crazy. I do enough to self-sabotage :)
Do I need to start two blogs - one under a fake or non-name and another under my name? Do I need to approach everything I post from the perspective of, if a potential future employer saw this, would they freak out? I realize that to some extent, I don't want to work for people who would freak out if they knew some personal things about me but I worry that if I self-censor all the time, I won't have anything to write about.
Not having things to write about is another concern of mine. I frequently sit down to write and nothing happens. Do I have to update on a schedule or is it better to focus on quality writing occasionally than half-hearted writing regularly? Are there places I can look for writing prompts that would be helpful?
I've heard bloggers say and I've encouraged others to just write and see what happens, that the things you write about are the things you write about and therefore what you blog about. I'm concerned that I might be writing a blog about doing yoga badly and weak communications advice.
If I wanted to blog specifically about work or link to work, is that something I should talk to a manager about to cover my butt? When do you start promoting your blog? I would like to use the blog as an opportunity to discuss that which can't be covered in 140 characters on Twitter, so I'd like to be able to tweet blog updates but I don't want to do that right now because there are so few posts and the ones that are there are about doing yoga badly and weak communications advice. I do not want my personal brand to be that of a person who does yoga badly and offers weak communications advice.
I also feel frustrated with the idea of blogging because I worry that I don't have much that is truly unique to add to the conversation. But I still think it's a good idea because, well, who really does? Also, there is that line in The King's Speech where Geoffrey Rush asks why anyone should listen to Colin Firth and he exclaims, "Because I have a voice!" But I would watch Colin Firth read the phone book so maybe that's not the best idea.
TL; DR - I'd like to start a blog but I worry that what I'm starting with isn't very good. I don't want people to read mediocre stuff I've written and judge me based on it. What do I do (besides become a better writer)?