Credit: Paulchu Shot via Creative Commons
“Blogging” I never did like how the word sounded. It reminded me too much of a “blob”. I asked myself, a blob of what? Chewing gum? Toothpaste?
Nevertheless, I put the negative connotation aside and moved forward to explore the world of blogging. If one of our 5th grade classes could handle writing their own class blog then certainly I could read one to understand what all of the fuss was about!
It really started when a friend handed me a copy of A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. She had been insisting I read it and finally gave it to me as a gift. I was headed to the beach so I threw it in my suitcase and woah Nellie!!! did my world get turned upside down!!!!! Where had I been and how did I miss this? The book had been published 5 years ago. What else did I not know?
When I arrived home I was on fire to learn more. It led me to research more about this concept that the industrial age was over. Seth Godin writes one of the most popular marketing blogs and is the author of 15 books. He often speaks to the shift in society and how we used the factory model for education. Not a day goes by without me starting my day by reading Seth’s Blog that arrives in my inbox each morning. One of my favorite posts is Seven Marketing Sins that speaks to the way to get attention with stories. He highlights this in a video that proposes that you consider what it’s like to be in your customer’s shoes.
I started seeing the value of blogs and subscribed to them on an RSS feeder but I could never remember to check it and had them delivered to my email instead. Another blog I found was from Jonathan Martin’s 21k12 on the subject of 21st century skills. That initial blog post took me on a research project that lasted 3 months and took me to hundreds of websites.
As often happens in blog posts there were links to other blog posts that opened another door to reading more blogs. I happened to stumble on a blog site that was named as a Top 10 blog. Ok, so you know what happens next. I just HAD to click on the link to see what made each of these blogs so special. That was nearly a year ago. Since that time the number of books I’ve read has not been nearly what I used to read. BUT, I will tell you that I’ve learned so much and discovered many resources that never would have crossed my path in a book.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love books. There are now 72 books on my Amazon wish list and about 20 in the bookshelf that are candidates to include in my final selection for the beach trip in a few weeks. But through reading blogs I’ve learned about design thinking, content marketing, SEO, how to be a better writer, communication values, creating conversations, Pinterest, and the list goes on. I can’t begin to tell you the number of great TED talks I’ve discovered. But even better is that, reading blogs has let me share the thoughts of people who think in different ways than I do and because of the personal nature of their posts I’ve learned about their dreams for their first-born child or had an electronic conversation with one of the leading speakers on content marketing who will be giving the keynote speech at an upcoming conference I’m attending in September.
So what does this mean? Blogs are the anchor for driving content marketing. They allow you to demonstrate your knowledge, learn more from others, give other people exposure to a new audience, provide links to make your blog post richer, build your tribe and publish with a mere click of a button. It doesn’t discriminate based on age, education or topic.
We are building a blogging team at our school this fall to provide some personalization to what is commonly seen as an institution. If we can start featuring some of our thought leaders then not only can it drive SEO and get the school higher in search rankings but we can collaborate to communicate many of the great things happening in our community.
Do you have a blog? How do you determine the topics that you address in it?