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Dearest Non-blogging Professional: Why, Oh Why Arenâ€™t You Blogging Yet?
Blogs are immensely popular, with billions of visitors to their pages every day. And yet, half the world wouldn't even know a blog if it jumped through their web browser and bit them! Here's a brief primer on what a blog is, and why it's a must-have for anyone who's serious about their business, career, or professional reputation.
I have five minutes to write this article. However… I have hours upon hours - days, really! - of pent-up energy on the subject of why you should be blogging. I'm sitting on the equivalent of a massive nuclear weapon here, or the cure for cancer, and no one's really understanding the implications… Ever have one of those dreams when you're doing everything you can to run at a full sprint, but it feels like your legs are thigh deep in black tar? Or, you're trying like heck to shout a very important message to someone you love, like "Get out of the way! The train's coming!" or "Watch out! There's a giant shark fin right behind you!!!" but all that comes out is strained, laryngitis-ized hot air? This is what's happening in my life right now. I sit across from friends and business associates, talk with entrepreneurs and small business owners, and share strategy sessions with larger companies and corporations, and I mention the possibility of them blogging. There's a universal glazed look, often followed by a shrug, or a nose crinkle. "Eh, I don't see the point," or "Yeah, I thought about that…" I know it's my job to just let it go, and I do, because every business person knows the "I'm not ready to talk about this" look. Oh, but it's killing me! Because if you're serious about your business, career, or professional reputation, there is absolutely no reason for you not to publicize your interest and expertise in the form of a blog. **A blog is conversational. It comes alive with YOUR distinct voice, style, and proclivities. It dies if it's fueled by the dreaded Corpspeak, stiff language, or totally self-conscious and "safe," play-by-the-rules drivel. **A blog is FREE. (Or extremely low-cost, depending on how you go.) I mean, COME ON, what else is FREE these days?!! **A blog is a mirror. It's an organized trail of your ideas, experience, and hints at your vision. It's ALSO a living, breathing organic organism that grows as you grow. It's like one of those "smart" computers that develops its own life and personality over time. **A blog is search-engine friendly. It's PROOF you know your industry or subject matter. It's PROOF you're active in your business and niche. **A blog is a way to connect with other like-minded professionals. When you comment on someone else's blog, or when they comment on yours, it's like a quick, manly nod that says, "Hey. Saw your post. Liked it. Peace out." **A blog is a simple, searchable content management system. Why, oh why, are you hoarding all of your industry knowledge to yourself? Are you saving it for posterity? Do you think St. Peter will give you extra points for having a huge collection of inaccessible folders on your computer? **A blog is FUN, darnit! It's a chance to just be you, and even see and experience your own voice and priorities over time. Sure, a lot of blogging gurus say there are "rules" - like, "you should blog at least three times a week!" or "be strategic" or "keep posts short; avoid long tangents!" (like this one). And a lot of PAGs (that's People Against Blogging) say no one reads them, or they're a waste of time, or all of the above. But to this I say, WHO CARES??!! No one's reading your darn internal folders, or going through your file cabinets, but you still throw articles and information in there! Why not claim your intellectual territory and put a select and steady amount of information, opinions, photos, and energy OUT THERE to be discovered by one or more of the proverbial masses, if and when they come looking for you or the information, knowledge, products, or services you have to offer? God didn't just not bother with Antarctica because he figured no one would ever find the frigid continent, right? And now, with advances in technology, we get to watch fine films like "March of the Penguins," "National Treasure," and "The X-Files Movie." If you have a passion, specialty, niche, mission, or business (and you gotta have at least one of those things, unless you're a corpse…or Paris Hilton), then START BLOGGING. Don't worry about traffic. Don't worry about the nit-picky stuff. Do it imperfectly. Find your voice. Discover your flow. Loosen up. Be bold. Get yourself out there. And if you refuse, please answer this one question. WHY??????