I be bloggin’ it

It’s time for a big announcement: I’ve somehow been chosen to be a part of a
blogging panel at the Loudoun Small Business Development Center’s Building
Business Together event this Thursday.

I guess you’re wondering why I’ve been chosen to be on a blogging panel
that’s supposed to help small businesses in the county make a name for
themselves. I am, too. I’ve only ever blogged about myself and at my creative
whim, that’s why when I started “Backstory” I gave it the tagline “a
behind-the-scenes look at a writer’s personal and professional life…” This
leaves room to write about anything. And I have written about anything and
everything and sometimes I’ve written nothing at all.

I often tell people that the last thing I want to do when I come home after
writing articles all day is to write more. But the truth is blogging gives me a
creative outlet that I wouldn’t otherwise have. I’m accountable to my readers,
so I must update, and I am beholden to entertain them, so I’m constantly
thinking about what to write. That’s all there it is to it for me (besides
documenting my days for a future novel.) So, this now makes me an expert
blogger.

So, when the LSBDC called to ask if I would participate, I was taken a back
as much as I was delighted. What do I have to say to would-be writers about
blogging? I’m not promoting any business or product but myself.

That’s the first thing I’ll be discussing. I will tell businesses NOT to tout
a product because your audience can see right through it. People don’t read
blogs for advertising, they read it for information and entertainment.

My boss always says that I’m his “lede girl.” In newspaper speak, this means
that the writer successfully grabs the reader’s attention with the first few
sentences. This is also important for bloggers: Grab them with a catchy headline
and first paragraph and you’ll have their attention at least through the next
three.

“I have nothing to say.” The people who say this to me during interviews are
often the most interesting. Why? Because they’re more interested in living than
filling their resumes with what they think people want them to. Write about your
day-to-day work with passion—the readers will come.

Don’t answer the obvious: Don’t sell your company’s services, teach people
what your industry’s best practices are and look to answer your consumers most
common questions.

Want to learn more? Come see me this week at George Washington University.

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