New Year…Start a Blog or Blog Better! The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

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In February, the Work+Life “Fit” blog will turn three years old.  I can’t believe how fast the time has flown and how much I’ve enjoyed blogging.  In fact, I rank starting this blog and then blogging for Fast Company  as two of the most valuable professional decisions I’ve made.  

Everyone has something to say; therefore, everyone should consider starting a blog.  If you already have a blog, are there new and better ways to share your message?  There’s an excellent new resource to achieve both goals, The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

Why blog? 

My quote from the Huffington Post Guide, “I blog because I am,” summarizes the benefits from blogging:

  • I am…someone who loves what I do which is help people manage their work+life fit and organizations implement flexibility into their business strategy; therefore, 
  • I am…always seeing connections between my work and current trends and events that I want to explore more deeply.  My blogs are the perfect venue for exploration and dialogue with others; and
  • I am…someone who thinks out loud, and blogging, to me, is thinking out loud and seeing what comes back.

One of my favorite quotes from the guide describes why The Huffington Post started in May, 2005, “As hokey as it sounds.  The Huffington Post really did start as a labor of love.  And passion.  And ideals.  We wanted to be heard, to create a voice.  We made something new because we strongly felt that it needed to exist, not because it would make money.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Blogging is a labor of love. 

In your opinion, do you feel something needs to be said that isn’t being discussed enough or the way you see it?   One of my original motivations for blogging was my frustration with the amount of air-time the “opting out” debate was getting in the media.  While important and interesting, in my opinion, it didn’t deserve to dominate the broader cultural work+life conversation the way it was.  The goal of my blogs was, and continues to be, pulling back the lens and seeing work+life fit as a broader career strategy for everyone, including moms. And work+life flexibility as a critical business strategy with broad bottom line impacts for organizations.  

Why blog better? 

After three years, I’m ready to take my blogs to the next level, and The Huffington Post Guide offers helpful information for the experiened bloggers.  Options discussed in the book that I’m considering include:

  • Adding video logs or vlogs to my blogs;
  • More advanced use of site metrics; and
  • Increasing the two-way dialogue by engaging with and encouraging people who comment on my blogs.

How to get started?  

When I started blogging in early 2006, there were no guides, no easy-to-use, plug-and-blog software.  Now, anyone can quickly and easily start a blog as outlined step-by-step in The Huffington Post Guide

There’s one caution for the new bloggers that I would add to the information in the book. As much as site metrics can be interesting and helpful, just make sure you aren’t discouraged by them when you start.  You may only have three people read your posts initially—in my case, it was my mom, my husband and my best friend.  Choosing not to look at site metrics in the beginning, and writing for myself helped me stay motivated even when I knew my readership constituted a universe of three. 

The time and passion you commit to blogging will payoff in the most unexpected ways—connections forged, insights achieved and the difference made.  Hey, maybe the editors of The Huffington Post will ask you to share your thoughts on blogging and include your quote in their excellent book (Thanks, Laura Vanderkam)!  You never know.  For more, check out Arianna Huffington’s recent appearance on The Daily Show where she talks about being a blogging evangelist, to which I say, “Amen!”