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Everything I Need to Know I Learned from My 5th Grader: Deconstructing a Blog

We’ve been asked many times by clients to write a blog for them. It never seemed to be a daunting task until my colleague exclaimed, “Hey, it’s time we have our own blog.” My palms got all sweaty, my throat tightened and I immediately thought of ALL the reasons why I shouldn’t write my own blog.

It’s not that I don’t recognize the benefits of blogging. I do. It is the fear of commitment that causes stress. Blogging takes time, right? And last time I checked, like many of you, I don’t have extra time stored in some file cabinet that I can just pull out when needed. Other things that went through my head, “What will I write about?” “Who will read it?” “Who will care?”

What finally inspired me take this first personal leap into the blogging world? Well, it was my 5th grader. Each week, he has to read a kid-focused newsletter and then write an “elaborated” paragraph to comment on one of the articles: an assignment that he absolutely abhors. It’s not that he doesn’t like sharing his opinions (who doesn’t), it’s just that he gets overwhelmed with the task of writing the elaborated paragraph every week. (What do they say about the apple not falling far from the tree?)

As I explained to him how to break down the task into smaller, manageable pieces, it hit me: I can do the same thing for my blog. The first thing I did was a little research. I was surprised to learn that the word “blog” is actually an abbreviated way to say, “web log.” A log, by definition, is simply a record of a journey. That seems easy enough, right? So, now I invite you along this blogging journey with me.

As my son prepared to write his elaborated paragraph, I gave him a few pointers. I’m going to use them as I craft my blogs as well. Maybe these tips will inspire you as you set off on your own blogging journey.

  1. Choose a topic (I will make sure it is relevant, current and even helpful to my clients)
  2. Grab attention right away (with the title or the opening statement)
  3. Make a point and back it up with substance
  4. Ask my readers to do something (consider my thoughts, understand my point of view, seek more information)
  5. Proofread my work!

These last two points didn’t really relate to my son’s elaborated paragraph, but perhaps they’ll help you.

  1. Market your posts on facebook, twitter, Google+, etc.
  2. Encourage dialogue with your reader and if they comment, be sure to answer!

One other note worth mentioning, you might want to consider co-blogging as it might lead to a more manageable blogging schedule for you. That’s what we are going to do at The Marketing Studio. Periodically, you’ll hear from each of us – Susan, Dionne or me – giving our blog a bit of a different voice and perspective. Please let us know what you think. We’re eager to talk with you!

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