Before I was a blogger, I was an employee. After I became a blogger, I was someone with an opinion. I was a writer. I was a publisher. I was a business. In a word, learning how to use my voice set me free in ways that continue to expand and provide opportunity for me every day.
Your Voice as Gatejumper
On September 4, musician Kanye West decided to use Twitter to talk about his year-old outburst at the MTV music awards, wherein which he interrupted the process of Taylor Swift receiving an award. One could say that it was the worst move of West’s career, and that he’s felt the financial, the social, and other repercussions ever since. He went to Twitter because he felt he’d been censored and advised against and otherwise hampered in his efforts to communicate. Here’s a rather salient tweet from his stream on that day:
Man I love Twitter… I’ve always been at the mercy of the press but no more… The media tried to demonize me.
Social media in any form allows us to gatejump. It lets us bring our story and our ideas out without having to wait for someone’s permission. You no longer have to wait for The Wall Street Journal to declare you worthy of coverage. You don’t even have to wait for SUCCESS to cover you. You’re successful? Great! Share it.
Where to Publish
Probably the simplest way to get published is to set up a blog. Blogs are software/websites that allow you to publish sequential information in discrete posts. Want an example? My blog is [chrisbrogan.com]. There are a few ways to do this. You can get a free site hosted for you, or you can set up something a bit more professional and pay for hosting. Neither way is better, but as you can tell from how I explained it, I lean toward paying for your presence.
A Few Sites That Offer Free Blog Hosting
There are plenty more such sites. If you want to list your favorites in the comments, I think that’s okay.
If You Choose to Host the Site Yourself
You’ll need the following:
- A domain/URL (I use godaddy.com)
- A host (I use rackspace.com but my site’s fairly heavily trafficked. Shop around.)
- Blog software (I use WordPress because it’s free and has a huge developer community).
- A blog design. There are lots of free themes. I recommend buying a premium theme, and/or having a designer make it look nice for you. If you want recommendations, contact me (I don’t do this, but have used several good designers in my work).
It’s your choice. I tend to think B gets you further than A, but A gets you going for free, and/or faster.
What to Say
What works best is when you can write about your would-be audience (your clients, your buyers, the people who you want to impact). For instance, writing at SUCCESS means that I’m talking to brilliant people who want to improve themselves. When I’m writing at [chrisbrogan.com], I’m writing to marketers and business types who want to use Web tools to build their companies or their own personal brands.
Always, write for your audience and not for yourself. To write for yourself is to be an artist, and that’s a much harder path to accomplish.
What, exactly, should you say? What are you trying to accomplish? Start there.
Mix Up the Medium
Now, for bonus points, get used to text, and then try out posting photos, and/or videos. It’s not nearly as tricky as it used to be. For one, the tools are easy to find. Your cell phone probably shoots photos at least. It might even do video. If not, check out things like the Flip camera, or most digital cameras in the point-and-shoot category.
Post your results to places like Flickr or YouTube and then add the embed codes to your blog (which might sound tricky but is copy and paste level).
Use Your Voice
The beauty of the medium is that people will find you who you didn’t even know were looking. By blogging and creating media on sites like Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, the opportunity to build new relationships via inbound marketing brings whole new streams of value.
Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help.