Blog what you know

Blogging doesn’t have to be scary.

Last January, I started my position as a marketing and communication intern at a dance company. One of my main responsibilities was to produce blogs once a week for the company’s web site. No problem.

Well, turns out, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Before I had ever written a blog post, I thought they were a sort of internet diary, a place to put thoughts onto “paper” so that others could read them. That just never really appealed to me. I never really thought about using blogging in the workplace to market a company. And I had never written for an international audience before. Since any company with a web site is considered international, I knew that anyone could read my blog. It was a scary thought.

It was getting to be the end of my first week and I still sat blankly in front of my computer screen, blog-less. I had no topic, no enthusiasm and, well, no idea how to begin. I must have had a terrified look on my face, because my boss sat down next to me and simply said, “Write what you know.”

Write what you know. I had heard this advice so many times. I’d heard it from teachers assigning papers and homework, but now more than ever the advice truly sunk in.

I excitedly turned to my desk to jot down the never-ending flood of topics that began to enter my brain. I have danced all my life, so I figured writing about dance didn’t have to be hard. That is when I started to have some fun.

My first blog began to take shape. I decided to write about pointe shoes, since that is something I was very familiar with. I interviewed the pointe shoe mistress at the company, who is responsible for fitting and ordering pointe shoes for all of the dancers. She gave me so much to write about. She explained how shoes were made and fitted for each dancer, and how they go through hundreds of pairs of shoes each year. Next, I hit up the “pointe shoe box” where all of the dancers put their signed pointe shoes when they can no longer be used. They sell these to patrons at charity events to raise money for the company. I snapped a few pictures and then sat down to reflect upon my own experience as a dancer and, now, as a writer.

By the end of my blog post, I had produced something I was quite proud of. I was able to weave my own wonderful yet painful experience as a ballet dancer (pointe shoes are terribly uncomfortable) and all of the valuable information that the pointe shoe mistress had given me, and post something I thought dance-lovers would appreciate.

At the end of my internship, I wouldn’t say that I had grasped the blogging concept perfectly, but it had become something I enjoyed. My deadline at the end of the week no longer scared me. Every Monday morning, I came in and began crafting up possible blog ideas. After I had chosen one I liked, I would write a little on it each day until I was ready to submit my final product. Blogging became a place for me to show my creativity, but I also had a sense that I was contributing to the voice of the company.

Blogging can be fun. It may seem intimidating at first, but your ideas will guide you through. Keep an idea journal of all the topics you know and love. If you are blogging for yourself or for a company, there will always be a way to tie in something you are passionate about and make it your own.


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