Whether you’re an avid user of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, the one thing these social networking sites have in common is their ability to help you make connections. Bloggers, businesses and beings of all ages flock to these sites to communicate with friends/colleagues and to share their daily reveries. Although many of us use social networking sites to connect with friends, sometimes it goes unnoticed how valuable these tools are for building our network. Also known as, the networking side to social networking.
I’m partial to Twitter for my own reasons, mainly because I find it extremely user-friendly and great for personal branding. The other thing I love about Twitter is its ability to offer suggestions for other connections. Ultimately, it facilitates interactions between individuals who work in the same industry, expanding your network. The PR industry is a tight-knit community with professionals who love to communicate with each other. It can be seen through Twitter that PR girls and guys love to interact and share their experiences – as well as to introduce! The networking side to Twitter is evident through Twitter Chat participation, replies and sharing useful information that appeals to our followers.
To get the most out of Twitter, as well as other social networking sites, it is important to recognize the way through which they can open doors. People you meet over twitter have an endless amount of information. Followers can supply you with the knowledge of who’s hiring, social events happening in your area, as well as opportunities to contribute to other blogs. If you are smart about how to use these sites to your advantage, they can offer you an extensive network. The social part comes from using the platform, whereas the networking side comes as a result of making connections through the use of the platform.
How do you network through social media? Join in on the convo @Sam__Dickson
“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” – Ernest Hemingway
As many PR pros know, writing is a large component of our day-to-day work schedule. Between press releases, newspaper articles, and tweeting, communication is of great importance to our careers. With writing being so critical to the industry, many PR professionals use blogging platforms and online media to practice their prose.
One problem that many of us face is writer’s block. Whether you are pressed for time, or are hitting a wall for new ideas, the stress that comes with writer’s block can be overwhelming. So, how do we beat it?
Here are a few simple steps to help put your pen to paper:
- Try to avoid last-minute writing – A lot of the times writer’s block can come from stress caused by time pressure. If you don’t gain inspiration quickly, and you can’t write under time constraints, try to write blog posts or articles beforehand.
- Create a Pinboard – Whether you take the time to browse new pins on Pinterest, or you hang a cork board above your workspace, find inspiration from things around you that you love.
- Write about something you love – When you are passionate about a topic, it will show in your writing. Most of the time you will find it easier to write about something that interests you.
- Brainstorm with friends – Sometimes bouncing ideas off of friends can foster up a new set of articles. The best part about this option is how unique different perspectives are, and how you can incorporate this into your posts.
- Take a break – For anything stressful, especially writer’s block, I always suggest taking a break. A walk through the park, hot yoga with a friend, or a quick latte in the café across the street can turn blank pages into novels.
In the end, have patience! The important thing to remember is that you must do something that makes you happy. As a fellow writer, my best writing comes when I am having fun.
One of the questions I get asked most as a blogger is, how do you stay motivated to update your blog? Before One Heel Ahead was created, most of my blogging experience took place in between classes. However, the blogs I ran prior to OHA were not specialized, and lacked a certain sense of continuity in content.
Today I thought I would share a few tips on what you need in order to jump start your own blog. I always encourage everyone to take the risk, even if it means failing!
Here are a few lessons I learned along the way that will hopefully get you started:
- Dedication – A first time blogger needs to understand that your blog becomes a part-time (sometimes full-time) job, and needs attention on a regular basis. A popular blog continuously produces new content. Ultimately, you want your readers to want to return.
- Time Management – This goes hand-in-hand with dedication. Assuming you have other things on the go, such as a day job, school and other social events, a first time blogger needs to learn how to balance her/his schedule to fit in everything.
- Content – One of the most difficult parts to blogging is arguably preparing the content. Although the technicalities behind building the site take time, be prepared to think on your feet and be creative with posts.
- Continuity – The risk you take with creating a blog is running into a wall where you can’t think of a new post. Don’t worry – writer’s block happens to the best of us! Make sure you brainstorm a theme before you launch your blog. The best way to stay on top of your posts is to write about something you are passionate about. This will show your readers that you are serious about the blog and content.
- Patience – Every piece of technology comes with its own set of downfalls. Be prepared to run into technical difficulties. Whether your site crashes, or you can’t figure out how to change your style.css, be patient. Take a break and come back to it!
Have any suggestions for first time bloggers? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson or respond below!