Sunday, August 21, 2005

Why would you want to blog professionally?

Over at ProBlogger.net, Darren Rouse has a great theme going on called the "31 Days to a Building a Better Blog Project." The series is a must read; not just for current and aspiring professional bloggers, but for any blogger out there. The tips and concepts are a valuable addition to whatever blogging experience you might have.

Darren's project is rather timely for me. Three short months ago, I decided to pen a career transition plan with the lofty goals of leaving the corporate world so that I can blog and podcast full-time. I'm happy to say that I'm on my way and actually ahead of the schedule I've put together.

I'm still working my current job; it pays too darn well to just drop like a hot potato. However, the techADDICTION podcast that James and I started back in February continues to gain listeners and my free blogging has turned into source of income through a great opportunity with the Weblogs, Inc. Network. You can find daily musings and opinions on high-definition television through HD Beat.

As things move forward quicker than I anticipated, I got to thinking about two key questions this morning. Why do I want to make this transition? What do I expect from it? Here are my thoughts to those questions; hopefully they will shed some light on anyone else considering this same type of transition.

There are multiple reasons that I'd personally like to make this change. Your reasons may be different, but the key point here is: make sure you know your reasons and better yet: write them down. If you keep them on paper, you can go back in time and re-evaluate your rationale. The fact is: situations change all the time. If you keep something on paper, it becomes static and gives you a baseline to measure against.

My main reasons for this plan are: freedom, enjoyment, less politics, and control. Let me tackle these one by one and start with freedom. I truly don't expect to put in less hours with a blogging and podcasting career. Content must remain fresh and dynamic. As a result, there are no "set schedules" or "amount of hours". When I think of freedom, I think of being able to take a walk with my family for an hour whenever I wish. I think of immediately blogging a great idea in the middle of the night because I can't sleep and I don't want to lose the thought. I think of being able to responsibly speak my mind to anyone who is willing to listen.

Enjoyment is an easy one. Simply put: I absolutely love to read and write. For quite a while, I was reading an eBook per week. That number has probably dropped to one book every two to three weeks, but that's because there is so much great content to choose from on the web. Writing about what I'm reading is simply a logical and fun extension to me.

Politics. What an ugly word to me, personally. It seems that no matter where you look in corporate America, the politics permeate every nook and cranny of organizations. Blogging with and for the right folks removes the hierarchies and brings about flatter organizations. I just want to provide outputs that are valuable, it's as simple as that.

This brings me to control. If you reduce or eliminate the politics, you gain personal control; it's an inverse relationship for me. If I'm successful, I want it to be due to my efforts as well as the support from those around me. If I fail, it's because my content is not appealing or I'm not updating my content enough or because I didn't market my content as well as I could have. Note that now I can take total responsibility for my successes as well as my failures.

If you get a chance, drop on over to Darren's project and see what tips and tricks you can find. You might not want to blog professionally, but I'll bet you will learn a bunch from the project. As for me, I'll keep up with my written plan and make sure to evaluate my progress on a regular basis. After all, I'm in control, right?


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2 Comments:

At 8/22/2005 10:51 PM, Blogger Kim D. said...

Kevin:

Great article! And one that is timely for me as I face some career transitions in my life as well. You've given me the framework for writing up my reasons for doing what I want to do. This should really help with getting over some of the indecision that is hanging over me.

Thanks. Really

Kim
ScrappinCabinet.com
A blog for scrapbookers

 
At 8/23/2005 8:32 AM, Blogger Kevin C. Tofel said...

Kim, I'm glad that my thoughts provided you some value. I found myself facing more "good ideas and thoughts" than my brain could handle. It wasn't until I took the simple act of brainstorming and then planning it all out that I began to feel some control in my efforts! Common sense is an amazing thing, but highly uncommon I think. :)

Best,
kct

 

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