Category Archives: Social Media
Looking back at my Twitter journey, I can say that in 2013 I have been more active on Twitter than ever before. While I did not start the year with any grand plans on objectives of what I wanted to accomplish, I definitely wanted to be more active..
Along the way, Twitter has helped me in several ways. In this blog, I am listing the 10 ways in which Twitter made a DIFFERENCE
(1) Connected me with some amazing individuals – Yes! I’ve connected with some fantastic individuals on Twitter – People who I would never have been able to connect with. People who are “great thinkers”, people from whom I learn so much and people who inspire me with their words. And to all of them, a BIG THANK YOU!
(2) Enabled me to learn continuously – If there is one social media platform through which I have learned about topics / areas that were of interest to me, it was through Twitter. To my advantage, I was very specific about my learning objectives and goals, and hence was very particular about whom I follow – In most cases, the very BEST in their respective niches. And if you follow the masters, you can be sure to learn – provided you are a diligent student
(3) Improved written communication skills (specially brevity) – Improvement in written communication is a priority for any one who writes. And personally, brevity has not been a strength for long. However, ever since I became active on Twitter – I was challenging myself (repeatedly) to come to the core of what I wanted to communicate. A year of practice later – I can definitely say that I am much better today. The real-life testimonial is that most meeting I usually chair mostly end before time :). As someone at work said, “You are so clear and concise, always conveying only the relevant information! – That’s definitely a feather in my cap
(4) Research – One of the most important activities as a part of my work involves research. And Twitter is a great repository to get real-time access to quality information on any topic. The two ways I get information are through Hashtag search, and by following the Gurus in a specific area of interest. Research time has reduced significantly ever since I started to use Twitter.
(5) Brought a smile to my face – On many a gloomy day, if there was one thing which brought a smile to my face it was Twitter. A joke or a witty comment or a compliment or a surprise DM from a kind soul – All brought a smile to my face. And it made a difference!
(6) Provided generous doses of inspiration – Quotes always inspire me. And starting off my day by reading an inspirational quote from the wise and learned and experienced has set the right tone and mood for my days. I look forward to getting my dose of quotes from Twitter. In addition, reading motivational and inspirational writings through shared links on Twitter was an added bonus!
(7) Platform to share my writings – One of the most important benefits for me as a blogger was that Twitter was a great platform to share my writings. It gave me real-time reach to a global audience : people who would probably never have read my content otherwise!
(8) Log for the incessant chatter of the mind – In hindsight, one of the most important benefits of using Twitter is that it was a log for the incessant chatter of my mind. A lot of ideas, thoughts and realizations keep buzzing around continuously. Once I started logging it on Twitter, my mind was a lot clearer. Decision making improved. Concentration improved. My productivity improved. My sleep improved – That’s a lot of good things !
(9) Topics / Ideas to Blog About – One of the challenges for most bloggers is to find the next thing to write about. Even here, Twitter has come to the rescue. Sometimes it is through my own back-dated tweets, and sometimes it is via others tweets.
(10) Friend when no one was there – There were times when I had nothing really to do (Albeit few, but they did exist). At those times, Twitter was a good friend. Just logging in to Twitter, and spending some time with no specific agenda objective or expectations – was surprisingly very comforting!
Did Twitter make a difference for you in 2013? Leave a comment to let me know HOW?
New to the IT Workforce? – Here’s what counts…
A lot of friends and family and people who know me at work ask me this question again and again “What really counts in an IT job, especially if you’re starting you’re career?”. I usually respond based on whom I’m talking to, the personal context & background and the amount of time I have at hand..But then as I responded to this question for the Nth time recently, I thought why not post a response in on my blog..
So here, I am summarizing the response to this question – based on my own personal experiences in the IT industry spanning more than a decade, and the interactions with friends / colleagues and leaders in different organizations.
* Your knowledge on the areas / topics of study / specialization
So if you are an Engineer by education you should “know” what you learned by virtue of your degree. After all, if the threshold qualification for the job is of an Engineer, then you should at least demonstrate that you have the basic Engineering knowledge and background to qualify for the job. Similarly, if the job demands that you know the basics of a tool / product, then you should know it!
* Your self-confidence
Again, your own self-confidence in your knowledge, capabilities and strengths is what will make you stand out in a group of thousand people
* Willingness to learn
Learning is a continuous journey, and those who show that they are willing to learn – be it new technologies, processes and ways of working are the one’s who end up with more opportunities, challenging work assignments and diverse projects as a part of their career portfolio
* Openness to work
Again, you should be open to take up work assigned to you – at least in the initial few years of your career. Every single assignment adds to your own understanding of the IT business, and as you grow – you will appreciate how understanding different facets is so critical in your career growth
* Oral Communication skills
Again, many time you get selected / rejected for a job position primarily based on your oral communication skills. So speak up, speak in a clear and concise fashion. And continuously hone your oral communication skills
* Problem solving skills
The world is full of problems, and the IT industry is no exception. So there are all kinds of problems one can encounter – technology, product, process, people, customer experience, design, architecture, user experience, customer expectation management, etc. And one’s ability to truly understand and solve a problem usually makes all the difference
* Written Communication skills
Written communication is an intergal part of an IT job. On an daily basis, one will need to communicate with colleagues, teams, third parties, customers, etc. via the written medium (mails, documents, presentations, etc.). And how well you can articulate and write will make all the difference in how easy / difficult it is for others to work with you
* Your professionalism
Be professional in your interactions with colleagues and managers. Draw the line between your personal life and professional life – It makes a lot of difference in how other perceive you!
* Ability to collaborate and work in teams
In today’s day and age, it is all about collaborative ways of working to achieve business objectives. So how well you can work with a diverse (and in many instances cross-cultural team) will make all the difference in the output you / your team will be able to deliver
* Your personal drive and self-motivation
One’s one drive and motivation is what will set you apart, and is what can sometimes be the only factor in the kind of work assigned to you. So demonstrate this in word and action.
* Willingness to go the extra-mile, for the objective of the project success
At the end of the day what counts is the success of the project you are working on. And sometimes this requires individuals / teams to go the extra-mile. Make sure to stretch at times when it counts. This will make all the difference
* Truly “understanding” the customer requirements and project goals
Make an attempt to truly understand what is the customer pain areas or problems, and how the technology is enabling solve the problem. This understanding will help you work better and more effectively and deliver in line / beyond expectations!
Over the recent past, I’ve had the opportunity to interact up close and personal with the Gen Y and Gen Z – in schools, colleges, social gathering’s, etc etc etc. – The “Digital Natives” as they are popularly called – For e.g.: The 2 year old’s who can play on the iPad, the 5 year old who goes to a school where there is a “Touch Lab”, the 10 year old who is ever so active on FaceBook, the 15 year old who has 10K+ Twitter followers and the last one I should mention – The yet to be born baby who already had a Google account, Twitter account and FaceBook account!
They are everywhere! And I am glad to see them
But during interactions, interestingly a lot of them confessed to Social Media Blunders or Social Media Disasters (Of course dos not include the yet-to-be-born baby and the 2 year old, They can’t speak properly yet, or they speak in a language I can’t understand
Example 1 : A 12 year old shared his address on FaceBook, and got into trouble
Example 2 : A 8 year old shared her contact number as part of her Twitter profile, and got into trouble
Example 3 : A 15 years old shared photographs on FaceBook, and got into trouble
Example 4 : A 21 year old tweeted something controversial, and got into trouble
Example 5 : An 18 year old posted a confession on FaceBook, and got into trouble
And I can go on with many more such examples.. But the point is this – It’s great that this generation is on SOCIAL. And Good for them! Good that the Social Bug is in them, and they learned a lot by themselves…
But what about the things that their peers don’t know about Social Media?
But what about the things that even their teachers don’t know about Social Media?
But what about the things that their parents don’t know about Social Media?
And I am not talking about features, or capabilities, or How-To’s, or How to do better, faster..
I am talking about THE SOCIAL MEDIA BASICS with an emphasis on WHAT NOT TO DO on SOCIAL MEDIA?
What NOT to say about yourself?
What NOT to share?
What NOT to do?
Whom NOT To connect with?
When to disconnect from Social Media?
Who teaches the Gen Y / Gen Z the Social Media Basics?
from what I know, no one really! Most learn by experience – By burning their fingers, By seeing others learn the hard way
In my honest opinion, it makes complete sense for schools / educational institutes to include Social Media Basics as a part of the School Curriculum (May be some already do, but I’m not aware). Get Social Media Gurus / Experts to talk , to share their learning’s, to give insights into possible consequences and impact on life.
Teach the Gen Y / Gen Z the Social Media Basics, and these are really the basics of LIFE. But someone has to teach it, and they have to learn sometime.. Sooner, the BETTER!
I’m a big fan of quotes. And have been all along in my life.. So I wanted to publish a post on great Social Media Quotes that I’ve come across. Here goes!
“Social Media, it turns out, isn’t about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell. Social Media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online. We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed. We want to belong, and yes, we want to be led.” BY Seth Godin
“Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing” BY Chris Brogan
“ATA – be AUTHENCTIC, be TRANSPARENT, be ALTRUISTIC, and you will find enough success in Social Media to have a satisfying career and experience.” BY Nils Monta
“Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” BY Seth Godin
“Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” BY Matt Goulart
“LinkedIn is for people you know. Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know.” BY Author Unknown
“By creating compelling content, you can become a celebrity.” BY Paul Gillin
“The problem with trying to determine ROI for Social Media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable” BY Jason Falls
“Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” BY Jay Baer
“Content is King, Social Media is Queen; and Together they rule the online world. So be the king and befriend the Queen, or be prepared to be ruled over” BY Nischala
Small business owners of today are faced with several challenges as a part of their everyday business operations. First and most importantly, is the basic need to survive and break-even. Second, is the focus on top-line growth through new customer acquisition or new businesses from existing customers. Third, is the focus on cost reduction / optimization / rationalization. And last but not least is the focus on profits. Oh! I forgot to mention all the other additional aspects which running a business usually involves – like Positioning, Branding and Marketing, Innovation, Human Resource Management, Communication, Operations, Finance, Strategy, Compliance, etc.
With so many things that need to be done with limited resources and small teams, it can get really busy and overwhelming for small business owners. And it’s so easy to wonder if there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Well here’s the good news! Social Media can definitely help address some of these challenges. Not only is social media cost effective, ubiquitous, easy to learn and adopt; but if a well-integrated social media strategy is adopted, the probability of business success is significantly amplified!
In this blog, I will list specific ways in which Twitter can be leveraged for the benefit of small business owners.
First and most important is to establish the BIG “WHY?” – “Why do you as a small business owner want to use Twitter?”
The question is very simple, albeit very important. But giving the right answer usually requires a lot of thought, introspection and clarity on your business goals and strategy. Once you have this answer, the Twitter journey is a lot more focused, useful, productive and enjoyable!
Small business owners could typically use Twitter for any of the following:
(1) Connect and Interact with Customers (Existing / New) - The only pre-requisites for this are that you should know who exactly are your customers and whether they are active on Twitter
Case-in-point: An entrepreneur I know who runs a high-end designer fashion label was working on the Social Media Strategy for her business. During discussions, it emerged that most of her customers are NOT on Twitter. And hence, it made limited sense for her to invest time and effort in building a Twitter presence exclusively for her customer interactions, or for lead generation / business development activities.
As a small business owner, if you’ve established that you’re customers are active on Twitter, the next step is to start active engagement with them. The purpose of customer interactions can vary from announcements of new products / services / offers / discounts, to sharing regular updates on information which is valued by your customer base.
Take-Away: Be clear on who you’re customers are, and whether they are on Twitter. Then you can start connecting and interacting with them on Twitter.
(2) Create a Brand – Twitter can be an effective and powerful channel to establish your brand. The only pre-requisite is that you should be clear on what brand image you want to create, and ensure that you tweet in line with this brand image. This will determine your competitive differentiation, industry presence and positioning. For e.g.: If you are a research firm who provides research services in technology areas, you should tweet snippets about your own research findings, or interesting data / facts and references on technology related research. This will enable you to create your own voice in the Twitter-verse
Take-Away: Clear, consistent and continuous communication in line with the brand is the key for brand creation and brand recall.
(3) Business Networking – One of the keys to success for small business owners is the kind of business networks they are associated with. Twitter can be a very powerful medium to establish new business connections and strengthen existing ones. Many times these business networks can help directly / indirectly in new upcoming opportunities. In addition to specific one-o-one networks / tweets / Direct Messages, active participation in Twitter chats can be a great source for building new business connections or identification of new business opportunities.
Take-Away: Focus on building and strengthening business networks on Twitter
(4) Research – One of the most important back-end activities essential for most small business owners is continuous focus on research around specific focus areas. Twitter is a great platform to get real-time access to quality information on any topic. The two specific ways which are of great help in this regard are Hashtag search, and by following the Gurus (experts) in a specific area of interest.
The good news is that research time can be significantly reduced on Twitter. Sometimes an easy way to get answers is to ask a question on Twitter, or ask someone with a good Follower base to post the question. More often than not, this can be one source of primary research data, similar to an online real-time survey.
Take-Away: Be clear on the research objectives. And use Twitter to get direct feedback, responses or hear from the experts.
(5) Ideation – Twitter can be used as a great platform for ideation. Ideas around What next?, How to grow and improve your business?, etc. can occur several times during social conversations and interactions – especially when you engage in dialog on what would make customers happy or what are the current pain–areas which plague a specific customer segment. In addition, interacting with industry peers and in specialized forums / networks can many spark off those “Eureka moments”.
Take-Away: Look to Twitter to hear, discover and learn what others are doing. This is the first source of new ideas.
(6) Continuous Learning and Knowledge Updates – Constantly learning and knowing what’s happening in your industry, within the market and getting a pulse of your customers, partners, suppliers, competition, etc. is absolutely essential for small business owners. Twitter can be a very effective in helping you do this! The easiest way is to identify your key partners, competitors, customers, analysts, publications and experts in your specific line of business, and follow them on Twitter (provided they have a Twitter presence). You will be able to gather real-time data and insights in trends, views, opinions and perspectives.
Take-Away: Look to Twitter to hear, discover and learn what others are doing. This is the first source of new ideas.
(7) Daily Dose of Inspiration / Motivation – The life of many a small business owner is filled with moments of uncertainty, doubt, questions and lows. And giving up is not an option. You have to move ahead! And one of the best ways is to stay and feel positive, inspired and motivations through the storms and rainbows.
Again, Twitter can be of immense help in this department. Following Twitter handles which usually share inspirational quotes, positive thoughts and motivational words / links can sometimes make all the difference in changing our moods, approach, thoughts, perspectives and responses. So, try to start your day by reading something positive / inspirational / motivational – And this can set the right tone for your day! And if you’re feeling blue, look up the tweets of someone who motivates / inspires, and that can help you sail through many a blue day!
Take-Away: Twitter can be that one channel which brings your way the much needed inspiration, motivation, support and cheer through many a low and many a high!
As I conclude, sharing below a compilations of resources which you may find helpful in your Twitter journey
How to get started on Twitter
How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business?
Content Life Cycle on Twitter
Social Media Etiquette 101: The Basics
Why I don’t have even 100 followers on Twitter even after 3 years?
Good Luck in your ventures, and hope this post helps you in the effective usage of Twitter!
And if you’ve found a specific Twitter link / reference, do share it in the comments below so that it can help others in this community
Originally published on The Next Women; Edited and re-published here
Over the past few years, I have experienced close and personal what it means to have people you know / love / care about deal with chronic ailments – For e.g.: Diabetes, Chronic Renal Failure, Cancer, etc.
And if there’s one thing I can say with absolute certainty it’s this – Its NOT EASY!
It’s NOT EASY for the patient
It’s NOT EASY for the immediate family and friends
Dealing with chronic ailments which will most likely be a part of your life till the very end tests you on many dimension of life. Mainly
- Physical – Your body goes through a lot lot lot! Hard for anyone to “truly understand”; Suffice to say that it has to endure! There is no escape!
- Mental – Stress and Tension of every-day living; & dealing with emergencies
- Social – Pressures of society : Questions, Pity, Free unwarranted Advice, Suggestions (many times useless and destructive), Criticism, Feedback, Opinions, etc
- Financial – There is a financial strain, whether or not you have insurance
- Emotional – Why me? Why us? Tears, fear, uncertainty. Lack of interest in life, When will this agony end?
- Lack of timely knowledge – No clue of what to do? Where to go? Whom to ask?
And here’s where I believe Social Media can really help and make a difference – Both to the patient itself or to those caring for the patient.
So, How can Social Media really make a DIFFERENCE?
(1) By providing information – One of the key challenges in dealing with chronic ailments is getting access to the right information at the right time. Especially in terms of treatment options and the institutes providing it at affordable costs. Providing this information as a “one-stop” repository will prove to be invaluable ; and help in decision making at a vulnerable and critical point in the choice of treatment
(2) By providing emotional relief – The emotional highs and lows that engulf the patient, family and care-giver are unimaginable. Social media can be a welcome break by making you laugh, changing your perspective or just feeling inspired to live another day!
(3) By being a mental de-stresser – The mental stress that the patient, family and care-giver go through can sometime be enormous, and hard to deal with. Social media can be a great de-stresser in more than one way – Providing information, connecting you to experts / experienced / advisers who can possibly provide timely guidance and intervention to enable you to tide through the situation.
(4) By creating a “new social world” - Many people ailing from chronic ailments have told that when people from the real world get to know about their ailments, “something changes” in the relationship. They can’t pin-point what it is, but things are no longer the same – And this is from both ends. Many patients don’t want to / wish to interact with their “real-world” connections , and tend to distance themselves. At such instances, “creating a new social world” through the power of Social media can be a real blessing!
What Social Media Channels would be EFFECTIVE?
Honestly, I think choosing the right channel is important, and there are abundant options available.
(1) Twitter - A twitter handle which shares regular updates on a specific ailment. Specific Twitter hashtags will aid in searching for specific information
(2) Blogs / Web-sites – Information sources which focus on a specific topic, and share useful information from patients, care-givers , insurers and people from the medical fraternity would be an invaluable repository. One of the best examples I can think of is BabyCenter.com – which has become the ultimate online resource for most expecting mother (I’m giving this only as an example here). Something like this for chronic ailments like cancer, chronic renal failure, etc. would be AWESOME!
(3) Pinterest - Boards around a specific topic / sub-topic containing information which can consolidate information, enable decision making or simply bring a smile to a “tired and stressed mind and heart” will make an ocean of difference
(4) Communities / Groups – Like a LinkedIn Community, Google+ Hang-out or a community blog where people can interact in a honest and transparent fashion can make a lot of difference. From what I’ve seen, just knowing that there are so many people out there enduring the same “pain and trials” on a daily basis – some better / some worse, makes it easier to accept and deal with one’s personal situation!
And I hope this post inspires someone somewhere to leverage the power of Social Media to help many people dealing with Chronic ailments!
2008 was the year I entered the blog-o-sphere; primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I created my first blogs in which I used to write occasionally – Of course, my blogs were private. In 2010, I shared my blogs with my inner network of friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback. After this initial response, my blogs went public in 2010 and so started my blogging journey.
Its 2013 now – Almost 3 years since I embarked on my blogging journey as a blogger. During this journey, I have published 1000+ posts on my own blogs (public, restricted and private), and have published several guest posts in site of global repute on a diverse set of topics.
So, really what is blogging to me? My blogs are the canvas for my words. Words which stem from dreams, thoughts, observations, analysis, learning’s, conversations, view-points, outlook, views, emotions, perspectives, achievements, mistakes, failures, lessons learnt, comprehensions, experiences and conclusions.
As of date, I run two popular blogs:
(1) VERVE : The Quintessence of my Life – Which is my personal blog and covers a broad range of topics around Life, Creativity, Parenting, Relationships, Human Experiences, Emotions, etc.
(2) Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions – Which is my professional blog in which I about topics of professional interest which revolves around Social Media, Marketing, Leadership, Innovation and Strategy.
In addition to the above, I also publish guest posts in several reputed sites of global repute.
Blogging can transform your life in more than one way. Once you start actively blogging, you will see many aspects of your life can change drastically. Physically, you become more aware and observant of the world around you – Simply because you need things to write about on your blogs, and most bloggers typically draw in from real-life experiences. Emotionally, you will feel more balanced and happy; because you get an opportunity to express your emotions through your blogs. Intellectually, you need to think to write a blog – So it provides good exercise to the “gray matter” in your brain. Socially, it can help you build new networks and connections with like-minded people, and also interesting people – Whom you would otherwise never have known. In some cases, it can also elevate your social standing in select circles. If you are good in blogging and consciously work on blog monetization, it can add to your personal finances. And of course spiritually also, blogging can help you re-connect with yourself!
So it really has the potential to touch impact and influence every facet of your life.
Personally, there have been several positives. If I had to list the top benefits and life skills which are enhanced along my blogging journey, they are:
- Blogging enables you to be a lifelong learner
- Blogging enhances your self-discipline
- Blogging enables you to prioritize better
- Blogging helps you truly understand a subject; The best way to understand any subject is to teach someone about it or to write about it
- Blogging enables you to hone and refine your written communication skills
- Blogging enhances your “thinking skills”
- Blogging helps you accept and deal with compliments and criticism in a better way; It makes you open to feedback
- Blogging compels you to improve your personal time management skills
- Blogging makes you dream; and dreams are vital to the journey of life
- Blogging give you a new-found respect for every other writer / blogger; and a new-found respect for your blog readers
In conclusion, I’d like to say that Reading and Writing can be your two best friends in life. And the blog-o-sphere can enable you to do both – So why would you not extend your hands in friendship to blogging?
At the end of the day, a blog is really a creative piece of art. And a blogger (is like an artist) who need to be true to his / her blog-art.
Blogging can change your LIFE! – Give it a chance today….
Happy Blogging and Have a Great Day!
Originally published @ here
When the “corporate ways” seep into your “personal life” then any of the following can happen:
* You talk about Goals and Objectives in interactions with your friends / spouse / children
* For any question put in front of you by anyone (your domestic help, your spouse, your kid, your friend), you open Dr. Google or Dr.Microsoft (Google, Word, PowerPoint) – without even thinking if you know the answer!
* You emphasize on constant reviews and feedback sessions with everyone in your circle
* For anything that anyone says, you ask Questions – than even listen or give answers
* Even on special days / occasions, when your friends / girlfriend / boyfriend say important things to you, you respond in monosyllables, or “I’ll call back in 6 minutes”, “I’m in a meeting. Can’t talk now”, “This has to wait”.
* You’ve not seen the sunrise or sunset for months
* You forgot how the wind feels on your face, or how real flowers smell, or how good water tastes
* You don’t know the price of any fruit or vegetable or any food item that you consume on a daily basis
* You have a serious expression on your face, even when its a joke / something light being spoken about
* You pick up the phone and say “Tell Me” or “Yes, What do you want?”; And not “Hello”, “Hi.. How are you?”, “Good Morning”
* You tell your children to schedule an appointment in your calendar for an outing, conversation or dinner
* You tell your parents that you’re busy and will call back later, but don’t return the call for days after that
* You default on all your monthly payments (mobile, credit card, rent, etc.) and end up paying an interest / fine. Reason is you are so busy that you don’t have time to make monthly payments
* Your finances and taxes are in a mess, and you don’t have time to clear the mess
* You’ve not really spoken to your family and friends for ages, and have almost forgotten what they look like, feel like, smell like
* Your on your way to obesity, but don’t have the time motivation or interest to do anything about it
* You don’t remember the last time you really laughed
* You don’t know what you ate in the last meal
* You don’t know its your own birthday
* You don’t remember the last meal you had with friends and family
* You don’t know what you spouse / children / parents are thinking, doing, planning or considering
* You don’t know when its the birthday / anniversary of loved one’s
* You miss an important personal appointment / commitment, and don’t know that you’ve missed it
* You’re children sometimes call you “Uncle / Aunty” or even “Who are you?”
* You don’t get invitations for any social events / gatherings (Because you don’t pick their calls / respond to mails). Before you know people are married, had kids, and moved on! With / Without you!
* You’re children ask you not to get in their way
Have you seen or experienced the corporate ways seep into your personal life? Well, as long as you are aware about it and OK with it, its fine! If you’re NOT OK with it, then may be its time for a little introspection and a few changes…
As a writer / blogger, I have found Social Media to be a blessing! Be it Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – They all prove to be invaluable for any writer..
So How can Social Media really help a writer / blogger?
One of the best ways Social media can help any writer / blogger is for research. Research is an integral part of the writing / blogging process; and most writers / bloggers spend time in active research on the internet. Searching in Blogs, or on Twitter using specific Hashtags, or even simply following an expert on a specific topic on Twitter can significantly simply your research process and reduce effort!
Most writers / bloggers need a periodic dose of inspiration to bring out the best pieces of creative output. We all have different triggers / things which inspire us, and Social Media provides it in abundance. The only pre-requisite is you should know what kind of things inspire you (quotes, pictures, emotions, others experience’s, etc.) and you should know the fastest way to get your dose of inspiration on Social Media. trust me! Its there everywhere – Blogs, Tweets, Pinterest, etc. etc
Many times, a write / blogger needs ideas – On the topics to write about, how to articulate, how to take the story further – And you just can’t seem to move ahead. Again, Social Media can come to your rescue. Sometimes reading totally unrelated articles fuels your imagination (I don’t know how the brain wiring works, but it does!) and propels your forward, Sometimes reading a tweet gives you food for thought, Sometimes a picture / infographic does the trick, and sometimes it is a blog post which gives you that killer idea! Sometimes it is your own past Social Media activities which trigger new ideas and thoughts
4) Easy access to samples of other writers / bloggers
Many writers / bloggers like to read samples of what other writers / bloggers have to say. It can be for very many reasons – To get exposure to alternate styles of work, to gauge audience sentiments, to figure out tips, tricks and best practices of the trade, or simply because they enjoy others work. Again, Social media provides easy and instant access to sample the work of other writers / bloggers
5) Promotion & Marketing
Sharing your blogs / writings has never been more easy, efficient, quick and global as it is today. Any blogger / writer can share their work at the click of a button. So Social Media can aid significantly in Promotion & Marketing
6) A Social Network
Writing / Blogging are lonely activities. It is just you , your thoughts , your words and your tools (Whatever hardware and software and systems you use!). So many writers / bloggers do like to have social interactions with others – After all, it is a basic human need! And the best part of Social Media is you can converse at any time you wish to, and with anyone who is willing to converse with you on any Social Media channel (Be it Twitter, FaceBook chat, etc etc). This virtual social network sometimes is a blessing for most writers / bloggers.
7) Writing / Blogging Groups and Communities
The other good thing about Social Media is the presence of online Groups and Communities. They exist on almost all channels (FaceBook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Google+, etc.) and are formed by individuals who have common interests on specific subjects. Such groups usually share knowledge, information, request for reviews, provide feedback, support, encouragement and many times, also help in Promotion & Marketing of your work. You can join one / many such Groups and Communities, based on your personal interest, the time you are willing to invest and the personal value you see from them. But if you join the right Groups and Communities, you can benefit enormously by learning and interacting from fellow writers and bloggers.
What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know…
2008 was the year I entered the blog-o-sphere; primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I created my first blogs in which I used to write occasionally – Of course, it was private. In 2010, I shared my blogs with my inner network of friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback. After this initial response, my blogs went public in 2010 and so started my blogging journey.
Its 2013 now – Almost 3 years since I embarked on my blogging journey. During this journey, I have published 1000+ posts [Average of 1 post / day] on my own blogs (public, restricted and private), and have published several guest posts in site of global repute on a diverse set of topics.
So after 3 years of blogging – Am I any wiser?
Well, I’m sharing some of the most important lessons of my blogging journey in this post.
(1) If you’re wondering why should blog. Here are the AEIOU reasons
- Blogging increase your AWARENESS
- Blogging enhances your own EXPRESSIONS
- Blogging compels you to INTROSPECT
- Blogging makes you OBSERVE
- Blogging enables you to UNDERSTAND
For full details, refer my post on AEIOU reasons for you to blog
(2) Writing on a blog helps you learn and discover more about yourself – Let me just say, you re-discover yourself and re-connect with yourself in ways which you could never have imagined
(3) Regularly writing on your blog is a great way to express yourself, your thoughts, your creativity, your views, your perspective, your ideas, your opinions, your experiences – if nothing else, it does wonders for your overall state of well-being (emotional and intellectual)
(4) Blogging is a “creative process”. Take the time to understand the process. It is worthwhile in the long run
(5) Blogging helps you to create new relationships and there is beauty in blogging relationships
(6) Guest Blogging is a great way to challenge yourself and extend the reach of your writings. The learning’s and connections you make in the process is invaluable. Here’s a summary of what Guest Blogging taught me
(7) Blogging has the potential to open new doors and possibilities – More than you can dream, think or imagine. Here’s a post I wrote on “OK You Write a Blog – So what Next?”
(8) Regular Blogging helps build and enhance your own self-discipline. And self-discipline is a great virtue to build in today’s day and age.
(9) Starting a blog is easy, but continuing to blog for years is a challenge for many. One of the key reasons is because every blogger runs out of ideas to blog. And for this, it is important to read continuously, and to wear the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog and to Focus on Diversity on your blog ; constantly challenge yourself to do new things on your blog. Be creative and sky is the limit to how long you can blog! For e.g.: Do reviews, interviews, curate great content, share interesting quotes, etc.
(9) Blogging can help you share your thoughts and views through interviews and alternate mediums for a larger reach. Check one of my first interviews focused around Blogging
(10) Every blog has a Hype Cycle. Be aware of it and spend time in understand this hype cycle
(11) There are only 3 Types of Blogs which a reader will really remember. If you want to make a mark in the blogging world, ask yourself if you’re doing any of these?
- Blogs from which YOU LEARN
- Blogs which make YOU THINK
- Blogs which TOUCH YOUR HEART
(12) Practice the 65:20:15 Mantra for every blog post.
- 65% of your time should go towards Blog Content
- 20% of your time should go towards Blog Marketing
- 15% of your time should go towards Blog Reader Engagement (after the post is published)
(13) Having an Editorial Calendar helps any blogger to be regular and disciplined about blogging efforts
(14) Blogging is a journey; Not a destination. Enjoy the journey
(15) To Keep at Blogging, here’s what you need
- New Life experiences
- Passion for writing
And all the above are vital in the journey of life as well. So why not consciously invest in these by starting your blogging journey today?
On that note, Happy Blogging! Give Blogging a chance today..
Who knows how it will change your life!