I’m the first one to tell you what’s wrong. Let me tell you about what’s going right with HR blogging.
People are telling more stories on their blogs.
- Nobody wants a lecture or a SHRM-SCP study guide. People want to know what makes a writer tick, and they want to experience the world through your perspective. In that way, many HR bloggers are winning. While most HR bloggers don’t know the difference between an anecdote and a story, I don’t always know the difference. Story? Anecdote? Just write. As long as your heart is in the right place and you want to help people see things in a new light, you’re doing fine. Just don’t give me a numbered list.
Writers are ditching personal brand for authenticity.
- Eager-beaver-bloggers try too hard to establish a personal brand. They struggle to find ROI in all this “free work” they’re doing for their blogs. Like chin beards, those days are over. There are some new HR bloggers who write to write, which is refreshing. Let’s all follow their lead. Let your brand be you without any artifice. Nobody is reading what you write, anyway, especially if your blog is less than five years old. Let your brand be “the dull HR person who publishes interesting stuff on occasion,” and you’ll be okay.
HR bloggers are beginning to speak like human beings.
- Well, mostly. Some bloggers still use jargon, but it’s nearly impossible to write about anything serious without using dumbass terms from the industry. What I love is that more bloggers are swearing. Not too much. Just the right amount. Swearing can be a major way to accentuate your point, although not everybody agrees.
- Years ago, I had a reader named Martha. She hated me like Mike Pence hates intimacy with his wife. Honestly, I’m not why she read my blog in the first place, but she made it her mission to tell everybody that I was vile and vulgar. I’m not over-exaggerating. I once got a call from a pet blogger who was like, “Do you know Martha? She hates you because you swear.” Martha would send regularly scheduled messages via email and LinkedIn just to remind me that I’m awful. Like a Hallmark card, only in reverse.
- I’m not sure what happened to good ol’ Martha because I had to block that crazy bitch, but the fact that other HR people swear on their blogs makes me wonder if she’s still out there fighting the good fight against cuss words. The struggle is real. But back to HR blogs: swear however much you want. It’s your blog.
HR bloggers are writing about more than HR.
- I love it when talented people apply their knowledge to unrelated fields. More and more HR bloggers are writing about parenting, healthcare, design, and even politics. So here’s an old school +1 to anybody out there trying something new. You may do HR, but you know other things. Flex your muscle.
There are a few things going right with HR blogging, which is good, because I love HR bloggers. I want them to succeed. They are remarkable people who work in (mostly) shitty jobs without a lot of power and still find time to read, write, think and speak about important issues. It’s my hope that writing leads them to more fulfilling lives — whether that’s as a blogger, a speaker, or even a full-time artist.
You can do it. Don’t let haters like me cramp your style.