I am a writer, and I have the opportunity to earn money and work on my craft at the same time. I speak to support my ideas. Speaking also helps me to learn more about my audience. When I’m not writing and speaking, I sometimes earn money by sharing my expertise with marketing and HR departments.
I’m very lucky to have this job. I run a compact business model supported by two primary means of business development: referrals and social media. Clients hear about me through multiple channels and hire me because I’m known for solving problems in an effective way.
It’s a good life made better by a strong economy during the past few years, but it’s a lifestyle that requires constant attention and skin as thick as rhinoceros hide. And I’m here to tell you that you don’t want to be an HR blogger. You just want to be seen as a thought leader and share your wisdom. That’s not what this shit is all about.
What can you do if you have good ideas but you don’t want to invest time (and money) required to publish on a regular basis?
Get promoted at work. No byline feels as good as a promotion and RSUs.
Get involved with students. Teaching is great. You can be benevolent while being an egomaniac. Teach as a means of self-expression and validation.
Talk to writers in our industry who are doing the hard work. Use LinkedIn to connect with the journalists you read in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Be a helpful source of information. Also, marketing firms are always looking for industry sources. Check out Rep Cap Media and Red Branch Media.
Blogging will break your heart if you let it. Social media doesn’t validate good ideas; it annihilates new voices with swift precision. But if you feel the siren song of writing, do it with a spirit of intensity and urgency. Do it with determination and confidence. Do it because there is no other way.
First, don’t be self-deprecating. It’s nice to play humble and tell people that your goal is to reach a few people and make a small difference. That’s both cowardly and bullshit. You know it. I know it
Second, work on a grand thesis. A big, bold idea will never get old if you engage your topic with energy and enthusiasm. In fact, it’s the very same energy and enthusiasm that will help you develop the necessary rhinoceros hide to shield you from the negative voices in the marketplace (and your head).
Finally, learn how to speak. Strive to talk about your writing in a public forum. In fact, the only goal for HR bloggers is to speak at the SHRM conference. That’s where over 15,000 human resources professionals converge on an annual basis to learn new tips and trends, and that’s the big enchilada.
Don’t play my game as a blogger. My path is my own, and you’ll probably never make money or prove to someone that you’re good enough and smart enough to have an opinion. Instead, play your own game. Undertake the privilege of writing with excitement and heartfelt emotion. Write your guts out. And get to SHRM’s annual conference and talk to people about your big ideas.
Otherwise, what’s the point?