Do you write your own blog? I do. Why? At my core I am a geek/nerd who loves to learn. Especially about the why's and how's. Connecting the dots that are not obvious fascinates me. I always wanted to be a history professor. The Q&A below acts as a template anyone can ask themselves to start writing interesting blogs. If someone asks you, do you write your own blog, you can say yes because I enjoy learning and sharing that knowledge.
Are you the content marketer or are you the content developer?
- I am both.
- So are you. If you want.
Why do you write your own blog?
- It provides a natural setting to learn.
- My mind connects dots that are not always obvious. Thinking about those, and thinking about people wanting to learn about topics motivates me.
- We all have an eventual professional obsolescence. The moment I stop learning and writing blogs triggers my internal alarm to hang up my hat.
- To be a thought leader in my industry, do you write your own blog, for the content marketer and content developer are a must.
How do you think of topics to write about?
- I think like an eager student wanting to learn about a topic. Let's say trustee fees.
- Then I think about all the ways my industry or people in general never talk or transparently explain about that topic.
- Sometimes while reading a history book like Edward Gibbons on the Roman Empire something triggers a connection between the past and present. I send myself an email to explore further to write on.
- I ask a lot of questions. Talking with our trust officers, financial advisors, trust and estate attorney's, beneficiaries, back office admin people, or really anybody. They all give me ideas.
- Other times I think about SEO issues around my industry that are novel and approached from a new angle.
What do you read?
- History books on narrow topics (Nathaniel's Nutmeg) to broad topics (China: Five Thousand Years of History and Civilization). Some are hits, the former, and some are misses, the latter.
- Poetry written by ancient Greeks and mid-18th century British writers. Not easy reading. Re-read the classics. Homer's Odyssey has basically no passive voice. Pretty amazing.
- A wide range of art (sculpture, painting, and music) periodicals.
- Fiction books. Mostly modern. Easy reads.
- White/research papers written by professors on technology, law, psychology, logistics, tax, history, geopolitics, financial systems.
- Business books on marketing, and strategy on a very rare occasion.
How do you choose what to read?
- White/research papers ebb and flow on what I am interested in learning about. It typically comes from a newspaper article that peaks my interest. I then start researching to learn more.
- History books stay pretty consistent. Newspapers I read every day. Fiction and poetry books give me moments of escape.
What do you do when you read?
- Make notes and ask questions in the book with my pencil. Keeps me engaged.
Do you always read this much?
- Nope. Periods throughout the year when I binge watch Netflix or watch NFL football.
How do you organize your thoughts?
- I view every blog as an inverted triangle. Start board and end narrow.
- I ask myself what would be an interesting perspective on a subject. What's a new viewpoint.
- Then I sketch out in more details the concepts for the blog and then start writing.
How do you plan to write?
- That does not come easily.
- My best success comes from having a monthly plan on writing based on certain topics.
- I go through periods where I am reading but don't feel like writing. As the content marketer I have to write. As the content developer it is hard.
- For me the crux of writing a blog starts with the first sentence. I visualize the challenge, sketch out ideas for the first sentence and then it kinda appears. You have to find your crux in writing blogs and then the process becomes easy.
Do you like writing about what you read about professionally?
- As the content marketer of an advisor friendly trust company - yes.
- As the content developer of blogs - yes/no. Yes when I am finished. No when I am planning and writing.
How do you find the time to write?
- 40% comes from making it happen because that falls under my content marketer duties.
- 40% comes from enjoy sharing what I have learned as the content developer.
- 20% comes from the motivation of adding a new perspective or different twist that no one has considered.
To date I have written 43 blogs, co-authored two white papers and wrote one paper published by the Investment and Wealth Institute. Do you write you own blog - yes, but it's always hard. I also create, develop and write my own LinkedIn posts. Myself and another co-founder create all of our marketing material.
Sometimes my blog topics are bland and other times they are interesting. If you are up for a surprise please sign up for my blogs.