Why is Blog writing important?
Why am I talking about blog writing on a page dedicated to ISO27001., Cyber security and data protection? Well the honest answer is that it's because we ALL need to work on our communication skills, and blog writing is a great way to do this.
Why? Because we communicate in emails, in proposals, in reports, in briefings and in presentations. Even if you're not in sales, you will undoubtedly need to learn the art of communication, and blog writing is a great way to improve these skills.
So now we've established why it's important, let's look at one of the main barriers to blog writing.
One of the things I hear people say when it comes to writing blogs, is that they suffer from 'writer's block'. This is especially true in the world of Cybersecurity and Data Protection.
But the strange thing is that no one ever talks about 'speakers block'! If I ask most professionals about their thoughts and views on Cybercrime, 2-Factor authentication, Passwords, encryption, pen testing or a whole host of other topics, we would likely be talking for an hour or so.
Why is it that when we're faced with a blank page we ourselves go blank?! I believe there are some simple reasons for this, which if we explore and remove we'll become better communicators.
Firstly, where and how to start, is the biggest hurdle. Have you noticed that once you've written that first paragraph, everything else just 'flows'? But that first paragraph or line can take an age to come up with. This is because everything 'hangs' from that opening section, so it's got to be perfect, right?
Here's how I approach this issue; I start by simply throwing a few points on the page and then begin to expand on the theme. So I might start with "If Pen testing is so important then why doesn't everyone do it? Generally, because it's seen as an IT job, or because it's for the 'big boys" Now this may become my opening line, or I may decide to preface it with a more appropriate opening later on. But the point is... I'm off and running.
"Hi Mom - About ISO27001"
Another trick is to write as if you're writing a letter to a friend or a member of your family. For example, I might start like this; "Mom, the other day you asked me what ISO27001 was and how it affects people you shop with..." Later I will take out the references to Mom, but the opening is pretty much there.
Perfect is procastination
All too often we get in our own way, as we think we need to be perfect in our writing style. We trip ourselves up as we pour over every word and sentence structure, thinking the reader will be doing the same. But I have news for you; They're not.
When you're writing your blogs you need to be accurate, for sure. But don't self-sabotage and think everything needs to 'flow' and it needs to be perfect. You need to embrace 'goodenoughism', meaning that if you feel it's good enough, then publish it.
How long is long enough?
Another question I get asked is; How long do they need to be? Professional blog writers and copy writers might say blogs need to be between 500 and 850 words, but my suggestion is simply to start writing and see where it takes you.
Write in Word so you can spell check and maybe even use 'Grammarly', but just write. If you find you run out of steam after 400 words, don't worry. If you are still writing at 1,200 words, keep going.
Shorter blogs are great and can become nice little articles and may spur other ideas. Longer pieces can become a series that you can split into several smaller sections and run over a few weeks or days.
Some people say that you need to create short pieces because people don't read long-form pieces, but I think that's total BS. Do you watch films? Ever read a book? Listened to an entire TedTalk or album? Of course you have. People consume information when it's of interest and convenient to them.
Don't insult your audience, or play small. Write what you think, and mean what you say. If the reader only has 5 minutes, then they might (or might not) come back to it. Some people will have started this blog and left before reaching this part. Does that matter? No. They might come back, or they might not. Who is this benefiting? The person still reading it, i.e. YOU. Are you better informed than the other person? Probably. Does it make them worse off or less important than you? No.
Blog writing is important, and it's a skill worth cultivating. It's not easy at first but anyone can do it, and it's great fun once you get started.
So there you have it. No fuss. No fury. Just some thoughts on the topic of blog writing which I hope you enjoyed. And if you took even one tip from this short piece, then it was worth my time writing it. Right?
If you have any thoughts on any of my blogs, please do let me know!