Why Blogging was the Best Business Decision I Ever Made
How did you make the transition from a corporate environment to a freelance, consulting one?
During a recent conversation with an aspiring tourism professional, I realized how important my writing has been to the growth of my consulting career and in turn, the success of the Travel 2.0 Consulting Group.
That is not to say I under appreciated the value of writing prior to the conversation, but I had not considered how difficult the move to consulting would have been without the experience garnered through writing.
As we discussed the tourism industry, I kept returning to the importance of writing as the cornerstone of my career path.
And how could I not share those thoughts with our readers?
From Blogging to Writing
When I started the Travel 2.0 blog nearly 6 years ago, it truly was a blog. Short comments and observations about tourism topics and larger articles. It was a derivative work. Like so many other blogs, adapted from the work of others.
As you can see in the original post, Email Experts on the new Outlook, the content was meant for an internal audience, which at the time, was my team at the Arizona Office of Tourism.
But over the past 6 years, the content, tone and writing style of the blog has changed. More articles than blog posts and less blog than focused journal.
Original, in-depth and driven by our own expertise.
So, I hesitate to call it a blog.
Writing Kept Me On Task
Quitting your job and deciding to run your our firm, freelance career or cupcake bakery can be a dramatic shock to the system. No more boss, no more due dates, no more meetings. It is an overwhelming sense of freedom that can be as rewarding as it is debilitating.
Many peers have asked the same question: How did you stay focused?
The answer, for me, was writing. While I was fortunate enough to get into a regular routine while at two, paycheck-providing jobs, the demands of writing kept me on task when I moved into the consulting role.
There was both an internal pressure to keep writing…personally, I wanted to share my thoughts…and an external pressure created and delivered by our readers.
When I disappear for more than 2 weeks, usually due to client work, the emails begin to increase.
Are you okay?
Are you on vacation?
Don’t tell me you stopped!
Without the demands and routine created by writing, I don’t think I would have made the transition from corporate to freelance so easily.
It’s as simple as that. Experts write.
If you want people to listen to what you have to say, you have to say something.
Expert labels aside…and goodness knows too many people self-assign that title…it is important to share your thoughts, gather feedback and grow your perspective.
Do be afraid to write. I have written some great articles and some shit articles. My opinion has changed over time. But having that record, good or bad, is what informs and shapes your growth moving forward.
No one will anoint you as an expert during your first day on the job. Nor will anyone call you an expert without knowing your opinion.
Write to develop, grow and share your expertise.
There is no doubt, that this blog, my writing, the constant beat of the ‘this is what I think’ drum was (and still is) instrumental to the success I have experienced with the on-demand tourism consulting practice.
Writing has introduced me to so many people that I would have otherwise never interacted with.
It is both satisfying and shocking, to hear a total stranger say ‘I know you, I read your articles.’
Humbling + Honest
There is nothing more humbling than writing.
For all the inflated self-worth gathered from a single clever tweet or a high Klout score, a blog is a sharp realization that in fact you do not know everything.
I have said it often, the comments and commenters on Travel 2.0 make the conversation, and in-turn my writing, so much better.
Without readers keeping you honest and comments keeping you humble, your writing will quickly morph into equivalent of a sixteen-year-old’s dream diary.
Write + Share
Whether you are promoting yourself, your destination or your cupcake bakery, I would strongly encourage you to write.
Share your thoughts.
Try our new ideas.
Talk with other peers.
It might just be the best business decision you ever make.