Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Mark Ross-Smith, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Larry Alton

Blog Feed Post

9 Profound Lessons I Learned by Starting a Blog

Blog

“I think I’m going to start a blog.”

Eighteen months ago, I uttered those words to my wife and haven’t looked back since. News To Live By, which shows Millennials the career advice “hidden” in top stories, is the toughest — and most rewarding — challenge I have ever taken on.

Any time someone asks me how to get ahead professionally, my answer is swift and uncomplicated: start a blog. A personal website contains all the wisdom you need to be a successful young adult.

Looking for a project in 2014 that will help you for years to come? Create a blog on something you’re passionate about. The easiest way is with Bluehost, the company I use for hosting services. In about 15 minutes, you can have a free domain name, install WordPress and have access to 24/7 live support. I rely on Bluehost every day for News To Live By. Couldn’t do it without ‘em. Click here to visit Bluehost.  If you need detailed instructions on how to get started, visit this handy page on my blog.

Without further ado, here are the nine biggest lessons I learned from starting my own blog.

1. I finally know how the Internet works

Sure, I go online all day long, but until I started News To Live By, I really didn’t understand how websites come to be or operate. I have gained all kinds of insight on user experience, site maintenance and content strategies. Now I look at other sites and think, “Ah, I know what they’re trying to do here.” I have plenty left to learn, but my perspective has completely changed over the past year and a half.

2. The fastest way to get better is to let my guard down

Am I a good writer or do I THINK I’m a good writer? It’s not up to me. The decision rests with people who read the blog. When I look at my columns when I first began versus today, the content now is much stronger. That’s because of repetition and a steady diet of critiques from friends, family and complete strangers in the “Comments” section. Criticism sustains me.

3. All I needed to do was light the spark 

The toughest part of any project is getting started, right? Once the flame began to flicker, News To Live By generated its own momentum and kept me busy. The next phase of the project always reveals itself in time. It feels like training for the real world: put an idea in motion and let the process unfold organically. Doesn’t seem as intimidating that way, I think.

All it takes is a single spark. So go find a match.

For detailed instructions on how to “light the spark” and create your blog in a few short steps, visit this page on my blog. Watch the instructional video at the bottom and read about the #1 thing I did wrong at the beginning of News To Live By. Don’t make the same mistake!

4. I don’t mind if I get rejected. What’s the worst that happens?

In 2013, I applied to two companies that syndicate newspaper columns and was roundly told “Thanks, but no thanks.” Undaunted, I then approached an editor at Parade Magazine and said, “Would you be interested in News To Live By columns?” He said “Yes, and thanks for asking us.” So now I contribute to Parade Magazine. Why? Because I figured, “What do I have to lose?”

As a young writer, I don’t care if someone slams the door. Frankly, it energizes me. I love doubters and relish the opportunity to prove them wrong. Blogging has given me that confidence.

5. Great advice is like solving a 1,000-piece puzzle in two minutes

As I work to improve News To Live By, I always think: “Who can help me with the next step?” I relied on a blogger friend (with a great healthy eating site) for the Bluehost suggestion, a journalist buddy for the crucial tip on why I should build an email list (subscribe here), all of you for spot-on content suggestions through a short reader survey and my friends to tell me flat-out if my columns are any good.

Each time I ask for assistance, it feels like I’m handed step-by-step instructions out of an elaborate maze. I say to myself, “Ah, THAT’S how you do it.” Blogging has shown me the tremendous power of sound advice. Worth its weight in gold.

6. Relationships are everything

Since my blog is written for Millennials, I have developed a network of inspiring 20-somethings who do wonderful work on their own blogs and platforms. We rely on each other for advice, resources and encouragement. Dynamic movers and shakers like Paul AngoneErin LowryRebecca Fraser-Thill and Chelsea Krost. We all realize the more we pay it forward, the more it comes back.

I never anticipated my blog would connect me with people who share my passion, interests and drive. Pretty awesome bonus.

7. Every blogging skill is transferable

The work I do with News To Live By impacts every part of my day job in PR and marketing. I understand social media on a deeper level, uncover all kinds of creative billable ways to improve a client’s online presence, sharpen decision making and manage my time better. Hell, I even started a blog at our PR firm to highlight recent projects and expertise. And no matter your job, EVERYONE can sharpen their writing (for starters, stop using “in order“and “amazing“).

8. We are worth more than a 9-to-5

As I wrote in 2013 on why every 20-something needs a side hustle, a work/life balance isn’t enough. What we really need is a work/hustle/life balance. A blog is a perfect side hustle and will make you feel productive every day — especially if your actual job leaves you unfulfilled. Plus, your blog could ‘wow’ an employer and help you move on to a better situation.

9. Don’t wait for opportunities; create them

The beautiful thing about blogging is that you don’t need permission. Just start a site, give it a name and go. Once you begin, you put your career on an entirely new trajectory. Now, you can impress at an interview with your blog (in other words: a portfolio to showcase your work and experience). Once on the job, the site becomes an indispensable teaching tool that informs and enhances everything you do.

With a blog, you are the employee, HR manager and CEO. Congratulations, you just got hired — by yourself!

Kick off 2014 with the best decision you’ll make all year. Even if you only want to write for yourself and not a larger audience, it’s absolutely worth your time and energy.

Click here to get started!

Did you create a blog or website? What has it taught you? Let us know in the comments!

(This content was originally posted at News To Live By.)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

@ThingsExpo Stories
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of C...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, discussed how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy applica...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...