|By Shelly Palmer||
|January 5, 2014 04:00 PM EST||
“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 Angone, Erin Lowry, Rebecca 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.
Did you create a blog or website? What has it taught you? Let us know in the comments!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
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Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,337
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,672
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,497
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,342
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,693
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,310
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,250
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,269
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,542
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,519
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,415
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,350
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,263
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,211
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,644
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,741
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,636
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,769
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,803