Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Wayne Lam, Larry Dragich, Sebastian Bos

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
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. 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 Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 today!