Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer, Glenda Sims, Paul Simmons, APM Blog

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
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...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.