Another year has come and gone, and another has begun! Happy 2018 to everyone! 2017 was a great year for me, and I am now beginning to write on this blog in my 12th year. Yes, I did say 12th. I started this blog right after I finished my eligibility as a track and field athlete at USC in 2006. It seems like a lifetime ago, but I am forever grateful to have the platform to share resources, ideas, and perspectives on all aspects of social media.

I was reading a great blog post by Jessica Smith about her journey in blogging (she’s a must follow for social media!), and her blog inspired me to write a similar post. Twelve years of blogging has taught me a lot over the years, and it has opened more opportunities professionally and personally than any other platform.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned over the years with blogging (Thanks Jess for the post inspiration!)

You never know who will be reading your posts. This is something I share with students all the time. You are able to share your ideas out openly, and there are going to be some people who will like your content, and others who will not. That’s life. However, it only takes one person to read your content and use it as a starting block for a powerful connection and relationship. Be willing to share your perspective and what makes you “you.”

Determine your own levels of success for blogging. You need to think about what you want out of blogging. Is it for your own perspective and value? Do you want to contribute to the field? Or are you looking for awards and partnerships? You want to have an honest conversation with yourself about why you want to blog. Personally, I wanted to have a platform to write about topics I found interesting and relevant for my field. Everyone has to have an overall goal and purpose for what they want their blog to be focused on, and what are some of the goals you have for the blog.

Every person has a blog voice. That’s the beauty of blogging. We all have a writing voice and way to share our stories that is unique to us. We all have a way to share our perspectives on trends, cases, and topics. That’s what I love about blogging – it’s a way to share what you are thinking, and to help others. People are not coming to your blog to hear what they have read everywhere else. They are here to hear what YOU have to say. That’s important to remember. You don’t want to be like everyone else. Uniqueness and standing out from others is what is important.

Writing improves with blogging. To be honest, I do cringe when I see my first blog posts from 12 years ago. I keep them up as a reminder and to show me where I started, and how far I have changed. Like exercise, blogging takes time and practice, and you have to do it on a regular basis. This is why I am such an advocate for blogging for my students in my classes. I am open to both vlogging and blogging – as long as the students are able to create, strategize, and provide a rationale for why this particular type of blogging is best for their viewpoint.

Another platform to showcase your voice and experience. As an educator, we have to show what we are able to do in and out of the classroom. When I teach social media and blogging, I show students what I have done over the years in blogging and what doors and opportunities have been given to me. We can’t teach blogging and have our students blog and assume we don’t have to do that.

In summary, I am still learning all aspects of blogging to this day. This is the beauty of social media – it changes each and every day, there is always something new to talk and write about.

In 2018, I will continue to share what I am doing as a professor and social media consultant. I am excited for the upcoming year and will continue writing about topics I am passionate about in social media, PR, crisis, and social media education. Thanks again to Jessica Smith for the inspiration for this blog post! Here’s to a great 2018!

Best Wishes,