Last week I wrote about how you could use your blog as a rough draft for your work. It’s a pretty great way to try things out and find out what works.
The flip side of this is in that many cases your blog already has a lot of great material. This of course,is because your awesome, or at least because I assume you are, run with it.
Think of all the material you made as part of regular blogging. Think of the posts, analyses, and charts. Think of what you can do with that. Think for a minute about how much you may have forgotten, or how much you did.
You’re out there planting seeds all the time, almost haphazardly. Any one of those can grow into a book or a class. A lot of them could be bundled together in a publication.
Your blog is a garden.
That blog you’ve run for a few years has the seeds of the future in it. It’s grown into something. All you have to do is figure what to do with it. Forget the rough drafts, you probably have unconsciously written great books, classes, and seminars.
What does this do for your career?
- It gives more examples of skill and competence. As I always note, I give away books when I do job interviews, makes it kind of hard to say I don’t know what I’m doing.
- It gets your name out there and can lead to hires, leads, etc.
- It establishes you as an authority.
- It looks darned good on a resume when you publish something.
- It diversifies your communications skills if you really push it.
- It provides a good review of your past – always helpful with your career narrative.
- It may make money if you charge!
Why not go back through your blog and see what you’ve done – and can do – with all you’ve created?
Also, this is a good reason not to try and make everything a rough draft, or an experiment – instead be sure to just write at your blog. Later, when you review your work weeks, months, or years down the road you may discover the seeds of the future, or that some series grew into something screaming to become a book.
Your blog can be a giant, crazy, chaotic, wonderful garden – or a well organized one – that you can harvest as needed for more great things. In fact part of the fun is seeing what happens to grow from the random bag of seeds you plant.
For me, this was one of the most enjoyably unexpected parts of blogging. Only years later did I realize just what I’ve been growing, and only now am I truly doing more with it. But what a rush.
Takeaways and To-dos:
- Review your blogging now and then for works that might grow into something else. You’ll likely be surprised.
- Remember that your blog posts or series can be grown (or grown into) something you may not expect. A post could be a lecture, an info graphic, a speech, or more. A series of posts could be a lesson plan, a book, a comic guide, etc.
- Use your experiences in finding “seeds” and “grown seeds” to push your media knowledge – try that podcast, lesson, etc. Looks good on a resume too!
- Always consider “best-of books” and collections as worth doing, if only for posterity.
- Consider bundling up posts into an ebook and enhancing it, then making it free – good publicity and also just a lot of fun.
- Review defunct projects that you may have forgotten – you may be surprises what’s there to use, reuse, and grow from.
- Even if any “harvesting” fails, at least you learn a lot.
- Consider teaming up with people for “harvested” works. A book of your game reviews is one thing – a book looking at games over history view reviewers is another. This can also help with networking.
- Collect stories of “harvesting” to use in interviews and/or with clients.
- Consider “harvesting” past works that are more relevant to your career now – it’s also good review.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.