Back in 2012, our CEO, Phil Walton started his first ever Tip of the Week blog. Recently he reached a milestone and published his weekly 400th blog. We had a few people ask on Twitter if Phil could give some advice for those wanting to start their own Salesforce related blog and how to keep going. Read below on what he has to say…
I have written a Salesforce blog post every Friday for over 400 weeks now. I’ve never missed a Friday, even when it fell on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and even the birth of my second child! I always research it and write it personally, usually ‘live’ on the Friday morning. Though as Cloud Galacticos has grown, I’ve had to be more organised and now try to prepare it earlier in the week. However, I still enjoy writing it today as I did back in 2012.
I’ve won clients, made friends, been forced to keep learning, and learned a few good lessons which I’d like to share with you. Here are my five tips on writing a Salesforce blog:
1. Be Consistent
It’s good to build a loyal and regular readership. I find it’s best to have a regular slot where you share your ideas / content. There are disadvantages to this. Firstly, you are forced not to miss a slot – which is tough if you are already leading a busy work schedule. While at the same time you are limited to waiting until that time slot.
However the advantages are that people know what to expect and when. If you are lucky enough people will remember your time slot. A funny example would be, last year I was onsite with a client so couldn’t publish my blog until late in the afternoon. I had a worried message on LinkedIn from someone I had never spoken to before asking me “is everything OK?” as he was expecting my Tip of the Week blog at its regular late morning slot.
2. Decide Who Your Audience is and What They Want to Read
As we all know, not just in the tech industry, but the Salesforce community, there are a lot of people writing blogs. So I decided rather than writing in-depth articles on a specific topic each week, I would keep everything ‘short and easy to read’.
One reader said to me early on, “I see many blogs that I think I would like to read at a later time, but often don’t find the right time to do so. But with your emails, I can spend 15 seconds on it as soon as it arrives, scan through anything I know already or don’t need, get some high level info, or click on the blog link to read more in depth”. So my model of ‘short and easy to read’ works for me and keeps people reading weekly.
3. If You Don’t Enjoy It, Persist, And Then Give Up!
You should always have a reason for blogging, whether it’s to share your enjoyment of something, help others, or to make money. But either way, it can’t be a short-term goal. It is possible that you might get one million followers as soon as you start, but as this rarely happens, most people get discouraged or bored, and lose interest themselves.
Persevere through the first steps. Keep on going while you build up even a small following. But, say, after a year or two you find that actually you don’t enjoy it, or you have changed your focus and interests, then I say, take a step back and decide if you should make a change.
4. Be Yourself
Life is always easier when you can speak freely, without trying to be somebody else. It’s great to have mentors, or people you admire, but maybe try and take on some of their positive traits or working habits rather than imitate them. That way you can develop your own style, sense of humour, and voice.
5. Be The Expert
The fifth and final tip is ‘Be The Expert’. Unless you are a professional entertainer, then in all probability your readers are there to be educated. Share your knowledge, experience and opinions. And unless you do actually know everything, be humble and keep learning from the Salesforce Ohana!
Thanks for Reading!
So there you have it, my five tips for writing a Salesforce blog. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter to let me know what you think.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this, why not sign up to my Friday Tip of the Week emails here?