26 Feb How to start blogging – and actually not hate doing it
My name is Kat Kresic. I’ve never seen the movie Frozen or gone to a Taylor Swift concert, but one thing I can lay claim to is that at the age of 44, I’ve got 8 successful blog posts under my belt.
Before I started doing it, the idea of blogging was something that terrified me. The first problem was that I have a business that sells really boring products (I like to joke that the only person I know who has a worse business than me is my friend Teri Sharp of American Precision Supply). I knew I wasn’t going to be able to blog about our products, because that would just be mind-numbingly awful, so then I had to figure out what the hell I WAS going to blog about.
The answer came with the help of Jesse McCabe and his team at Solid Digital (www.soliddigital.com), the amazing Chicago-based marketing agency that I hired in 2019 to help me grow MMD’s impact. From day one, Jesse told me that I had to start blogging, and began pushing me to get out of my comfort zone in terms of what I was willing to write about.
The challenge to blog authentically sent me right back into how I felt when I was in my first corporate job in my 20s. At that age, I was this shrinking violet who didn’t feel like I was entitled to speak up about much of anything. I didn’t want to be visible (I wrote about this in a previous blog post), and the idea of writing blog posts about how I really think and feel, which was what Jesse insisted I should do, was kind of mortifying.
Well, I don’t know quite how he did it, but Jesse took this shrinking violet and turned her into a big fucking bird of paradise. Eight blog posts later, I find myself writing about what I love: culture, humans, and business – and yes, I throw in a few swear words here and there. So what!
When I met Jesse in person for the first time, he told me he wrote a blog about his trip to Dunkin Donuts, when he accidentally dropped his bank card between the food pickup window and his car door, and forgot to put his car in park. I was laughing so hard at that mental image as he told me the story, and I thought to myself, the reason this blog post is so great is that it’s a story about an unedited experience in the real world (one that involves a real human emotion – embarrassment).
Jesse is brilliant and smart, and he could have written a blog post that shows off his intelligence and marketing know-how, but going to Dunkin Donuts is relatable (gotta love that smell of French vanilla on my crotch after spilling it everywhere… and how the heck do you get the coffee out of the cracks in your car?!). We’ve all had an experience like his forgetting to put the car in park at one point or another, and when you blog about something like that, it helps your readers to feel a connection with you, which is what we all want at the end of the day (connection).
Anyway, enough of the Jesse love fest, because there are so many other people who make my blogs possible. How about a Timo love fest? Timo Anderson of Zing Train (one of the business groups I’m part of) gave me a great book suggestion after I discussed a “to do” with him and my Round Table 2 group. The book essentially says that everyone is a writer, and that in order to create, all you have to do is be willing to flex your writing muscle.
Although I agreed with the book, I also knew that when it came to writing, I was like a tornado that needed to be contained. Words aren’t exactly my enemy, but the actual writing process was something I needed some support around. Enter Amanda, AKA The Clairvoyant Copywriter, who was referred to me by another Zing Train friend from Ottawa Bagel Shop. Amanda and I have the best working relationship. The way she helps me with my blog posts is very organic at the beginning, then flows into a Q&A style format, and finally, a consistent voice emerges. When most blogs are completed, I feel like I’m part of something very special. I feel very much part of a team. She’s like my blogging partner in crime who helps me to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper (or the computer screen), and then makes everything sound good so that it actually gets my point across in a way that feels true to me.
So if you think you can’t write, you have nothing to say that other people would find interesting, or that your subject/business/products aren’t “sexy” enough… *buzzer sound*! You’re wrong! Everyone has a story to tell. Just like there’s a butt for every seat, there’s a reader for every blog post. Some posts will be better received than others, but what’s funny is that the posts you think are on the weaker side are often the ones that end up getting overwhelmingly positive responses.
Start writing freely (Zing Train would advise putting actual pencil to paper, and I would agree), and I promise it will be worth the effort you put in when you get an email like the one below that I received after publishing my Sticks and Stones blog post:
Date: Fri, Dec 20, 2019 at 3:21 PM
Subject: Blog notes
To: Kathryn Kresic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks for the Sticks and Stones Blog Kat.
I also struggle with negative commentary. Why? Because we care about our company, the people we are blessed to work with, and the communities/clients we serve. I have no patience with on-line “cheap shots” because I feel it is a cowardly act. Instead of coming to the person to resolve the issue, a flippant comment is thrown out there for all the world to see, and even with attempts to reconcile, (whether done on-line or by phone), the ugliness is still out there.
Knowing MMD and what it stands for, (first through your father, and now through you), I hope you know how many people respect and appreciate you, your team, and the level of service and care MMD provides. Keep up the good work and know we will always have your six.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!