Just finished one entire year of blogging. Here is a summary of how I did it and what I learnt in the process…
Estimated reading time 8 min
Why do I write?
I conduct lot of live sessions. 230,000 + users by now. But whatever I speak is volatile – it disappears after the session is finished. I do record and submit videos. But those are viewed by only that particular audience. Not available in public.
That is why I started writing this blog – on 31st October 2013. I had decided to write daily.
This is my work desk.
Why do I write daily?
Many customers ask me about the best way of teaching thousands of features to all their users. Many of them send a Tip of the Month in their newsletter. Some customers send a weekly tip.
I tell them “There is so much beneficial stuff to be imparted to users that the frequency of a week or month is simply not enough. It is too little – too late.
Hence the minimum frequency should be one new learning PER DAY.
That is why I decided to write a daily blog. There is a lot to communicate and time is short. So is attention span.
How do I write?
- There is no structure. All the decisions about what to write are random.
- If I start writing something and it becomes too long, I split it into a series. But usually it is not planned in advance.
- I have a OneNote notebook. I use it for noting down topic ideas.
- Writing is done using the big Dell Precision M 6600 workstation or the Surface Pro
- In many cases, I already have sample files – I use them during my live seminars. If not available, I create the sample files.
- Sometimes I log ideas using SnagIt. While working on something else, I see something on the screen which can be a good blog topic. That time I make a SnagIt capture and then flag it for future use. So SnagIt is also a notepad for me – a visual one.
- Sometimes I capture all screenshots first and the fill the text.
- But usually I write the text and capture screenshots as and when required.
Why are the posts in random order
I feel we learn better if we mix different topics. Learning one topic continuously is boring and the retention level becomes suboptimal very soon.
Besides, there are a wide variety of users and readers I am catering to. Some are students in college where as some others are CEOs of large multi-national companies. The roles also differ from finance to IT to production to scientists…
If I write a long series about one product, only one kind of audience can be satisfied. Mixing topics keeps the interest alive.
I like randomness. Even when I conduct sessions and seminars – there is some list of topics published. But I don’t stick to it. I definitely don’t cover them in the specified order.
Depending upon the audience I decide the topics and the order and change it on-the-fly. If the content plan and delivery is fixed, the impact is lesser. It is necessary to quickly judge the type of audience, their current level of knowledge, sub-groups amongst them (some very savvy, and some very scared), their grasping power and time available.
I started using images to illustrate the concept of the article.
After using images, the blog hits have increased significantly.
These images also help me refine my skills in graphic design and visual representation of ideas.
I primarily use PowerPoint to create the images, SnagIt to capture and refine them. Sometimes I also use Photoshop or Illustrator.
I learnt a lot of about lots of nuances of PowerPoint while creating these little images.
The size is 504 x 504 pixels – suited for FB. But I have found that there is no single dimension (or even aspect ratio) which is ever going to be optimal. So I just post the square (1:1) images and leave it to the platform to manage them. Within FB itself there are different recommended sizes and aspect ratios for photos, pages, newsfeed and groups. (And those keep changing).
Of course, I will continue to write the posts – daily.
Have not planned the content for future posts. I still prefer the random style.
There is a lot to cover. No shortage of topics. The entire Power BI, SharePoint, Yammer, Lync, Exchange, Compliance and eDiscovery, Office Apps, and so many more topics are yet to be covered.
In addition, I will cover some topics which are specific to business activities. You will see these posts very soon.
If you have any topics in mind, do let me know.
If you have any ideas about how I can make more people read the posts, do share those with me.