Quite possibly one of my favourite sessions from the 2013 IPEd national conference, Dr Katy McDevitt AE asks the question ‘Should editors blog?’ As an editor and writer who currently blogs I was surprised at the amount of interest in this session (one: because it was at the end of a very long day, and two: because I assumed that blogging and other online activities were already part of the Editors’ Toolkit). For me it’s not about whether editors should blog, but more about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of blogging.
McDevitt’s tips are simple:
- Choose your niche, audience and style (tone of voice)
- Create a regular schedule of posts
- Create connections with others (guests posts and comments)
- Use a platform that is best for you
I couldn’t stop myself from nodding in the affirmative when McDevitt says ‘it’s not about the money’. It’s really not. In fact, if editors were paid for the amount of words they typed (and I’m speaking from personal experience here) in addition to the words they read their worlds would be richer. What’s great about editors who blog is that they are proficient at identifying areas of editing, writing or publishing that would benefit from being discussed and they discuss it.
Perhaps the chord that struck the sweetest tune in McDevitt’s presentation was that editors who (want to) blog need to maintain a schedule, and this is where I have been going wrong. As one delegate says via Twitter ‘I started out with a blog schedule … then life got in the way … *sigh*’ (@jasmineleong), but the worst thing you can do is walk away from the schedule completely. Scheduling doesn’t have to be complicated either – a simple Excel spreadsheet and a link to my Outlook calendar is enough to get me back on track.
McDevitt finished by tabling a number of editor blogs already available, which goes to show that we’re a passionate bunch when it comes to the industry and that we also share some similar issues. If you’re an editor with a blog, I’d love to ‘check you out’, so drop me a line and let’s see if we can’t solve the sentence structures of the world.