When it comes to blogging I am fortunate because I blog about my profession and since I go into work every day there is usually something that happens that gets me thinking about an article. Since I started blogging in August 2007 I have blogged over 200 posts. I used to blog once or twice a week, now I blog daily. Some people have asked me where I come up with all the ideas to blog about so I thought I would share some with you today.
When something comes up at work that reminds me of something to blog about, I quickly send myself an e-mail at home with the blog idea in the re line and perhaps a few points in the body of the e-mail. I have created a sub-folder in my e-mail account at home called "blog ideas" and I just drag the e-mails into that sub-folder until I get a chance to blog about it. This is probably my greatest source for ideas. There is always something happening at work that will remind me of something that I think would be helpful to others.
Not all my articles about work will come from my current job, but sometimes something happens at work that reminds me of other positions I have held or bosses I have worked with that will prompt me to write an article on it.
You need to be very careful when blogging about work however. I never use anyone's name or write about specific incidents at work. I write very generally and never when I am angry (you tend to want to vent when you are angry and when it comes to blogging that can be dangerous). The purpose of my blog is not to air my work frustrations or tell tales, but to pass on useful information that I have gained either through mistakes I have made (or nearly made) or things that I do well and want to pass on some tips that I think would be helpful to others.
I subscribe to Google alerts that are sent to my home e-mail account every day. When you subscribe to these alerts you can specify what things you are looking for and only alerts relating to that topic will be sent to you. This has been a good source for topics that are in the news or that others are talking about.
My Stat Counter
I have a stat counter on my blog that lets me know how many people have visited my blog. It also gives me good stats on the visitors. One of the useful stats it gives me is what people searched to get my blog. They usually have questions in their search query that will give me an idea on what to write about. People are usually searching for information about secretarial functions such as the "bring-forward system", "making travel arrangements" or "Help! I need to take minutes".
I have had some interesting queries that have brought people to my site. One person googled "what happens to a person who steals from work" and the location they googled from was a large bank in New York City. Oops!
I read a lot. When I get my Google Alerts and it brings me to an interesting article, that article will sometimes prompt my memory about something that has happened to me over the years and I will write about that incident as it relates to work. I also do my own Google searches when I am researching for an article and read the different views people have and then come up with my own article based on everything I've read.
I read professional magazines such as OfficePro and Admin Advantage that keep me current on what is going on in our profession.
Another great source of article information is from co-workers and other assistants. They will give me suggestions for things they are interested in knowing about and hearing my point of view. Friends and family will also suggest things I could write about or e-mail me a question that would make a great post.
Blogging about being an administrative assistant has increased my knowledge about my profession and I have had some interesting discussions and opportunities as a result of that.