As a developer, I'm new to marketing but very familiar with following ordered processes to achieve great, and consistent, results. In starting my marketing activities, such as blogging and social media, I'm going to establish habits rather than rely on tasks or specific directives. The difficulty is finding the keystone habit, the one regular action that will drive and build every other marketing action. Is it blogging, regular longform writing which can be used in further small pieces or is it social media with short quick thoughts building to a complete thought?
When developing a website there are a few first actions that are crucial whether the updates are minor, changing a header image, or major, a whole site redevelopment, because all websites are on-going projects. Rarely is a website ever "done," not to be changed again. Setting up a GIT repository is common for all levels as it versions every file, making changes obvious and interactive. With versioning, it's a good habit to "commit" changes every day, if not much more often, to track what is changing even if the changes aren't "pushed," made live for viewing.
I've done social media and blogging before, in small ways, but not as an organized effort around defined topics. Most of my experience comes from blogging around development topics and it seems like the best place to start not only because it's familiar but also because it can be broken apart and reused, followed up on in further posts, and grouped in to larger topic categories. However, it's not that simple since I didn't start blogging years ago and just keep going. Establishing a blogging habit is difficult and might require some rethinking to become regular. Is a reward needed? Another cue perhaps?
Thinking through blogging and social media as habits I came up with the pitfalls of each. First for the blogging pitfalls:
- Longform requires time to develop and time to write
- More structure can mean more rewrites to keep thoughts cohesive
- To get the most out of the efforts a longterm vision is needed and without one efforts can stall before starting
The last point being particularly difficult but each one can stop a writer before the first post gets out the door, which has been my issue. I've written many posts without even publishing. Even in a short form though social media comes with it's own set of challenges:
- Timed posts don't have the same longevity
- Follow ups and categorization have less impact
- Sometimes difficult to see where single posts, tweets, or pins, fit within an overall content landscape
Either way, it starts with writing, putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard. Maybe the reward is simply the published piece that sets the habit but starting is the key, and here we'll start with blogging.