I’m a writer. It’s my official job title. I’ve been writing and editing for the veterinary industry since 2011, and I love my job. Since I began working as a writer, I’ve learned that, in this time of constant online content generation, there are a lot of “writers” out there. Anyone can start a blog. Anyone can “write.”
But, should just anyone start a blog? Should anyone write? I say yes, and that “yes” may surprise some of my fellow professional writers.
Why you (yes, you!) should write
Yes, I get it. You aren’t a writer. You’re a veterinarian. Or a practice owner. Or both. Maybe you’re a veterinary technician or industry professional. Regardless, your professional title indicates some kind of expertise or knowledge base. Here’s why you should share what you know with the world:
1. It helps your clients get to know you.
Best friends or not, showing your current and potential clients another side of you will undoubtedly help your business. Do you volunteer with the local animal shelter on the weekends? Blog about it! Have a pet pig that makes life at home…interesting? Post your adventures on your practice’s Facebook page! Have funny interactions with clients and their pets that you think would be of interest to other pet owners? Share those stories (with permission of all involved, of course)! While your clients respect your professional abilities, they’ll also appreciate that you’re an interesting individual with a unique personality.
2. You know what you’re talking, er…writing, about.
You aren’t pretending to know what you’re talking about. You probably spend at least 40 hours every week doing what you do to make a living. Whether you’ve been in your position for 1 year or 50 years, you have something to offer those who don’t do what you do. Share that knowledge with your current and prospective clients–you never know how your words could benefit someone else. And, you never know who those words could benefit–the Internet means your writing could be read by just about anyone, anywhere.
3. It isn’t as scary or time-consuming as you might think.
I’m not talking about writing a college essay. I’m talking about a blog post from time to time. Blogs are easy and flexible. They’re about the things you want them to be about. Want to share a photo of an inspiring pet you encountered in your practice today? Post it on your blog with a simple caption. That’s your post for the day. A blog post doesn’t have to be a certain number of words or in a particular format. It’s only hard if you make it hard. (You can even throw a bunch of fun GIFs together for a blog post!)
4. Everyone makes mistakes.
“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” –Robert H. Schuller
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” –Samuel Beckett
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” –Oprah Winfrey
The trying-and-failing quotes are endless. Some people have a lot to say, but they never put it out there for fear of making mistakes or being criticized. To become what you are today, you took risks. Those risks payed off. Writing a blog for your practice might seem risky, but the reward will be far greater than the risk. You’ll be representing your practice on a whole new level. Your clients will enjoy reading your views; they want to get to know you on a personal level. Let them in. (And if you make a mistake? Fix it. Piece of cake.)
5. You can do it.
You are good enough. You are smart enough. And doggone it, people like you. (OK, I stole that from Stuart Smalley.)
You is kind. You is smart. You is important. (OK, I stole that from Aibileen Clark.)
Seriously, though. In my position, I’ve asked many experts on particular topics (search engine optimization, Web design, etc.) to write blog posts focused on their areas of expertise. Do they write for a living? No. Were they able to craft well-thought-out content that included information many online readers found useful? Absolutely. And if they can do it, so can you.
So, no excuses. Breathe, think about what you want to say, sit down at your computer, and start typing. You’ll be fine. (OK, that one’s mine.)