Why You Might Want to Blog About What You Don’t Know

“I’m not sure who started encouraging writers to ‘write about what you know’”, observes novelist and literature professor Elan Barnehama. At first glance it makes sense, he admits. The problem is, he says, the story is always better served by the narrative that could happen when you don’t have constraints. That doesn’t mean he can’t use what he knows, Barnehama hastens to assure his readers, but when he allows himself to discover new aspects of the world, his novels end up being about his readers, not about himself.

Blogging about what you don’t know? That seems to fly in the face of all the corporate blogging training I’ve ever received or given to others. After all, isn’t the whole idea in blogging for business to showcase the expertise you have and the problems you KNOW how to solve?

Fellow blogger Ivan Widjaya of Biz Penguin might have tapped into the Barnehama’s mentality. “Off-beat posts regarding your company can bring people closer to you. They can lower the fence, so prospects and customers can have a peek on what’s going on inside your company and brands.” Widjava advises being not only passionate, interesting, but unusual and even quirky.  Sometimes, he thinks, being quirky can “help you establish a unique audience that will take whatever you offer them.”

There’s another aspect of this “what-you-don’t-know” aspect of blog content writing. To sustain our blog content writing over long periods of time without losing reader excitement and engagement, we’ve need to constantly add to our own body of knowledge – in our industry or professional field, and about what’s going on around us in our culture. Ironically, business blogging can serve as a form of market research in itself, as smallbiztrends.com points out.
Reading, bookmarking, clipping – and even just noticing – new trends and information relating to your business field goes a long way towards keeping the quiver stocked with content ideas.

At Butler College of Business (where I’m an Executive Career Mentor”, “experiential learning” is a hallmark of the teaching method, with the idea being “learning by doing”. In creating content for SEO marketing blogs, it could be a case of “doing by learning”. As we “read around” and “curate” materials from other thought leaders, we’re becoming better ‘teachers” by becoming better learners. Now that Barnehama has got me thinking about it, I realize that, for Indianapolis bloggers, “what we don’t know can HELP us!”

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