Upcoming Presentations, or, Blogging and Increased Visibility
When you blog, you increase your visibility tenfold. And with increased visibility, you're more frequently invited to speak at events. This year I have a handful of presentations I'm giving at various chapters and events. I decided to add an Upcoming Presentations button on my navigation bar to list them. If you'd like me to speak at your chapter, conference, or other event, let me know.
Here's my 2009 schedule so far:
- February 19. Blogging. Rocky Mountain STC chapter, Colorado. (webinar)
- February 26. Quick Reference Guides. Intermountain-STC chapter, Utah. (co-presenting)
- March 26. Podcasting. Podcamp Utah.
- May 3-6. Blogging (pre-conference workshop). STC Summit, Atlanta.
- May 3-6. Blogging (regular presentation). STC Summit, Atlanta.
- May 3-6. Quick Reference Guides. STC Summit, Atlanta (co-presenting)
- April 7. WordPress. STC Suncoast chapter in Florida. (webinar)
- November 5. WordPress/Blogging. STC Suncoast chapter, Florida.
Honestly, I've never spoken at so many events in one year. Last year I presented at the STC Summit on podcasting and participated on a panel about marketing yourself in a web 2.0 environment. I also presented on WordPress at Doc Train West and gave a webinar to STC Phoenix about help and web 2.0. The year before that, I only presented on blogging usability at Doc Train West.
So essentially, the number of events I've been invited to speak at have at least doubled every year since I've been blogging. This points to an interesting phenomenon. Blogging = Visibility.
Visibility is essential to marketing yourself. The other day a reader sent me a long email asking how he could market himself as a technical writer. As a 29-year-old trying to break into the profession, he wanted to establish himself as a technical writer and find a job. Although you can market yourself by attending STC events, publishing in newsletters, passing out business cards, creating a portfolio, and so on, blogging actively about a specific topic probably gives you the most leverage.
The more you blog, the more visible you become. And as your visibility increases, you receive a greater number of invitations. I also serve on the STC Intercom advisory panel. With a small group of other technical communicators, we give suggestions and ideas to the Intercom editors about topics and writers for upcoming Intercom issues. I noticed that when I sit down and try to think about who would be good to write about X, bloggers come to mind first, simply because they are more visible.
So there you have it. Blogging = Visibility and Visibility leads to increased Invitations.
There is one other element at play here: Time. With all these factors (blogging, visibility, and invitations), your amount of Time always decreases, unfortunately.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.