Blogging: you are the product

The other day, I was talking with Siobhan Richardson about her blog, and she mentioned that sometimes she wonders how much to talk about in her posts.  Specifically, how to deal with ideas.

I think it depends on the idea.  Or rather, it depends on the product.  If you are a writer, the your product is your story, so you are not going to post the details of that story in your blog.  But if you happen to be an actor then you are the product.  Describing how you went about researching a character or perhaps a specific technique that you’ve found working for you doesn’t diminish your product.  Its something that leads back to you.  Someone might find your insight helpful, and when they next encounter a similar situation, they might think “I remember when I read about this on [your name]’s blog.”  The I remember reading this statement becomes even more important if you are a director, or like Siobhan, a fight director (or any of the many theatre-related professions where a particular expertise is needed).   Sharing an insight or an idea directly related to what you do does not diminish your product.  Speaking of a technique you’ve developed for, say, bringing out the acting in stage combat simply puts the idea out there.  No one else will be able to take your idea and implement it in quite the same way you do, because its yours.

Keeping your ideas to yourself doesn’t help you get the word out about what you do and who you are.  It helps you build your personal brand by letting others know of your expertise and what makes you unique.  The shared idea isn’t really something anyone can steal from you, but even though you’ve spoken of it, its your idea, and only you have the experience that brings the idea to life.  A reader might be able to take insight or inspiration from your blog post, but in the end, their interpretation will be their idea.  All you will have done is plant the seed.

Sharing is what makes the internet world work.  And its something that you can use to help people notice you.  Take the risk and share your ideas.  All you have to lose is the opportunity to have a reader remember you.