User Experience Blogging Benefits: A retrospective

This blog entry was updated on 10/22/13.

It has been nearly three years since, on a whim, I started my DC Usability blog. This was the first time that I had ever tried to maintain a regular stream of entries. While sometimes it has been relatively easy to both come up with topics and write them up, other times, billable work has been rather intense, and my blogging effort was put on the back burner. Since starting, I’ve managed to generate 40 posts and have had nearly 14,000 total reads of my various blog entries. I’ve discovered that the value of these blog entries is more than just the reads that they garner. Rather, they can be repurposed and reused in a variety of contexts. Here is a summary of all the ways that I’ve been able to reuse blog entries, and also an index of which blog entries have been used for what purposes.

Publications

While I hadn’t initially considered that blog entries could actually lead to published articles, I’ve had five publications that started, at least in part, as blog entries.

Value of UX Organizations

Blog entries: On Being a Local UX Leader and Integrated Networking: People come to events when they know people

Networking

Blog entries Twitter for User Experience Professionals, LinkedIn for User Experience Professionals, Integrated Networking: People come to events when they know people and On Being a Local UX Leader: Lessons Learned

Adventure

Blog entry Come join me on a UX adventure in 2013!

Project Management & UX

Blog entries Usability: What a Project Manager Needs to Know – Part 1 and Usability: What a Project Manager Needs to Know – Part 2

Disaster UX

Blog entries Critical Importance of Usability at FEMA: Before, During and After a Disaster and Evangelizing Usability at FEMA: Training Those Who Create Disaster-Related Websites

Radio Show

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in three radio shows. The most recent radio show was based on a blog entry: Come join me on a UX adventure in 2013!

  • Lebson, Cory. “How to Turn your Tech Career into an Adventure!” IMI Tech Talk (KFNX News-talk Radio 1100, Phoenix, AZ). February 3, 2013.

Conference presentations, talks and webinars

Several blog posts have turned into conference presentations and talks:

Adventure

Blog entry Come join me on a UX adventure in 2013! (some more mileage out of this blog entry!)

  • Lebson, Cory. “Web and UX skills only get you so far” San Diego CHI Meetup. San Diego, CA. October 16, 2013.
  • Lebson, Cory. “Web and UX skills only get you so far: Get out there to advance your career!” DC Web Women and Web Content Mavens Meetups. Washington, DC. October 28, 2013.
  • Lebson, Cory. “UX skills only get you so far: Get out there to advance your career!” World Usability Day. Cleveland, OH. November 14, 2013.

UX Consulting

How Much Should a Small Business Owner Pretend?, Staying Under the Radar: A Business Strategy and “But our job gives you benefits!” (How much are those benefits really worth?)

  • Lebson, Cory. “Challenges and Rewards of Being a UX Consultant: Lessons Learned and Best Practices.” UXPA Boston Annual Conference. Boston, MA. May 29, 2013.

Project Management & UX

Blog entries Usability: What a Project Manager Needs to Know – Part 1 and Usability: What a Project Manager Needs to Know – Part 2

  • Lebson, Cory. “Shout it from the Rooftops: Raising Awareness of UX Throughout your Organization.” Usability Professionals Association 2012 Conference. Las Vegas NV. June 7, 2012.
  • Lebson, Cory. “Making Usability a Priority: Advocating for the Value of User Research.” Society for Technical Communication (STC). October 23, 2012.
  • Lebson, Cory.”User Experience: What Does it Really Mean and Why Should a Project Manager Care?” The Capital Technology Management Hub. McLean VA. June 12, 2012.

Networking

Blog entry: The Brand is You: Is that a good thing? (which itself was based on two prior presentations under the same name)

  • Lebson, Cory. “The Brand is You: Market Yourself with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google.” JobAssist. Silver Spring MD. November, 12, 2012.

Blog entries Twitter for User Experience Professionals, LinkedIn for User Experience Professionals, Integrated Networking: People come to events when they know people and On Being a Local UX Leader: Lessons Learned

  • Lebson, Cory. “Network Now to Enhance your UX Career: Boston and (Way) Beyond.” UXPA Boston World Usability Day Event. Cambridge MA. November 8, 2012.

A reference to refer to in a conversation

Sometimes, when the same topic comes up in conversation, I find myself suggesting that people refer to particular blog posts where I’ve explained a certain view on some idea in more detail. For example, several times after writing a blog post on my business strategy (Staying under the Radar), I have referenced the post when asked about how I find work.

Conversation starter that leads to interesting activities

Blog posts are useful for promoting things that I’m interested in. For example, I did not have all that many exciting activities upcoming, and so I blogged about UX adventure. This led to the above mentioned radio show and article, and also gave me a source to refer people to the kinds of exciting activities I was interested in volunteering for. And my plate filled up with UX adventures.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I like to see when my blogs (and other web references) rank highly for certain keywords. For example, with the above mentioned “UX adventure” (with or without quotes), I have a lock on the first two results. While a colleague once said “that’s because nobody else uses the term,” I’ve found other results in my analytics that indicate blog entry terms help lead people to my website.

Credibility in the field

While I don’t have a good measure of credibility in the field per se, I’ve had colleagues tell me that they enjoyed reading a particular blog post. My hope is that these posts demonstrate knowledge and involvement in the field of user experience.

After each post I consistently get additional Twitter followers, as well as retweets and @mentions. Twitter for User Experience Professionals goes more into detail on the value of Twitter in the field of user experience.

Start your own blog.

I could not have said two years ago that a blog could add that much value. It was something that I did on a whim. But even with a relatively small number of posts, I certainly see value.
My advice to you: Consider starting your own blog related to whatever area of user experience or technology you are in, or more generally in your particular career track. Don’t try to sell your services explicitly, but demonstrate your wisdom in your field, and as best you can, reuse your favorite blog entries for talks, publications, or in other creative ways.

Image Courtesy of YuryZap /Shutterstock

2017-04-22T22:36:52+00:00 Apr 15, 2013|Tags: |