One of the most important steps to building your personal brand, especially on social media, is creating your own content. This is best done by writing your own, or contributing to a blog. Being able to express your ideas in a compelling and persuasive way is a valuable skill that all leaders should possess. If writing isn’t your thing, or you just want to up your game, practice the top two ways to become a better writer.
1) Write more. This one didn’t take long to learn.
2) Read more. This one took a little longer to figure out. If you want to become a better blogger and all-around writer, you need to be reading more.
Here are a few ways to read as much as possible, and get the most out of it.
Keep a book with you at all times.
This can take on many forms. For me, it depends on what book or books I am reading. Typically, I have one audiobook that I listen to while I’m driving, one fiction book I read for fun, and one book I am reading to learn from. The learning book stays in my go bag, so I can read it when I’m out and about. My fiction/fun book is always at home, so I can read for relaxation. And since I have the audible iphone app, I can listen to that book whenever I need to keep my eyes in front of me (i.e. at the gym, in the car, while running errands).
Use an RSS reader
I recommend Feedly. This is the best RSS reader out there. I have it bookmarked on my desktop and I have the mobile app installed on my phone. This way, if I have just a few minutes to do some reading while waiting in line at a coffee shop, I can whip this out and read some of my favorite blogs. At work, it is great for keeping the most helpful blogs easily at hand and all on one page. (Especially helpful for research)
Stop reading so much
Ahh, this one sounds like a trick, but stick with me. For the longest time, I really thought that I should read all the things! It wasn’t until I decided to cut back on the quantity and focus on reading things that actually added value, was I then able to read more of the good stuff. Once I committed to doing this, I realized that in order to cut out the useless reading, I would have to tame my inbox. Once I unsubscribed from about 75% of the blogs and newsletters I was signed up for, my productive reading began to soar.
Pro tip: Go sign up for Unroll.me. It’s free and it aggregates all your new emails into a daily “roll up”. The best part is that it gives you the option to easily unsubscribe with one click. You won’t believe how much this will help clean out your inbox.
These are just a few tips to becoming a better writer by reading more. But, I want to know if there are any other voracious readers out there. If you’re one of them, what kind of effect does this have on your blogging/writing? And how do you read as much as you do?