A looooooong time ago, Leeann asked me to write a post about blogging about internal audit, so here goes. Most of this post applies to blogging on any subject, too.
First of all, there is a dearth of good internal audit blogs, and even less good IT audit blogs. So if you’re thinking about, we sure could use you in the blogsphere!
Writing a blog is hard work, and you often get tired of it. Life finds a way to get in the way. This is my 11th year of the blog (see the first post here), which, ironically, was written by skyyler. Fortunately, we’ve gotten better since that first year.
Blogging about internal audit is like a moon shining in a dark place… here’s my 10 tips…
Here’s my suggestions:
1 – Make sure you know why you want to blog, and why blog about internal audit.
Most internal audit blogs are not worth reading, in my opinion. It’s a tough subject to blog about successfully, and while my blog has greatly exceeded my expectations, it is far from popular.
You’re not going to become famous or rich, so discard that goal right away. Also, lots of readers don’t come easy, and if you really care about getting and maintaining a lot of readers, you better be prepared to work hard. If you want to be famous and rich, you better get your blogging tips from another blogger :)
I mainly blog to keep myself sharp. Blogging about audit clarifies my thinking, and satisfies my urge to write. Occasionally, you are able to help and influence others, and sometimes readers leave comments. But they are often far and few between, so I don’t advise starting a blog if you need your ego stroked by likes and comments.
2 – Write about what you care about, think about, and what irritates you. Write about what you know about and have experienced. Offer suggestions and new ways to think about old answers. Your readers may not care, so reread suggestion #1.
Write about other auditors and their quirks, test ideas, things auditees and business management do, tools, techniques, and anything else audit related.
3 – Determine whether you are going to post anonymously. This depends on your subject matter, and how much you are going to write about your work situation (that’s the whole point of the blog, right?). I would suggest to go anonymous and always change a lot of the details so that your company, etc., are not easily identifiable. Do NOT tell your co-workers, friends, and neighbors about your blog.
This is the hardest part of having an anonymous blog. You can’t tell others about it. Not even my best friend reads my blog. Sad, but to me, being anonymous is important.
4 – Post something at least once a month (it’s harder than you think). When you first get started, I’d shoot for weekly or at least twice a month so you get noticed.
5 – Answer comments quickly; if someone posts a comment, they want to know you saw it, thought about it, and replied thoughtfully.
6 – Don’t be afraid to write about stuff that you think auditors already know about. Many auditors don’t know about a lot of things, and even if they do, new auditors are always coming along. I was really shocked when I realized that the auditors I work with and know outside of my work, as well as many auditors who read my blog, are not always highly skilled.
7 – Occasionally post a list of posts for readers to find; new readers don’t always scroll through all your posts to see what you’ve written before. As a result, they miss a lot of your posts that you thought were keepers. I listed a few of mind below (evidently, I did this more when I first started, and need to do another one soon):
-Best Blog Posts of 2014– This post summarizes multiple years
8 – Realize that most of your traffic comes from readers searching for a specific item or problem. Most of your readers read one post and are gone to be never seen again. Sad, but true. A couple come back and say HI every once in a while.
9 – Brace yourself for some peppery feedback on occasion. Some auditors are really passionate and cranky, and they let you have it (I love those readers best!) My favorite foil is Audit Monkey (see blogroll for link), but he doesn’t swing down from the trees and visit much these days. He has really soured on auditing [go figure :) ].
10 – Write some anchor posts, those posts that help people find your blog. my anchor posts these days are:
11 – Inject some humor into your posts as much as possible. Everyone needs a chuckle, and it keeps what is often a boring and taxing (pun intended) subject a little lighter. Being crazy also helps. For example, I published this post on 2/29/2020 just so I could say I published a post on Leap Year day, simply because I may never get another chance.
12 – Always try to deliver more than you promised (like 2 extra tips). Cheers!
See this link for other posts I have written about blogging: Master List of Blogging Tips and Articles