Using your child’s writing in your blog

Jun 25, 2012 | Better Blogging

In a sense, we all live in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon where “all the children are above average.” Our kids are smart and cute, and so are everyone else’s kids. They all do smart, cute things. They’re wonderful, but what they’re not is interesting, at least not to people who don’t already love them.

That’s why most of the time it’s a bad idea to use your children’s writing in your business blog. Usually, that falls in the “self-indulgent” category of awful blog posts. Not all the time.

If you do it right, you can use examples of your child’s sayings, writings, and doings in your blog. Here’s an example of doing it right from Tanveer Naseer’s blog.

You’ll find his blog at number 15 on Online College’s list of the Top 25 Leadership Blogs. He recently included some of his daughter Alya’s writing in a post titled “An Inspiring Example Of The Power Of Our Words.”

I read Tanveer’s blog regularly so I’m aware of the how important his children are in his life. When I reviewed his blog, I noted the striking design, which uses pictures of his children as a design element. That sets the stage for any time he chooses to mention them.

In his recent post, Tanveer uses a piece of his daughter Alya’s writing to make a point that fits his blog. Here’s the hinge paragraph, where he turns from the opening (where he mentions Alya’s writing) to the core of the post.

“Now, I’ve written recently about how the gaps in our perception can be masked by our brain’s tendency to fill them in so as to create a completed image in our mind. As I listened to my daughter’s poem, I wondered how many of us also appreciate how the words we use – the messages we impart to those we lead – can inform and shape the way they perceive themselves and the value of their contributions.”

The core of the post is about leadership communication. Tanveer follows his core message with a poem of Alya’s. It works. Here’s why.

He set the stage for using Alya’s writing with his design and his opening for the post.

The key message of his post is consistent with the purpose of the blog and with other posts.

Alya’s writing is a good example of his key message.

Alya’s writing is good.

Take any one of those things away and using his child’s writing in the post wouldn’t work. With them all, it works superbly.

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