by RYAN BOLTON, originally written for COCA National

As I blog this, I’m listening to the new Fleet Foxes. It’s good stuff, FYI. It’s pissing rain outside and I’m trapped here, happily of course, chatting with you. That’s what we’re doing: chatting, catching up, chasing tail. It’s all the same to me. Just glad you tucked some time away from the addiction to Twitter-Facebook-photo-creepin’ to catch up.

Otherwise than faintly annoying you, what am I doing here? Apt question; still sorting it out myself. But I am communicating with you and you’re taking the time to reflect and check out this (dope) website. Which brings me swiftly to the point: This is exactly what you need to be doing with your respective readers. Yeah, all of you. (You too, dude, thinking the chicks will dig you because you have Ray-Bans and an (admittedly dope) fade haircut. I dig it, too, but that won’t bring you closer to your readers.)

Communication is the centerfold of your job. And if you’re going to be good at that, I have an idea for you: Doing what I’m doing with you right meow. Yeah, blogging. An effective and in-demand tool — and simple, too.

Write from a streetcar, the toilet, or like a normal person, your computer.

Let’s set the scene. You have a big event coming up at school that you’re throwing. Let’s say you’re having a Battle of the Bands and it swiftly sold-out thanks to Broken Social Scene headlining. Now to keep your student body engaged, those that couldn’t attend, you need to liveblog. You will have a community check out what’s happening if you keep everyone in the loop with insightful musings and photos. And complement this with Twitter and micro-blog to an even bigger audience. This is just one example; the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

I’m now sitting on a streetcar as I type this. Magic, I know. But on my phone I’m just tapping away, continuing to chat with you. (And yes, it’s still bloody raining.) But I can stay in touch with you and continue to update you on-the-go thanks to the almighty Steve Jobs.

Listen, having a direct voice with your followers isn’t just important, it’s expected today. This is your portal to staying in touch with your readers and giving them a peek into what you deem cool. So let them know. Write from a streetcar, the toilet, or like a normal person, your computer. They’re going to expect it, and if you don’t deliver, you’re letting them down. And you’re letting your parents down, too—they raised you better than that. Come on Ray-Bans-with-nice-hair guy, you know I have a point. Build a community of engaged readers.

Stay in touch. And stay in touch often. None of this I’ll write once-a-month crap. Stay up-to-date and up-to-the-minute when liveblogging—they’ll leave you for Gawker if you’re not loyal. Stay loyal. Stay fresh. Stay relevant. And stay away from drinking and eating candy—I made a bad decision last night, apparently.

Written by Ryan Bolton

Ryan is a Toronto-based writer and photographer that likes to break the rules. His work has taken him around the world to do what he truly loves—storytelling. And drinking cold beer.