Once you’ve gone through the initial birth pains and learning curve of setting up your blog, then begins the rewarding phase when you’re no longer learning to blog, but begin blogging to learn.
If you’ve never blogged before, then you’ll have a steep learning curve to go through while you learn the technicalities of blogging, together with the language used by bloggers and the protocols and ethics of the blogging community.
However, once this period is over and you get into your stride with your blog, the learning doesn’t have to cease. At this point, you have a choice. You can continue bumbling along, writing your regular postings on your particular topic using your new found blogging skills, or you can push yourself to learn more about your field of interest, expanding your, and your reader’s horizons in the process.
To Blog, or Not to Blog?
If you’ve got this far, then at some point you must have answered this question and made the decision to start blogging. For myself, it’s been about two months since I took the plunge (after much deliberation) and started this blog with my first posting.
But why did you decide to blog? Well, I suppose this must essentially be the same for most bloggers, because you wanted to share your knowledge or experiences with other like-minded individuals.
Like everyone who’s started a blog before, I’ve been through the initial stages of complete blogging ignorance to a level of moderate blogging competence and have learnt a massive amount in the process. Whilst I’ve learnt a lot about blogging through this, the learning opportunities haven’t stopped, but have actually just started!
Two Way Traffic
While you may have set your blog up in true altruistic fashion, to share your pearls of wisdom with an unsuspecting public, for it to continue to grow there has to be two way traffic. If you’re not getting anything out of your blog, then ultimately your enthusiasm will wane and your blog will fizzle out.
What you get out of your blog may vary. Some may write a blog just to get stuff off their chest, which can be quite cathartic in it’s own right, but is essentially a one way street. You can only shout from the rooftops for so long until you get a sore throat!
A lot will gain from their blogs via the comments left by readers, engaging in the community aspects of blogging, sharing experiences or opinions and questioning established ideas and concepts.
However, there’s also a more subtle and indirect way to get something back from your blog…
Once your blog is up and running, you will probably begin to write about your chosen subject. In the initial stages you’ll have a lot to talk about, waxing lyrical about things you’re passionate about. In your haze of enthusiasm you are likely to think you can keep this up until the cows come home. Unfortunately they do; usually around milking time!
As time goes on and your back catalogue of topics begins to dwindle and your well of knowledge dries up, you’ll need to start digging deeper to research your topics. This research may take you in directions that you wouldn’t of previously considered, sparking new and fresh ideas. This could be instigated by comments left by your readers, or by your own research.
Keep Blogging, Keep Learning
During the process of researching your new articles, you’re bound to learn something new. Maybe it’s some new discoveries or the latest news, but it doesn’t matter what, it’s new, something you didn’t have before, and if you weren’t writing your blog, you wouldn’t have found it!
Perhaps it’s not actually new facts that you’ve learnt, but just by reading around you’re forced to question yourself and look at things from a different perspective, either way you’re gaining.
If you’re thinking that this doesn’t apply to you as you’re blog is not technical, but more socially oriented, then perhaps you need to think again. Seeing things from someone else’s perspective could be just the inspiration you’re looking for.
So once you’ve learnt to blog, keep on going, and soon you’ll be blogging to learn. At this stage, it’s definitely a case of the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
The moral of the story is keeping on blogging and keep on learning!
John D commented
Smplicity and Inspiration! I hadn’t looked at blogging from this angle!
Jackie C commented
Very informative and inspiring. Worth a read from anyone interesting blogging. Has definitely inspired me!!
Simon Hancock commented
You have been up on all things webby for a few years now, so I suppose you were already in a position to launch your specific subject area.
I’m using my blog to get used to the technology and also get used to the of idea regularly writing articles online and gradually trying to work out what my theme might be (if I ever settle on one).
I actually started mine with the intention of just getting off my chest, which has been great. They are just summaries or extensions of the conversations that I have with people in the physical world. I write a lot for a living, so I’m comfortable with getting my ideas down clearly on a page. However, I’m finding that I don’t really have the time to really research areas of interest and write longer posts.
At the moment, it’s just good practice.
See my blog at http://www.hancockfamily.org.uk
Also, you can now follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sdhancock
can you do a blog on all the different bits of an url and what they mean eg org, gov etc – obviously these two are obvious but there must be loads of others.
@Simon: I guess I’m still finding my feet with the blogging, but am getting into it slowly. I quite like the theme you’ve got with Is it just me? Have you thought of using that as a domain name and expanding the concept further? Researching and writing articles certainly does take a bit of time though!
@Joebunny: Thanks for the idea, I’ve added it to my list of ideas for future blog posts. Watch this space…
Tom At The Home Business Archive commented
Very inspiring post. When I started blogging I didn’t know much about the niche at all. I learned a lot when I started researching and writing my own posts. Blogging gets easier for every post you do.
Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.