By Somali K Chakrabarti
Blogging as a trend is on the rise, with blogs increasingly emerging as a mainstream media platform.
Whereas earlier the Blogosphere in India was heavily dominated by men, but now many women students, homemakers and working women are also entering the blogging arena. The availability of blogging platforms, formation of blogging communities and the widespread use of social media, make it very easy to start a blog.
The ability to express oneself creatively through blogging is a reason that draws many people towards blogging. Blogging provides a means of personal development.
Not only that, some skills acquired from blogging can also be put to use in one’s professional life. Let’s have a look:
1. Customer Focus
The credibility and success of a blogger lies in his/her ability to engage repeatedly readers with their content.
The question that a blogger needs to keep in mind while creating content is that with multitude of material available online, why at all anybody would be interested in what he/she writes, unless the thoughts resonate or they see some value in it.
Here arises the need for the blogger to differentiate himself/ herself. For this a blogger needs to ask himself/ herself:
- Who are my readers?
- What is the value proposition of my blog to the readers?
Depending on who the target readers are, bloggers create content and adopt techniques to increase visibility to the target readers, and hopefully interest them enough to bring them back to the blog. The kind of customer focus that is needed to succeed in any business is needed to succeed in blogging as well.
Blogging teaches us to intuitively figure out what we can write to the best of our ability that would appeal to the readers.
2. Creativity and Clarity of Expression
Blogging is a creative pursuit. Bloggers express themselves creatively with a variety of styles ranging from photography, to travelogues, to storytelling, to five sentence fictions, to haigas, tankas & hakius or other forms of poetry, to sharing opinion on products or fashion trends, or sharing helpful tips. A well-conceived and well written piece generally makes a delightful read.
A blog is a reflection of the bloggers personality and his/her thought process. With time and practice, bloggers discover their niche and evolve their style of writing.
As bloggers, we endeavor to maintain the momentum, draw inspiration from different sources and consistently produce quality writing that leave readers with a positive impact.
Blogging gives structure to your thoughts, and helps to develop coherence and clarity of expression.
These skills come in handy in any profession.
Though blogging is an individual activity, it cannot be done in isolation. Blogging teaches us to collaborate with others.
The nature of blogging, to an extent, is like working in an IT services company, where people are used to working in a distributed environment with teams spread over different geographical locations, and one needs to collaborate virtually with team members with whom they might have never met in person.
But why do bloggers need to collaborate?
To continuously come up with new posts, one needs to get a continuous flux of ideas. Many ideas stem up from discussions with other fellow bloggers.
Different bloggers have different styles of writing. One can pick up tips and writing styles by reading through the posts of other bloggers. I was so impressed by the haikus of some of my fellow bloggers that it inspired me to try out the technique, and now I immensely enjoy writing haikus.
But more than any other reason, collaboration is needed to build traction on your blog. Helping other bloggers to improve and grow their blogs, leaving value added feedback helps in creating goodwill and rapport with fellow bloggers, increases traction on your blog and together you grow as a community.
Blogging is not a one off activity, but something that one needs to be persistent at. Nor is blogging for quick gains.
You cannot be a blogger unless you truly enjoy blogging. There will be days when you run out of topics to write about, there will be days when nobody cares for what you write, yet the love of expressing yourself through your blog will keep you at it.
It is a self- fulfilling process. The more you write, and the more you engage your readers, the more creative satisfaction you derive from it, and that propels you to write more.
Unless you really enjoy the process you will not have the motivation to continue.
A few days back, I read a post 5 ways parenting is exactly like blogging on the blog Rachna Says. I absolutely agree with the parallel drawn. While reading the post it occurred to me that you always need to have an eye on your blog just as you need to have an eye on your child.
Blogging teaches us to be persistent in our efforts.
5. Appreciation for Diversity
Blogging is a passion that is fast catching on among people of all age groups including students, professionals, entrepreneurs, homemakers and retired people.
While the blogs of some of the elderly bloggers, who share their life’s experience, are treasures of wisdom, the blogs of the young bloggers gives a peep into their active minds. Reading their blogs, I get to know how the young generation generally thinks – how similar or dissimilar their thoughts are from mine. It also helps me to better understand my child’s behaviour at times.
Thus blogging helps us to appreciate diversity of opinion and helps us to gain perspective shared by a diverse group of people.
These are the key things that came to my mind about what blogging has to teach us.
What are the other things that you have learned from blogging?
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