On Australia day (January 26th) last year I became a blogger. With the help of the lovely Josie Dino of Brisbane Writers Group, I set the basic parameters for my blog which was to be based on my experiences and reflections as a house sitter in Australia and overseas. My first and only goal was to post each week and apart from taking two weeks off at Christmas, I have achieved this milestone.
Blogging has changed me and listed below are seven things I’ve learnt from the experience.
1. The blogging universe is vibrantly abundant and infinitely creative.With its minimum rules and limitless possibilities for creative self expression, blogging can give a voice,face and feel to the lives of others usually alienated or disenfranchised in modern society.
2.Self expression is only half of the blogging experience. Learning about other bloggers and their blogs has been a joy and a profound learning experience. I don’t know how I could have connected with such a fascinating and diverse group of writers, travellers, poets, photographers, educators, novelists and people of different cultures and nationalities without the medium of the blog
2. The weekly post offers me a means of reflecting and condensing the major theme of my current life experience. It helps me to focus on and pay attention to things and thoughts both big and small which I would have otherwise overlooked. In short, my weekly post offers me the gift of increasing clarity.
3. My writing has improved. If I look back at the early posts I can see just how its developed.
4. The blogging experience has shown me how far I’ve come, both in terms of travelling distance and personal growth. A private journal of reflection also has a similar capacity but input from others via comments and follows (I always check out the blogs of my followers) can give you an added perspective on your personal journey.
5.You can’t please everyone, nor should you try to. Every post as a response to the dynamic experience of life, has the capacity for a different tone, some subscribers prefer the travel commentary and photos, while others prefer the more philosophical and reflective posts. What’s important for me is authenticity-responding to what is real and important in my experience at the time of writing.
6. Tagging is an art form that needs time to develop,but its worth learning and experimenting with so you can give your blog the best possible chance of being read by others searching after your unique perspective.
7.Collecting likes and increasing statistics are not the only measures of success. I recently read a blogger who boasted receiving over 1500 likes. But what does it mean? The person was part of a college fraternity where members posted likes in a similar way to Facebook posts -which on the whole can be pretty random and meaningless. Some people like every post or blog ,others are more reticent with encouragement. One frequently overlooked measure of success is the pleasure you receive in creating, writing and publishing the post. Active encouragement from yourself should always be included in any assessment of a successful blog.
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