Over the past week I’ve engaged in a few conversations with friends and colleagues about blogging and my experiences with it, why do I blog, what’s the purpose of my blog and if I thought it was simple or difficult. So I thought I’d give you my thoughts on blogging and some helpful tips that I had followed.
Blogging, for me, is a reflective tool that I use to help sort out the vast randomness that runs through my mind. Reading through my blog you can see that while I can generally categorize my topics, it contains a wide variety of topics.
I started blogging because I wanted an avenue where I could write my reflections with the ability to look back on the personal and professional growth. I also began so that I could share my thoughts and experiences with the world in the hopes that they may help someone else. I selected the traditional text blog vs. a vlog. (Personally, I don’t think I’m video material, hence my lack of video postings :))
Now, blogging (or vlogging) may not be for everyone and it does require some time and effort. But for those who want to give it a go or are already blogging, I thought I’d offer up some tips that have helped make my (and hopefully your) blogging a little easier:
1) Collect your “Lightbulb Moments”: When you have a “Lightbulb Moment” or thought, write it down as a blog topic and keep this list readily available. Many times we have great fleeting insights and ideas but do not keep track of them. This practice really helps you have topics ready to blog about all the time as well as allows you to really explore and expand on your daily musings.
2) Write a little every day: You don’t necessarily need to write a full blog each day nor concentrate on one post at a time. For myself, I start a post with one of my fleeting thoughts and then just save it. Each day I run through posts that I’ve started and add thoughts and musings. Sometimes my muse (who I have yet to meet) will provide me a plethora of thoughts and can write out a full post in a sitting. But I’ve found it quite interesting and educational (about myself) when just collecting my thoughts on topics over periods of time then putting them together for a single post. Think of it as an outline written over time and then having the ability to sit down one day and really melt them together into one single post.
3) Key in on specific categories: Be open with your topics, however key in on 3 or 4 major topics. This will help you be able to really reflect and focus your blog. Sometimes having a wide open/free range platform confuses and frustrates bloggers, because there is so much to say, but hard to find the time to write as well as to focus your thoughts.
4) Engage your readers: Open your posts up for comments. Being a blogger means that you are not only sharing information and insights but starting a dialogue with the online community. Encourage your readers to share or comment. Sometimes you can even find some great blog topics from your comments and dialogue with others.
5) Have fun with your blog: If you are not having any fun with your blog then you probably should find another way to share your insights. Blogging shouldn’t be a chore or a hassle. You should enjoy writing or vlogging. Once it becomes a hassle and you are not enjoying it, then that is when you should re-examine why and how your blogging.
Just some tips and suggestions about blogging for you to think about.
For my Student Affairs and Higher Education peeps, I’ve also attached a fellow blogger’s post on blogging professionally and personally and some thoughts gathered from the SATechMI Unconference back in February. Enjoy!
Until next time!
Peace, Love and Pandas!