I have so much fun teaching my introductory and advanced blogging classes here in Perth, and interestingly the most common feedback I get even months after the classes is that blogging is addictive! My main reaction to that is – phew, I’m glad it’s not just me! – and I’m also glad to spread the joy to others. A little concerned about spreading an addiction, but it could be a worse one, I suppose.
Recently I interviewed some of my past students who these days run fantastic, successful blogs, and I thought I’d share some of their thoughts on blogging as well.
A Taste of Travel
Jenny from A Taste of Travel has worked in the travel industry for many years, but started blogging only recently to keep her family and friends up to date with her travels – until it became an addiction! In Jenny’s words:
Since I started blogging, there never seems to be a spare moment in the day! There’s always something to do for your blog – Writing, commenting, emailing, organizing, learning, using facebook and twitter or just thinking about the next post. But I love it! Does this mean I’m addicted?
Hmm … probably, Jenny, yes it does!
From Mum to Me
Shannon from the parenting blog From Mum to Me decided to start blogging as part of her career change into freelance writing.
I see blogging as the equivalent of attending the gym regularly for someone who wants to be a professional athlete. You limber up your mind and fingers, you get to practice and hone your craft, you meet like-minded people, you discover new ways of doing things, you receive feedback and ultimately, improve.
The Ponder Room
Glennys from The Ponder Room began blogging under a pseudonym but was eventually brave enough to “come out”, so to speak. She’s now been blogging for a year and has this to say:
Already blogging has: given me the discipline to write every week; helped legitimise my scratchy scribblings; opened doors that I would have been way too scared to knock on; introduced me to some amazing people around the world; led to a small international profile, some paid writing assignments, a second and third book; and extended the market for book sales. Most of all it has enabled me to give back to people who have inspired me, and helped me realise that sometimes the inane thoughts inside your head can make a difference if you dare to let them out.
Margaret River Correspondent
Cath from Margaret River Correspondent says she’s proud to call herself a blogger (me too, Cath, me too!). Blogging has been a great development for her:
A couple of years ago, I started blogging to get google ranking for another website. I would take myself off to a cafe in Fremantle with my little doggies for breakfast, polish off my eggs and enjoy my latte’s reading and researching for the blog. I just loved it. Even though I live alone, I started to feel connected to the wider world through writing. I discovered something I enjoyed, and stimulated my mind.
Suggestions for would-be bloggers
My suggestion would be to learn a bit about blogging before you started. Amanda’s course was great- I was so out of touch with social media that she even had to join me up to Facebook!! (Jenny, A Taste of Travel)
Be clear about your goals, set ground rules from your first post, invest in some strong coffee, good chocolate and don’t drink and blog. (Glennys, The Ponder Room)
If you are considering blogging, go running, skipping and hopping to it right away … I took Amanda Kendle’s UWA Extension class and gave myself more control over the finished product and had a fabulous time learning how. I really like the aspect that I can engage Amanda, outside of class, to help with the finer points if I want to go that way. (Cath, Margaret River Correspondent)
Don’t wait for it to be perfect before you get started, you will find your voice over the first few posts, even if it feels unnatural at first. Make sure you are really happy with your blog name before you get started: it should be catchy, easy to remember and descriptive (or at least pique the interest of potential readers). (Shannon, From Mum to Me)