Reasons 1-3 described in Part 1 were: The Money, The Connections, and The Challenge.
4. The Skills
What kind of skills does it take to blog? It can’t take much more than getting out the ol’ typewriter, eh? Setting up and writing a blog isn’t that hard. But finding success in blogging, that’s going to be a little harder.
The more and more you write, the better your writing will be. Your vocabulary will expand as you seek out more and more creative ways to express yourself. Your writing will become more descriptive as you continue to write faster and faster.
You’ll find your voice. Often when starting to write, a writer can be all over the place with his or her voice. Sometimes the writer is very proper. Perhaps they use an expansive vocabulary. Then the next bit of writing is far more basic, like they misplaced the thesaurus. Maybe they’re playful in one article and stodgy in the next. This happens because the writer doesn’t have a style yet. Obviously in creative works, or depending on the topic, written style varies. But most writers have a voice that bleeds through the page. You’ll get one too the more you write.
You will improve your photo and video skills. “But I just want to write,” you say. Well, sometimes you’ll have a hard time describing a scene in words. Or you’ll want a visual aid to liven up your blog. Perhaps you’ve written a review of a restaurant you went to recently and you want to post some pictures of the dishes you enjoyed. Maybe you attended a sporting event and recorded video of an exciting play. In time, capturing and editing those photos and videos will become part of your blog. The visuals will further engage your readers and will make for great marketing tools on social media.
Which brings me to the next point, you’re going to own the Internet. You may know nothing about how the Internet and Internet marketing works at the moment, but you’re going to learn. In time, you’ll figure out what social media posts and paid ads drive traffic to your blog. The talk of CPMs and affiliate marketing sales will stir your interest. The skill of knowing how to create content and market it online will only prove to be more indispensable in the future.
5. The Discipline
Regular blogging will help you cultivate the much-needed quality of discipline. You’ll have to set aside time to write. Some days (and weeks) writing your blog posts won’t feel like the way you want to spend your time. But because you’re in for the long haul, you’ll make yourself do it.
Writing your blog will improve your time management skills. You’ll only have a certain amount of time in your busy week to work on your blog. You’ll have to get other important tasks done so nothing interferes with the time you’ll set aside for writing. You’ll also have to be efficient when you sit down to write. You’ll have to set aside a proper amount of time for ideation, writing, and editing.
You’ll get better at following through on your commitments. Your audience is going to expect regular posts. Getting into the habit of posting at the same times each week will encourage readership. To market your writing, you may give readers a preview of what will be released next. You’ll build anticipation, and you must take seriously your promise to deliver.
6. Your Well-Being
Writing can be a very therapeutic exercise. Sure, when you start it’s going to be stressful. As writing becomes a habit, you’ll have to rearrange other pieces of your life and that’s going to add some pressure. But once you work those things out, you’ll find writing to be an escape. You get to put the problems and stresses of life aside and travel to another world. Sometimes sharing some of your personal thoughts can help relieve stress as well.
Often fear is all in one’s head. There is no actual danger. There is no threat, but we simply THINK a threat is imminent. Your writing can give you an opportunity to reason on your fears. If you’re apprehensive about a decision, write about it. Share what you can with your audience. You may also find that they will provide words of encouragement to help you overcome your fears. If you lack confidence, as you continue to write your confidence will build. Fear will subside.
Writing can help you cope with problems in life. We all have certain problems that aren’t going away. Perhaps you have chronic health issues or have had a sudden health scare. Maybe your family life needs to be improved. Maybe you are mistreated by others. Writing about those problems can help you to cope. You can reason on how to deal with those problems.
Your blog may also allow for personal reflection. As you write and build your voice, you’ll be able to go back and reflect on what you’ve written. What does this post say about me? Do I like the way I sound? Am I going to be happy with how my audience perceives me? If you think you sound fearful, angry, worried, unintelligent, pompous, or worse, you’ll be able to chisel away at the negative phrasing or tone that you use. Likewise, you’ll be able to reflect on what you like about your writing. You’ll be able to cultivate those facets of your personality and exhibit them more often in your daily affairs. The result of such reflection will improve your quality of life in all areas.
It looks like I’ll be covering Reasons 7-9 in the next post.
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