Friday, September 20, 2013

4 Benefits of Blogging

As I wrap up my first year of having a weekly blog, I'd like to share my thoughts.  First let me say that I hated writing as a student.  The pure punishment of penmanship coupled by the brutality of bleeding red papers from the teacher fueled my awful anxiety of placing my thoughts on paper.  Don't get me wrong.  I loved all of my English teachers.  They taught me a lot, but it just never clicked for me.

My problem was simple.  My writing had no muse.  There was nothing that I was completely obsessed with enough for me to write about it.  After being in education for 17 years, 11 of which I served in leadership positions, something hit me.  I wanted to tell my story.

So I began my journey on Twitter in February 2012.  I came across an educator named Bill Ferriter, @plugusin.  (If you haven't discovered him, you are missing out.)  After participating in several chats, reading Bill's blog and discovering others just like me who were sharing their thoughts, I became inspired to write my first blog, Are You Counting the Days or Making the Days Count?

The exhilaration of pressing the publish button for the first time is one of the scarier things that I have done.  What if people don't like it?  What if my thoughts are misunderstood or sound unintelligent?  After surviving the first published blog, a sense of confidence was discovered.  I can write.  I can put something out there that people will read.  So after doing the same thing week after week, I have become more comfortable sharing, but I have also grown tremendously and it is because I have embraced these 4 benefits to blogging.

Build Belief in your Thoughts & Ideas

Nothing builds your belief in your thoughts and ideas better than writing them down on paper and publishing them for the world to see.  Through editing and revising your craft, your ideas are massaged to the point that they truly embody your philosophy.  The other side of that thought is that once you publish your thoughts on the world wide web, you have cemented those same thoughts in your mind.

Learn from your Viewership

Feedback is the key to building your blog.  Knowing what your viewers like is important so you can write better pieces for your audience.  I love that Blogger shows my page views by the hour, day, week, month and all-time.  I can see the pageviews of each post, and that tells me how much each post resounded with my audience.  I use this data to refine my craft and find ways to improve as a writer and thinker.

Opportunities for Feedback & Affirmation

Nothing is more affirming than having someone leave a comment on your blog.  It tells me that my words meant enough, that an anonymous person had to add their thoughts to mine.  How cool is that?  Also, it has been awesome when people tweet and share my blog posts through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.  When people share my thoughts through their own personal site, affirmation abounds in my mind.

Geography Lessons

I have found places that I never knew existed.  From the Isle of Man to the Northern Mariana Islands, my words have been viewed on every continent except Antarctica (obviously).  While the USA views my thoughts the most, I am amazed that the countries of Canada, UK, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, India, Turkey and Jordan make up my Top 10 pageviews by country.  It is so awesome to know that my words are impacting places and people that are beyond my realm of reality.

So Why Should You Blog?
Why would you not share your thoughts?  Why not solidify your thinking?  What's the worst that could happen?  At worst, not many people will read your blog.  At  best, you could write a post that could go viral!  But at the very best, you will grow in your confidence about your beliefs and improve in your own capacity as a leader, thinker and person.

No comments:

Post a Comment