Blogging / Journalism skills

I write a blog – so does everybody else.

I started a blog whilst I was at university, studying for my final year exams. I liked the idea of writing for pleasure, not writing tedious academic essays with references, and I wanted it to be a place to document my journey on hopefully finding a career in journalism. I don’t find it a ‘chore’ to blog, nor do I do it for the sake of it. I enjoy writing, and I like using it as a platform to document my own written work as well.

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Blogging has become a huge phenomenon where people from all different professions, ages and backgrounds have taken to it as a form of self-explanation and enhanced online presence. Blogging isn’t a unique thing anymore and because of the social media boom in the recent years, it has become even more popular. I must say a reason I began blogging was probably because of the increase in people doing it, I liked reading other people’s blogs, following specific ones, and I knew it was something I would enjoy doing. I still do like reading blogs that people write, following journeys or reading about updated beauty and fashion, but I think the success of a blog can sometimes be hard to achieve. There are ones online that have become so popular that they have their own advertisers and can basically be called a website. However there are others that are barely touched, written on about once a month and left, with little effort to publicise. These are the blogs that don’t stand out.

I really do think blogging is a useful tool. It can show interests, people’s passion, be a platform for your portfolio, and also show how someone is doing this off their own back, simply because they enjoy it. You don’t have to write a blog, you choose to write one. You do it in your own spare time, on top of university or college or a full-time job, because you like doing it and I think that in itself shows certain qualities in you as a person – commitment, dedication and time-keeping skills. For journalism, it is a great way to show your writing style, your interaction with social media and understanding of SEO and content management systems, your ability to write fresh content, a platform to demonstrate your portfolio and more importantly, a constant flow of content. I think this is where blogging can go wrong.

However, people who pay little attention to their blog, blog for the sake of it once a month, have little interest in the appearance and don’t bother to help publicise their blog through social media channels, haven’t got the grasp of the concept at all. Putting your blog address on your CV for someone to then go to the link and see your last post was 5 months ago isn’t the most appealing. What people want to see is a constant flow of posts, not necessarily every day, but maybe even weekly or fortnightly, so they know that the next time they visit your blog, there will be something new to read. Obviously sometimes life can get in the way writing posts weekly can be too much, but there are ways of compensating that – or scheduling posts in advance when you have time. If people are visiting your blog and finding the same homepage with nothing new for months, then they are unlikely to come back. If employers are looking at your blog and seeing a continual stream of new posts and content, surely this can only be an advantage for any future job prospects?

I’m not saying my blog does exactly that, nor am I looking down on people that don’t blog every week at all. But this is the mentality I hope to and want to achieve, to make my blog bigger than just a link on my CV. I more than understand how it’s sometimes hard to fit it in. You want to write a post that you are proud of where you want to link to Twitter/Facebook, etc. Having the idea in your mind that, ‘I should probably put a new blog post up soon’, rather than leaving it until you really have nothing else to do than to blog, is a much better mentality.

So maybe I am giving myself advice here, and to all the other bloggers out there – don’t neglect your blog! People will come back and read it more if they know there will be something new to read.

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