What have I learned from blogging?

by Sally on March 18, 2011

I have seen a few of those ‘social media changed my life’ posts doing the rounds lately. I’m just about to hit the 7th anniversary of starting my first blog, and I’ve been wondering how blogging has changed my life. Mostly, I’d say it means I sleep less.

Rather than changing my life, I think blogging has taught me some things. Like:

  1. When you create something and you’re passionate about it, it becomes really hard to draw a line and say, ‘this is when I stop working’. Hence me writing this post at 2.21am on a Friday morning. This is probably not a great long-term life strategy.
  2. You can spend an hour crafting a perfect post that says just what you want it to say, or you can panic and write something in two minutes flat because you haven’t posted for a week and you don’t want your readers to think you died and your corpse is now being eaten by cats. And the second post will always, always get more comments than the first.
  3. When you’re angry and emotional, it’s best to write a blog post in Word first. This means you can edit it repeatedly until you get it just right. And then you can delete it. Angry blog posts never get you anywhere. Either you’ll calm down and realise it’s not worth writing about, or you’ll realise it is worth writing about, in which case you’re now calm enough to kick ass with your logic, reason and general amazingness.  Result.
  4. Blogs are magical. They have the power to make typos invisible until an hour after you hit ‘publish’ – which is usually just after some smart-arsed reader points out your mistake on Twitter or in the comments. Note: this will always, always happen if you post about grammar or spelling.
  5. When you get into a groove of blogging, you can pop up post after post without much thought – it’s only when you look back a year later that you realise how many special memories you’ve captured. Don’t under-estimate the value of what you’re creating.
  6. One day, if you want them to, some of the people who read your blog and comment on it will become good friends. And while PR freebies and awards and stuff are great, having someone to laugh with about your blogging adventures is worth more than anything.
  7. Everyone has a view on what you should and shouldn’t do on a blog. But providing you’re doing what makes you happy, I think you should feel free to ignore everyone else. You should particularly ignore anyone who tries to lecture you about ‘dignity’ or what’s ‘appropriate’. I can confidently say that life is way too short to worry about that sort of thing.
  8. At least once every six months you will have a meltdown and want to delete your blog. Take a day off. Talk to some people who say things like, “What’s a blog, again?” This will help you to regain the proper perspective. But if something isn’t making you happy, there’s no shame in taking a change of direction.
  9. It takes two people to make a row. That means someone can say all the mean things they like about you, but if you’re ignoring them, then they’re just some idiot swearing to themselves on the Internet.  Try to imagine them dressed shambolically on a street corner, holding a can of super-strength lager and shouting at strangers as they walk by. Not so intimidating after all, eh?
  10. Bloggers are mostly a really friendly bunch of people but business is business. So try not to take it personally when that client you blog about is approached by another blogger trying to undercut you, or if a blogger attempts to undermine your work or poach your business. Take it as a compliment that they clearly see you as being more successful than them, and next time, be a little smarter about what you share online.
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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindy March 18, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Fab post. I think I need to print and post this as a reminder. Nothing I didn’t/don’t know but sometime you get so caught up in the whole blogging malarkey it’s easy to forget. The image of the crazy person w/ a can of super strength larger is the best!

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Sally March 25, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Thanks, I like it ;-)

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Vic March 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

11. Whatever happens, don’t let it get you down. This is supposed to be fun, after all.

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Sally March 25, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Amen, sister.

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Helen March 18, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Love this post – Numbers 5 & 8 really struck a chord with me especially as someone who is ‘fairly’ new to blogging. Number 4 made me chuckle so much!

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Sally March 25, 2011 at 9:42 PM

I do think it’s easy to think a blog is silly or pointless but looking back at mine after a year or two, I love that I can see loads of things I’d have forgotten otherwise.

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Merry March 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

9.

*laughing*

*very much*

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Mwa (Lost in Translation) March 18, 2011 at 10:18 PM

So true! Especially number 2! And all the others…

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jfb57 March 20, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Really interesting post Sally with lots of ‘umm yes I agree’ from me as I was reading!

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Sally March 25, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Oh I’m glad it’s not just me, then!

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Casdok June 6, 2011 at 10:14 AM

I certainly do #3!

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April-rose June 6, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Hey.

Great blog.

I write a blog for my company but often blur the lines between personal and professional which occasionally lands me in hot water but I agree with you that you should write about something you are both passionate and care about – screw what the haters think right?!

The internet is a wonderful portal to find like-minded individuals so we should focus on those rather than those who are negative – this is harder than it looks however!

Thanks for reminding me why I blog in the first place! :)

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Merrytag July 24, 2011 at 5:47 PM

I am new to blogging and this post worried me! Well I worried me all by myself actually, but this post confirmed the worry. My blog started out with me ranting about general stuff but then I decided to use it to post stories I had written from two words I had been given (usually by Twitter peeps!) because I love writing and it relaxes me (mostly!). I worry that because it isn’t about me or my family that it isn’t a real Blog if that makes sense? Does anyone have any thoughts on that? Is it supposed to be about ME or can it be about me via a story telling medium?
ps I am a worrier. Unless that isn’t clear!

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