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Blogging 101 : What has blogging taught me?

by Kiran on December 1, 2011 · 32 comments

in Social Media

Over the course of 4 years, I’ve received countless emails and requests on how & why I chose to blog and what it has taught me. There’s numerous and lessons to learn about blogging, so I am breaking this into series of post. Just too much to share.

Come on, let’s learn together, shall we?

What has blogging taught me?

Planning.

With every career or any decision making process, there should be loads of planning involved. Let me tell you one thing – blogging is not a joke. It’s a job and requires a lot of time, planning, patience and continued hard work. So whoever advised you the otherwise, well, isn’t a blogger in my opinion. It’s not easy – heck nothing is easy in life. Blogging is truly tough. There’s a lot that goes behind the scenes. Planning, creative writing, photo shoot, editing etc. It’s a huge challenge and sacrifice. So you’ve got to ask yourself, are you up for this challenge? How much time are you willing to put aside for blogging?

Self-motivation.

 

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I’ve learnt a huge lesson into blogging – it’s a medium of motivation, at least for me. I’ve struggled almost whole of my life trying to perfect my grammar, composition etc. After all, I was born and brought up in a Muslim dominated country where every subject (except English language) was taught in it’s national language, Bahasa Malaysia. Though its still a struggle to write up a blog post, but I can proudly say that blogging has definitely shaped my English learning skills.

You’ve got to ask yourself a lot of questions, and one of it is ” What motivates me to blog?”

Establishing Niche & Goals.

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Initially, I begin blogging to keep in touch with our families back home. Phone calls, Skype and emails were never enough. Photos usually tells a better story :) From a personal blog, I ventured into being a recipe developer and a photographer. Content has to be tantalizing and has its own niche. Establish what you love writing about and tackle your niche. There’s nothing worse that writing anything and everything under the sun. Not every reader would appreciate reading “everything” about your life. The key is figuring out your niche.

With a finance background, writing is definitely a change in career. I am comfortable with writing at the moment and see myself pursuing more freelance opportunity in this field. That being said, hopefully I would land something permanent soon that would help shape my new career. In other words, blogging has definitely made me think a lot more about what I need or love to do. Begin as a hobby, have fun and don’t expect too much ($$$) out of it unless you are motivated to work hard.

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Note: I am not making any significant amount of money out of blogging. At the moment, I am just enjoying what I’m doing.

Quality & Discipline.

Blogging involves having a set time-table. Reader’s would truly appreciate when to expect new post. It’s an area I am still finding hard to cope, but learning along the way. It is important to note that in order to be successful in the blogging world, it requires determination and the ability to produce quality content – all the time. I am not saying I am a perfectionist, but this is what I’ve learnt and observed.

Acceptance.

Let’s face it, blogging isn’t a cake walk. It involves a lot of your precious time without initial monetary reward. If you walk into blogging with only the idea of making money, this may not be for you. I begin it as a hobby and from there on, saw my blog thriving into more than a money making machine. I’ve also accepted the fact that blogging is a 2-way street. Without my readers’ continued support and comments, it realistic to think that I wouldn’t be blogging diligently.

Responsibility.

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I love USA for it’s freedom of speech. Having said that, I wouldn’t abuse that freedom by having an altered ego. Always do the right thing, first time. Never leave a bad impression. After all, this is YOUR BLOG & BRAND. You wouldn’t want to leave traces on the Internet that would be harmful to your future career. That includes having a tight leach on your social networking profiles. Think before writing.

Marketing.

Let’s face it – without marketing, there’s a very slim chance your blog would be read by anyone. Content has to be tantalizing and has its own niche. Publish your content on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon etc. Subscribe to blogs that shares similar niche. Blogging is like any other job. There’s a lot of learning curve if you want to continue in this path. So, be prepared to put in a lot of hours & hard work – that includes commenting on other blogs. Of course, mindless comments won’t cut it. In order to attract more readers, comment has to be thoughtful and intelligent.

Socializing/Networking.

Being a blogger is definitely not easy. Glued most of my time in front of a laptop rather than an office, definitely has it’s own setbacks. My problem of socializing and networking definitely went away as soon as I begin venturing into local events. The key is to go out there and brand your blog. No one else is better to brand it than yourself. While you are at it, might as well make new friends in the same field. That way, you would definitely have buddies sharing similar interest and not feel left out or awkward trying to fit in this new world.

Appreciate.

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It won’t hurt to appreciate your readers who spent a lot of their precious time visiting your blog. Take time to write them a thank you email, reply to their comments/questions, conduct some giveaway as a token of appreciation :)

Though blogging can be challenging, it’s a fun medium to connect with people from around the world. The key is continued learning, hard work and stay motivated!

If you are a blogger, please do share what has blogging taught you? And as a reader, what do you expect from bloggers and blogging in general?

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Saru Singhal December 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Best and most fun post on blogging ever. I commented on your photoblog in the morning saying, you rock;)

Blogging is all about saying what you feel from heart. If you are a honest writer/blogger, you will rule the world.

And, I so love all the cartoons…:)

Happy Blogging!!!

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2 Kiran December 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Saru,
Thank you so much honey — you made my day as soon as I saw this comment and over on my photoblog! You rock too! And I mean it :)

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3 Destination Infinity December 1, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Blogging is a wonderful medium to learn as it offers different perspectives. When I started to blog, there were more debates in the blogosphere and it helped me learn about different perspectives and point of views. Blogging actually reformed by thought process. These days people just say , ‘Nice post’, ‘Great writing’, etc. which is actually against the spirit of Blogging. I wish we start having more debates in the blogosphere – c’mon people, this is not the real world!!!

Destination Infinity
Destination Infinity recently posted..A Simple and Effective method to Stop Corruption among Politicians – Lok Janpal Bill

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4 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 2:23 AM

DI,
I digress about blogging not being the real world. There’s tons of blogging genre’s out there — yes, some of it is actually made or trying to make a difference in our lives. Anyone is free to choose what they are comfortable blogging about. No one can demand for discussions unless, individually, we aren’t prepare to have one ourselves :)

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5 Divy!a Vikram December 1, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I agree with you creating your own brand and making your blog a niche would do the cut.. Happy blogging

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6 Katherine Martinelli December 2, 2011 at 6:41 AM

I love this new series and completely agree with everything you said! Couldn’t have said it better myself :-) Thanks for a great post.

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7 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 2:24 AM

Katherine,
Oh, thanks honey — I am so glad you loved reading this series :)

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8 Dhiraj Shenoy December 2, 2011 at 6:58 AM

To add , it will probably act as cure to our amnesia.
Dhiraj Shenoy recently posted..Muktesvara Temple – Chaudayyadanapura

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9 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 2:25 AM

Dhiraj,
Cure to insomnia? Wow! I don’t take blogging that seriously, ya know? :D

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10 Dhiraj Shenoy December 6, 2011 at 5:51 AM

Kiranji , its not Insomnia , it is amnesia (memory loss disorder) .
Dhiraj Shenoy recently posted..Lizards

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11 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Aare yaar.. sorry for the mishaps. Did not read it properly :D

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12 sujatha sathya December 2, 2011 at 9:55 AM

about the language thing: your English is really good – grammar, flow, clarity, composition. So i was surprised to read about the Malay schooling part of it

this post has come at the right time. i’ve been blog surfing only since the past 5 months & getting disillusioned that some treat blogging as a joke.
the background work that goes into a post, the amount of thinking time involved – its astounding. sad that many don’t realize it & abuse not only others’ spaces but also this medium.

yes a constant check on our real motivation for blogging is a must do.
sujatha sathya recently posted..Love to Hate You

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13 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Sujatha,
Dear, you are always way too kind with comments. Thank you so much, it made my day :D
Trust me when I say this, “my English truly sucks!” :D But thanks once again for the vote of confidence.

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14 Bikram December 2, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Blogging has really changed a part of my life and i cant thank enough this lovely person who showed me the world of blogging.
I have met so many beautiful people .. and I have enjoyed all my time here reading others , learning so much new each day .. and offcouse boring all including you will all that I write :)

all the best and wishing you many many more years to blogging
Bikram recently posted..Mera Dost :- Babbar

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15 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Bikram,
Thanks buddy, glad to think that blogging truly can be a positive motivation in everyone’s life. It’s how the way you perceive it, that matters the most :)

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16 carolinaheartstrings December 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Love this post. So full of great advice. Thank you!!!! Come visit us. You will love the dress we are giving away from The Shabby Apple. Perfect for holiday parties. Come over and register to win.
carolinaheartstrings recently posted..SHABBY APPLE GIVEAWAY!

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17 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 4:17 PM

CHS,
Thank you so much! I must head over for the giveaway!! OMG, hopefully I didn’t miss it ;)

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18 Kumar Bibek December 3, 2011 at 2:11 AM

Nice tips. Surely, a great piece for people like me. :) Thanks.
Kumar Bibek recently posted..Flower chor!! Flower chor!!

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19 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Kumar,
Welcome to Chatterbox and thanks for commenting :)

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20 Aathira December 3, 2011 at 7:45 AM

I very strongly believe in the marketing bit that you said. Another great thing to kick off a blog is great design! You might have a great blog, great content, but unless its all backed with even greater design and marketing, its one of the many pages on the web… thats about it.
Aathira recently posted..Crochet Baby Sweater

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21 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Aathira,
Ditto about the designing bit — I wanted to cover that subject in another blog post. Hows the little one doing? :)

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22 Dev December 4, 2011 at 12:40 AM

Very interesting ans entertaining post. My 5 years of blogging have taught me to be consistent. Consistent to continue a thing for so many years. :-)
Dev recently posted..What a lizard taught me about letting it go

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23 Kiran December 6, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Dev,
Thanks for liking this post — I agree with you about the important of consistency. I am still learning how to cope it though :)

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24 Gayatri December 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Great post Kiran. Blogging has taught me that everyone has a story to tell and each one is as beautiful as it is unique. Even though I’ve only been blogging for a few months and don’t want to make a career out of it, I absolutely enjoy doing it.
Gayatri recently posted..Munch Bunch 5 – Thirty Minute Meals

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25 Kiran December 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Gayatri,
So glad you are enjoying blogging — and you do a very good job at it! Now, off you go and have fun on your vacation :)

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26 Nami | Just One Cookbook December 9, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I usually go check your recipe but today I stopped by here and started to read. I admire you maintain such wonderful blogs… I am struggling with just one blog! Thanks for the great post and it was fun to read. I started blogging this year and it looks like there are a lot to learn in this world!
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Matcha and White Chocolate Truffles – Guest Post By With a Glass

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27 Kiran December 19, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Nami,
Thank you so much for dropping into my blog :)

I am also finding it very hard to maintain 3 blogs — it’s like writing for 3 different niches. Le sigh.

Though you are writing a food blog, you are putting so much effort churning out great contents on a weekly basis — with a family, and jammed packed schedule, I admire your consistency and quality writing :) You’ve done such a good job in only one year!

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28 Tanvi December 26, 2011 at 11:20 PM

So true!!! I can totally relate to it ALL! :)

♡ from © tanvii.com
Tanvi recently posted..Mix & Match (XIII) & Happy Holidays!

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29 Reema March 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM

great post!! But the mutual courtesy involved in blogging has gone down the drain..I have been a bad blogger as in I have not replied to comments on my blog since a long time but I have been a faithful reader and commentor but people just dont reciprocate and value the time and effort I put in even after being on a blogging break and having a reader bursting of unread posts!
Reema recently posted..Bangalore Chronicle

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