If I were to ask you what is attractive about self improvement through blogging, how would you respond?
Let’s break that question down a bit to what is attractive about self improvement?
Role Playing Games
You will know if you like the outcome of self improvement if you like playing Role Playing Games or RPGs as they are otherwise known.
Role Playing Games require development of your character, sometimes through statistics, sometimes through the equipment or weaponry they carry. You start off weak and weedy as a character but then progress up the chain to a capable unit, capable of taking on much bigger tasks. On that journey your character develops uniquely, you favour some ways of doing things over others and you have an individual capable of greatness standing before you.
What about Blogging?
Blogging has a vast number of skill sets. A person looking on the outside who has never tried their hand at blogging will be unaware of the complexity under the surface that goes into making a successful blog.
A blog is not just the sum of its articles.
Whether you blog for money or personal enjoyment the same fact is true; you seek an audience.
Which skill sets are improved?
With Blogging the predominant skill set is fairly obvious.
As you grow as a writer you learn more skills in writing, whatever language you favour. You hone your craft of presenting your ideas in a conversational manner. You learn to seek out the key points and summarise your work more effectively thus cutting the fluff and keeping it simple. You do this to allow the reader to skim more effectively. You become a reader pleaser.
But writing is just the tip of the iceberg!
- Art and Presentation
Blog posts are nothing without images. With this you have two options. Search out those that you can use without getting into trouble or create something yourself. You have to have an eye for what you are looking for and have to present it in a good way. You might end up learning techniques in software you haven’t used before and this will make you grow.
Photography sits as a skill in its own right but does fall as a sub category of art. You may choose to follow this path to supplement the visual content you need to produce for your articles. This skill may be required if your product is something you can take a picture of and show off. Pictures of high quality, well taken and relevant, are of high value.
Moving on a step from photography, the moving image may be required if you plan to produce tutorials, have conversations or otherwise present your authority, product or service. You may need to intertwine some of the other art, presentation and photography skills you have used before. You will learn many techniques including improving your oratory skill, the ability to make speeches to others.
- Social networking
In order to publicise your work and get traffic to it other than from search engines, you will have to engage in social networking. It is not even a question. You will have to do it. You will learn how to exploit ways of publicising by simply having conversations, by engaging with others, and by helping people. My article on the Social Path to Blogging covers more on this.
Of course Social networking comes in many flavours. It is a very diverse skill set. You will be presented with more than just one type of core activity. On some sites visual stimulus carries more weight than words and vice versa. You have to find what social site works best for you and strategise around how you capitalise on a competitive advantage.
- Marketing and PR
Your blog is a window to the world. Blog Prefect, on day of writing, has citizens from 27 countries who have viewed this content. You will nurture public relations through the use of your new Social networking skillset and hopefully the better you are at performing social networking, the better you’ll be at public relations. Of course if you are selling via your blog you may need to employ Marketing as a skill. Here you are likely to learn many sub skills such as Copy Writing, presenting endorsements from others, producing quality advertising, leveraging your publishing network and more besides.
Generally you will need to schedule and strategise how you will go about launching your content, when it will be marketed, and what you will do to cope with the results of your campaign. Planning is an intrinsic component to any blog that has intent. Otherwise you become a shotgun writer.
There are countless other skill sets that you may or may not improve as a side effect of producing your blog. If you are writing on a niche topic like baking cakes, you will undoubtedly learn better techniques in order to decorate your cakes to improve how they look for the camera.
Often these skill sets diversify and branch off into uncharted territory.
Returning to the question
What is attractive about self improvement through blogging?
There is a journey that many people embark upon when blogging. It can have ups and downs and a blogger will write about both. There are not many overnight successes. Everything requires effort. Part of the fun is learning about how to get there, the other part is seeing the results.
Part of the attraction is the frustration
The saying goes that:
Nothing is worth having if it was easy
You can get a great sense of achievement out of something that didn’t come easy because invariably you will learn more and grow more. Easy wins are never as fruitful as hard fought ones. You remember the demanding wins far more than the landslide victory.
You may find, like I have, that certain areas that you feel should be easy, are not. I’m talking about Facebook and Twitter in particular. I’ve struggled with both and found them to be draining on my resources. I abandoned the buildup of those target zones for Google+ and in doing so have probably missed the richest communities of people who want to read about what I’m writing. I hold my hands up to that.
I have said no to 1 billion people.
Twitter presents a dirge of information, a lot of it useless and mindless. Connecting with the right people is hard unless you cheat and those people often tend to be fickle. Twitter is supposedly the big gun in the arsenal but I scratch my head with it but at least I have some forward momentum.
Facebook is less successful but part of why I struggle with it is because I’m offput by polluting my posting circle with my precious blog. I don’t want certain people knowing what I’m up to. I generally have more colleagues than friends on my personal Facebook. The Community page I created for blogprefect is a dead loss and I’ve given up. So, why haven’t I created a business profile instead?
It goes against what Yogi bear has told me.
You’ll never fail if you never give up!
I should listen to Yogi more. He’s right!
Getting past the frustration is so very relieving in the end. Once you get that light bulb or that one lucky hit. It all changes. You feel like a winner! No matter how you got there, what tips and tricks you had to exploit, what stones you had to turn. Even if you had to technically cheat, you got there.
That in turn builds you as a person. Strengthens you. That is what is attractive about self improvement through blogging. That challenge is always there.
What is attractive about self improvement through blogging? Can you answer that? What are your thoughts?