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Almost two years now and what have I learned from blogging?

By Pelf Nyok

I started blogging in October 2005, in what started as an experiment to see whether I would be able to sustain the enthusiasm long enough to take it seriously. Back when I did not know what blogging was all about, I was constantly worried about publishing a post on a daily basis, and whether I had enough materials to blog about.

But blogging is addictive. Not only have I managed to blog consistently throughout the years, I have never grown tired of it and I am always blog-hopping to learn more about blogging. Blogging, like writing and learning, has become a part of me that I am proud of.

To me, blogging is about constant learning, improving and sharing. I have learned so much from blogging in the last 22 months that I have forgotten what I used to do before I started blogging!

To put it simply, I have learned that blogging:

  • is all about learning. The moment I picked up blogging, I have never stopped learning about how things work, how to MAKE things work, what to do if things refused to work, and who to go to for help to make it work.
  • is about expressing yourself. You may have the best story to tell but if you cannot express yourself well, that story is as good as never been told.
  • is also about broadcasting. I have learned to use blogging as a medium to spread awareness on a lot of causes that need our attention, e.g. help save our seahorses. I have learned that people are more inclined to chip in to whatever causes we are promoting as long as we are passionate about it. It is also about reaching out to people and making friends along the way.
  • as well as blog-hopping, have changed the way I think and look at things. It has taught me to look before I jump, and that if I jump into something blindly, chances are things will not work out the way I want them to.
  • is entertaining and very satisfying. Perhaps it’s the same good feeling doctors feel after a successful operation?

So what about YOU? How long have you been blogging? What are the most important things that you have learned since then?


Pelf Nyok, the author of pelf-ism is contagious, is a grad-student who is trying to save the turtles, the environment and humankind. Charity, conservation and volunteerism are subjects that are very close to her heart. You may subscribe to pelf-ism is contagious via the RSS Feed.

13 Comments

  1. Posted August 8, 2007 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The fact that blogging is an ever expanding classroom is a very good point. The learning never stops with a blog. If you aren’t learning about how to blog, you are learning about finding content. Then you learn about how to run the blog, how to design it, and how to improve the design.

    At some point, you realize blogs are about communications, so you work on improving your communications skills. As you go, your writing skills improve. Then marketing, advertising, branding, and more lessons on technology. Then back to the core: writing good content.

    You are so right. Blogging is non-stop education.

    Do they offer degrees in blogging yet? :D

  2. Posted August 8, 2007 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been blogging since Feb. 2006 and I’ve learned a lot.

    I discovered I could make friends.
    I discovered I had something to say that people were drawn too.
    I discovered myself.

    I have taken blogging breaks on occasion. It lets me see from a different perspective.

  3. Posted August 8, 2007 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    “Do they offer degrees in blogging yet?” Oh, they just might. It’d need to be a whole course on blogging platforms (WordPress all the way!), RSS, SEO, CSS, writing, monetizing, and all that. :)

    Since I started blogging a few months ago, it helps keep me in the habit of writing every day. In order to keep it updated with useful information, I have to focus and keep learning new things.

    It encourages me to pay more attention to the world around me.

    It’s also starting to teach me the importance of developing a routine.

  4. Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I learned that blogging can be a wonderful outlet. I also learned that vindictive people will use their blog for malice, sprouting lies and anything they think can hurt another bloggers reputation. But, you’re right blogging is non-stop education and you have to take the unpleasant things about blogging with the good.

  5. Posted August 9, 2007 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Blogging has greatly improved my communication skills and my ability to create and develop trust with my clients.

    Blogging has also tremendously improved my ability to learn and research information (I’ve discovered this blog searching for ways to improve my blogging skills). I’ve posted a long time ago (relative to my blog) about the fact that teaching is the best way to learn. As most of my posts are about helping my clients and visitors in their professional life (using my services or not), my knowledge in those areas has expanded exponentially and I’m more efficient in my own work each day.

    But most of all, blogging has developed my curiosity, my self-motivation and my confidence that I can go way up my comfort zone and develop new services and products.

    Sorry that blogging has not improved my English writing ability… for now (I’m blogging in French).

  6. Posted August 9, 2007 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    I’ve been blogging since January 2005.

    I’ve learned that it is ok to change my approach when it comes to blogging if I’m unhappy with it. Before I started writing online, I kept journals. The last journal I had had been my pregnancy journal. I wrote in that every single day.

    I got tired of writing and really didn’t have the time after my daughter was born, so I decided to move on to an online blog. I could type much faster than I can write.

    My blog has evolved. It went from writing exclusively about my daughter and veganism, to include the many areas of my life that I’m passionate about. What I found difficult was making it appealing to others. I still had the mindset of “personal journal.”

    I’ve taken a few breaks from blogging and those were right when I made changes in the my blog and this time, although I’m going through changes, I’ve included my readers in the discussion so they can see the changes, and they have also contributed to what they would like to see on the blog.

    My next major change is using my own name for my domain name. I purchased the name months ago and have wanted to change it for several months. I’ll be doing that within the next few months.

    Will I give up blogging? It’s highly unlikely I always have something to write about.

  7. Posted August 9, 2007 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Lorelle: Yeah, the learning never stops, and we are constantly trying to improve ourselves and our blogs. And I’d really love to see the day blogging is offered as a degree!

    Brian: Blogging breaks are definitely good. You go out in the sun and take pictures and eat ice creams, and when you return to your desk, you’d have a surge of inspiration and new blogging materials :)

    Neely: Apparently, blogging can also discipline oneself :)

    Rose: Yes, nothing is bad until one misuses it. We see blogging as an outlet to express ourselves, our creativity, our writing skills, and we use blogging as a means of communicating with other people. But only “bad” people will use blogging to cause harm onto other people.

    Laurent: I am so glad that blogging has helped you in your business. And your command of English is very good :)

    Opal: I understand what you meant by “difficult to make it appealing to others” because I’ve been through that myself. But it’s also important to realize and understand that all of us have our own priorities. Whatever we deem important may not seem so to another blogger.

  8. Posted August 9, 2007 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I agree with you. I guess I should have said “make it appealing to others who don’t think as I do”. Here I’m thinking of veganism.

    I had a lot of vegan readers but not too many people who weren’t vegan. These days the majority who comment are not vegan. The same is going on at my food blog and that is all I talk about vegan food.

    Although that is all I write about, I rarely say “oh by the way this food is vegan”. I’d definitely still write about veganism — it’s something I feel strongly about, but the approach I use is a lot different and that has made a huge difference into the people I’ve reached.

  9. Posted August 9, 2007 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I’ve been blogging for a little more than a year now. The most important thing I’ve learned is that there is a really strong community of bloggers out there — many different communities — and the best way to get heard is to find where your niche is.

    That being said, I’m niche-less. I’m actually on my third blog, the scattershot, amorphous blog that for whatever reason, is the one that’s gotten me the most feedback.

    Someone else mentioned discipline. One of the main reasons I blog is because I’m a truly undisciplined writer. It motivates me.

  10. Posted August 9, 2007 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Opal: I’ve also learned that as long as we blog about a certain subject passionately, our readers will come by soon :) You’re going a great job with your vegan sites, so I’m sure your efforts will bear fruits in the future!

    Kathy: If I’m not mistaken, blogging used to be “niche-less”. It used to be “the” way most people talk about themselves, their lives, their thoughts and everything personal. OK, perhaps “personal” is also considered a niche. But these days, talk about niche and you’re most likely to hear about money-making schemes! I digress.

    And yeah, I’m glad blogging motivates you and keep you disciplined (just like it does me)!

  11. Posted August 10, 2007 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    - I can help people out. One of the most satisfying things I’ve found with blogging isn’t a hit or an adsense click, it’s a simple comment of “thank you, that worked for me”.
    – Other people can help me out. Write about a problem, ask your question, and people will come and help you. For free. Out of kindness. I like that.

  12. Posted August 13, 2007 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had blogs with various different services for several years, although those older blogs were probably more about testing out the blog provider features and less about actually blogging. The blog I have now has been around for a few months.

    Blogging to me is all about adding your own voice. Sometimes I get caught up in reading other blog posts or observing interesting things that I forget to express these musings in my own blog and suddenly find that I haven’t posted in a while. Slowly but surely, I’m learning to add my voice.

    Glad your experiment turned into a passion!

  13. Posted August 13, 2007 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    graeme: In this “era” where everything has a price tag, it feels very heart-warming that some people do take time to express their appreciation, heh? And it’s this simple act of acknowledging your assistance is what makes you continue doing what you’re doing, no? :)

    Judith: Oh yes, blogging IS about voicing our feelings and musings and thoughts, I do that once in a while too :) And it’s therapeutic as well :)


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