The Benefits Of Blogging

by Leviana Coccia

I started blogging in 2008. I was in the first year of my undergraduate degree and one of my assignments was to create a blog and write a post once a week. Soon, this blog that started as a tedious class assignment was teaching me how to write for online audiences while also allowing me to try different writing styles, explore and educate myself on different topics. In time, this blog became a personal diary of my journey through university, until I eventually wanted to move on to more professional things. To which I started educating myself on how to create a more professional looking site by using online resources such as video guides (click here to watch an example) and other tutorials available.

In June 2013, I launched a blog after returning from a trip to western Canada. It is all about being a 20-something: living and learning from the perspective of us Millennials.

In the last eight years, I have learned much about what it is I enjoy writing (success stories – when “success” is defined by the person who has succeeded, inspirational people who beat to their own drums, breaking stereotypes, etc.) and most importantly, I have learned an abundance about me. I like looking at pictures of fashion trends, but do not enjoy writing about them, and I love writing sassy event reviews. I am passionate about giving people the chance to have their voice heard.

Here is my take on the benefits of blogging:

Express yourself

Have you just read a really intense article or watched something online that makes everything inside you cringe? Do you want to do something more than just send an email? Ask questions. Research. Write. Get both sides of the story and then present your opinion. Vent, but with class. To be or not to be the rant blogger, that is up to you, but when you put fingers to a keyboard, magic can happen when passion is involved.

Release frustrations, decrease anxiety

Did someone at work make a comment about you or a family member tell you to lose weight? Did a friend tackle an issue with insensitivity? Write about the fact that not every 20-something expects easy success. Discuss body positivity and how every shape is beautiful. Write about emotions and feelings. When we feel anxious, the anxiety will grow and grow until we turn it into something positive.

Improve writing skills while you are blogging

If I read a blog post of mine from 2008, I cringe. Yet, when I read something from last week, I feel a sense of pride. I am sure in eight years from now when I read a piece by me from 2015, I will have to close my eyes but the point is this: The more you write, the more your writing skills will improve. There is no better way to learn than by doing!

Develop web skills for future jobs

Just searching for a job requires minimal online skills. When blogging, you will boost your web ability. When I started, I had absolutely no idea what VPS hosting meant. Nowadays, I know you can get VPS hosting from Certa Hosting and loads of other web hosting companies.

It does not just stop at VPS hosting either, I know that there is a lot more that you can get when it comes to hosting, and it is not something that people should forget about. So if you are planning on getting a web hosting company for your blog, then make sure you get the right one for you. Why not check out someone like this best website hosting canada company?

Throughout my years of blogging, I have learned so much about online privacy and security that I would never have been able to understand otherwise. For instance, do you know how important it is to use a server when hosting your website? If you are curious about how using a server could benefit you, you can learn more by doing some research into Seedbox hosting. However, a server is basically a computer that can process requests and deliver data to another computer over the internet or a local network. A common type of server is a web server where web pages can be accessed over the internet through a client like a web browser.

Whatever you decide though, the decision is up to you. I am still not the best with graphic design and I know I need to work on that, but I can operate a basic WordPress website with my eyes closed. If I can learn a bit more about web design, I would love to work for a local web development company one day. I’ve worked with a few web design companies in the past and I’m always super impressed by the work they provide. It’s always been a dream of mine and I feel like due to my blog, it’s achievable for me. I love using WordPress and I find it very easy to use too. It is great to know what a dedicated server and a virtual server is thanks to using something like www.hostiserver.com.

It has taken eight years of trial and error, and I am sure the trying will only continue, but I have learned how to embed videos, group photos, add social media links to the main site and write for online. I have learned the importance of the time a post is published, as well as how to moderate comments. These are skills we can take with us to a job interview – and we don’t necessarily need a degree or diploma in web development (though, learning about creating online content in an academic setting is something that is definitely on my to-do list).

Build your brand

Having yourself known in the creative industry is all about building your personal brand. Whether that means having your own creative project to sync everything with or simply creating an online portfolio with a theme similar to your resume layout, building your brand is how people recognise you. It is how they will know to find you in a sea of other creative personalities and professionals. Having a blog can either be an extension of your brand or can actually BE your brand.

Build a following

When you build a brand for yourself – whether personally, professionally or both – the consistency in what you produce will attract and retain followers. If you are trying to sell something – services or products – people will become familiar with what you produce and hopefully stick around to see what else you can provide. The same goes for those of us not hoping to sell anything, but rather develop professionally online. We become recognisable and that gets people talking.

Improve social media skills

Like “word of mouth,” which often spreads like wildfire, “word of social media,” shares what we produce on our blogs with friends, family and their friends and family. Not everything you write will go viral. Some posts might get one view but the point is you have created a convenient outlet where people can go to access your blog in one quick click, as opposed to scrolling through an ocean of posts. Perhaps you have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for your blog, or maybe you just have YouTube. Whatever social media strategy you choose, make it work for what you are offering because it will allow you to improve your social media skills. If you find that you are having issues building an online following and expanding your reach on your various social media platforms, you may want to think about looking into a company similar to SidesMedia that can help you reach your target audience. Always take the time to try new things, and if that includes trying your hand at other platforms, then that is what you should do. For example, TikTok could be the perfect place to help you to brush up on your video creating skills, and you could even look into getting some followers in the process. Sites like KamaDevayoga.com has this guide that you can read to see how you can increase your following. Small things like learning how to create a video could go a long way in helping your blog, as well as your understanding of social media. A social media strategy will help you to learn how to schedule posts, learn that posts with photos are viewed more times than those without and learn that embedding videos is always a win.

Network

We have heard it once, we have heard it twice, we have heard it probably more than 100 times but the most important part in being successful is building your bank of connections. How to do that? Networking. LinkedIn is a great tool but having a blog – or an online portfolio – is something you can offer your connections to see what it is you can produce and just how good you are at all those skills for which you have been endorsed.

Your online presence is an extension of you. How do you choose to reflect your brand on the Internet?

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