Thursday 1 November 2018

The benefits of blogging

I recently hit 300,000 views on this little blog of mine, which is a tiny drop in the ocean to some people but honestly makes me so proud – this blog is my baby, and I put so much effort into running it day in, day out. To know that people keep coming back to read my posts is so special to me. I wanted to write something to commemorate this little milestone, so I thought I’d put together a post about the benefits of blogging. Especially in the mainstream media, bloggers and blogging can get a bit of a bad rap but to me, the good far outweighs the bad. So let me tell you ‘bout that…

Blogging has allowed me to continuously improve my writing skills; I’ve always been able to write, but without my blog I wouldn’t have that much need to do so in my everyday life. I would love to one day make a career out of writing, so having this blog allows me to stop my ability slowing down or disappearing altogether. I can write tongue-in-cheek posts, informative reviews, witty-captioned photos diaries and serious posts, too. I love to write, so thanks for reading my blog and making sure I’m not just writing for nobody!

There is a massive sense of community in the ‘blogosphere’. There are, of course, arguments like there is in every microcosm – get a huge bunch of very different people together who have just one thing in common and there’s bound to be disagreements, bitching and snide remarks but for the most part, it’s a nice place to be. People are happy to share your posts with their own followers, retweet your affiliate links, spread the word about your fundraiser. For example, the lovely Shona was raising money to get a new power chair and the blogging community shared that Go Fund Me ‘til our fingers nearly fell off. And she got it! If you need advice, there’s always someone who’s gone through it before, willing to help you out or just be there for you. That’s pretty cool, if you ask me.

The opportunities blogging can bring are phenomenal: I’ve worked on ad campaigns with McDonalds, Arriva, Panasonic – some of the biggest names in the biz. I’ve collaborated with Urban Decay, Vendula, Penguin Books, companies I use and love and who want me to write about them. Through my blog I’ve been offered freelance writing work, the chance to go down to London and shoot a promotional video with Superdrug, a one-time hosting spot on BBC Newsbeat. All because I write things on this website and people care about what I have to say. Amazing.

I have learnt SO many new skills because of my blog, too. When I first started writing posts on here I didn’t know what a domain authority was, let alone how to improve one. I didn’t know about broken links or SEO or do-follow links; I’d never heard of alt tags and genuinely didn’t know you could schedule social media posts in advance. My photos used to be dark and blurry, and while they’re nothing special now at least you can see what the image is supposed to be. If you’d asked me a few years ago to plan and host a meet up (with goody bags, a raffle, games and activities) for 30 bloggers from all around the North West, I’d probably have laughed in your face. But I’ve done it a couple of times, once even on my own. And people didn’t hate it!

Blogging can also be a way of raising awareness of a variety of issues: cultural appropriation, the gender pay gap, our need to do more to save our planet. There are people all over the world writing informative posts about really important topics, starting a discussion, kicking off a conversation that might ultimately lead to a change in attitudes. The internet is a place where you can easily learn about anything, and blogs play a huge part in that. Good job, fellow blogger pals.

So you see, blogging has it’s benefits. It’s something that has entirely changed my life, which might sound dramatic but I’ve done so many cool things and met so many amazing people which wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t started this blog four years ago. If you’re thinking of starting a blog, just do it! There’ll always be someone there to answer your questions if you get stuck, and it might just be the best thing you ever do.

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