Blogging is great fun and a really worthwhile thing to do if you want to share your interests with the world and find a community of like-minded people. That’s what I was looking to do three-and-a-half years ago when I set up this website, but I could never have foreseen the many other benefits.
In fact, one of the biggest benefits I’ve found from blogging is the skills I’ve learnt or developed, many of which now come in useful in other areas of my life, and can even be put on my CV to enhance my job prospects.
So here are 5 skills I’ve improved through blogging:
- My writing.
I’ve always loved writing: I’ve been making up my own stories since I was a young child and first discovered a love of books. However, I hadn’t done much non-fiction writing other than formal essays at school, and college, and eventually university.
And that’s where I think blogging comes in useful: it allows you to write informally, as yourself, and really develop your ‘voice’ as a writer, which in my opinion is invaluable. It also forces you to write regularly, giving you loads of practice and developing your vocabulary and ability to express yourself, which is transferable to any kind of writing you do.
I’ve definitely noticed my level of writing improve across the board since I started blogging, from my fiction writing to my non-fiction, and this blog has provided me with plenty of writing samples for when I’ve been trying to pick up freelance writing work (it’s even landed me real life job interviews!).
- My photography.
I had an interest in photography before I started blogging, and even owned a DSLR camera that I had never invested the time in to learn about the different settings. However, when I started blogging I soon realised that a great image can transform a post, and seeing other bloggers incredible images spurred me on to want to learn, and become the best photographer I could.
I’m still not exactly an expert, but when I look back at some of the earlier pictures on this blog and then some of the later ones I can definitely see a big improvement. Plus I really seem to have found my style recently (bright backgrounds, and slanted angles!)!
- My social media skills.
As an extremely introverted person, prior to blogging I was completely clueless about social media (even talking to internet people is scary!). The only social network I was a part of was Facebook, and my account was slowly gathering dust in the recesses of the internet, rarely updated, or even logged into.
However, it quickly became clear when I started blogging that the ‘build it, and they will come’ attitude just doesn’t work. You need to be out there, commenting on other blogs, as well as promoting your posts and interacting with others on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
I’m still not great with social media – I’m still really nervous actually talking to anyone on Twitter, for example! – but compared to how I was before, there’s been a vast improvement! And I really would like to start putting more effort into it, particular accounts like my Instagram and Pinterest, and developing my skills even more.
- My ability to shape my thoughts into words.
Does anyone else have the problem of knowing what they want to say in their heads, but being unable to express it with words, whether that’s verbally or in writing? That’s always been a big problem for me, but through writing a lot of book reviews, and discussion posts, I’ve found that it happens to me less and less.
I struggled a lot initially with reviews, because I’d never actually sat down and thought about why I did or didn’t like a book: I just had a ‘feeling’ about the book, whether it was good or negative. Having to actually explain that feeling in words so that other people can understand it was definitely a learning curve, but I think that I’m so much better at it now. And that’s definitely a skill that is transferable to the real world!
- My confidence.
I don’t know if you’d necessarily call confidence a skill, but I definitely feel like it’s something that blogging has really helped me work on. I’ve always been very shy and not overly confident, and especially around the time I started this blog I was at a pretty low place, confidence-wise, what with having just graduated university and learnt that a great job wasn’t just going to fall into my lap. I was constantly being rejected for jobs, and struggling to know what I wanted to do with my life, so I started blogging as a creative outlet to help me through it, and it turned out to be so much more than I could have anticipated!
Putting myself out there by publishing my writing on the internet and inviting comments was a huge deal for me, as was commenting on other blogs and interacting with people on social media. But as time has gone on I’ve become so much more comfortable with it, and it really is a confidence builder when you find yourself part of a wonderful, super friendly community!
So I’d love to know, what skills have you developed through blogging? What have you learnt since you started your blog?