5 Skills I’ve Improved Through Blogging

09/04/2018 Blogging, Discussions 24

5 Skills I've Improved Through Blogging

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. Three-and-a-half years ago when I set up this website, all I wanted to do was get my message out there and share my story with the world, 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?

24 Responses to “5 Skills I’ve Improved Through Blogging”

  1. Angela

    What a great post, Laura! I think blogging has made me more outgoing, I’m more willing to put myself out there and talk to people. I think it has probably helped my writing, too, since I’m writing way more than I ever did. I do still need to boost up my social media, though!

    • Laura

      Iโ€™m glad youโ€™ve got so much out of blogging too! Blogging has definitely helped me be more outgoing too, and Iโ€™m so much more comfortable putting myself out there now.
      It really is great that we can do something fun like blogging and get so much out of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    One of the things learned is scheduling.. or trying to keep a schedule of sorts. I used to post any time I feel like it, but now I have a schedule and try to stick to it. I have stuck to it for about 85% of the time, which is awesome!

    I have been blogging for over 11 years now, and I learned how to maintain my blog (even the backend part) and I actually self-host my blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura

      My scheduling is definitely something I could do with improving! Iโ€™ve tried to stick to a schedule several times and always end up slipping.
      And wow, 11 years of blogging is amazing! Itโ€™s great that youโ€™ve learnt about maintaining your blog. Thatโ€™s so useful to be able to do yourself! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Elley the Book Otter

    Confidence is totally a skill, because it’s something you can improve with practice? I’d love to improve my photography, but my “camera” is just my cell phone and there is really only so much you can do with a cell phone… I have enjoyed the creative aspects of bookstagram/Instagram, and it’s fun finding way to incorporate elements from the book into the photo. Yesterday I was reading “A Match Made in Bed” and myself a note to include pearls and open books in the photo for this one, because those are major signatures of the MC. I’ve also gotten a lot more active in social media since I started blogging, dusting off my Twitter and starting an Instagram account. And I completely agree with blogging improving your writing skills, especially what you said about being able to write in (and in some cases FIND) your own “voice.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura

      You are a little more limited using a phone camera, but I’ve still seen some amazing pictures people have got on their phone! And I love the creative aspects of Instagram and book photography in general, although I always find myself getting a little behind on Instagram (thats one social media platform I really want to spend more time on!). I really like the idea of incorporating objects significant to characters in the book in your photos though, as that’s something I haven’t tried ๐Ÿ™‚
      And I’m glad you agree about blogging helping you find your own voice! That’s definitely one of the best things I think I’ve got out of blogging ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Aww this is awesome! It’s so true that blogging can really help develop a lot of this stuff. And I think confidence is definitely a skill of sorts- at the very least, it needs cultivation, and blogging has helped with that. For me, blogging gave me a purpose of sorts, and that was something I really needed. It can certainly be a hugely positive experience!

    • Laura

      That’s so true that confidence needs cultivation, so perhaps it does count as a skill? And I’ve definitely found that blogging has given me a purpose too, and that was something I really needed when I started and was in between graduating university and getting into full time work. I think we can all agree that blogging is awesome in so many ways! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Ianthe

    Agree with all of these! Blogging isn’t just a hobby, it’s so much more than that. I don’t focus too much on photography, but I have definitely improved my writing and social media skills through blogging. And I list these as skills on my CV ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura

      I totally agree that blogging is so much more than a hobby! I definitely list some of my blogging-related skills on my CV too, and it has helped land me a few interviews! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Camilla @Reader in the Attic

    I can pretty much quote everything.
    Especially the social media parts related to communication. When I started blogging in English I came out of my country blog community. I met so many new concept and I realized how many bias I’d, especially when books meet in real life stuff like discriminations.
    I learned a lot but at the start I still messed up. Is the only thing I regret.

    But at the same I learned to be a bit more confident. At least on the web. In real life is another stuff XD

    • Laura

      I’m glad you feel like blogging has helped you improve your social media and communication skills! I think we all mess up when we are learning things though, so that’s not something I think you need to regret. I definitely messed up a lot when I started learning how to use different social media sites, because I had no idea what I was doing.
      And I’m glad it’s helped you become more confident, even if it is only online ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    It’s amazing the things blogging can help you with. I wish I could fully agree with you about it helping me shape my thoughts into words but I still struggle with that one. I sort of word vomit and formulate things into coherent sentences later on and that’s totally working for me. It has improved my writing and grammar some, though. I mean, I was really bad at paying attention to anything I would write and I’m still lost at how commas work sometimes but I think it’s improved my ability to write coherently so I am back to the level I was when I was in full-time education. I just think it’s improved my ability to interact with folks as I’ve become less hesitant about it.

    • Laura

      Haha, I definitely do the word vomit thing too, to be honest, but now Iโ€™m better at going back over it and making it make sense, and express what I was trying to express. I think blogging has helped my grammar too, as I started blogging just after I finished university, and I think if there had been a big gap where I wasnโ€™t writing non-fiction I would have got out of the habit of using good grammar and punctuation. Blogging has been helpful in so many ways! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    Agree about the social media! I don’t feel like my photo skills have really improved, cause my opinion of my skills here is pretty low xD but realistically? They probably have, because at least I know *some* rules now, so they must have. A very good point about confidence ๐Ÿ™‚ and speaking up. Particularly in commenting, for me. Speaking up online is much easier now, somehow ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m glad blogging has done all this for you ๐Ÿ™‚ blogging really can be great. Not to mention all the amazing support of this community ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura

      I’m sure your photography will have improved from when you started blogging too! I hadn’t noticed mine improve too much until I was looking back the other day, and compared it to my later posts. Sometimes I think it’s hard to spot gradual improvements until you compare ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m glad blogging has helped make you more confident with things like commenting, and you’re so right about blogging and the blogging community being amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I love this post! I agree that there are so many skills that blogging has helped me with, and many of these are benefits I never even imagined. Another area my blog has helped me with is simply sticking to something long-term. I didn’t really think very far ahead when I started blogging, but here I am over five years later. It helps me realize how much I can accomplish if I keep at it!

    • Laura

      That’s a great point! Blogging has really helped me with sticking to things long term too, as I used to be a bit of a serial quitter! I would take up something for so long, and then grow bored with it and drop it, but that didn’t happen with blogging. Since I started blogging I’ve also finished a full novel manuscript, which is something I never achieved before, so I feel like the whole ‘learning to stick at things’ is something blogging has taught me that has benefitted me in other areas too!
      It really does go to show how much can be accomplished by sticking with things! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Vee @ Under The Mountain

    That’s amazing! I agree, blogging has definitely helped me learn to write. When I look back at my original reviews I could barely work out how to write a paragraph and even that didn’t really express my thoughts about a book. Now I aim for six paragraphs and try ad explain what I thought of the plot, the characters etc.

    Vee @ Under The Mountain

    • Laura

      It’s definitely interesting to look back on examples of your old writing isn’t it? When I look back at my early reviews I can definitely tell the difference too. I’m glad you’ve also found that blogging has helped improve your writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Dina

    Laura, I agree with you about blogging being a wonderful way to boost your own writing ability. I do feel repetitive, though, because I have not found a way to comfortably add new vocabulary without sounding stuffy. Instead, I rely on easy word choices that make me sound too forget-able. So, I need to work on that. I have been collecting writing style manuals but I need to read them already and put the rules into practice. Oh! are we friends on Twitter? I will check if I follow you. You can always talk to me! I’m nice. I’d love to introduce you to some sweet bookish people on Twitter, too.

    • Laura

      I know what you mean about feeling repetitive. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on too recently, as I’ve found I use a lot of the same words to describe things in my reviews, and over use unnecessary words like ‘really’, ‘quite’ and ‘definitely’. I’ll definitely have to check if we’re twitter friends! That would be nice to chat and meet some more bookish people ๐Ÿ™‚

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