The Blogger Learning Cycle

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Disclaimer : Originally written as a Guest Post  on 6th April ‘11 for The Single Filez to celebrate her 1 year blogaversary.  Don’t forget to check out the other international bloggers who participated.

I’ve been blogging regularly for just over 2 years now; and it’s been a really insightful journey of discovering more about ‘me’, my blogger voice, and becoming aware about what else is ‘out there’.  I’ve discovered some amazing bloggers spread out across the globe; some of which are now my Twitter and FaceBook friends.  When I started my blog – I didn’t quite know what to blog about or how I would carve a space for myself out in Blogosphere but I knew I wanted to have a place of my very own where I could look back and think ‘damn so that’s what I was thinking / experiencing / going through all those years ago’.   I didn’t know the first thing about blogging – so I just kept reading around Blogosphere; found inspiration in posts; wrote up whatever I could and hoped that someone out there was reading my sporadic reflections.  And here’s what I discovered:

blogger learning cycle

Be Yourself.

Bloggers earn their readers trust.  Be honest with them.  Don’t be somebody you are not.  The best blogs I’ve read are usually ‘in-your-face – this is my thought whether you agree or disagree’.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion and your blog is an avenue to express yourself.  Your blog should be a reflection of your personality – the good, the bad, the funny, the ugly – you get my drift.  Some people may applaud you on it; some might throw in a counter-argument but that’s all a part of being blogger.

Read; Comment; Read & Comment Some More.

Even the most amazing bloggers can get writers block; so it’s no surprise that the newbie bloggers and part-time / social bloggers need inspiration for their next post.  It’s important to read what others have to say about a topic / subject that appeals to you or holds value to you.  When you come across something you can relate to – then make sure you leave a comment behind – even if it just one line.  Blogging is about building relationships with your online peers so that you are able to engage them with your blog content and thereby build up readership on your blog.

Continue The Conversation & Ask For Feedback.

Are you giving your readers a chance to continue to the conversation with your blog post ?  What is the purpose of your post ? Do you want another opinion on your thoughts ?  Ask and thou shall receive !  I’ve gotten into the habit of ending my blog posts with questions to my readers and people do respond to them; which brings about a new perspective to the topic on hand and thereby allows you to continue your conversation with your readers.  There are times I call upon my readers for help – whether it be to find a music artist; or to get feedback on the change of design of my blog – and being the helpful bunch that bloggers are – the responses always help me out.

Unleashing Your Blogger Voice.

Your blogger voice is reflected in your writing style : is it personal, opinionated, sarcastic, conversational etc.  The more you read other blogs, the more you will discover what kind of writing styles appeal to you.  Pick a blogger that you admire and write a follow up post on something that they have done in a similar manner.  Don’t hold back when blogging – write without inhibition as if no one is reading and when you’re done with the post – then worry about the grammar and corrections. It will take some time & practice but once you ‘discover’ your blogger voice – you’ve hit the sweet spot!

Two years down the line – I’ve found out that there are a whole bunch of people who actually ‘follow’ me and read what I have to say.  They interact with me; encourage me; and push me to write and express myself in ways I didn’t think I could at all.  I never thought of myself as a relationship / dating blogger but some people do and I consider it an honour to be a part of this elite group of bloggers.  A few weeks ago I received a tweet that ranked me #20 in India as a person to Follow on Friday!!

Does this mean my blogger voice has been heard – YES ! I believe that each blogger has an individual voice that will keep changing with every curve ball that life throws our way.

What have you learned whilst blogging away to glory ? Have you noticed any changes in your style of writing ? Are you a blog lurker or have you managed to de-lurk on your favourite blogs ?