With the 2017 UK Blog Awards voting process now in full swing, I took a moment to reflect on what it is I am getting out of blogging and why I continue to devote so much time to it. I thought I would also share my thoughts on this with you, in case you too would like to give it a go.
In a world focused on pushing fad diets and new exercise regimes upon us as ‘the hottest new thing’, blogging is a hobby which focuses on adding to your lifestyle, rather than taking away from it.
If like me, you’re not a fan of being dictated to by the latest trends and fads, then you may be interested to learn of how taking up blogging as a hobby can enhance your everyday life, and here’s how.
1. It will allow you to expand your network…
The blogging community is a whole new world, full of ambitious individuals with a penchant for supporting likeminded friends. You will find them on Twitter, Facebook and generally all over the web. I was welcomed with open arms, emails were exchanged, tips were shared and I was warmly initiated into the blogging world by some of the most supportive people I’ve ever come across.
You should embrace this, take the time to get to know fellow bloggers and where possible, meet up with them. There’s no such thing as too many friends.
2. It fuels your creative side…
You may start of wondering what on earth you can write about without boring people to death, the answer to this is simple. Write about something you enjoy or at least like to talk about. Creativity will come naturally as you immerse yourself about your chosen subject.
You will also find this develops over time, as you delve in and out of other people’s blogs, picking up ideas for things to write about and explore along the way. Eventually you will find yourself viewing every situation as a new opportunity and imagining how you can get creative with it.
3. It will educate you…
You may well decide to learn a bit of coding, you will most certainly learn how to edit images and improve your photography skills. It will also teach you patience. When I think about the amount of new skills I have learnt, purely through self-taught means, it’s actually quite incredible.
I dabbled in a little bit of code, developed design skills, learnt how to use various new blogging platforms, developed my marketing skills both on and offline and undoubtedly progressed with my creative writing. You can’t knock a hobby that is going to give you so much back – don’t forget, all these transferable skills can go on your CV too.
4. It will encourage you to broaden your horizons…
In so many ways. I have tried things I never thought I would as a result of starting my blog. This includes trying new foods, visiting new places, even trying certain new products. I have developed a desire to continuously try new experiences now and very rarely say ‘no’ to anything. As a result, my confidence has developed and I have grown as a person, with better knowledge of the world around me.
The more you embrace this side of blogging, the more likely you are to work with brands to discover new products and even travel to new places. The world is your oyster!
5. It will allow you store your emotions and memories…
Think of your blog as an emotional outlet, you can use it to vent (although I wouldn’t advise this!), share your hopes and dreams, and write down your thoughts and feelings. I use it as my time to sit and relax, I find blog writing very therapeutic regardless of the topic I am covering, and I often shut down for a few hours at a time when I really get into it. It’s a good way to work on developing emotional intelligence.
One of my favourite parts of blogging is being able to sit and look back through old posts and relive happy memories with friends. I’ve only been doing the blog a few years, but even now there are events I have forgotten about, so it’s great to be able to flick through and see them in so much detail.
The most important thing to remember is to enjoy your blog. You will only get the above benefits from it if you are truly passionate about it. If you would like to learn more about how to build your own blog, try reading some of the below suggestions to get you started. Happy blogging!