Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Real Blogging Benefits






It might appear to you as if blogging is very easy. Let me tell you that it is not. Well, starting is very easy as anyone can be a blogger but keeping it up it's another issue altogether. Let me tell you how I started.

The year was 2011 when I had just left a reputable job at a good company in Randburg. I had been with them for over 7 months and, fortunately, discovered that I was not growing anymore both personally and professionally. So without any secured employment elsewhere, I decided to leave. I was sharing a flat with someone else at the time and planned to stay on even though I knew I could no longer afford rent. Anyway, unexpectedly I could not find a job as fast as I had expected. I decided to find something to do so long.

I decided that it will be quite amazing to have someone or a space where I can just complain and be inspired. Weird combination, right? Well for me I find that whenever I start complaining about something that went horribly wrong because of the decision I had made, there is often something to take home that is good at the end of the day. And that is inspiration and lessons. You will never know how to move forward if you do not learn from your mistakes. I loved my job but somewhere, something was not right and I later learned that if I continued there, I would have probably loathed waking up in the morning to go there.

I have read few blog when I decided to start my own. At first it was just for fun. I soon discovered that in fact I liked it a lot. Because I had no concrete plans as to where I wanted to be as a blogger just focused on writing everything and anything. I must tell you though it felt so good to read my work. If you read my blog entries in 2011 to date, you will see that I have grown since then.

Even though at times I felt my writing skills were not up to standard compared to other blogs, I decided to continue as I knew the only way to get it right was to practice daily. Up to this day, I still practice almost daily as my journey to perfection is a continuing that will never end. This other day I read an article about bloggers being lazy to brand and market themselves effectively. That was a wake-up call for me. Why didn't I read that before starting? The article basically touched on many things some of which are no longer relevant as blogging has evolved dramatically since then. Nonetheless, I devised a branding and marketing plan for myself. and it read as follows;

1. Blog posts - to focus only on topics that I could easily write on and passionate about. However, will not focus on just one topic or industry in order to fully develop my writing skills.

2. Enrolled for a Copywriting course - AAA was the perfect place to go. I learned so much about myself as a blogger and most importantly different writing techniques for different platforms offline and online.

3. Develop a content plan - list all industries and topics with sub-headings in a calendar format. For example, Fashion - man bag - publish in July. At first I feared committing to deadlines but soon discovered it helps greatly. Readers get used to a formula and once you miss a deadline they move to the next blog and in most cases never come back.

4. Content marketing plan - this has to be one of the most important tools for any blogger serious about blogging. Not only does it give you an overview of what to do and when, but also forces one to run an oiled blog. More like a business, a content marketing plan for me also helped in getting my name out there and securing an employment opportunity and guest blogging opportunities.

I have to tell you that there are thousands of bloggers in SA currently, they must not intimidate you. Focus on growing your brand and the right opportunities will find you. Not to say wait but you have to focus and work hard. If you need help drafting a content plan or brand and marketing your blog effectively email marketing@tembisaonrecord.co.za
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