Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Untapped Potential of Blogging


Recently I’ve had a few conversations with people about this subject, and although blogging is something that seems normal to me now, these conversations have made me realise how relatively new the idea of the blogosphere still is. 

I love blogging. I love reading people’s blogs; I love writing my own blog; I love connecting with other people; I love finding out all I can about this industry I want to be a part of. I think the blogosphere is an amazing resource - so many industries have a blogging niche these days. 

However, despite the massive potential the blogosphere holds, it amazes me how little people know about blogging and the benefits it can bring. I’m talking not only about the older generation here, but the younger generation too. 

I’ve repeatedly tried to convince one of my writer friends to start blogging. I’ve told her how much I’ve learned, how beneficial it has been to me, and yet she’s never really caught on. I have no idea why not. To me, it seems crazy when you want to get into a profession – particularly one like writing – not to do your research. She wants to publish in the future, yet it was down to me to explain to her how publishing works, and I could only do that due to the amount of time I’ve spent reading blogs from agents, editors, authors and writers who know the ins and outs of this industry. 

I’m certainly not saying this to criticise my friend. It’s her choice if she doesn’t want to blog, and I’m sure she’ll do her research in the future. But I believe in being prepared. There’s a lot of fun in blogging – I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t enjoy it. But there’s also the potential to create a platform. Writers don’t just write books. They go on book tours, they go to conventions, and they are expected to have some sort of internet presence. A lot more is expected of writers than there used to be. With such an amazing resource as the blogosphere, as well as these growing expectations, I can’t comprehend why you wouldn’t want to get involved in it. 

Blogging is also quite misunderstood. Last week my dad asked me: what is blogging? I think he was under the impression that blogging involved people writing about themselves and their lives. This of course is true. But blogging can be so much more than that. It’s communicating with people around the world; it’s discovering the thoughts and opinions of industry insiders; it’s a way to keep up with specific news. There is a whole other dimension to blogging that people don’t see, and I think that’s a shame. 

Finally, I come to my last example. As I’ve said before, this summer I’m volunteering in my local library, and I was speaking to one of the other volunteers. She is only sixteen, but I was speaking to her about blogging and what a great resource it is when researching potential careers. She admitted she wouldn’t know what to blog about, but like my dad I explained to her that blogging offered so much more than simply speaking about your everyday life. I think it’s important that more people become aware of blogging, particularly as it’s becoming an ever increasingly powerful source in regards to building up careers and discovering information. 

To conclude, the point of this post is to express my incredulity that bloggers are still very much in the minority. It doesn’t seem that way, not when millions of people are connected to sites such as Blogger and Wordpress, alongside paid for domains. I also realise I’m preaching to the choir a little here – if you’re reading this obviously you too are amongst the blogger minority! – but I wanted to share my thoughts on this, and see whether anybody else found this surprising too. I definitely think more people should become involved with blogging. The blogosphere can only get bigger, and I for one am going to do everything I can to see that come true. 

Have you encountered this problem in regards to blogging before? Do you think more people should get involved?

6 comments:

  1. I totally see where you're coming from. Since I started blogging I've learned so much about the industry and so much about the different ways people blog and blogging in general. It's definitely been a good thing and more people should get into it. They're really missing out!

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    1. I definitely agree! Blogging has so many benefits, and I can't think of a good enough reason not to get involved. I know it may seem like it takes a lot of time, but writing and posting a blog post doesn't take long, and you can even manage your blog from your smartphone these days! If super busy editors and agents can find time to blog, then surely everybody can!

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  2. I've definitely learned so much while blogging too. I've had my blog since 2009, and I'm so happy I made that choice. I've met so many wonderful people that I would have never gotten the chance to meet had I not decided to blog. As a writer I do think it's important to be involved in the online writing community in some way, even if you just have a twitter account.

    Great post, Fiona. :D

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    1. I'm really glad you liked the post! I wholeheartedly agree with your phrase 'the online writing community' - we definitely have an internet community, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it, even if it is in a small way. Thanks for visiting, Tracey!

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  3. Well said! Blogging can be more than just it being about "you". You can make it your own once you have a blog in the blogosphere. I don't make my blog about me, but what interests me.

    Blogging is for you to gain a wider audience, not just your family and friends, but the entire United States, perhaps the rest of the world can read your opinion. Knowing that fact - it convinced me to blog.

    I'm glad that I joined the Blogosphere! It can be one of the best things you do...

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    1. I absolutely agree! My blog is more than just me and I love that, as it means I get to share my interests with other people, as well as meeting like-minded individuals.

      Yes, the possibilities of blogging as a social platform are amazing. I love looking at my blog stats as well, as it shows you a map and where people have been looking at your blog from. I've had people from Canada, Australia, Russia and even Greenland! It's seems crazy to think that people thousands of miles away are reading my blog.

      Once again I completely agree, and I'm glad you visited my blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Livia.

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