Skip to content

Why Blog? Blogging Teaches Me New Skills and Refines Old Ones.

Before I started blogging four years ago, I was great at computer-based programs such as Word, Pages, Excel, Access. Internet programs such as Evernote for taking notes online no longer mystified me. I used Dropbox and shared files. Pridefully, I thought I was pretty digitally savvy. I probably figured I could blaze through Blogging 101 into blogging stardom, but I had a rude awakening when I stared at my new WordPress dashboard. Feeling young and much like a new puppy before its eyes open, blogging challenged me and did not let me stagnate after I retired.

MacBook Pro2

Getting Help From Home

Working at a county office of education spoiled me because I had tech support on site. As soon as I retired, that immediate access to help stopped. I had to learn to do what they did. Find my own answers. Search engines, my favorite is Google, continue to help me do almost every task from cleaning the deposits off my acrylic shower to how to edit a video. Now I am not shy about contacting authors of websites, videos and other self-help products. My biggest help, has been the friends I’ve met on WordPress whose work and personalities I got to know before I asked questions. Or their work may have prompted me to try push my boundaries and try new things.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary was, and remains, to be the most perplexing and confounding problem. Blogging vocabulary words are sometimes familiar English with new meaning applied to them, and I did not have a clue what they meant. That was frustrating when I was in the midst of doing something new, following instructions and could not understand half the words in the very first sentence or video clip. I could have saved myself hours of frustration by bookmarking sites and videos to help me.

Here are a couple of sites that might have helped me. Each of them has references to other sites.

Dynamic-Range-Magazine-Issue-2-Nov-2015-cover-page

Photography and Photo Processing

I started with no processing skills, and amateur photography skills. One of my friends, Leanne Cole from Australia impressed me, not just with her photography, but her blogging skills. We have had a few video chats, and one lesson. I just purchased her newest publication, a magazine called Dynamic Range. In photography, dynamic range is the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark which can be seen in a photo. Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights wash out to white, or the darks become black blobs. Blogs need some kind of visual material. I could steal from the web, subscribe to many services, or develop another hobby. I chose the latter. 

Writing Techniques

An elementary school teacher, not high school or college English professor, nonetheless, again, I thought I knew more about writing both fiction and nonfiction than I did when I started blogging. Once my eyes opened, I read books, read blogs, copied and practiced styles, improved my grammar, and became a little more of a perfectionist. I still make a lot of mistakes, and have a long way to go, but I’ve improved. You will learn more about that later in the book, too.

Technology

A computer geek since the 1980s, I always pushed buttons when it came to technology, usually meaning the patience of my techy husband and our technology support staff at work. Every platform’s dashboard, the screen that shows your blog’s creative center, is a new challenge. WordPress is similar to Blogger, Weebly and other platforms, but not the same. Even different themes within WordPress are developed by different web designers and have different dashboards. I learned what all teachers sometimes take for granted with their students. Learning is not all transferable between similar skills.  For example just because my student knows his two multiplication tables does not mean that learning the seven table will be easy.

My Areas of Interest and Expertise

Whenever and whatever I write about causes me to increase my knowledge. Many times I have had to look in books or go to the internet to check my facts whether I write about quilting, food, history, movies or books. Whatever I share with others, I do not know enough to sit down and write without facts around me. The result is that I become more of an expert in my own content area, and as I become that expert, people start to call me or ask me to speak. The result, of course, is that I learn even more.

Social Media

Blogging pushed and continues to push me to try new products, new technologies. Vivian Kirkfield started fiddling around with landing pages and static pages three years before I even knew what one was. I’m still learning about landing pages, as you’ll learn in later chapters. Blogging and marketing go hand in hand, even when you don’t have a thing to sell, which I did not when I started. Blogging enhanced what I already did with social media, and took me to a new level, building my credibility in my real world as well as my virtual one. No one takes out their wallet and buys a packet of credibility, but that’s a post for a different chapter.

1931X Woodlake wag-in train

Hang on, if you decide to blog, you board a train headed for unknown territory, even if you think you are the content expert in your field. Learn how you can stay vibrant and develop new skills whatever your occupation, age, or financial status. Start a blog.

Summary

  1. Blogging opens doors of opportunities I can not foresee.
  2. Blogging develops skills in technology, writing and photography.
  3. Blogging develops marketing and communication skills.
  4. Blogging refines and expands my expertise in my areas of specialty.

4 replies »

  1. Another great post Marsha. Blogging certainly has given me more opportunities and friendships than I would ever have imagined when I started. My photography skills have improved too. The most important thing I learned during my travel writing course was to check and double check facts before completing a story.

    Liked by 1 person

Translate

Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

Personal Links

Verified Services

View Full Profile →

#StoryChat Y2

Writer’s Quote Wednesdays

How to Link to a Challenge

8 Benefits of Photo Challenges

8 benefits of Challenges

For the Love of Challenges

Teacher Resources

Click to Get Early Childhood Teaching Resources
SS Logo
Sunday Stills Logo

Becky B’s Squares April – Bright

Cee’s Black & White Challenge

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge

Featured Blogger Award

Free Download

Use Canva to Create Social Media

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16,495 other followers

Categories

Blogs I Follow

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 159,912 hits
No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

Oddments

In search of story

nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings

Haiku...short and sweet (or not so sweet)

Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

Michaelsfishbowl

Looking at a Saturday crossword puzzle world with a Monday crossword puzzle mind

snapshotsincursive

Interesting stories about everyday moments.

eklastic

Refugees welcome - Flüchtlinge willkommen I am teaching German to refugees. Ich unterrichte geflüchtete Menschen in der deutschen Sprache. I am writing this blog in English and German because my friends speak English and German. Ich schreibe auf Deutsch und Englisch, weil meine Freunde Deutsch und Englisch sprechen.

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Life...one big adventure

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

And Anyways...

Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser

Thistles and Kiwis

A blog about life in Wellington, New Zealand

From Pyrenees to Pennines

We went to France ..... and then we came back.

Lins Doodles

Illustration Friday challenge, artwork, mixed media, drawings, photo challenges

Stupidity Hole

Uninformed writings from an arrogant Sydneysider

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Nuggets of Gold

Helping you to find the gold nuggets amidst the dirt, sand and pebbles of life!

My Camera & I

This blog is my creative outlet where I can share my photos, my travels, my random thoughts and a bit of myself.

Kamerapromenader

En fotoblogg

Deb's World

Midlife, fun and adventure

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Gary A Wilson Stories

10 Minute Adventures, Fiction and Coffee Breaks

Travels with Ali

My site is all about my travels around the world and in Australia, plus daily life photos!

THE SPECTACLED BEAN

Tales, Thoughts + Tribulations of a Free Spirit in Suburbia

Take It Easy

Retired, not expired: words from the after(work)life. And music. Lots of music!

%d bloggers like this: