If you read my first post about blogging, you’d know that blogging wasn’t something I set out to do. But, once I began, I started loving it. The reactions of people when they read my post was exciting; the feeling of being productive; learning something new; and the fact that I was sharing my thoughts. I’m very opinionated and that mattered so much to me.
Looking back at the whole experience, I am happy that I began on that journey. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. If there’s a regret, it would be not blogging consistently. After 5 years, I have improved on certain skills and learnt some new skills. These skills are what I want to share today.
- Writing: Though I was almost always top three in every class and amongst the best in the English Language, all the other students considered intelligent did better than I did in Essay Writing. I could beat them in Comprehension, Summary and Objectives, never in Essay Writing. It felt bad and I was quick to assume that writing wasn’t my thing. Even though I wrote them then, I could only keep them to myself. It was when I began to feel confident enough to share with my elder brother that he encouraged me to start blogging. I can hear my heart beating so loud, just as it did when I published my first post. When the few reviews came in, I was amazed and it did my confidence and esteem a world of good. Over the years, I have improved my writing skills and now, I can write on niches that I never imagined that I could write on. Blogging, like you know involves a lot of writing and like one of my favourite lecturers in the University, Prof. Omenugha advised me and my friend Daniel in our 100 level, “the best way to improve your writing is to keep writing”. And that assertion is 100 percent true.
- Risk-taking: For me, every post I write involves taking some risks to share my thoughts and opinions with people who may have opinions that contrast with mine. It involves trying to get people see from my own point of view. Sometimes, I’m even doubtful that my opinion is correct. Sometimes, I doubt that my readers would want to read what I have written. Though I have published over 200 posts on my own blogs and shared my writings on other platforms, I still feel my heart pumping faster with each click on the publish button. Being a perfectionists doesn’t help matters. Over time, I have learnt to ask myself the “what’s the worse that can happen?” question.
- Time Management: We’d never have enough time. Blogging taught me this. I started blogging during the strike period when I was in 100 level. I have only written three posts before the strike was over and school started with me writing exams for 4 courses in one week. How dare I blog? After the exams, the next academic session began. The change in timetable; hustling for sponsorship for my programme on my school radio station; involvement in school politics and my Chinese class, left me no time to even think of blogging. It was tough really. But, at last I began blogging again. It was tough to manage academics and blogging and adding other engagements wasn’t funny. Especially because politics involved a lot of unplanned meetings. Even when I became the Chief Clerk of the SRC, my blog stayed. I had to find the time to create contents and research them and eventually write. I did most of my writing in the morning and the editing on the go.
- Relationship Building and Maintenance: This is crazy, but most of my close friends now are people I met because of the exposure I got from blogging. Some were people who came with ads and sponsored posts, while the rest were people I interviewed for my blog. It started as a sort of business talk and ended up to be some strong relationship that has spanned the years. I am happy that I have met most of these people, as they have improved my life in many ways. I can boldly tell you that my friends are a crop of young entrepreneurs who are ambitious, works their butts out on their own stuff. What more can I ask for? Trust me, when I tell you that I could be a snub, but I learnt that building relationships were going to help my blog grow and I got over myself. I’m happy that I have come this far really.
- Being Observant: I have always been an observant person, but blogging has taught me to be more observant. I sometimes wonder how, and when I noticed certain things. There are a couple of things i think that I may not have noticed or observed if I weren’t blogging.
- Taking Criticism: I’d tell you one of my worst moments blogging. I had written a post and included a real event that happened in my school. I made mistakes in the actual year the incident happened and an anonymous commented on the post, calling me out and ending that I should matter of factly quit blogging. Hell yeah, I was mad and enraged. But, truth is, in as much as he was rude, it may never have crossed my mind that I have made the mistake. I can’t begin to imagine how many people read the post before the comment was dropped by anonymous. I felt terrible for publishing a post that contained wrong information. But I was this close to clapping back and I may have if the person was not anonymous. That wasn’t the only negative comment I got. I can’t even talk about the sad experience of people hating you outrightly when they hear you are a blogger. Cos, at once you get reduced to a ‘rumour monger’ who runs a gossip blog.
- Self Motivation: You learn to become your own motivation. Especially if you don’t have much friends who are bloggers. They may not be able to understand some of the challenges you encounter when you share it with them. You just chill and motivate yourself mbok. Life is too short to run out of motivation.
- Entrepreneurial: Though I haven’t made so much money blogging, blogging generally has made me open to the many ways people can make money blogging and other ways to make money on the Internet. I have explored some and there are a whole lot more to explore.
Just because your mileage may vary, your experiences could be different and the skills you have acquired or improved on most likely are different from mine. So, I’d want to know those skills you picked up from blogging. Do share.