A blog (or a weblog) is an “online journal where an individual, group or corporation presents a record of activities, thoughts, or beliefs” (Dennis, 2014, para. 1). The first of them was created in 1992, and since then the popularity of this kind of communication has been increasing at an unbelievable speed as blogs became a noticeable part of our everyday life (Dennis, 2014, para. 2). Have you ever considered becoming a blogger yourself? If so, you really should, because writing blogs can be both funny and useful when you are doing it right. How do we do it right? Let us try to find out.
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The first thing you need to do is to define and understand the audience that you are going to address. Blogs offer you a great possibility of communicating with your friends and making new ones, those who are interested in the topics you raise (Greer & Pan, 2015, p. 595; Özdemir & Aydın, 2015; Ross, 2014). Think about questions that can evoke feelings in other people, think about sharing the information you find valuable and potentially useful. Then try to determine if the audience that would be interested in these topics has any particular features. For example, writing a blog about computer software for “newbies” and a similar one for “geeks” will require completely different approaches to the choice of topics, their coverage, and even language. You need to understand what your audience expects of you.
After defining the audience, think about the ways of attracting people’s interest and, most importantly, keeping it. The easiest way to do it, surprisingly, is expressing one’s own ideas. Be honest and be yourself (Ross, 2014). It should not surprise you that your experience matters as well as your emotions (Bosangit, Hibbert, & McCabe, 2015). Of course, you should keep in mind that more extensive coverage of the topic and reliable information provided by you can serve to increase the trust of your readers (Greer & Pan, 2015). However, it is your personal views and ideas that can attract the audience and encourage people to communicate with you. Blogs can and should contain your personal opinion. This is what makes them unique.
Apart from that, your specific writing style can also boost the reader’s interest (Greer & Pan, 2015). Remember about another important feature of writing blogs: it promotes your writing skills, which is especially beneficial in case the language you are using is not your mother tongue. The beneficial effects of writing in a language that you are studying cannot be underestimated as it means boosting your command of grammar and vocabulary (Özdemir & Aydın, 2015). What is most important, the more you write, the better you do it. Therefore, it would be best to start right now!
After you finish writing, think about reading your text once again. This will help you avoid mistakes and structure your thoughts. The process of reflecting on your own ideas is what appears to be especially valued by the teachers and professors who suggest writing exercises (Ross, 2014). By writing down and reflecting on your own thoughts you improve your understanding of the topic and define your position. At the same time, while communicating on the matter with your peers, you get the chance of evaluating different opinions concerning the issue and, possibly, coming to a new, better-argumented conclusion.
When all is said and done, blogs are about communication, about sharing information that can be regarded as valuable or interesting, about learning things and teaching things, and expressing opinions. This is what makes them especially appealing. Nowadays, technologies are used both for fun and education, and blogging is obviously another way of combining these two pastime possibilities. I would say, it is worth a try. What about you?
Bosangit, C., Hibbert, S., & McCabe, S. (2015). “If I Was Going to Die I Should at Least be Having Fun”: Travel Blogs, Meaning and Tourist Experience. Annals of Tourism Research, 55, 1-14. Web.
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Dennis, M. (2014). Blog. Web.
Greer, J., & Pan, P. (2015). The Role of Website Format, Blog Use, and Information-Gathering Acquaintance in Online Message Assessment. Telematics And Informatics, 32(4), 594-602. Web.
Özdemir, E., & Aydın, S. (2015). The Effects of Blogging on EFL Writing Achievement. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 199, 372-380. Web.
Ross, J. (2014). Engaging with “Webness” in Online Reflective Writing Practices. Computers and Composition, 34, 96-109. Web.