This year for BSU’s Social Media week I wanted to become apart of the BSU Blog Fest. A series of daily blogging prompts and reflections shared with the BSU community, written by students, faculty, and staff members who have their own blogs. When I began to reflect on the prompt for Day 1 (today) it caused me to think back to why I started this blog in the first place…
What motivated you to get started with blogging?
Almost two years ago I blogged for the first time, and it was an interesting experience. Why was I doing this? Who was I trying to reach (target audience)? What did I want people to know about me? What would I write about? What was the purpose of my website? Would people even want to read what I wrote about?
I wanted to create a web page that marketed my personal brand. At this time (two years ago) I was beginning to apply to graduate school for Student Affairs, and wanted to showcase myself, my passions, and what I would be learning in the classroom. The first year was tough. I had minimal things to share (or so I thought), as I felt “why would anyone want to listen to what I had to say?” But as the months went on, I began to realize that blogging was more therapeutic than I had thought. Yes, I wanted to share knowledge with folks, but I also wanted to be purposeful in how I represented myself and the topics I was writing about. I started to get more comfortable with myself and my (blogging) style, and saw this as a great opportunity to improve my writing skills. I wanted to create my own brand. I wanted to stand out from other graduate students, and exemplify what I knew, was learning, and sought to know.
Why do you continue to blog?
Now that I am in graduate school and have about a year of constant blogging under my belt, I want to help others. I see so many blogs out there that are personal or are places for folks to vent. But I really wanted to speak to my strengths, to learn from my mistakes, to showcase my talents and passions, and enable others to learn through my experiences. I see my blog (website) as a digital representation of myself. With so much emphasis on Social Media and building/maintaining a personal online brand, I knew that I needed to brand myself before someone else did… Facebook can ruin someone’s credibility with a simple status update or by being tagged in a photo. This was a major reason I wanted to (and continue to) blog. I want to lead by example and establish a network for myself. I want to be credible, and make an impact on the culture of Higher Education and Student Affairs as well as the BSU community I work and live in. To me, there is no better way to reach people than through social media. I wanted to put myself out there and speak to my talents, to help others, and begin to make a difference.
I blog because I feel like I have to. I am learning so much through my daily life that I feel like I would be doing myself and those around me a disservice if I did not reflect and re-cap what I am experiencing.
What do you think makes for great blogs and not-so-great blogs?
A Good Blog:
- Speaks to experience
- Knows its audience
- Is exciting to read
- Provides positive energy
- Is not a place to vent (that is a diary)
- Is engaging, inspiring, and well written
- Asks others for their feedback/advice, and does not assume that they are all knowing and 100% right
- Communicates new knowledge
- Clarifies existing knowledge
- Challenges others, norms, and the way things are done
- Inspires others to create new knowledge (research)
- Is empowering
A Not-So-Great Blog:
- Is repetitive
- Is judgmental / Closed-minded
- Promotes negative reactions
- Reveals inappropriate information
- Demonstrates a lack of effort
- Does not seek feedback
- Assumes their opinions / ideas are the only ones with merit
- Does not seek to learn/teach new things
Advice for people considering getting started with a blog?
Dont be afraid! If you have something to share, share it!
Don’t be afraid of what others may think. You have the right to express yourself through an means you choose. If you think blogging is for you, I encourage you to share your thoughts!
Follow your passions! So many blogs involve life experiences, peoples’ passions, and seek to create new knowledge. You are unique and have new and exciting things to teach us all. Take a risk. Share your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Support others who are doing the same, and help to contribute to the social media revolution.
If we can each inspire one person then we are helping to create a community of people who will support, challenge, and create the next generation of leaders. It starts with you… What do you want people to know?