My new found knowledge about blogging
Thanks to this social media class, I have learned a lot about blogging. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. And a large majority of that is what I have learned about myself through this experience.
I have learned about blogging in general, such as how to set one up, how to add links and media, and how to utilize other aspects of the dashboard. I now know that this form of content is written in article form. It needs to be told as a story, taking the reader on a journey of some sorts. It also takes good story telling skills and sometimes the integration of the opinions and support of other sources. Overall, I realized that blogging can be difficult, but I found a list of tips provided by WordPress that will make it easier to write in the future:
- Post regularly, but don’t post if you have nothing worth posting about.
- Stick with only a few specific genres to talk about.
- Don’t put ‘subscribe’ and ‘vote me’ links all over the front page until you have people that like your blog enough to ignore them (they’re usually just in the way).
- Use a clean and simple theme if at all possible.
- Enjoy, blog for fun, comment on other peoples’ blogs (as they normally visit back).
- Have fun blogging and remember, there are no rules to what you post on your blog!
Is blogging really what I expected?
I thought it was going to be easy to blog. Just type. Then I found out that we had to have links and videos and pictures. So, after a couple of hours of searching the internet and not having written a word, I realized that it was A LOT harder than I thought. After I finished, I felt fairly good about it until I received my grade. Blogging is just typing, writing about a topic. Or is it more than that?
Then there was the whole other issue of how my brain is wired thanks to being a part of a program in which research and writing is extensive. For the past 3 years, I have been writing in a manner that rarely allows for personal opinion or a 1st person point of view. After writing a few blogs, I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. However, I am going to be honest, I will probably not continue to blog after the conclusion of this class. If I need to or feel it should be done in future places of employment, I will do so, but I will not be doing it voluntarily on my own. It just isn’t my cup of tea.
What surprised me…
It was difficult. I was not expecting that. I believe what surprised me was that blogging is not what I expected. What I have written above is also applicable to this question. I feel like whatever I write in this section would be repetitive, so let me just sum it up: I was surprised that my existent writing skills were not appropriate or sufficient for blog writing. Now I know that the reader needs to follow a yellow brick road.
Blogging for nonprofits
I thought it would be beneficial to look around the internet to find reasons why it is a good idea for nonprofits to use blogging and I came across a really awesome article from sproutinsights. Mike McGrail lists good 5 reasons why nonprofits should blog:
- A blog allows you to add a human touch: The most important people at charities are the people themselves — those who are passionate about the cause and work so hard, often for very little in return. By allowing your team to blog, you are creating an insight into the people at the heart of everything you strive to achieve.
- A blog allows you to show the affect of your work: All of the hard work that the people within your organization carry out is committed with one aim: helping others.
- A blog allows you to act quickly: By creating a blog on your site, you are ensuring you can act quickly to create news and appeals.
- A blog can drive donations: Your blog represents an opportunity to attract donations from its readers. Adding regular calls to action to each blog post can be an effective way of gathering donations.
- A blog adds value to your social media activities: It can be difficult to make the most of social media and its platforms; a regular blog gives your activities on Facebook, Twitter, and so on a focus and creates discussion points across your networks.
Here is a great description of what Netvibes is: A dashboard is basically a central hub for conversation discovery, aggregation, tracking and archiving. It’s comprised of multiple data sources such as Twitter mentions, blog searches, web searches and so forth.
Netvibes is basically a tool used for listening and reading about topics that you are interested it. It is a culmination of information about those topics that can potentially benefit people and organizations in one way or another, especially when being used for something very specific.
Netvibes was very difficult to use at first. It takes a lot of time and thought as to how to best search for a topic that will yield the most results. The times that I have attempted to use it, I have had no luck finding what I am looking for. It is going to take a little more time to learn and figure out how to use the dashboards more effectively. I have not used netvibes to inform my blog posts up until this date, but it is going to be a major tool that will be used in our up and coming campaign in class.