I've finally reached my 100th blog post! I thought I'd have to at least mark the occasion with a special this is my 100th post blog.
It's come up almost a year after I started blogging. My blogging birthday was a couple of weeks ago and it would have been great to have completed a full year of blogging with 100 posts, but the 100 has had to wait a couple of weeks!
I've become quite addicted to my blog over the last year, constantly thinking about what I can write about next. Thankfully I'm not usually lost for inspiration. Not only have I enjoyed blogging, but it's been really useful as I've ended up learning skills and developing interests I never thought I'd have.
The reason for starting this blog, was that I was told I needed to have one.
I started studying for my Post graduate certificate in journalism a couple of years ago, as part of my plan to try and develop a sideline career as a freelance writer and journalist.
I was told that in order to develop you career you need to promote yourself. It's not just about being a writer you have to see yourself as a 'brand'.
By not having your own blog or website to promote and market your work, you're simply not in the 'game' and might as well not bother trying to be a writer!
To begin with, this idea of self promotion was a little difficult to embrace. It feels a bit arrogant to see yourself as a brand, even the idea of blogging can feel a bit egotistical at times
You're basically saying to the world, 'I have something to say, I want you and the world to hear it'. Occasionally I feel a bit full of myself in mentioning to people I have a blog, and that perhaps they should have a look at reading it. But I've learnt you need to get over these feelings of modesty and remember that if you don't 'big up yourself' nobody else will.
The other reason for starting the blog and the most obvious, was that I wanted to start writing on a regular basis. I always thought I was quite good at writing, but as with most things in life, the more you practice something the better you become. I certainly feel as if my writing has improved.
Blogging is different to other forms of writing. I think you have to be very succinct and straight to the point. On the web people don't have time to read pages and pages of content.
You need to get to the point and grab the reader straight away. I think less is definitely more when it comes to blogging, and I try not to write more than 1000 words if I can help it.
I've always seen this blog as being a sort of news blog, and although it's important to make sure that you get the facts right in any story you're writing about, I've found its good to try and bring your own personality into the topics I'm discussing.
If I can, I try to include any personal experiences I have which relate to what I'm writing about. I find it helps to make your posts sound more original, which isn't always easy.
Over the last year I've read countless other blogs and websites about blogging, probably my favourite is a site called Problogger, which has loads of great tips and advice on all aspects of blogging and writing for the web.
The one interesting development that I've discovered from starting this blog is that I've developed a huge interest in areas like digital marketing. Learning all about the techniques and strategies for promoting blogs and websites and getting more people or 'traffic' to visit your site.
I've also developed a big interest in Social media. A year a go I had my Facebook profile and used it like everyone else for keeping up to date with family and friends. But writing my blog I soon realised that social networking sites like Facebook were an ideal way of promoting my blog and my writing.
This idea then lead to me signing up to Twitter, and more recently Linkedin. They all offer useful marketing opportunities if you know what you're doing.
So far my enthusiasm for writing hasn't waned so I'm going to keep on blogging, and keep putting my opinions out there. Hopefully it can lead onto bigger and better things.
Without wishing to sound like I'm giving a speech at the Oscars, I just wanted to say thanks to all you who have stopped by to check out my blog and leave comments. Family, friends, work colleagues and anyone else out there surfing the web, it's all appreciated.
Hope you're around for my 200th post!