4 Things My Blog Taught Me

Susan Wright-Boucherby Guest Author:  Susan Wright-Boucher
Blog: Leading with passion

I used to think blogging was a great vehicle for sharing a teachable point of view.  Period.  I had no idea how much I would learn about myself or that its impact would spill over into my offline life.  The brilliant idea that motivated me to create a blog was this: to promote social networking as a leadership development tool.    And so I started writing.  Little did I know the unexpected lessons were about to begin.

1. Becoming a better communicator

My first posts were too long.  I didn’t realize this until I had published 6 or 7 and took the opportunity to read them in succession. My writing was ok but the reasoning was disjointed in places which made it difficult to follow.  I even got a little bored – not a good sign when you are reading your own work!  My writing improved almost immediately.  Subsequent posts were shorter and to the point.  This freed me to publish more often.  Best of all, this awareness has improved my conversational skills because I’ve become better at crystallizing my thoughts.

2.  Focusing on the bigger picture by identifying what’s most important

The more posts I wrote, the more my teachable point of view expanded.  To accommodate this expansion I started a second blog.  This proved to be a big mistake as I now felt twice the pressure to publish.  I finally scrapped the second blog and overhauled the original one to reflect a larger view of what is most important to me: leading with passion.  I still write about social media as a teaching tool but it’s just one topic among many focused on leadership development.

3.  Shifting from caring about what others think to focusing on where I can bring value

It sounds silly to say but I used to censor my writing based on how others might perceive it.  I wasted a lot of time creating diplomatic phrasing and ended up with watered-down messages.  This lesson took the longest to learn and has proven to be the most valuable.  Today when I blog — I am who I am.  I allow my compassion and caring for others to come through in my writing but I don’t let it get in the way of what I have to say.

4.   Appreciating the geek within

I love playing with themes, HTML and widgets on WordPress. It gives me great pleasure to create well written and well designed pages.  It’s a total escape from the corporate world and regenerates me.  There’s no denying the obvious – I am a geek and it makes me happy.

Love your blogger

The blogging community is full of generous souls.  The site you are on right now – one cool site – is a non-monetized, volunteer blog designed to help people like you and me use WordPress with ease.  Timethief gives freely of her expertise and time for no other reason than to assist.  If you like what you see on this or any other blog, please leave a comment.  The trail of words left behind by readers is a blogger’s joy.

34 thoughts on “4 Things My Blog Taught Me

  1. Oh I am so glad I found this blog. I am new to blogosphere and this is really helpful.
    Thank you
    Daniela

    • Hi Daniela,
      Welcome to the blogging world. I hope you find what you need in my blog.

      This page contains some of the more popular posts in this blog, as well as some editorial picks based on the questions I answer in the WordPress.com support forums. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/popular-posts/

      This page is a complete index to all posts published in this blog displayed in reverse chronological order. This blog was founded on January 16, 2008 but also includes posts written in 2007. Some posts are aimed at worpress.com users but the majority of post contents are applicable to bloggers working on all blogging platforms. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/sitemap-2/

  2. Pingback: 6 Traits of Succesful Bloggers « one cool site blogging tips

  3. Hi, I’m a newbie, found you on the WordPress Forums and bookmarked your blog. I like sites that provide tips to increase your knowledge. It looks like you have some well written posts with information that will be truly helpful!

  4. Fantastic. I am a new blogger and still learning, and I can say for sure that your tips will make a huge impact on my future posts. Thank you for sharing, it’s much appreciated.

      • Aw, thank you. I’m trying to keep the count to sensible numbers, because more would make pages harder to load for people with less internet bandwith than me and you have. :)

  5. Hi Susan! Hi TT!

    It’s refreshing to read about the lessons one learns from blogging! Keeping a blog site does bring out favorable changes in an individual.

    I agree that blogging keeps one’s writing skills sharp. It also improves our techniques on how to deliver information sans overcrowded paragraphs.

    Another thing I loved in the post referred to “appreciating the geek within.” I must admit, what I know in html, I learned from blogging on WordPress.com! :D

    Cheers!

  6. Dear Susan,
    The lessons you shared above all resonate with me. I have also found the blogging community to be full of generous bloggers sharing so much that I draw on that it humbles me. Other pass on what they learn to me and I pass it on. I am so happy to have met you and to have become your friend. Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to publish your post.

    Love,
    TiTi

    • Wow TiTi,
      I feel like I just got kudos from the master. I remember the first time you wrote about changing your blog theme from time to time. I was shocked. I thought the appearance should be static so that readers would stay on board. Once i saw you change a few times, then I tried it. You unleashed a monster! I think I’ve had 10 theme changes in the last year.

      I hope you continue to love blogging and sharing ‘cuz I still need your lessons!
      Susan

      • Hi Susan,
        I’m into blogging over the long term. I love it. My readers have been teaching me so many things I don’t know what to blog on next? lol :D
        TiTi

  7. What I never expected to enjoy about blogging was the fun and exploration of the process and, because of the expertise of sites such as yours and Timethief’s, there is always so much to learn.

    Who knew the world of the ‘inner geek” could be so imaginative, with so many wonderful options to choose from in being the “me” we happen to be!

  8. Actually I’m still in the “blogger’s birth process”, since I’m a newbie. It seems though, that this blog post reflects what type of blogger I am becoming.

  9. Be who you are, and embrace your inner geek– good advice for blogging and life. Nothing drains one’s energy like trying to be someone you’re not. And we’ll never be much good to ourselves or others if we don’t know who we are. Nice post, thanks.

  10. @Jean: that reminds me of something: Expressing your ideas with pictures is what I wasn’t adept at earlier – now I started learning. I didn’t do a survey but I guess each one of us prefer.

  11. Have you surveyed your blog readers? I did and learned that most of my readers for 1 of the blogs simply preferred to read blog posts that are well-written (with pics). I develop and maintain 3 blogs, am a regular blog writer for a team of bloggers for 1 organization.

    I’m not sure blogging is the type of tool brings out the geek in me since I have designed more complex content management systems. But for certain, blogging rewakened my twin love of writing and artistic composition/natural flair for colour, shape, etc. when selecting photos and embedding them into a pleasing whole.

    Good points, Susan.

    How has blogging spilled into my offline life? Well, potential employers do notice what I have written. Also I have learned that if I create and maintain a decent blog, then guest photographers and writers have wanted to write for it or at least, I interview them/showcase their work in a blog post.

    • Jean, thank you for sharing your perspectives on how blogging benefits you. I agree with your point on employers checking people out on their blogs. I have even had candidates tell me that they read my blog before deciding whether they wanted to apply for positions I have posted — so we’re definitely getting good use out of our writing time!
      Susan

  12. Becoming a better communicator, yes I totally agree. Blogging also helped me give a shape to my ideas and thoughts – that way my mind is satisfied and it is ready to move on to new ideas.

  13. Susan,

    These are terrific lessons. They all resonate for me and some represent lessons i am continuing to learn. Especially how to write more succinctly! I’m delighted that you expanded the scope of your blog to express your expanded view and passion. It’s exactly this kind of flexibility that allows us to move in positive directions. Thanks so much.

  14. Hi Joanna,
    Thank you for this great question! Sometimes when we become accustomed to a term we forget that it might not be popular all over the world. “Teachable point of view” (sometimes referred to as TPOV) is a term used to denote key leadership messages – especially those that carry a request for behavioural change. If you set up a Google search like this [definition "teachable point of view"] – without the square brackets- you’ll find some rich resources on the topic.

    By the way, I’ve visited your blog several times in the past. It’s beautiful.
    Susan

    • Thanks for the reply Susan and the kind words about my blog. It is an interesting phrase, I googled as suggested and read some of the reference material and visited your blog too. I think I have a better picture now of your perspective and frame of reference.

  15. This is going to sound a little odd, and maybe it’s because I’m from England or just have a very different background and we use the language slightly differently but I don’t understand what you mean by a ‘teachable point of view’? Is it a phrase from American business studies maybe? Could you give an example of what you mean as I am unfamiliar with the phrase. Is there such a thing as an ‘unteachable point of view’ for example? Kind regards, Joanna.

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