Have you ever had a job where you were required to learn a lot of new stuff? You know the ones. You knew the basics but in order to do your job well or to advance, you had to learn more. Or maybe the job tested your people skills on a daily basis.

Thinking back to those jobs, if you played your cards right, you took something away from it. An education of sorts. Information that will stay with you forever. Knowledge that can never be taken away.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging I realized there was a lot I had to learn in order to maintain a blog. I didn’t know the blogging language, nor did I understand coding. The list of subjects was long and intimidating. I looked for short cuts, but found none. I soon realized I either had to learn it, or have a blog that lacked its full potential.

To this day, I’m still learning. In fact I’m guessing the process of gaining blogging knowledge will never end. The world of technology is forever advancing and blogs are there on it’s heels.

What I’ve learned thus far exceeds my expectations. I’ve learned some of the mechanics of blogging, plus blogging etiquette. I’ve learned we can write for search engines, but it’s the people that matter. I’ve learned at the end of the day, we’re all a lot alike. We want our words to be read, our voices to be heard, and to be accepted for who we are.

I’ve benefited from articles on subjects I previously had no interest in, but the blog author presented it in such a way I found it fascinating. I learned how others conduct business online, and how moms and dads deal with their daily routines. I’ve found blogs that make me laugh, some that make me cry, and authors who write with such eloquence, I wonder why they haven’t been discovered. I’ve heard stories of struggles, read words of great wisdom and articles that should make the front page.

Just like a job where we have the opportunity to learn more, blogs provide us with words of advice, lessons in life, opinions and insights that help us to think, to grow and to become the recipients of a world full of knowledge that’s priceless.

Today’s Assignment

What has blogging or other blogs taught you?

Is what you’re learning, something you can use in a real life, job or something that will advance your career in cyberspace?

I’d love to hear how your skills are improving. Feel free to share your thoughts.

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  1. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – that is so true. We do take away as much knowledge from blogging as we do from a job. I’ve learned heaps of stuff through reading other blogs and discovered resources that I probably wouldn’t have found.

    Also, I’ve learned a lot about myself – especially when it comes to business. You remember when I began blogging – I really thought an 80 hour work week was normal – I had no life. Through blogging and reading what my commenters had to say, my attitude and my life changed. And I hope I can pass what I’ve learned onto my readers.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Affiliate Commissions: Don’t Get Screwed

  2. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    good day barbara

    What has blogging or other blogs taught you? A different style of writing: get to the point in as few words as possible but capture your readers. taught me to also think of interesting titles as well. most people are hopping around, so this is a fun and challenging at the same time.

    Is what you’re learning, something you can use in a real life, job or something that will advance your career in cyberspace? Real life..just to be creative. I want to be a writer, so blogging is my practice, I guess.

    I’d love to hear how your skills are improving. Feel free to share your thoughts. Well with blogging I have to look for ideas to write about. Blogging has made me more aware of my surroundings in looking for things to blog about. I also learn a lot from the way other people write and then ask what is it about their writing that captured my attention and then try to duplicate it..with my own style of course.

    Natural´s last blog post..Finger Clicking Good’gaud That Hurts!

  3. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – what has been really big for me is that for the first time ever I am seeing myself as a writer. I’ve done writing before, and I knew I was OK at it enough to get by for the project – but this is something deeper. Writing for adults is significant for me, because I have a background of working with kids. Thanks for the question!

    Robin´s last blog post..How To Find Happiness

  4. BetsyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Blogging is teaching me to sharpen my writing, choose topics with care and that people are actually interested in what we have to say.

    What I didn’t expect is the ability to participate in community so soon. That has been one of the most rewarding outcomes.

    Betsy´s last blog post..VOTE

  5. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    I’m finding that my research into blogging is throwing up all kinds of different skills to master, Barbara.

    In particular, as you mention, coding and SEO are two areas where my knowledge and skills need developing.

    In some ways, I guess that I’ll really only become more able to do these things with practice… nothing beats on-the-job training! 😉

    I wonder whether you, or your readers, could suggest useful beginners’ guides to both coding and SEO?

    Ideally, I’d like to find really practical information rather than theoretical jargon.

    Thank you all in advance.

  6. Wow! Where to start? Okay, I have CONFIRMED that I am not the least bit interested in the technical side of blogging, but the Urbane Lion is and I have handed over my conversion to wordpress to a friend of mine.

    I have learned that I can write in a variety of styles, not just my dry wit style. This was an exciting discovery.

    I have confirmed that people are people. You have ambitious people, laid back people, intelligent people, not so intelligent people, well meaning people, malicious people, etc. It doesn’t matter whether it is online or in person. You pick and chose who you want to associate with.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..We are now entering the Focused Phase

  7. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    Though I’m still relatively new to the blogging world, I’ve re-discovered my voice. The ability to write and communicate with others is a skill, I’ve always had. Through blogging I’m developing it and taking it to higher levels. This can only be of benifit to me in the future.

    Additionally, running a blog is similar to running your own business irregardless of whether you plan to blog full time or not. You are required to pick a niche, develop it, market it and grow it into something special. Many of these tasks are new skills to some of us and require research. To others they may be old hat, but it’s a new medium and so there is still something to be learned.

    Great question today!

  8. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging is slowly removing my phobia (not literally) of using web related technologies. Being a s/w programmer, I absolutely disliked coding for sites. Now I am getting comfortable with this. Whenever I do get back to programming, comfort with web and the entire blogging experience is going to work for me well.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Productivity Hacks – #1

  9. I’ve learned a lot of things through my blogging experience. Just this morning I learned something about how you have to be careful with affiliate marketing on Cath’s blog.

    Probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned are new ways to market you website online with sites like social media sites.

    I’ve also learned exclusively through blogs “how to blog”. LOL

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..30.1 Web Tools For Online Success And To Make Your Life Easier At The Same Time

  10. My blog made me realize that getting paid for online writing is what I’d like to do. I don’t know if I’ll feel this way 2 years from now, but right now I feel that my blog opened a new direction for me.

  11. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Along with how to blog and internet marketing/social media 411, I’ve learned I will never be bored in this business compared with jobs I’ve had in the off line world. Our knowledge and skills are always evolving in the blogosphere.

    Personal growth has come for me in the areas of increasing my level of patience (with myself), stick-to-it-ive-ness and dedication to my goals.

    I’ve also learned how much I don’t know, and that its OK to admit this, outsource it, or dig in and learn new things daily.

    Linda Abbit´s last blog post..Funny Fridays for Halloween: Because It’s Better to Laugh than to Cry!

  12. Technically, I too am learning there are no short cuts, I need to get right in that CSS myself and figure it out, as I still have some font questions and such. But that will come.

    I had an old blog without the option of comments and since I started my new one I’ve not so much learned, as had it reinforced how wonderful, imaginative and helpful people can be.

    And I’ve learned it can take a lot of time to grow your blog.

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Caught red-pawed!

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine – That’s powerful what you learned about work. It’s true, some will say we need to work twice as many hours when we’re self employed, but if we can learn to delegate, outsource, and also take time for ourselves, we end up being more proficient.

    Hi Natural – There is a story in almost anything, isn’t there? Blogging is a wonderful medium for those who want to be writers. Our visitors will let us know what articles they like and if we take that information and use it to our advantage, a writing style can emerge that will appeal to the masses.

    Hi Robin – You’re welcome. I’m guessing there’s a big difference between writing for an adult audience versus children. A blog is a great place to test the waters and also to receive feedback.

    Hi Betsy – Oh yes, being able to participate in a community of like minded people is one of the biggest benefits of blogging. We an use them as a sounding board and it’s often those that read our work and participate in the discussion who will direct our future path.

    Hi Scott – On the job training is often the best way to learn. As for coding, I always turn to W3Schools. They have sections where you can practice and see your results. With regard to SEO (search engine optimization), I don’t understand it completely but do use a plugin which I don’t always optimize. For questions on that, I suggest John Hoff’s blog. He’s written several posts with links to great sites and plugins.

    Hi Urban Panther – Definately, people are people, whether online or off and as bloggers we can choose who we visit.

    That had to be an exciting discovery when you realized you’re able to write in different styles.

    Hi Neil – Thank you. You’ve hit on a great point. Blogging is very much like a business. For those who publish on a regular basis it also teaches us to be accountable and to some degree, transparent. That which we don’t know, we need to learn, and that which we do know, we often willingly share with others. Just like in real life, networking with other bloggers is a great way to find the best resources (for blogging) as well.

    Hi Avani – I just learned something new about you. I didn’t know you were a software programmer. Cool! The combination of programing and blogging could very well lead you into a direction where you could create a profitable online business.

    Hi John – I hear you. I’m learning how to blog, too. 😆 With you having a business and a blog, social media sites would be a great way to gain more exposure.

    Hi Vered – Isn’t that great how that works? We start blogging and realize how much we enjoy writing. Having read your blog and your guest posts (on other blogs), I can see how your talents could lead you into being paid for your words. I’ll be watching for the “hire me” ad on your site.

    Hi Linda – Blogging definitely teaches patience. Success does not come overnight, and like you mentioned, that’s where that stick-to-it-ness comes in. Perseverance pays off in most cases.

    Hi Jannie – I agree. The people we meet in blogosphere can be one of our greatest resources. We all have different levels of expertise, are at different phases of blogging and others willingly reach out to help. That’s what I really love about blogging. No question is a stupid question.

  14. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    It is strange, but I really learn more about myself as I venture more into the blog world and learn about other people and their experiences. It is amazing how unique people’s perspectives are – and I am learning to value my perspective as well. It is a wonderful feeling!!

    I cannot wait to learn more, but I am just letting myself go with the flow. I am starting my business blog in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait to see how much I learn there as well!

    Maya´s last blog post..Welcome – Please Come in!

  15. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Maya – Blogging does that, doesn’t it? As we share ourselves with the world, more about ourselves surfaces. We read other people’s stories, and we nod our heads in agreement, thinking “yeah, me too”. When we comment, we’re not only validating what others have written, but we’re confirming that’s what we believe, too.

    A business blog? How exciting. I’m hoping you’ll share the link with us when it’s live. :)

  16. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I have learned quite a few things from blogging. It would be hard to say exactly what those things all are.

    I know that I have learned a bit about audience. The audience that I attract doesn’t always want to hear what I want to say. I have had posts just flop because I wasn’t speaking to them. I think I have found a voice in my writing as well.

    I have learned about new topics from reading other blogs as well. It has opened my eyes to things I might not have come across otherwise. That is cool.

    Chase March´s last blog post..Where Are Your Priorities?

  17. Eric HammNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging has taught me SO many things.

    One odd thing that I wouldn’t have guessed I’d be thinking about as I blog is the similarity it has to everyday media. It helps me better understand about indirect advertising and the importance of winning the trust of an audience, making them fans. Eric.

    Eric Hamm´s last blog post..I Voted: Now Where’s My Sticker?

  18. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Chase – You’re right, our audience will, at times, tell us what they like and don’t like. But, it’s also important to keep our voice and write from our heart.

    Hi Eric – That’s right. Blogs are very much like everyday media. We tell stories, gain credibility and prove ourselves to be credible. Then we hope we get lots of fans. :)

  19. In writting a post I often go deeper into a topic than I would have if I wasn’t going to write the post. And then I become more interested in the topic and am more likely to read more about it in the future and then blog about it and…

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Curious Cat – Isn’t that amazing how that works? Before we know it we know more about the topic than we knew we wanted to. :)

  21. Well the best thing people can do Barbara is read your blog everyday of course!

    I think it is important to realize that you can’t learn everything about blogging all at once, but you can learn new things each day that will make you a better blogger. A year ago I didn’t even know how to put a picture in a post. I had to email a friend to help me “align” it to the left. lol

    The most important things that I do are to focus on the most positive people in my community, stay consistent with social networking for just about 15 minutes a day per site, and work hard at producing content that is something I would be interested in reading myself. There are so many self indulgent things that we all want to write about, but as bloggers we have to always remember that it is all about the readers.

    Dr. Nicole Sundene´s last blog post..How to Transform Fear

  22. Jeremy DayNo Gravatar says:

    On the technical side I realize I need to learn a lot more about search engines and how they work. And also what people are searching for.

    On the more personal side I am learning that the blogging community is great. Most of the commenting is done by people who have blogs. And I always love it when I see a person comment who doesn’t have a blog.
    I hate to say it but to a certain degree we are always self promoting when we comment. Its not really a bad thing because how else will we get to know each other? But as we can probably all attest, sometimes we do it for just a little recognition.
    On the flip side, I love how helpful most people are. I think we all get a lot out of each other’s blogs. Its good to see that some people are getting value out of all the hard work we put in.
    I guess what I want to learn most now is how we can be more inviting to those outside of the blogging community…

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

    Jeremy Day´s last blog post..Your Capacity is Low Because Your Devotion is Thin

  23. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, I am learning so much everyday that I would write a whole book and I am trying to learn not to be so wordy…more concise …so that would never do!

    I always knew I loved to write, but getting back into the world through this medium makes me feel more in line with myself and not left out…or behind.

    The technical side of blogging and computers is so difficult for me, I just set aside one hour 5 days a week to work on it. I am getting there but I have no idea about writing code…I just keep asking my techie for help and everyone else.

    I just want to keep writing here, but I think I would just blather on…so I will stop and again rejoice in your lesson and say thank you so much for keeping me posted.

    What wonderful comments you get!

    Patricia´s last blog post..Hats off to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Revising Committee

  24. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Through blogging, I am discovering that I enjoy writing for myself!! I used to write research on equity stocks while working in a bank. I loved that job but it did not make me realize how much more sharing my personal thoughts and insights mean to me!

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..My Out-of-Body Experiences

  25. I’m learning that I love to connect with people, online or in person. I’ve made some good friends via blogging. I also have enjoyed learning a bit about the technical stuff – though I have a LONG way to go!

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..What is Open Adoption?

  26. Pink InkNo Gravatar says:

    I’m learning how to write better just because I have to do it so often. I am learning how to write posts from the heart…and giving myself permission to do so. Lastly, I am learning more about other people…that there are so many interesting people out there!

    Pink Ink´s last blog post..I’m No Danielle Steel

  27. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I’m learning that there is NO limit to the creative possibilities. I have never in my life seen so many different ideas and different perspectives than I have in my time blogging. There are so many talented people out there whether it be through creativity, research, writing, or technical pursuits. We are definitely all individuals! No carbon copies here.

  28. […] we discussed what we are learning from our blogging experience, today we’ll discuss the […]

  29. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Nicole – Great advice. Read BWAB :)

    I was laughing at your story about inserting photos. I struggled with that for a long time. I didn’t know who to ask, so by trial and error, I finally figured it out. Aughhh!

    You’ve hit on a great point. It is all about our readers. Without them, what do we have?

    Hi Jeremy – Yes, commenting can be very self promotional. If a blog uses CommentLuv we get to advertise our latest post, and many bloggers believe in reciprocal comments. I see it as a win-win-win. We gain name recognition, the blog author we visit gains a comment/visit, and in the end we may make a new friend.

    Gaining readers from outside the blogging community seems to happen mostly by using SEO (search engine optimization). Unfortunately that traffic may not be the commenting kind.

    Hi Patricia – You’re welcome. Your in great company with your love of writing. It appears a lot of bloggers are writers at heart and a blog is the perfect medium. For those who want to advance their writing careers, their blog becomes their online resume. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

    Hi Evelyn – Blogging is perfect for sharing our insights. And it’s from insights bloggers so willingly share, we learn.

    Hi Vintage Mommy – Blogs are a great way to connect online and find like minded people. Often those conversations are taken offline and I’m sure many friendships are made.

    Hi Pink Ink – There are a lot of interesting people in blogosphere, isn’t there. Isn’t it great how we can meet people from all over the world. In real life that would be next to impossible (unless we traveled a lot)

    Hi Davina – You’re right. There are no carbon copies. And I agree, the amount of creative talent is unbelievable, and the subject covered is endless. Isn’t it magical?

  30. What’s great about blogging is that it allows for conversations around varying perspectives to take place (collaboration). That’s a great thing! It can really expand your knowledge on something. Sometimes people get off topic and others don’t bring much by way of value (those people aren’t very nice). But the ones that do bring value and stay relevant, they make the experience all worthwhile! Don’t you think? (I know you agree).

    Is what I am learning applicable to business and/or my future career? I would certainly hope so! But seriously, I’ve recently created a blog for a Graduate Student Association and our membership has increased dramatically. How’s that for “beneficial!?” We haven’t seen how this will help the groups corporate outreach efforts yet, but the outlook is hopeful!

    Ricardo Bueno´s last blog post..How Well Do You Understand Social Media?

  31. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I have learned that everything I know came from other bloggers and the technical stuff is still being learned. I find that it is a continuous process and it will continue. I am not so sure that you can ever be a total expert on this as the net is changing daily muchless hourly in some areas.

    Linda´s last blog post..A Terrific Safety Suggestion!

  32. Hi Barbara! Happy Thursday!

    Blogging has taught me several things. For example, I have always been a better writer than speaker. However, now that I am writing more, it seems to help with my speaking to co-workers, my boss, etc. I think more before I speak. I also feel so much more creative when I get to use HTML and all the different Blogging resources. Blogging has definitely changed my life for the better, I am glad I happened upon it.

    Jennifer (Danifer)´s last blog post..Movie Review – Running Scared

  33. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I guess I should have said I used to be a s/w programmer. At present I don’t work. The experience of programming is coming very handy whenever I want to make small changes to the blog.

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ricardo – Yes, I agree. The conversations on blogs are priceless. There’s so much we can learn from each other.

    The new blog you created sounds phenomenal. I’m sure the Graduate Student Association members were amazed at how a blog helped their membership. With you behind it, I’m not surprised. :)

    Hi Linda – You’re right about that. With the internet changing so rapidly and new things constantly being added, it would take a person 24/7 to keep up with it all.

    Hi Jennifer – Happy Thursday to you, too. :) Like you, I am also happy I happened upon blogging. That’s interesting how you said your blog has helped you with speaking to co-workers and/or your boss. What a great benefit, hey?

    Hi Avani – Thanks for the correction. Either way, it appears past job experience helps with your blogging.