I honestly have no idea what I’m doing half the time, and that’s just in day-to-day life. I couldn’t count the amount of times I’ve just finished writing a blog post, and for the life of me have absolutely no idea what I’ve actually written. That was part of the reason the name of this blog is ‘My uninformed opinion’, because most of the time it just feels like my posts are just me giving my opinion, with some sources thrown in for good measure.
Starting another set of blog writing for BCM240, I was a bit concerned about my writing, and sure enough after the first lot of my blog posts were finished my main piece of feedback was,
“Some additional sources could thicken the discussion further.”
It was the feedback I always knew was coming, but what was I going to do with it?
Well the answer seemed childishly simple, include more sources. I think we all know that simple solutions always tend to be harder in practice than we initially planned they would be, this was certainly the case for me, though I think that ended up being a good thing. I had thought I would just jump on Google click the first link that came up and there would be my source, it didn’t end up being that simple. I found that finding a useful source that was also trustworthy/ reliable was a lot harder than I thought, I didn’t like the idea of just grabbing some random bit of info from Wikipedia or something and putting that on my blog, I’m a bit pickier than that. Looking at more sources than I had been ended up being a really good thing for my blog. See I love learning new information about something, and by looking at more sources I became more interested in the topic and was able to write with greater enthusiasm, and I think that comes through in my writing.
I didn’t just stop at including more sources though, to try and end up with a better blog I looked at the one point that seems to come up whenever people talk about starting a blog, finding your voice. See for me the concept of finding your voice sounds to abstract, like something someone who meditates every morning, eats paleo(and makes sure to tell everyone about it), and has a huge mandala tattoo, because it’s just so spiritual.
When I looked into it though it was a lot less abstract than I had thought. Your voice is your way of looking at something, a unique sensibility, a distinctive way of looking at the world. The way I understand voice is that it is the parts of your writing that go around the information you’re trying to show. So I had figured out what voice was; now how was I going to develop my own?
Well Srinivas Rao, a personal development blogger gives this advice,
“People should write as if nobody was ever going to read what they wrote. If you approach your writing that way you’ll find that there are no limits to how off the wall you can get with your ideas.”
I found this bit of advice really helpful, though it was hard to put into practice when I first started off trying to implement it. I had certain topics/ tasks that I need to do for this blog, and I know that eventually some of the posts are going to be read and marked, so it was hard to just be so open with my writing. I found in taking on the advice I was able to write better though, it meant that I wasn’t solely trying to meet the criteria that was set and was able to bring a bit of life to my writing.
One of the other comments I received in my feedback was, “Think about following other blogs and linking further.” If I’m honest I hadn’t ever really thought about this, but it makes so much sense. The majority of the people that are reading my blog are other students, so why wouldn’t I include more sources from them, they’re writing on similar if not the same topics and will always have some way of looking at something that I would have never of thought of. It comes back to voice as well, a lot of people talk about envisioning your audience when you write, and writing for them. I’ve started to try and do that with my writing, to share in the experience that were all going through, and to be open and able to say “Don’t worry, I don’t know what I’m doing either.”
Some of the littler things I’ve done to make my blog better address this bit of feedback,
“Are there also ways that you can personalise further?”
I wasn’t 100% sure on what to do but after looking around, I came across an article on the WordPress beginner site on the difference between tags and categories and realised I hadn’t been tagging in the most efficient way.
The article splits tags and Categories like this,
“Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts. Think of these as general topics or the table of contents for your site.
Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts. Think of these as your site’s index words.”
By tagging my posts correctly, I should not only be able to show my readers what my posts are covering, but also hopefully increase my readership.
The other small change is the naming of my posts. I had been lazy recently and started giving my posts headings like, BCM Week 2 Post, and let’s be honest, no one wants to read that, so I started having a bit more fun with my headings.
Well that’s it; it’s been interesting doing another set of blogs and hopefully throughout my posts have gotten better.