On Blogging

My friend Tracy H. is a teacher who lives in England. We met ten years ago when I was a first-year university student in STU in Fredericton, New Brunswick and she was studying education at UNB. (Where does the time go?!) Anyway, she wrote to me the other day:


Hi Leah,

Hope all is well on the tropical island!  

I'm currently working on a scheme of work for grade 7 English students and we are looking at blogging as a form/ format of writing.  

As I happen to know that you are a very talented blogger, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind writing a few words about why you like blogging, what makes it effective and anything else you can think of- ie: special considerations for writing for a blog as opposed to an email, letter, website, etc.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



As I was getting ready to type up my answer to her in a private email, I realized, hey! I can make this a blog post! And kill two birds with one stone. And, how meta is that...

(Also, let me just point out that flattery will get you everywhere.)

So, here are my thoughts on her questions:

Why I Like Blogging: I had to stop and think about this. I've been blogging since 2002. (This is my first blog and this is my second. The one you're currently reading is my third and hopefully last. I want to stay here for a good long time!)

I started blogging when I was 18, and I'm about to turn 31. I've continued blogging, more or less, with a few breaks that each never lasted more than a few months, for all that time. So there has got to be something about it I like! But I don't know if I ever really stopped to think about what that is.

So here's what I've come up with:

  • It's conversational. I can write how I talk, and I know there are readers reading it, so it's like having a convo with them.
  • It's pretty easy to just start blogging. You sign up for a blog with a free provider, and away you go. You don't need a course or a certification!
  • You're in control of what goes up when. There isn't another editor I'm dealing with, it's just me. I set my own schedule and if I want to post six times a day, I can!
  • There are loads of other bloggers! So there is a real community to tap into, talk to, share with, and support.
  • It's good plain fun. This one is subjective... I suppose you either like blogging or you don't! I happen to like it a lot.

What Makes It Effective: I'm drawn to personal stories. I like immediate, real, down-to-Earth language. I want to know how something felt. What you saw. What you learned, what you ate, what you dreamed for yourself. That's how I tend to learn anything: history, or geography, or political events, or cooking, or whatever! By being drawn in first by a personal story.

Special Considerations for Writing a Blog (as opposed to a letter, for example): I would recommend you read a few blogs to get a sense of the style of a blog post as a media type. You'll quickly realize that they are all pretty different styles! That's because a good blog post feels like it's written by a real person (because it is), but you still want to pay attention to your grammar and spelling. At least, I do.

I also try to keep my blog posts fairly short, while still having some good "meat," or content. It's not an academic essay; unless that's your niche and that's what you do well, and why people come to your site to read your stuff. If that were the case, though, I'd recommend posting once a week instead of daily, to let people "digest" the material.

I hope this helps, Tracy and anyone else reading it! Let me know if you have other questions. Just leave a comment on this post, or email me: leahcnoble@gmail.com