Monday, November 24, 2014

My blogging journey so far

I wrote my first post back in 2011.

But actually, I hadn't the faintest clue what it was all about. What's there so interesting to write about the eyes? What's the point?

For the first year or two, you will see that I did not post very much. The lack of knowledge fed a lack of motivation, and time just passed me by. Along the way, several things changed.

One of the important things that happened was coming across some really great blogs that served as an inspiration and motivation. They showed what was possible, and helped me to decide what my niche would be: ie what I would write about that would be interesting and different from other eye related blogs.

I decided that while I would still write mostly about ophthalmic topics, I would add more detail in the posts, especially with regard to useful, practical information that is not readily found elsewhere. ie something of an insider's view. I would try to make the posts thought provoking...At least, that's what I aim to do!

I also found that there is a lot of useful information on the web about blogging and what makes it work.

Some pointers for those who might be interested/things that I learned:

1. Post often
This takes a lot of effort, and I find that I can't really post as often as I think I should or would like to. There are many factors related to this, but includes finding suitable topics to write about, and the actual writing process which involves occasional writer's block...

2. Link the blog to social media such as Facebook, Reddit or Google Plus. If one is so inclined, judicious advertising can speed things along, but should never be the main driving force of the blog. As in real life, the quality of a product is what matters in the long run, and advertising efforts will only provide a temporary boost at best.

3. Maintain an online presence on fora and the like. In my line of blogging, I find it useful to go on websites such as Quora, Yahoo Answers and Medhelp sometimes. Looking at the questions asked gives ideas about future blog topics, gives one a chance to help others, and also provides a chance to link back to the blog on relevant topics. It is important not to do it solely for the chance to link back, something which should always be done in context or the poster risks gaining a bad reputation. Actually, even getting involved on non related fora is helpful, as is the occasional blog commenting.

4. Try to adopt a blog friendly writing style. Something that I am not so good at, but involves short, engaging paragraphs, with pictures as appropriate.

5. Read other blogs to keep the motivation going and also keep up to date with what is happening around the topic of the blog. This ties in with finding topics to talk about.

6. If one is getting really good at it, one can plan and schedule future posts. This is much better than getting to the weekly or other interval, and having nothing in mind.

7. Write down ideas that come to mind before one forgets them.

8. Write 'opportunistically' ie when the urge to do so strikes...

Some years ago, the medical director of the Singapore National Eye Centre where I was working at got everybody to be involved in writing a text book on an Asian perspective to eye conditions. It was a huge effort, but it was done, and we can see its worth everytime we decide to turn the pages and check on something. In a similar way to putting pen to paper, putting thoughts in cyberspace are a (permanent) record of things that we thought or did at some point in time, and hopefully will remain useful in some way, long into the future!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this awesome and inspiration experience with us. I really appreciate this and this will motivates me a lot in my blogging career.
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