Last Saturday, Arielle and I joined Blogworthy, a two-day blogging workshop, by Arriane Serafico, a.k.a. Wanderrgirl. Yes, Arielle and I were (and will still be) classmates. Talk about learning together as we homeschool!
Let me tell first the reasons why we joined.
I, the mom, joined because:
- I felt I needed and wanted to keep up with the modern techy times and learn a whole lot more about blogging. My BIG question: How do others do it so well and differently?
- I also wanted to look into the possibility of using a blog for a homebased business or entrepreneural ideas in the future.
My husband and I encouraged Arielle to join because:
- we know that writing is an area of strength for her and that a blog is also where she can showcase her skills in photography and art, traditional and digital. Plus, I’ve read somewhere that a blog is the new resume or portfolio. We, her parents, just have to equip her for the future! Now, don’t make me explain how our resumes were like during my time.
- By joining, it would be an opportunity for her to develop this life and marketable skill. This is an example of 21st century learning and this is how we homeschool. Real life. Intentional. Non-traditional.
Before the workshop even started, each one of us was already greeted by goodies from the time we registered to the moment we chose our seats. Each had a tin pail (by Celebrations Party Central) with these as our loot:
- personalized perfume and pillow mist (by BC Fragrance),
- washi tapes and craft stickers (by Hey Kessy),
- notebook (by Designs of Artisan)
- accessories and key chain (by Hodge Podge),
- and laptop bags (by Punchdrunk Panda) to the first 5 early bird registrants (Arielle’s one of them!)
The co.lab venue was not your usual dull-colored function or office room. The wide open space, with orange bursts of color, is equipped with office tools and audio-visual equipment, has a small pantry area, sofas, chairs and tables, and smaller rooms within, making it very conducive to work, collaboration, brainstorming and c-r-e-a-t-i-v-i-t-y!
Day 1 was info-packed, I must say, with Arriane, first and foremost, sharing with us that my blog is not about me. My blog is my message to the world which means I have to make a GOOD one. She then moved on to the nitty gritty, giving my left-brain some serious stretching and warm-up! We worked on a few “Who am I?” kind of worksheets to be able to understand what it would take to come up with a good or better blog. In between the brainy activities, we watched a scent-making demo by BC Fragrance, listened to the presentation, and a little while later, were treated with the yumminess of ice cream and sherbet sampling by Pinkerton Ice Cream. That surely gave our thinking gears a boost! Everbody was happy! =)
Now, this is how I summed up what I learned in Day 1:
And I thought to blog is to simply write about something or anything. Well, I thought wrong. An interesting, persuasive, effective blog is actually a combination of all these “ingredients” before you can say that your blog is ready for the world:
Psychology – First, you have to do a lot of self-awareness exercises of knowing yourself, your personality, different roles in life, heroes and inspirations, passions and obsessions, etc. Everything that makes you tick and makes you uniquely YOU. How’s that for a start?
Marketing – You have to show and celebrate your uniqueness. Don’t copy other blogs or the styles of other bloggers. Come up with your own concept. Make it the best and give it a one-of-a-kind packaging and branding. I would say competition can be tough.
Art – A blog is very visual. When readers go to your blogsite, the initial elements that would make them want to read your post would be the lay-out, color scheme, font, and other graphics. Once you’ve got them hooked by those, there’s a big chance that they would stay a few more minutes on your site, read more or even follow you!
Here also comes the technical side of it. As Arriane would say, working on the backend of your blog with the CSS or HTML codes plus webhosting and domains (which I do not understand at this point, but would definitely like to learn) can make your blog stand out from the rest.
Communication – The heart of the blog! This is where your writing style and voice come in. Is your style informative? funny or serious? casual? brief and direct? What does your voice say about your personality? How does one read “hear” your written words? How do you connect with your readers? How do you bring your thoughts and ideas to life? A great tip in writing that I learned is to use key words, categories or labels that are Google-able.
As an example, one writing exercise we had to do was to briefly write about scent samplers given out to us by BC Fragrance. It was pretty challenging! How would you actually describe a scent in words that only your nose knows? Think about it.
So, at the end of the day, it turns out that blogging is actually a science. Hmmm…huh? It’s because for one to come up with and upkeep a blog, he or she needs to know the right mix of ingredients and formulas. Sounds easy, right? But that’s not it. I personally believe that it also takes time, effort, and I would say, passion, drive, and dedication to keep a blog. Then and only then can one say that his or her blog is blogworthy!