Lessons learned from BYW 2.0

Over the past month, I've been taking Holly's online course, Blogging Your Way 2.0, and I wanted to share some of what I've learned. Maybe some of you are thinking about taking a similar course in the future, or maybe you're just wondering what the heck someone learns in a blogging course.

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After sharing her story, one of the first things Holly asked us to think about is why we blog and what our goals for our blogs are. Several years ago, I was sifting through a box of old schoolwork that my parents had saved for me. In report card after report card, my teachers all commented on my enthusiasm for art and creative writing. As I pulled painting after drawing after short story from the box, I remember thinking to myself, what happened to this person? Somehow, somewhere along the way, I had completely detached from my creative side without even realizing it.

Nothing much changed at the time and, years later, I had graduated from university and completed a masters degree, I had started my career and I was living with the man I planned to marry. Life was good, but something was missing (it wasn't a baby).

And then I discovered blogs. I'd been refinishing furniture for a couple of years at this point and I was driving Adam crazy with constant ramblings about my decorating plans for our apartment. I started reading and commenting on blogs and quickly discovered an entire community of people who shared my obsession with decor and DIY projects. Before long, I decided I didn't want to just comment on other people's projects and ideas, I wanted to share mine, too. For me, blogging is a way to nurture my creative side. I blog because it allows me to write, share, connect, create and express myself.

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Before taking Holly's course, I'd been too scared to really think about my goals for this blog, because having goals means taking responsibility for achieving them (or not). The course pushed me to not only identify my goals, but also to write them down and feel good about it.

We talked about the emotional aspects of blogging - overcoming jealousy, writing from an authentic place, facing our fears of failure - alongside the very practical - taking better pictures, Photoshop tips and tricks, creative post ideas and ways to monetize your blog.

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As it comes to an end, I'm excited to put what I've learned into my blog - into improving it and making it more enjoyable for you to read, but also into growing it into something that I can really be proud of.


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