Has Blogging Changed You?

Blogging connects people from all parts of the world. A single connection can change a person’s life in wonderful ways Blogging has the potential to change your life or someone else’s life. Contact leads to communication. Communication expands our knowledge and leads to relationship building. Building relationships with people from different cultures influences thoughts and actions and results in creative collaboration. Blogging can even lead to your dream blogging job finding you.

The way bloggers communicate and present themselves and their opinions online is important, but even more important than online presence is “to thine own self be true”. Authenticity is the character trait of being genuine, honest with oneself as well as others.  It’s more than that too. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite the demands of society or one’s conditioning.   – Blogging: Online presence and authenticity

It’s easy to get caught up in striving for more – more comments and followers  – and miss the magic blogging moments. I’ve been reflecting on how far I’ve come over the course of these last 7 years. I entered the blogosphere undercover, so to speak, via private journal blogging. I outgrew reading blogs at Blogger, started a blog of my own there and was drawn to WordPress.com. I learned as much as I could as quickly as I could in one year. Then I decided I wanted to share what I learned with others so I created a blogging tips blog.

I like helping people but I’m an introvert and becoming a blogger has helped me become a better communicator. I’ve become more organized and focused in my writing. I’ve learned how to keep my online and offline life in balance so I can blog effectively.  I’ve expanded both my knowledge and friendships by reading blogs in a wide range of niches. I continue to connect with new bloggers every day who educate, entertain me, engage me and inspire me. Sometimes, reading a blog triggers a magic moment, a small epiphany that leads to a change in one aspect of my life or another.

 Has blogging changed you?

I’m presupposing that blogging has changed your life to some degree or another, but do correct me if I’m wrong.

  1. Has what you have published on your blog(s) and reader response to it made an impact on your life?
  2. Has what have you read on blogs made an impact on your life?
  3. Has social networking made an impact on your life?

39 thoughts on “Has Blogging Changed You?

  1. I also started blogging “undercover” so it’s been a pretty cool journey to take it to a place where I feel more confident in my voice, yet more willing to show my imperfections. Now, I find my blog is a great source of accountability as I know people actually are reading it. It forces me to practice what I preach!

    1. Hi Charlene,
      Thansk so much for commenting here. You have raised such an important point ie. the accountability effect. Best wishes for happy blogging.

  2. Great post, TT. Blogging has changed me. Through it, I’ve been exposed to a variety of people and ideas from all walks of life. I’ve become more computer savvy and have honed my writing skills. I’ve also developed a better filter when it comes to sharing details on my life an family — something that has carried over into my verbal conversations. It’s not all good, though. I’m also on my butt in front of the computer more. Guess you can’t have it all!

  3. Blogging has made a huge difference in my life not only in the area of improving (I hope) in the area of writing but it has given me a boost in self confidence being like your self, introverted by nature.
    Thanks!

  4. Can I ask your opinion? I am checking out Google Alerts, thanks to you, which I can foresee as being extremely helpful whenever I get my piano teaching website up and going this year….however, I am at a loss as to how to use it with my current blog! I feel I might need to streamline what I blog about and have that reflected in my subheading. Do you think my heading and subheading are too vague?

    1. Hello again,
      No they are not vague but they also aren’t very distinctive. Check out these posts:
      http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/07/31/blog-titles-and-branding-tools/
      http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2009/06/22/creating-an-effective-blog-tagline/
      ou can change your blog title and tagline at any time on this page > Settings General and that change will not affect the URL ie. the blog address.

      You can set up Google Alerts by entering your blog URL. Then you will receive Alerts as it happens, daily or weekly (you specify) that contain links to every site that your URL was mentioned on. You can also use other reputation management tools
      http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2011/06/17/%E2%80%9Cme-on-the-web%E2%80%9D-for-reputation-management/

  5. I am new to blogging — about 5 months — and I started out with 5 written goals. I have achieved only 2 of the 5 but they were important to me — entertain readers with my nonsense writing and upgrade my computer skills. However, I had an additional written list of “goals within the blog” about the actual subject I was blogging about — gardening — and I have already achieved all 6 of those goals. I have been amazed how much WORK is involved with a blog. I am always working on story ideas and always looking for photos. Most amazing of all is a sense of happiness that I didn’t have before because I am, finally, being true to myself and doing what I have always wanted to do – WRITE.

  6. I do not know where to begin to tell you how blogging has changed my life. And changed my life for the extreme better. I have met amazing bloggers; talented, creativity that astounds me, genuine people who have a printed voice that I want to read. My blog, which really does nothing and serves no purpose, I love with a venomous passion. I have always been a creative person and my blog has given me an outlet to channel my creativity that I never knew I needed. My blog has opened opportunities and made me jump further into the social media world and on my journey so far, I realize that my new motto for the first time in my life is “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”. TY.

  7. Dear Mark,
    What can I say? You have said it all. Or, maybe John Lennon did:
    You may say
    I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
    I hope some day you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

  8. It’s funny: there are days when blogging seems profound, almost mystical with all the interconnectedness, and global reach; other days, it seems absurd, all of us just jabbering away… : )

    I agree with readytochangenow’s observation: I feel I know my online (blogging) friends better than I do my in-person, offline friends. It’s very disconcerting, and I’m never sure whether I should be worried about this phenomenon…

    There’s a lot of rudeness and deceit online, but oddly enough, blogging has left me with an overriding impression of kindness. I’m continually amazed at the kindness of fellow bloggers.

    Finally, every so often, I allow myself the thought that blogging boosts the chances for world peace, since it erases the idea of “us” and “them.” Well, if I’m gonna indulge in a fantasy, I might as well make it a good one, right?? : )

  9. 1) Blogging has allowed me to now understand that I am not always right.
    2) Blogging has connected with people from many different cultures, and I love reading about how they live their day to day lives.
    3) Blogging has made me more expressful in an “artsy” fashion. I have mostly been business minded my whole life and was in the executive world for too long. Blogging has brought out my “artsy” side of my personality.

    WordPress.com presents a safe environment to communicate with people from across the globe. I feel much safer communicating with others’ on WordPress.com than on any other website.

    Thanks for asking!

    1. Hi there,
      Blogging is a creative outlet for many and it’s good to know it’s releasing the artist within you. :) I’m not convinced that WordPress.com blogging is any safer than blogging elsewhere is. I’m not clear what you mean by “safe”. The online environment is full of all kinds of people just as the offline environment is, and we are responsible for our own safety in both environments. Blogging does tend to open our minds to a greater array of possibilities and points of view and that’s to our benefit. However, what others think or write can’t affect us negatively if we refuse to embrace it. Thank so much for thinking about this and making the time comment here..

  10. I think blogging did change me – it gave me the strength to believe I could write a book. I’m not sure I’ll ever get a handle on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc) These mad, flashing past feeds just seem like silly snippets of time, rather than a real dialogue.

    Maybe it is my age.

    1. Hi Robyn,
      As the saying goes we all have a book in us and you certianly have a story to tell. There’s only so much time in a day and we all have priorities. As Sid Savara says in How To Focus On What Truly Matters: “There is, however, enough time in the day to do everything that I am truly interested in, and that truly matters. Find what you can let slide -and then let it.” Schedule time to write and treat that appointment with the same seriousness as any other appointment.

  11. Has blogging changed me? More like how blogging reminds me to be just “me”, but I qualify: the best of “me”. Blogging is another tool of self-expression, like paintbrush, a sewing needle, a pair of knitting needles, a white plate (to grace it with beautiful, tasteful food), etc, When I start off writing in a stilted manner, I try to remind myself to speak more naturally as myself. Well, my definition as “natural”. However true candor really means some cursing which I haven’t done on my blogs.

    Certainly blogging has change the natural rhythms of my life –in a good way. More closer to seize the inspiration and start writing the draft. This does not happen in painting, mixed media art where I have to clear table space, lay out my art tools and paints, cleaning agents before starting anyting! Already that’s half an hr. of preparation time.

    I am surprised how the act of blogging has become part of “me” even though I only blog 1-2 times per month on my personal blog. There is a submerged drive in me to document some neat things I’ve experienced or express simply in a crystal-like ways about a series of highly complicated personal experiences. If I have done that properly in 1 blog post and some commenters identified well with it, then I’ve created something worthwhile. A blog post that expresses is: http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/asia-in-my-dreams-romanticizing-the-east/ I couldn’t have written this piece when I was 25 yrs. old…it could have only been written it several decades later. Blogging makes me realize that sometimes being patient with myself the inspiration for the right story will tumble out. And I must let it tumble out. I’m still working on that!

    1. HI Jean,
      What a wonderful comment this was to read. I find your blog to be fascinating and I’m always wondering what will be coming next. Your blend of writing and photography produces timeless pieces I enjoy reading and viewing more than once. If you hadn’t taken up blogging we would not have met. Thanks so much for sharing your experience here and for being my friend too.

        1. My husband surprised me with house painting so my blogging time will be severely reduced in the next 2 weeks. After that I’ll be more productive again. :)

  12. Hi TT. This is my experience – sorry it’s a bit long.

    Has blogging changed me? I’ve been thinking about that since the email thudded into my Inbox yesterday morning, and the answer, now as then, is that I don’t really know.

    The reason I say that is because blogging is now so intrinsically a part of my life, and part of me, I don’t think it’s possible to say whether it’s changed me, or my life, or has itself been changed.

    I think the last is the truth, because my life has quite definitely changed my blogging, since I discovered, last year, that I’m terminally ill. Statistically, the next few months could be my endgame – we’ll see; I’m not writing myself off just yet. Or, for that matter, at all! After all, statistics can be notoriously unreliable.

    I have, once the initial anger, and fear, wore off – there’s a limit to how long one can remain angry and scared and, let’s face it, neither accomplishes anything – become, certainly, more calm, and, naturally enough, the content of my blog has changed. A lot of it became about me (not too surprisingly – this is the sort of subject that tends to dominate one’s outlook though a degree of balance is slowly being restored, I hope). What I had to do was try to maintain my readers’ interest, not get whiney, and – well, basically, just be me. And, surprisingly, the expected slump in readership didn’t happen. In fact it increased substantially, and subscribers have more than doubled.

    My writing has changed, though, and I’m sure it’s improved, even matured somewhat – and rather than have my blog post mostly about me, I created a subsidiary identity for most of those posts, called Chronicles of the Heart, which rapidly became a tale of medical incompetence which is still ongoing. The title is a tad Mills & Boon-ish, in retrospect, but successful enough despite that – surprisingly so, at times.

    Otherwise my writing continues much as before, focusing on disability and mobility issues in general, and disability rights, in particular, as they are being dramatically eroded pretty much day by day, along with whatever else attracts my notice. And, yes, the old anger is still there – it’s impossible to write about our psychopathic government (our prime minister, David Cameron has such a deeply-rooted hatred of chronically sick and disabled people that he cannot possibly be sane), without getting angry, but the anger is more measured, more creative, and much less sweary than it was.

    So, to finally answer the question, has blogging changed me, I’d have to say, no, not noticeably, but the more powerful influences at work have probably prevented that, even though they have, quite definitely, changed the way I write.

    Changed me too. Whether for the better or not is still up for debate, but I like to think it is.
    Like many other bloggers, I’ve made many new friends in cyberspace. Some have drifted away, new ones have come in, and some sort of balance is maintained. A similar thing happened on Twitter too (I wrote a scathing blog post about Twitter a few years ago – I was so wrong!).

    I think it’s fair to say, too, that I have more real friends online, who actually care about me, and what happens to me, than I have offline – not least because being housebound is extremely isolating (I prefer offline to “in the real world” as that implies that online events and people aren’t real and that’s simply not true).

    And in that respect, I suppose it’s fair to say that blogging has changed my life, rather than changed me.

    1. Dear Ron,
      I’m saddened by your health report and honored by your straight from the heart comment. You have friends who care for you and about you and that makes you rich indeed. While we can’t magically adjust our brains to start caring about millions we never meet like we care about a single human being we connect with — online connections can lead to lasting friendships — friendships that have a remarkable effect on our health, happiness and much more. I have read your comment more than once and thought about what you concluded with. It fits for me too. Blogging hasn’t changed me but it has changed my life because I’ve made it part of my life.

  13. Blogging has changed my life in so many ways – the connections and accountability towards my goals has been the biggest change.

    Finally free of the obession of statistics and the number of followers – I can focus on the conversations and relationships I have with those who read me and write themselves.

    I have found friendships that are free of the usual social expectations…I don’t know what my new friends make, do for a living, look like, etc – but for the most part I know more about them than the ones I know IRL.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting. “I have found friendships that are free of the usual social expectations …” It’s amazing how we can bond closely to people we have never met.

  14. WoW! 7 years!

    7 years ago I had no idea what a blog was.

    Less than 10 months ago I stumbled across the phenomenon by accident and decided that putting my (somewhat extremist) views out into the blogosphere was a better form of tension relief than shouting at the TV.

    Blogging has changed me, but I sometimes wonder if it’s for the better. Since my blog is neither self help, or commercial, it doesn’t produce income – and, indeed, was never intended to, initially.

    However, with the passing of the months, I’m wondering if the hours spent in writing could be used more productively. And I have yet to overcome the bane of all new bloggers – an obsession with stats!

    And since I discovered Flag Counter on your blog, and opened it in mine, I also became obsessed with the global spread of my rants Now 118 countries and counting).

    Now, in addition to my blog, I guest post on another one, and comment heavily in some other sites. I think blogging is the nearest thing to a hobby I have ever had in my life.

    So, yes it has changed me. Whether for the better, I don’t know – the jury is still out on that.

    And as for social networking, so far I’ve stayed well away. I have accounts with facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.but only to enable me to access other accounts if I choose to, I’m afraid to even go there as I don’t want to end up a “facebook freak” or a “twitter junkie”, example of which I see every day!

    You probably don’t remember but, in these past months, I have called on you for help a few times,and I have always been glad of your gracious and helpful responses.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi there andyboy,
      It’s finally Friday and it’s good to have the time to reply to you. I think you are doing very well and you needn’t fret about social networking. Blogging can be a fulfilling hobby. It certainly is for me. Your approach is a good one. You are focused on content creation, guest posting and frequent commenting. I trust you will make lots of online friends and who knows? One day you may be looking back on 7 years of blogging and smiling like I am.

  15. 1. Yes. It’s taught me that one is never too old to learn new skills and meet new people, sometimes face to face as well as online.

    2. Yes. It’s widen my knowledge of places and people and ideas and it’s just so much fun.

    3. Not if you mean Facebook or Twitter and things as I’m not on these. I blog and I use internet forums on various topics and very much value the interaction I find in all of them.

    1. We most certainly never grow to old to learn new skills and there’s science as well as experience to back that up. The discovery of neuroplasticity, that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains, even into old age, is the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years. As Dr. Norman Doidge wrote in The Brain That Changes Itself: “The brain is a far more open system than we ever imagined, and nature has gone very far to help us perceive and take in the world around us. It has given us a brain that survives in a changing world by changing itself.” http://thistimethisspace.com/2010/10/14/good-vibrations-or-brain-plasticity/

      Don’t ever let go of the fun factor in blogging. In my case I discovered early on I couldn’t keep pace with social networking. My friend Sandra has published a great free ebook titled A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Digital Overwhelm http://alwayswell.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/overcoming-digital-overwhelm1.pdf

      … we weren’t put on this planet to live in digital frenzy. It might even be an act of compassion to reduce the presence of our own voice amidst the digital din. However, there’s no need to reject the digital world and all its wonders. Let’s just use it in a balanced and intelligent way.

  16. Hey that’s an interesting post :) I think all us fellow bloggers try to be nicer to each other in order to be more distinct…. there are sooooo many blogs on the planet so we HAVE to stand out somehow… I have for example put a ‘donate now’ button on my webpage as I think it’s important and in this ‘virtual era’ we still need to try to get someone’s attention. All the best.

    1. Hi Caroline,
      I have a lot of life experience and I value authenticity and honesty above “niceness”. In order to “should” anyone else and prevail upon them to be more this or more that, one has to be a judge. The truth is that we are only capable of being our authentic “self” if we are self-aware and when we are in the now moment. Many people simply aren’t there yet.

      If you feel that bloggers you are meeting “should” be more this way or that way, please look harder. There are legions of authentic bloggers in the blogosphere to connect with and statistically speaking it won’t be hard to locate others who you feel comfortable with.

      P.S. I pay for a No-Ads upgrade on this blog to keep WordPress.com initiated advertising that appears on all the blogs they host off of it and I’m not going to be posting a donation button. I prefer that my readers consider using any funds they may have donated to buy a No-Ads upgrade for their blogs too.

  17. I’m just starting to get my wordpress presence organized and it has already made a largely positive impact on my life. Thanks for what you do. It’s been a big help for me.

    1. Hello there,
      I’m pleased to hear you are enjoying establishing your presence in the blogosphere. It’s good to know what I publish has been helpful. Best wishes for many happy times to come.

  18. I think blogging has changed me and the direction of my work. Before it used to be about creating interesting content where people can relate to..in a personal journal kind of way. Now it is more on making sure I cover what’s new and what is interesting in music. I enjoy doing it but seeing the reader’s enthusiasm in your posts made me re evaluate the reason why i blog anyway. Getting hits is not enough. Connection is also important.

    1. Hi Baxter,
      It’s always good to hear from you. Connections is important and I find myself lacking the time to pursue connection online as much as I would like to. Regrettably, running a business, doing contracted work, maintaining connections with family and friends, answering forum questions and blogging, doesn’t leave me with enough to connect on a deeper level.

  19. Blogging has made an impact on my life because I’m meeting new people and sharing thoughts and ideas and becoming actively involved socially in real life. I’m learning to become a better communicator. I’m still learning how to write detailed articles. What is the length of a good post?

    1. I am grinning from cheek to cheek because it’s been rewarding to see you take so well to blogging.

      There is no definitive answer to your question. I believe that anyone who does enjoy reading will read any length of post, provided that it’s well written and it holds their interest. We can’t view post length through the eyes of your readers literally, but we can give the question closer examination. See:
      8 Tips for Effective Blogging
      http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2011/12/01/8-tips-for-effective-blogging/
      Bloggers: How long are your posts? http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2009/06/04/bloggers-how-long-are-your-posts/

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