The Art Of Blogging: Theory Or Experience?

The Art Of Blogging
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My son was born in January. I remember there was snow lying on the ground and the short cut I was taking to the hospital was pretty hazardous in the snow.

We’ll soon be approaching his fifth birthday and all of a sudden today I thought back to some classes my wife and I attended shortly before his birth.

We were both nervously anticipating meeting our first-born and we wanted to get everything right. So we signed up for some ante-natal classes to make sure we were going to be well-prepared.

Several weeks of learning the theory before the big event and a steep learning curve.

Nothing was left to chance; we covered everything from what was going to happen at the birth right through to a mock-up of changing a nappy (or a diaper if you’re in the US).

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want to be there and I’m sure neither did most of the other men but we all went along to support our expectant partners.

But was it all worth it in the end? Did learning the theory mean we could be confident in practice? You’d like to think so wouldn’t you.

Well, in our case unfortunately not. Nothing could prepare us for the experience we had with the birth of our son. I don’t want to go into details here, other than that it was a difficult birth and nothing went smoothly.

Instead, what I do want to say is that theory is often no substitute for experience. But at that stage we had no experience and the theory did us no good. Theory was just that, theory.

Until you actually go through something, experience it and figure it out for yourself, theory isn’t always worth a great deal and if there’s anything I’ve learnt from blogging, that is also the case.

You can read all the books about blogging you want, watch tonnes of videos on the subject but the best thing to do is get out there and do it – learn the art of blogging from experience.

Yes, you need to decide on a niche and write about that subject but there really is no substitute for your life skills and your life experience.

Sure, there’s definitely going to be a learning curve but don’t be afraid to draw on things that have happened in your life and are happening now and write about them.

The most enjoyable blogs I find to read do this very thing. They speak to you; have a conversation with you even.

You can read books upon books about blogging but until you experience the art of blogging and put it into practice, those books really aren’t much good to you.

I had a crisis of confidence a couple of weeks ago. Where was my blog going? What on earth is my brand? Should I be concerned that I’m not making any money?

Actually, the crisis came about because I read other blogs that covered these very subjects. But the thing is, I do know where my blog is going, my brand is developing and making money will come or it won’t.

The thing is, I enjoy researching the topics I write about and I really enjoy helping people. That’s the reason I blog so nothing else really matters at this stage in my blogging career.

And don’t forget, one of the best places to learn about the art of blogging is other blogs. You still need to find your own way though.

Do you need to be passionate to blog about a particular subject? I’m sure it helps but I don’t think that passion is the only thing that will make a good blog.

You need to be able to do research for each post, write a good story and pass on what you’ve learnt. Above all though, you need to enjoy doing it. Without enjoyment, you’re not going to last too long writing a blog.

Over To You. What Do You Think About The Art Of Blogging?

So what do you think? Do you need to be passionate about blogging to be successful in it? Should you spend time learning the theory before you begin or dive straight in? Maybe a bit of both? Do you buy the latest books on blogging or internet marketing? If so, how good are you at following the instructions or do you give up half way through?

Now, one of the best places to start if you’re looking for a book about blogging is Dan Sumner’s Bloggers Roadmap. While it’s a great place to start, remember to put the theory into practice!

Opt In Image
Did You Enjoy This Post?
Then don't leave without subscribing to my blog

Subscribe for future posts and get them sent directly to your inbox - it's totally free...

Enter your name and best email address below and hit the yellow button!

Leave a Reply

51 Comments on "The Art Of Blogging: Theory Or Experience?"


prabhat
2 years 5 days ago

hello tim
visisting your blog for first time and i have seen some great articles here. i guess, blogging is both theory as well as experience you start with theory and end up with gaining more experience and skills. thanks for sharing these article with us

2 years 4 days ago

Hi Prabhat

It’s great to see you and thank you for commenting.

I didn’t really begin with the theory when I started blogging, I just started writing. I’ve learnt more of the theory from the blogs I’ve been visiting and commenting on.

From there I’ve gained more experience and made up my mind how I want to take my blog and my writing forward. It’s definitely a constant learning process.

I really appreciate you stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend.

Tim

Joy Healey
2 years 13 days ago

Hi Tim

Your post really reminded me of those scary months with my first-born and not a CLUE what to do.

I always remember getting to the end of the list in the “What to do when he cries” chapter and that awful feeling of hopelessness because he was still crying, louder than ever.

But I plodded on regardless and he’s now 30, so he – and his brother – survived my ineptitude.

Bit like my blogs – made some awful mistakes, despite doing courses, watching the videos etc etc. I only seem to learn by my mistakes.

Do I wish I had done blogging AND mothering differently? Most certainly. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and “We are where we are”! I did it MY way LOL.

2 years 12 days ago

Hi Joy

I remember the first few days after we first brought my son home from hospital after he was born.

The first night went really well and he slept fine. The next night was absolute hell though and I stayed up with him most of the night.

Sometimes we can read the theory behind something but without actually experiencing it, we’ve never learn for ourselves and our mistakes.

Hindsight is definitely a wonderful thing but I also don’t think we should look back too much.

Have a great weekend Joy!

Tim

Dan Black
2 years 3 months ago

When it comes to blogging I jumped in and learned along the way. I think a lot of times the learning aspect prevents a lot of people from starting.

A passion in the area of our niche/writing is essential. It’s the fuel that drives us forward and through the challenging seasons of blogging. I have seen many people stop blogging because they lost or where not focused on passion areas.

I recently read Michael Hyatt’s book Platform which was amazing. Have you read his book? Looking forward to connecting with you and reading your blog.

2 years 3 months ago

Hi Dan

Happy New Year and welcome to my blog. It’s great to see you here.

I think jumping in and learning along the way seems to be the best thing to do. If you read the theory you may never get beyond the book without ever trying thing out for yourself!

I think my blog is gradually evolving into something I can become passionate about. I enjoy doing the research, the writing and the aspect of helping people. Passion wasn’t the reason I started the blog but it’s becoming something I enjoy at least.

I’ve not read Michael Hyatt’s book Platform, no. I struggle to do anything beyond looking after the kids and keeping my blogs up to date but I will certainly look into it. Sounds interesting!

Great to see you Dan and I’ll be sure to had on over to your blog in the next couple of days.

Tim

Dan Black
2 years 3 months ago

I hear you about being busy. When you do get a chance the book is worth reading. Looking forward to connecting more and reading your blog.

Margarita
2 years 4 months ago

Tim,

great analogy to reach a point. very well done. You were asking about the importance of passion. It is a strong drive, i agree, but for how long we can keep this passion going? For a week, month or year (I don’t believe that :)). After that we have to rely on something deeper and powerful to keep us moving in the right direction. This is our purpose. This comes from being truthful to ourselves and being fully responsible of what we do. Purpose has to do with clarity and values. Those are not easy to find within, because often what we think is important is actually not. Hard inner work is required for good results.

2 years 3 months ago

Hi Margarita

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. If you don’t have a resolve to keep things going, not necessarily a passion, then you’re going to give up sooner rather than later.

That is how I think about blogging too Margarita. You definitely need to have to have a purpose, even if you don’t know what the end goal is fully.

I’m sure many people start out with blogging thinking it’s going to be easy and I’ve learnt from experience that’s it’s not.

As you say, hard inner work is required to keep moving forward and to achieve good results.

Great comments Margarita. I hope you had a great Christmas.

Tim

Mayura
2 years 4 months ago

Hi Tim,

I think passion matters as it is a factor what keep us doing what we doing mate :) Mostly someone passionate about something like cooking, but use blogging, videos or such media to go with it. Some goes without the help of online tools such as speaking to public.

I had no idea and never thought or reading about blogging. I think there are basic theories behind that and we get nervous, but no one needs to teach how to if they really gonna write about something they love. It’s more like a personal diary to me and just some people make us feel that you need $100 book to start blogging ;) They just need to get on board and start learning as they go, else trap in someone else’s guidelines. But there are people who used to be in safe zone and get to know about it before starting even the simplest things ;) Anyway they can make use of it, else those book never get written.

If there’s something I don’t know and I need to be ready or know something about, I’ll definitely think of a reference Tim. Else not obsessing with it, cause I know it’s not my way.

You are very right that reading other useful blogs and knowing how they deal with it, is the best way for me too. I didn’t know first but now I find it helpful. I find it better than reading bunch of books written about ’em :) I’m just lazy to go through all. That’s my way and everyone has their own way, right Tim? :)

Cheers…

2 years 4 months ago

Hi Mayura

Welcome to my blog. I really appreciate your visit. I’ve seen you at other blogs I visit and it’s great that we’ve finally connected!

You speak wise words mate! I’m pretty lazy when it comes to reading eBooks too and then it becomes a pointless exercise to buy them.

Learning from your peers can often be the best way to do things and there is so many people out there who are willing to help it makes thing even easier.

Sometimes I feel pressure to look at what the so-called “gurus” are saying about blogging though but as you say, most people find their own path in the end.

I’m not sure what 2013 is going to bring but I know I’ll still be blogging and meeting and connecting with new people online.

Great to see you Mayura and thank you for some great comments.

Tim