At first, I was not sure whether to blog about official or personal things. However, after much thought, I decided to post stories that I had written both unpublished and published and add a personal touch to it.As a freelance journalist, I realised that blogging would give me an opportunity to self publish. Very often, I could have a story and/or images that I sent to different media outlets but some due to space constraints they never got published. With time, the blog has transformed into a space in which I get to showcase my work to prospective employers. This has boosted my self-confidence and at the same time made me a critic of my own work that I put out there.
I am a self-taught blogger and began blogging five years ago mostly by ‘trial and error’. I am happy though that blogging is part of the course component in the online journalism course I am now taking at Wits University. I hope to improve and maximize this platform and link it to other applications such as Twitter and Facebook and direct more readers to my blog.
In order to blog successfully one has to have some essential skills to manage it the most important being good writing skills. Since it is a self-publishing platform, sometimes it is not easy to get a friend or colleague to edit the stories for you as and when you need to. A blogger has to play the role of a sub-editor to ensure that the stories published are grammatically correct.
Secondly, a blogger has to have good research skills and although the stories may be based on opinion, it should be factual. You do not want to publish something that you have not verified or counterchecked. Once the work is out there, it is open to comment; good or bad. Since blogs provide a forum for readers to comment on the stories written, it is important to be convinced or have a good understanding of the topic you are writing about. Additionally, one has to write interesting stories that not only keeps the reader entertained but also informed.
Lastly, a blogger has to have good computer skills so that whatever is posted is properly formatted and visually appealing to the reader.