How to create your own blogging continuing education plan

It takes a certain level of discipline and structure in order to execute a continuing education plan successfully.

A few weeks ago, I asked, “What are you doing to continue your blogging education? If you’re planning to take your blog to the next level, then you’ve got to be willing to continue to develop your blogging knowledge and skills.

You’ve got to treat this as if this were any other course you were taking – okay, perhaps that’s bad advice. 

If you treat this as you would any other class, you’d probably skip the important reading, would probably wait until the last minute to complete action steps and ultimately you wouldn’t absorb any of the information.

Yes, you should treat blogging as if it were a business, but you should approach self-education the way you would treat your favorite hobby. When most people dive into a new hobby, they research with high amounts of vigor – they read, they watch YouTube videos, they ask their expert friends to teach them new tricks – they totally immerse themselves in self training.

For example, when I used to collect dollhouse miniatures, I developed a great level of interest for building my own miniatures. I started reading books on the subject and had began following step-by-step instructions as I practiced my craft.

Another example, my son loves to skate board, so he pairs up with friends who show him new tricks and then he’ll spend some time watching youtube videos to get more ideas.

When I first began blogging, I probably collected and read more materials on the subject than I had ever voluntarily read on any subject in my life.  As I gained more skills, I needed less and less information.  But that didn”t mean I knew it all. I still have gaps that I need to fill, so I make it a point to continue my blogging education.

Most bloggers know that continuing education is a must, however creating their own plan may seem daunting.

Here’s what you can do:

Set a schedule

It will never seem like a priority if you don’t actually set aside a day and time to sit down, tune out everything else and just do it. You can decide how much time you want to devote and the frequency.

My suggestion: it’s easier if you schedule in small increments more frequently. For example: 15 minutes per day or 30 minutes every other day or 2 hours once a week.  What matters is that you hold yourself to it.

Set goals and action steps

If you’re like me and you don’t have time to waste – don’t just pick a random topic. Pick something that directly relates to what you’re working on and immediately put your knowledge into action.  I’m in the process of learning about product launching, so it would be a waste of time for me to set a time to learn about CSS coding right now. Does that make sense?

Track your progress (grade yourself)

I don’t literally expect you to give yourself an A or an F, but you should be able to track whether or not what you’ve learned and put into action is working.  If after 3 weeks of applying SEO tips you’ve learned to your posts, there still is no increase in organic search traffic, perhaps you need a refresher course – or a different teacher!

Create informal learning opportunities by networking

You’d be surprised how much you learn just by interacting with knowledgeable people in your niche.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions – there are no stupid newbie questions. Last time I checked, there is no living being that knows everything.  Knowledge I’m lacking in one area may seem like common knowledge to another person and vice versa. Besides learning is reciprocal – and yes teachers can learn from students – I know I have.

You never know what new knowledge can be gained if you just ask – maybe the person you’re asking doesn’t know either, but perhaps they know where to look for the answer and can guide you to a great reference.

So what about you? How do you tackle your blogging education needs?  What would you like to know more about?
?

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About Linda Hewett

Linda is a writer, blogger and confidence coach.
Her blog is Positive Spin – Helping You Face Life Full On without Fear – And Feel Great About It!

In her blog, Linda looks for the ‘positive spin’ in our daily lives and encourages you to look for the ‘small stuff’ that’s easy to miss, or even dismiss.She believes that confidence comes in many disguises. All you have to do is…look.
You can follow her on Twitter @LindaMHewett

Comments

  1. Kiesha

    I’m a member of several private forums / educational groups and they tend to help me with my needs.

    It is crucial we keep on learning!

    Andrew

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Andrew!
      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the minute we stop learning – that’s when our blogs will stop growing.

  2. I’ve been kicking back a bit more now that it’s summer, but I did print out several ebooks that have good information pertaining to my current ‘level’ of blogging. Otherwise, I’m part of the A-List Blogging Bootcamp and David Risley’s program, so I have access to a lot of great information there too. I really do have to be selective though because it’s easy for me to get pulled off into reading/exploring things that belong in the coursework a few semesters down the road!

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Jean,
      Yes, it’s very important that you keep it relevant to where you are now. It won’t do any good now, because by the time you get to that point – you might not remember and will just have to review it all again – and that’s a time waster!

  3. Kiesha, I have two ebooks I bought on blogging that I refer to regularly.

    But most of my blogging education comes from blogs like this one and the many others out there.

    Keep it comin’…

  4. Xpress Music says:

    basically i dont have a schedule since i spend most of the time before my pc , searching good content to write , but i need to follow a strict norm , once studies start

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Xpress,
      It really helps to have a schedule – it will keep you from wasting time on activities that don’t help you produce results and it will free up your times so you can do other things besides sit in front of the computer.

  5. Hey Kiesha,

    It’s important to set goals and take action. I see so many individuals preparing and setting goals but never taking the action steps to move forward. It’s like they get stuck or paralyzed in the goal setting stage.

    Thanks is great that you are studying product launch. So that means somethings is on the rise. ;)

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Josh,
      You’re right – it doesn’t really matter if you set goals if you don’t do what’s needed to achieve them.

      Yeah, I’m working on a step by step guide, mostly for newbies. Working out the kinks right now.

  6. Hi Keisha, I know I should set a schedule but I’m like Xpress Music sitting in front of the pc all day. Please share with us what your blogging schedule is. Maybe if I see an actual timeline I can buckle down and create one of my own.

    Smooches!

  7. I thought this was an excellent article. Like your son I was into skateboarding as well but I never had good old you tube to get ideas we had to buy skate videos etc…

    You provide some great suggestions on how to keep consistent and do well.

    I keep up with my blogging education from member at blog engage. I simply read their content and watch what the current trends are. I get a lot out of the community.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Brian,
      Yeah, the Blog Engage community has a wealth of knowledge. So much knowledge – so little time to read it all. But I sure try! :)

  8. The software around blogging keeps changing. Social networking also keeps evolving and growing. Bloggers can’t ignore these things.

    Constantly exploring and evaluating what’s out there, how to use it and how it will benefit you and your blog are key to blogging success.

    It is also essential to become a skilled and effective writer. This is a craft you have to grow into.

    Bloggers who ignore this will ultimately get left by the wayside, while the innovative self-learners will stride ahead.

    It’s like I always say, if you stop learning and growing are you really alive? I don’t think so. It’s what keeps you young and vital on so many levels.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Joella,
      As always, you make a great point. If you’re not devoted to learning and trying new things, you might as well pack it up.
      I really have to stretch myself when it comes to the technology side of blogging – I’m really not all that great with code, but I do challenge myself to learn enough to get by.

  9. Hi

    Just wanna say thanks for the useful writing.

    and pretty interesting blog too, can’t resist to bookmark it :)

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