Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to Blog

A friend will be starting nursing school this fall and after reading about so many other people's journeys back into school. I thought she should document hers as well. So what kind of advice would you give a new blogger, or an old blogger for that matter?

Let’s face it school, work and life can be stressful. Some bloggers including myself believe blogging is beneficial to relieving some of that stress and providing a way to process all of the positive and negative emotions. Reading other people’s experiences and insight may also help because they have been through it.

Personally, I would say there is no right or wrong way to blog, just start writing and your style will develop. Everyone is different in what they like to read, so at first write for yourself and not what you think other people want to read. You are not writing an academic paper to be graded, so enjoy yourself. Although, I have noticed that bloggers seem to have better writing skills than most. ( Maybe not mine)

Some people want others to read their blog, while others do not care because they are writing for themselves. There is a follower’s widget and by following someone, they may follow you. However, the best advice I can give to gain followers is not my own, you have to click here and read this older post by Red Means Go. She is a fun read and does not take herself too seriously. With over 2200 followers, she understands that followers do not equal readers.

The blog roll is something I’m indecisive about and always changing mine and playing around. However, it is good to look at other people’s blog links and click on them, because you might find other blogs that you really like.

People can be very creative with their blog templates, while others like mine are somewhat boring. I really need a change. So play around with the backgrounds and layouts.

Then she needs to decide whether to be anonymous or use her real name. Privacy is a big thing in health care and if you make accusations, bitch or say something negative about a patient, staff member or the facility, it can come back to bite you.

Any other ideas or advice?


Absentbabinski said...

Write what you know. Write about people. Don't write to slag off anyone you work with/ study with/ play with.

Comment on other people's posts. Be invovled in their worlds, be part of the community.

Post when the spirit moves you.

undergrad RN said...

I agree with that. I initially tried to blog at least once a week but the burden crushed me. At the same time, if I said "I'll do it when I have time", then 90% of my first years of school wouldn't have any posts. So I guess trying to stick to the once-a-week was beneficial, although sometimes stressful.

I started out blogging with clear ideas about what I wanted to have - anonymity, strictly NS-related (very occasional non-NS stories), with helpful links. My blog's grown a lot since then but it has held true to that idea.

The most important thing I've gotten out of blogging is a chance to go back and re-experience my old thought processes. It gives the journey that much more depth. It's more than just wistfully remembering how I used to feel about ____, it's re-living it, and that's the best thing ever.

Yeah, I'd recommend blogging for any important life experience for sure!

A Doc 2 Be said...

Don't get discouraged when people quit following you, or stop listing your blog on their blog rolls.

Some people just do that and move on.

I know I saw a 25% drop when someone dumped my blog from their listing. Kind of sucked but that comes with being anonymous on the internet :)

Amber said...

My advice would be to be real! I can't stand the blogs that are all sugar coated and never come close to real life. Everyone has bad days, right???

NP Odyssey said...

Absentbabinski, right you need to be involved

Undergrad RN, I like that. Knowing your posts will be out there for all time to reflect back on.

Doc 2 Be, you have to write for yourself first. Was that I?

Amber, first off congrats on the birth of your twins. Right blog the good and bad.

rnraquel said...

If something touches you deeply, whether it is humorous, irritating, frustrating, sad, or just a story about something absolutely delicious that you ate, write about it. Chances are, other people will connect to it as well.

Student Nurse said...

i think anonymous is the way to go esp with nurse blogging. My course has warned us if we expose what goes on in clinical to detail and actual events that we will be stood down. So I kind of try to change my experiences and talk about the procedure more then the pt. but that can be hard. but if you use your name you could get in big trouble legally and also who wants a stalker, have to think about your safety also.

My blog is there to keep memories of my studies but in my first year a lecturer told us that writing down stuff can be like reflecting which helps you to let go of upsetting things that might happen so that you don't carry every pt's burdens! I have found this to be true.

I also try to blog daily... don't know how long I could keep that up. When I am not on clinical placement I don't think I would blog as often as there isn't as much to discuss that's nursing related unless it has to do with my care giving job. '

NP Odyssey said...

RnRaquel, agreed and what touches you or irritates you one day may not the next.

Student nurse, it is hard to post daily. You can stay with school and nursing related posts but, sometimes something else in life will hit you and you have to write.

Zazzy Episodes said...

I agree with the advice Amber gave of being yourself, just write about what you feel the most confident on and by doing that whatever you write about will spill out of you.

A Doc 2 Be said...

No, but thank you for adding it back :)

Cathy said...

Thanks for your post. I seem to be in the same position as your friend and your post (and comments) were very useful. Cheers!

Cartoon Characters said...

I had read "Red Means Go" a while back when she had less than a thousand followers.. :) I also thought that was a very good instructional blogpost!

I second with ADoc2Be...I get a regreatful twinge when I see myself dropped from blogrolls, it's happened twice that I know of. HOWEVER...I just shrug it off because, really, everyone has their own reasons and those reasons aren't mine!

Sadly, I stopped blogging about a lot of personal nursing stuff because of my employer's policy, and since I have a job that, if mentioned - because there are only a couple of us doing it....could mean termination. It meant losing some bloggers, but so be it. My job means more to me.

Cartoon Characters said...

oops! Spelling: "regretful twinge"

k!nkyNurse said...

My only piece of advice would be to NEVER EVER use your real name and always change enough details that there is no way anybody can identify you or your location.

I've seen it bite many many people in the ass. I've seen people lose their jobs for it, even though they thought they were "anonymous", simply because they didn't change enough details.