This Blogging malarky is a full-on job, eh? I sometimes wonder if non-blogging folk realise just how many different roles I take on just to make this blog tick over. Blogging is so much more than just writing daily (ok, it might be for some). Blogging in it’s simplest form can just be a plain white template with a daily piece of writing or the occasional image. But let’s be honest, blogs have moved far beyond that now. Blogging is a media form in its own right and being a Blogger requires a very wide skill set.
Other forms of media might have staff covering a range of roles. Newspapers, magazines, even pro-websites have a team of staff to cover the design, copy, photography, PR, admin and finance. But for a lone Blogger all of these roles fall to just one person.
To be a success, either financially or reputationally (is that even a word? no? well, it should be!) a Blogger needs to be a jack of all trades. They need to be adaptable and they need to learn quickly to stay at the top of their game. A Blogger must have quite a wide range of skills. A Blogger needs to be a PR, Marketeer, Designer, Photographer, Writer, Social Media Expert, Niche Expert, Nifty Networker, Coder, Website Builder and sometimes a Video Editor, Podcaster or Public Speaker. There are so many aspects to Blogging that being able to assume a number of skills is key. They must be expert at time-management, be super-organised, creative and thoughtful. They must be quirky or funny or interesting. They need an inviting writing style or eye-catching photography. They must be good at finding all the cool stuff. They must be able to communicate.
This is not a moan or complaint. On the contrary, I have spent my whole life feeling like a ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’. At school I was competent at pretty much all subjects (excluding PE, that was just not my bag) and did well in all of my tests and GCSE’s without having to try too hard. Some said I had a bit of a ‘sponge-brain’ at school, I was able to just absorb the information that I needed to whilst keeping up a conversation at the back of the classroom. Of course, I had to work a little harder at University but I did choose a joint-honours degree so that I could study two subjects – Anthropology and Media. I’m just interested in a lot of STUFF.
I did well at school and university. I have worked since I was 13/14 years old and have plenty of work experience. I have travelled well. I have read relatively well. And I have had a number of hobbies and interests over the years. But I have never felt like I was the best at anything. Doing well is ok, but it’s not the best is it? Nobody would ever think ‘oh, Elizabeth is the best at …’ I just didn’t excel at one thing. And for a long time this got me down. I wanted to be really good at something. Anything. I just wanted there to be a thing that was me, that I was the best at.
Then I found blogging. And no, I’m not the best at it. I don’t necessarily excel at it either. But I do feel I can be good at it and this is precisely because blogging requires you to be a ‘Jack of All Trades’. This is something I can do. I can be good, or at least ok, at many things.
I didn’t come to blogging with all the necessary skills. I was never going to be an overnight sensation. I was never going to be top blog. But I did always feel that I could make my mark. So I have slowly but surely been learning as much as I can and developing those necessary skills to become a decent Blogger. Because a Blogger must be a Jack of All Trades. I am both a Blogger and a Jack of all trades, so I think this might be something I can be good at.
What do you think is the most important skill a Blogger must have?