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My reflections after a year of blogging: A story of self-learning and motivation

My reflections after a year of blogging: A story of self-learning and motivation

The idea of starting my personal blog overwhelmed my mind for quite some time. Nevertheless, time constraints, pressing professional engagements and increasing academic obligations impeded my progress.

At least two of my close associates used to reiterate that they were going to launch their blogs, inviting me to contribute to it positively and proactively but due to personal reasons, their dream of couldn’t not be translated into reality and they could not start their blogs. However, I did.

In this blog post, I briefly discuss, how I started blogging, what I learnt during the course, the challenges I encountered and the way forward.

This blog is intended to cover the following key areas related to blogging:

  1. My inspiration- How to start blogging?
  2. What is a blog?
  3. What is blogging?
  4. Who is a blogger?
  5. How the blogs are organized?
  6. What is a niche?
  7. My personal reflections after a year of blogging
  8. How blogging opens up new avenues for networking?
  9. Relishing the new venture of making money online?
  10. Engaging with the students
  11. Exploring new avenues of vlogging
  12. The way forward
  13. The next big thing

These areas are explained further in the following section:

  1. My inspiration- How to start blogging?

Right after completing my doctoral studies, I started working on my blog- Exploring Academia, with a view to serve as a platform for sharing my knowledge, experience, research work and insight with the readers, researchers and scholars. I dumped the rage of perfectionism and started blogging straight away. Soon, I was learning more than I could have ever imagined. I started blogging as a passion, not to educate others but to educate myself. For this, my inspiration did not come from the leading figures and renowned celebrities from the chronicle of world history but from the ordinary people who have a tremendous amount of energy and exhibit incredible resilience in doing simple things in their own little ways and making a huge difference in others people’s lives.

  1. What is a blog?

A blog is a personal website or diary or a journal that is generally maintained by an individual called the blogger and being updated regularly. It is ordinarily shared on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ for wider circulation and enhanced readership. This is a shared on-line periodical where people can post daily entries about their interests, personal experiences, views, passions and hobbies.

  1. What is blogging?

Blogging is the activity of writing blog posts, owning a blog or maintaining a blog. Being an exciting field, many people are getting into the newly emerging field of blogging.  

  1. Who is a blogger?

A blogger is an individual who owns or maintains a blog. He/she is the person who is supposed to contribute posts, write articles or new information, share the latest news, opinions and case studies and post them on the blog. Such entries are called blog posts.

      5. How the blogs are organized?

Blogs are generally written in a very informal language with a reflective tone and moderate length. Blogs may have several pages or they may be a single page comprising of multiple posts. Generally, blog posts are organised in reverse-chronological order with the most recent one at the top, pushing the old ones to the bottom.

      6. What is a niche?

By and large, blogs have certain specific themes or topics called a niche. It is a specialized area of marketing which has its own peculiar requirements, customers, and products.

In the field of blogging, the niche is the area, domain, releam or profession the blogger is passionate about and has been identified for the purpose of blogging such as education, religion, business, lifestyle, fashion, food, sports, health, poverty, beauty, politics, poetry, photography, marketing, education and entertainment.

The niche, I have chosen for my blog is Higher Education and Research. The posts, stories, write-ups, articles, videos and images, the bloggers used to share on the blogs are called the blog posts which are the essentials and elementary ingredients of any blog.  A professional blog contains numerous blog posts, shared by the blogger in his/her own selected niche.

       7. My personal reflections after a year of blogging

It has been a year since I was introduced to the world of blogging.  For me, it is an intriguing idea. It helped me, coming out of my comfort zone,  challenging myself and contributing more positively to the area of my personal and professional interest. This is a flexible content publishing platform for the audience seeking someone to think about them, inform them, educate them and help them out in exigencies. Here, one can share ideas with the people, around the globe, and get instant feedback. A blog is also a right reason to educate oneself and become proficient in the areas of personal and professional interest.

       8. How blogging opens up new avenues for networking?

As one always looks for new areas and dimensions to explore and write about, one has to read a great deal and research extensively about the selected area before writing a blog post.  Hence, it is an incredible education tool, besides it is a great medium for networking. This is a brilliant platform for sharing knowledge, skills, expertise and perspectives, connecting with like-minded people around the globe and unlocking exciting opportunities.

        9. Relishing the new venture-How to make money online?

Being an exciting experience, this new undertaking helped me to voice my ideas, thoughts, and feelings. It provided me the opportunity to educate others, interested in the field of my expertise. It facilitated me in refining my writing skills. Along the way, I gained the much-desired experience in the field and eventually generated ideas for blogs in other niches. During the course, I was introduced to the mush essential digital marketing strategies and discovered how to make money online.

It helped showcasing my knowledge and expertise in publishing blog posts that were precise, timely, relevant, and informative to grab the attention of academics, researchers and opinion-makers and hence, it earned me the recognition of first professional research blogger and an important source of information in the area of higher education and academics.

I learned new things, explored new horizons and expanded the base of my networking by creating blog contents that were valuable, timely and absorbing.

      10. Engaging with the students’ community

Exploiting this opportunity, I invited the students, research scholars and academics to share their knowledge, innovative ideas and expertise, via this platform enabling them to get benefited from other students’ views, insight, and experiences. 

I am highly indebted to those who shared their blog posts, views, comments and stories which have been duly acknowledged and published on my blog. The critique and valuable input of readers helped me a lot in updating and enriching the blog posts.

         11. Exploring new avenues of vlogging

Seeing, the blogosphere has evolved very rapidly and new blogs are popping up seemingly endlessly every day, I realized that some content may more effectively be communicated through videos and as it has become one of the most powerful medium to speak to the audience, so I started vlogging.

Besides, I understand that the digital world has fastly been transforming and more people are getting engrossed with the visual stuff these days, hence I launched my YouTube Channel with exactly the same name-Exploring Academia which helped me to interact with the audience more effectively and directly. Meanwhile, I also started affiliate marketing.

         12. The way forward

The next milestone on this journey is to guide, train and groom university students – how to start blogging, how to launch their own YouTube Channels successfully, so that become independent bloggers, YouTubers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and opinion-makers.

This will help them to make money online. In the process, they may become job creators instead of job seekers and engender employment opportunities not only for them but for other people in the society as well.

           13. The next big thing

In this connection, as a small first step, I am planning to start an exclusive website for the university students- the Students’ Blog.  As a startup, they can contribute to it, in the shape of blog posts.

They will share their experiences, stories and views on this blog. This shall be an excellent tool for improving students’ involvement, excitement, and more profoundly help them improve their writing skills, confidence and motivation level.

Secondly, I am envisaging to launch an exclusive YouTube channel for the students- Students Point, where the academic videos of the university students shall be posted for education, learning and their motivation.

Lastly. I am planning to launch an exclusive platform Enterprising skillset for the online courses on multiple themes for the university students. Revenue generated from these investments shall be used to meet the financial requirements of the needy, talented and deserving students.

A brief account of this article has been discussed in the video available on my YouTube channel- Exploring Academia: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOP-skVKbNoio_DVl4p_q0w?view_as=subscriber and can be accessed directly on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPddbmjvuoI

About Dr Syed Hafeez Ahmad

Having a doctoral degree in human resource management, Dr. Syed Hafeez Ahmad is currently working as Additional Controller of Examinations, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar. He previously served the same university as Additional Registrar. These are mid-career level positions in the university's administration. Besides, he is working in the capacity of a team leader and founder of the Career Development & Research Centre, a startup launched in the Business Incubation Center of Khyber Medical University. He is having more than 18 years of professional experience in academic management with special interest in public sector higher education reforms, sustainability, academic leadership and universities' governance. He is a research blogger, Amazon associate and a YouTuber.

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