I originally started blogging for the platform staffrm in, I think, 2014. I found it a helpful way of exploring my thoughts about elements of education that I didn’t feel I could capture in a tweet. When staffrm was wound up in 2017, I opened a WordPress account, transferred some of the early staffrm posts to that platform, and I have continued blogging ever since.
I love it. It helps me to clarify my thinking, to engage in debate and to respond to things I have read or heard in a way I find energising. It enables me to develop my arguments on a wide range of educational subjects, and sometimes, I think, to arrive at fresh insights. The ‘nurture’ posts I have written at the turn of the year have been a powerful way to reflect on and process my experiences, and to consider plans and priorities as I look ahead.
As I work now as a leadership development consultant, my blog is a showcase for some of the work I do, and it gives others a sense of my experience and my insights. New contacts are able to reach me by email via my blogsite, and this has led to the opening up of a number of professional opportunities over the years. I find in my leadership training sessions I often now refer back to blog posts I have written in the past which might offer useful follow-up reading – for example about running effective meetings, managing email, or navigating tricky conversations. I have produced a significant number of posts about leadership, as that is my particular area of interest – about stepping up to a new leadership role, different leadership challenges and opportunities, and about being the best leader you can be. When I speak at a conference, feature in a webinar or podcast, or write a magazine article, I will often produce a blog post afterwards to amplify what I have said and to reach a wider audience.
Through the comments section I engage in dialogue with readers of the posts – some of whom I may know, and others who may be new contacts. I have written three posts since early 2019 about the fiction writing I have completed in the last two years – a new departure for me – and this has generated useful feedback and advice from a number of recipients. I think I originally wrote for myself, rather than focussing on attracting readers, but if people choose to read my blog posts, and especially if they find them interesting and useful, that is a great bonus. It is thrilling that three of my posts have featured in TeacherTapp’s recommended blog selection in recent years.
I was very pleased this year that jillberry102.blog was chosen for inclusion in Twinkl’s ‘Best Education Blogs in 2021 (UK and Ireland)’ – see here to read the full selection. Thank you to Laura Millington and the Twinkl team for including me.
So if you are considering starting a blog of your own, it is something I would warmly recommend. I do find writing therapeutic, satisfying and enjoyable – something I explored in a recent post about journals and diaries. My experience of blogging has been totally positive and highly rewarding. Give it a go?
Photo credit: Twinkl