Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Blogging For Fun and Profit (Mostly Fun): Guest Blogger

Class, today I am offering you something different from my usual oddball, quirky posts. I am offering you something substantial: a successful blogger who knows of what she writes through the school of experience. I discovered her surfing through the blogosphere, read the interviews she did with others, became intrigued with her posts, and thus inquired if she would be so kind as to write a guest post. She agreed, and today it's finally happening!

Like your blogalicious teacher, she is a Blogging Babe with multiple blogs. Elizabeth McQuern has the triple gifts of teaching, writing and blog-woman-ship! Most of her blogs will be listed at the end of this article plus the latest piece she contributed to another blog. Listen Up to what this phenomenal blogger has to teach you about the Art of Blogging! We are fortunate that she has agreed to share her wisdom with us. And without further ado, ta da! I give you Elizabeth McQuern.

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Blogging For Fun and Profit (Mostly Fun)

by Elizabeth McQuern

When I started blogging in earnest almost two years
ago, I had no idea that what began as a regular
exercise in commentary on variously sifted
internet-derived information would play the role it
has in changing my career and life. As I began writing
my first blog, I was kicking around the possibility of
moving to Chicago to "become a writer" (whatever that
meant).

When I finally moved to Chicago last year, I had a
strong business background, but very little writing
experience - yet I knew writing and communications
were what I needed to pursue. I attended a writer's
workshop, took a few classes, and kept blogging
(mostly for my own amusement).

Through the magic of Google, my personal blog led to
out-of-the-blue offers to write for similarly-themed
sites and publications (which, in turn, led to other
offers, and so on). In the last few months I've had
the opportunity to immerse myself in Chicago comedy
culture, interview local and national comedy figures,
and branch out into multimedia production (video and
audio interviews). All of this has been blog-driven,
and all of it has led to "real life" opportunities.

People blog for many reasons - to keep up with a
lifelong hobby or interest, to run pop culture through
their unique filter, to keep a comical running tally
of the domestic offenses of their weird roommate. But
blogging can complement and accelerate personal
creative development as well. I've interviewed a
couple of art bloggers who outline the development of
some of their visual art projects online, and I've
seen young filmmakers documenting their creative
evolution with running blog commentary on projects
they showcase online, all of which is fascinating to
read.

If nothing else, blogging can help establish a regular
writing habit, from which improvements in style and
skill should follow. I can track some subtle but
notable changes in my writing since I began imposing
my ideas on the online world, which I attribute partly
to the strength of the habit, and partly due to the
give-and-take nature of the medium. Feedback from
readers, who tend to let me know which of my posts
they find the most entertaining, has shaped my sense
of how to really engage readers, which is an
invaluable skill for someone who hopes to be able to
appeal to a broad audience.

Of course, if you tend to blog on a particular topic,
regular blogging can help you develop deeper knowledge
in a specific area, as well. As it happens, in my blog
I was writing about my life transition from small-town
Indiana to Chicago, which included mentions of
everything from wacky public transportation adventures
to comedy writing classes at Chicago's esteemed Second
City, and since then, comedy's presence in my life has
snowballed. From my experience, if you blog about it,
it will come back to you threefold (or something like
that).

It's also exciting to think about the nearly limitless
boundaries of blogging. Early on, most blogs were
simple text affairs with links and maybe a picture or
two, but now you can enhance the record of your online
life with video you took two minutes ago, or pictures
you snapped on your camera phone ten seconds before
putting it online. I think videoblogging is an
interesting phenomenon, and I'd like to see more
people doing creative things online with the
flexibility that the technology allows.

Blogging has helped me get direction and traction with
my new life and career in a way that simply wouldn't
have been possible in the pre-internet world, and I
encourage others to explore the possibilities as well.

Elizabeth's blogs and contributions to other blogs:

Current personal blog: Bellarossa

Chicago Comedy blog: The Bastion

P.S. Here's a link to something I wrote for Jargon
Chicago that just went online - Jargon Chicago

And one that invited me, which I'm mulling over - Gapers Block

She contributes to other blogs as well. Watch out for this blogging dynamo. She's going places!



Technorati Tags:, Jargon Chicago,,


Posted by Kuanyin Moi at 1:33 PM

1 Comments

  • Blogger Mushy posted at Saturday, October 07, 2006  
    You do good promotions work, are you in that field?

    Anyway...good write up on Elizabeth!
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