5 REASONS TO WRITE AN ENVIRONMENTAL BLOG

[This is another crossover with the Off the Ground blog, but with my recent Blogging Basics course I thought it was a good opportunity to share the message more widely.]

If you’re reading this, I think I can safely wager that you care about the environment. Maybe your chief concern is climate change. Or deforestation. Or plastic pollution. Or perhaps, like me, you’re a bit batty about litter. Whatever issue presses your buttons can serve as the perfect fodder for a blog.

“But wait,” I can hear you say, “I don’t have the time / ability / expertise to start a blog!” Let me tell you a little secret: that doesn’t matter. What is more important is that you have a passion for the subject. The rest can be worked on.

Here are five reasons why writing a blog about an environmental topic can benefit both you and the environment:

  • Learn more about your chosen subject: First and foremost, blogging is educational, and not just for visitors to your website. It provides you with the opportunity to investigate a topic you care about in depth while also helping to clarify and refine your own thoughts or explore different perspectives about the subject.
  • Transferable skills: You might be surprised to hear this, but blogging can help you offline too. Whether you choose to write, use photography, art, or another form of media, it allows you to develop your abilities in a safe environment, sharpen your research and analytical skills, and potentially teach you new ways of interacting with technology.
  • Connect with others: It can sometimes feel like you’re the only one who cares about a topic, but blogging is a great way to discover that you are not alone. You can visit blogs of others in your chosen area, and also encourage even more people to come out of the woodwork, whether in a virtual community or a real world Meet Up.
  • Spread the message: So far everything I’ve mentioned is focused on you, the blogger. But a blog is a great way draw attention to your topic and spread your message more widely. This can then be amplified even further when used in tandem with the power of social media.
  • Make a difference: Often environmental issues can make us feel powerless, like the problem is too big or beyond our control to act on. Yet blogging can be a powerful way to document the changes that are occurring on our planet, shine a spotlight on problems that may be overlooked, or offer potential solutions.

    Interested in starting your own blog?  Here are some tips and tricks to get started:

  • Decide on a topic: I admit I fell into blogging about litter almost by accident, but it’s been over three years and I have yet to run out of material (or litter). The key factor is to find something you care about, want to showcase to the world, and learn more about yourself. And don’t worry about finding the “right” topic: you can always change your mind if you realise it’s not for you and perhaps something else would suit your better.
  • Decide on a schedule: Consider how often you can post to your blog. Visitors like to know that a blog is updated on a regular basis, but there is no need to put undue pressure on yourself, especially when first starting out. Maybe you can manage twice a week, or perhaps twice a month is more your style. Start small and don’t worry about perfection: blogging is really about the journey rather than the destination.
  • Set up: There are a number of guides online that can walk you through how to set up a blog. Blogging sites run the spectrum from free and basic (such as Blogger or LiveJournal) all the way to professional standard (WordPress.org). If you think you might want to turn pro at some point, then spend some time upfront in setting up your blog with a separate domain name.
  • Get creative: While many blogs employ writing to inform visitors about their topic, you are of course free to do whatever comes most naturally to you: photography, artwork, and song are all perfectly valid ways of getting your message across. You could even develop a vlog (video blog) on YouTube, or carry out a combination of all of the above forms of media. Blogging is an opportunity for your to exercise your creativity, and it’s up to you to decide how best to get your message across.
  • Let people know about it: Finally, make sure people know how to find you. You can tell your friends and family, mention your blog to co-workers, or consider employing social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all good ways to broadcast your blog. Whether you choose to look at topics at the level of your community, country, or continent, blogging is a great platform to raise environmental awareness and make sure your opinion gets heard.
Elaine Massung Off the Beaten Track
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