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Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another video for the British Council's LearnEnglish Teens website and their YouTube channel. In today's video I wanted to talk to you about starting to write your own blog. I started to write my own blog when I was 16 years old, and now I am 22 and I'm still writing a blog, so I think I've learned a couple of tricks and tips along the way that might be useful to any of you who are thinking about starting to write your own blog, and perhaps you just want a bit of advice and a bit of guidance. But before I share those with you, if you are undecided as to whether you should or shouldn't write a blog, here are just some reasons why I think it's a fun and helpful thing to do, and why I think you should start writing a blog too.
So, I actually started with YouTube before I started blogging, and I started with YouTube as a way to document my journey from secondary school to university. I talk about the application processes in some of my videos. But after I started YouTube I then moved slowly on to blogging, and that was because I wanted a different way to document not just my university experience but also my travels, my thoughts on different topics as well. The reason why I think now blogging might be a better alternative to YouTube, for example, is because, number one, it's inexpensive. You don't have to have a camera, you don't have to have a microphone, a tripod; you don't have to have, erm, editing software on your laptop once you've, you know, filmed your video … there's a lot of extra costs that go behind making YouTube videos that some people are unaware of, whereas blogging, you can sign up usually for free, and all you really need is good internet connection to upload your blog once you've written it. So, I would say blogging is a good start because it's less of a commitment. And on top of that, erm, if you are, for example, camera shy or you just want to remain anonymous, then that's absolutely possible with blogging: you don't have to show your face, you don't have to even include your name in what you write, so it's a good way to ease yourself into the world of the internet, I guess, if you are looking into going into YouTube later on, or you just want to share your opinions in a way that allows you to maintain your privacy as well.
The second reason why I think blogging is a great hobby that you should take up is because it allows you to get in contact with people who are interested in the same topics as you. So, whether that's cooking, travelling, video games, shopping, home decor, whatever it is – if you start to write blogs about certain topics, and people who are interested in those topics start to follow your blogs and vice versa, then you can start up some great discussions about the things that interest you, and it just allows you to meet people who share the same interests as you, who you might not have met otherwise.
As I already mentioned, blogging is a great way to mark your progress and see how far you've come on a journey or, erm, your writing style, but another great way that you could use blogging to look at your progress is perhaps by blogging in the language that you're learning. So, I did this a bit when I was learning Italian. I would write blogs that don't even have to be shared with the public. You can make your own private blog and keep that account on private, and you can just see how your writing style or your language skills develop over time. So, I think that's a great way to incorporate blogging and language learning as well. And if you are sharing your blogs written in your target language online, then that might also attract native speakers to your blogs, and they can help correct any learning mistakes that you're making on your journey. It's also really nice to look back and see how much progress you've made over, say, a year or two years, and I really enjoy that aspect of blogging – just looking back at memories or looking back and seeing how much I've progressed.
And the last reason why I think blogging is a great hobby to take up is kind of linked to the last one, and that is that it gives you the opportunity to develop your writing style. When I first started writing blogs, I experimented with different tones – so some of it was comedic, some of it was more serious, some was informative, some was a bit academic – and it really allowed me to try different styles and then to develop my own writing style. So, now I would say that I have a very, erm, distinct style; I think people will know when it's me writing because of the way I write, and I think it's a useful skill that's transferable to many different areas of your life, including school and work, and it just helps you to become a more confident writer. I also think if you can express yourself in written form, it can help also with expressing yourself in person as well, and verbally expressing yourself. So, it's a great skill to develop.
So that's enough anyway about why I think writing a blog is a great thing to do. If you have been convinced, then now is the time to share those tips of how to go about actually starting your blog.
Worksheets and downloads
Do you read blogs? What would you write about if you had a blog?