Blogging is a Continuous Learning Exercise

By Gregory Ciotti

I’ve always been of the belief that a college degree tells little about what you know in comparison to what it tells about what you can learn. I got my degree in an IT related field, so this is especially true for myself, as the IT world is constantly changing. Anything I learn today will probably be useless in a few short years. The point is to learn to learn.

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Blogging works exactly the same way. I believe this to be true regardless of your end goal. If you’re trying to make money, this is abundantly clear. There’s always more money to be made. If you’re teaching on a subject, you are constantly looking for/formulating new information to share. Even if you’re just spouting off useless (albeit entertaining) rants, you’re continuously improving your writing and storytelling so people don’t get bored of you.

This is one of the reasons that bloggers burn out. They forget this. They think they have an unlimited amount of content just waiting to burst from their brain. They get comfortable. Then they start to run out of juice.

Sure, at times it seems that some bloggers just have it. They are experts in their fields and will simply feed us with invaluable content forever. It’s not true. Pay attention. Most of those bloggers are discussing new ideas, upcoming topics. They pull on life experiences (unavoidable learning) and allow them to demonstrate a point. Even Steve Pavlina would run out of content eventually without constant learning. Though, I have a theory that he’s a robot… but that’s for another day.

Don’t get comfortable

It applies everywhere:

  • Think you’re the best at your sport? Stop practicing. See what happens.
  • You’ve mastered PHP to the greatest possible extent? Don’t bother learning anything new. Someone said that about BASIC, I’m sure.
  • You’ve proven that your recipe for a great TV show is flawless? Did you watch the last season of 24?

The point is apparent. Don’t think you’ve succeeded. There are plateaus, but there are no peaks. Always be learning from your experiences. See what posts work for your readers. Which get the best response? Which are completely ignored? Which bring in the most Google traffic, or get the most Adsense clicks? Don’t settle or your blog will end up with so many others in Internet limbo.
What happens when someone thinks they’ve hit the peak? They quickly begin sliding down the other side.




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18 Responses to “Blogging is a Continuous Learning Exercise”

  • TheOzz

    This post rings so true to me. I love the college analogy. We go to college to learn how to learn.

    I say that if you accept a job in an IT related field, then you better go to work every day expecting to learn. If you ever get the feeling that you have learned all there is to know, then it is time for a career change.

  • Daniel

    Haha, I like the theory about Steve Pavlina being a robot :).

  • Ramkarthik

    Adam,
    a nice post man. Education has no end. You have to practice what you have learnt to master it. Even though you master it, you should not stop practicing it.

  • Adam

    TheOzz, you’re right on man. Tech is a field you can’t afford to fall behind in.

    Daniel – Thank you sir. I enjoyed that as well.

    Ramkarhik – Absolutely. The world won’t stop turning just because you ran out of pages in your book.

  • Rajesh Shakya

    Hi Adam
    This is my first visit to your blog.
    I enjoyed reading your posts.

    Learning never ends. If you can not learn consistently, most likely you will fail.

    Rajesh Shakya
    http://www.rajeshshakya.com
    Helping technopreneurs to excel and lead their life!

  • Butler

    I think that if you start to get comfortable you should try to add some new challenge to your blogging routine. Unfortunately I have not figured out what the perfect challenge would be for my blogging habits.

  • Scott Townsend

    While reading this post (great post by the way) I was thinking of a baseball game I was watching the other day. Our team was ahead 4-2 for the last 4 innings, but lost in the last inning 4-5. If I am reading this post right, you can never let up.

  • lomig

    that’s a good post, and it’s telling truth not only about blogging, but also about general attitude in life.
    Work, work, work. Learn, Learn, Learn. We all have to rest sometimes, but this is not the god way to improve continously !
    thanks,

  • Technical Itch

    Thanks for the tips and motivation. I think you’re spot on about analyzing which posts do better than others. Why waste time writing posts on a particular subject if they don’t get many hits or comments. That’s an area I need to focus on more.

  • Rob Schultz

    This is what I love about life. It’s always a challenge. Sure, it’s completely possible to go through life with your cruise control on and never be more than you currently are. But what’s the fun in that?

    I remember when I went on my first professional interview. The manager of the Helpdesk department said, “Rob, I’ve seen a lot of you come in here with that same eager look in your eyes.” He continued, “You’re fresh out of college and hungry to make a splash. So I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. This company is like a 6 lane highway, and we’ll start you off in the far right lane in a Yugo. You can go as slow or as fast as you would like. It’s up to you.”

    I smiled, nodded, and said, “My Yugo is supercharged!” He laughed, and hired me on the spot. I was in that department for 6 months before they promoted me, and 6 months after that I was promoted again. All in all, I changed jobs 4 times in 2.5 years as I accelerated down their highway.

    I never stopped learning, I never made lateral moves. It was all about being flexible, open-minded, and doing whatever it takes.

    Great post.

  • Charity

    To quit learning means to quit prospering, and your references to sports and PHP are perfect examples. While keeping up with the blogosphere may seem overwhelming sometimes, it’s necessary because there’s always someone positioning themselves to “overtake” you (or your readership, product, service, etc.). Not only that, but what fun would life be if we all quit learning new things? None of us would have the internet to begin with! 😉

  • Eternalsoul

    Very true. There just is so much to learn but so little time and the more you read the more humbled you feel coz there is so much that you dont know.

  • jakes

    true…everyone used to say these…to use them in right path always…to look on everytime

  • Bang Kritikus

    Thanks for your info

  • Hexrearty

    Greetings

    I’ve been passive on this forum for a while now, so here goes my first post! a great site I’ve found for Wallpapers etc. is Esnips.com I’ve found everything on my list…

    let me know what you think!, Hope this helps 😉

    Cheers

  • medyum

    While reading this post (great post by the way) I was thinking of a baseball game I was watching the other day. Our team was ahead 4-2 for the last 4 innings, but lost in the last inning 4-5. If I am reading this post right, you can never let up.

  • Jonny Hardwick

    This post is great.

    There is not one blogger out there who never struggles to provide fresh content about a specific topic. Bloggers are human and humans are always learning about new things and don’t know everything about anything. The reasons blogs exist are so that we can expand our knowledge about a given topic. If we knew everything we wouldn’t need blogs.

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