I teach English as a foreign language, meaning that I’ve lived in various places around the world, including Czech Republic, Paraguay, Borneo and Crimea. I’m now a teacher trainer and Director of Studies (managing the teaching team). I’ve been blogging since October 2010, and it’s changed my life!
Please tell us something about yourself. Is your blog a profession or just a hobby?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is my job, but it’s so much more than that. I love teaching and sharing ideas, as well as meeting new people, both through my work and my blogging.
When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you be online?
I joined Twitter in 2010 and noticed that a lot of the people I was interacting with also had blogs. I decided to start my own, but never really expected anyone to read it. After four years, about 350 posts, and a lot of promotion and networking, I now get about 400 readers a day, which I still find amazing!
Being online has given me so many opportunities. I’ve been offered work because of my blog, I’ve given conference presentations, and I’ve met a host of interesting people.
Did you have someone help you make the blog or did you do it by yourself?
I set up my blog myself using wordpress.com, which I found fairly straightforward.
How much time do you spend blogging?
It depends on how much time I have available. A single post generally takes me at least an hour, and sometimes as much as five. When I’m not actually writing, I spend a lot of time thinking about things I want to write, and get frustrated when I can’t find the time to get it out of my system!
How do you promote your blog? Do you use social media channels to attract more visitors to your blog?
I always share new posts on Facebook and Twitter, but I also have a lot of subscribers now, a number which has steadily grown with my blog.
Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?
I would encourage who is interested in sharing to write a blog. You meet like-minded people, and you get a lot of ideas. Blogging alone isn’t enough though – you need to plug into the community you want to talk to by using social media. Sharing my posts using Twitter hashtags are what really got my blog off the ground, as well as reading and commenting on other people’s blogs.
Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure if they need a blog of their own?
If you’re not sure about blogging, I’d say “Just do it!” I didn’t know what my blog would be when I first started, but I experimented and learnt as I went along. Now I get blogging withdrawal symptoms!
Photos ©: Sandy Millin