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Blogging!

Blog competition

Hey! Since we are getting closer the end of this competition, I would like to evaluate my whole time of writing. In addition, it is probably one of my last blog posts.

Blogging!

Beginning

Firstly, how it all started. I never thought about writing a blog food. I don’t even read blog posts. I know about two “famous” blogger girls in the Czech Republic and sometimes I read few of their posts but I did not follow anybody. Then, I was quite surprised when I found out that my fiend from high school started to write a blog. I was amazed. When I saw her blog, I liked it a lot. The appearance of the website was nice and I found few interesting stories. Nevertheless, she wrote mainly about cosmetics and clothes. I was wondering: How is it possible? She must spend a fortunate on going to the restaurants and buying new cosmetics because she writes so often about everything. I liked it because sometimes I saw her review about eating place and then I could try the restaurant or I was attracted by some advice. It seems to me that bloggers always write about eating healthy, exercising, restaurants and clothes. On the other side, I did not understand that someone can spend some much time on the blog. At that time I did not know that these girls probably have something in return – like money for advertising and so on. This topic is quite interesting because once I wrote the post about writing a blog and I read that writing a blog is not only fun. The girl said that sometimes when she gets up she has to come up with some great idea what to do that day because otherwise there is nothing to write about…

So again, I never thought about starting my own blog. But then when I went to France for an exchange, I received one interesting email from my coordinator from my home university. He just said: “I am sending you one competition. It is for those you want to take a benefit of being abroad and write about their experience.” It sounded interesting to me. I immediately checked the website and I found this competition – Erasmusu. I did not want to write about food or clothes but writing about my Erasmus is something different. I liked that idea a lot! When I read the rules, my excitement was not so big anymore because I found out that the competition already started in January and even if I wrote every day, it would be almost impossible to get to the best positions because it matters how regularly you write and when I checked the website it was already after the beginning of the competition. I sent email to the organizer asking if I understood well and if I am right that when I start now it would be really difficult to win. He answered that I was right – unfortunately. Although he said there is another round of the competition in two months. It was my chance!

Second round

Therefore, I decided to try the competition! I knew it was supposed to start again in April or May so I had enough time to consider taking part in this competition and I could start directly when the competition starts. Naturally, when the competition started, I was busy with my bachelor thesis and I did not manage to write regularly since very beginning – I started two weeks later but it was all right I guess. I started with my blog in May. At that time, I had no idea that it could be difficult to have my own blog – it seemed to be easy.

Rules

As every competition, Erasmusu competition has its own rules. Firstly, you have only limited number of languages in which you can write. Unfortunately, the Czech language is not allowed. I guess that you can write only in Spanish, French, Italian, English or Polish. I find this quite unfair because I noticed that many people just write in their mother language and it is quite easy for them to write about whatever. For me, it is not that easy. I think that I already write really fast even in English but in the beginning I spent ages on each post! It was crazy. In the beginning, I was so worried that I could make a mistake in my English that I read the post at least three times and if it was something I wanted to share on Facebook, I read it even more times. It was crazy. I devoted a lot of time on doing a nice post. I always included many pictures that matched the story and I used bold writing, headlines and paragraphs. I liked the way how it looked but when I saw another people who just did not care about the appearance I started to write some posts fast and stop caring about the appearance and mistakes too much.

Secondly, they provide a special guidelines according to which we should write. I read them many times. People who organize this competition require you to follow special rules such as using bold writing, not using big letters, using headlines, posting pictures and much more.

Third part is devoted to plagiarism – naturally we are not allowed to use copy paste and also we are supposed to write about our own experience and use our own pictures. We are also not allowed to cheat and use special programs to get more views and the content should be useful. I don’t know how they want to judge if the content is useful but it is written in rules.

Price

So, what is the price of this competition? First ten people will get money from this competition. The first place is amazing – it is 1000 euros and then the amount is lower and lower. How do they decide who is the winner? They do it following way: There is a ranking that you can see whole time since the competition started. This ranking is informative but when the competition is finished they said they will redistribute the points among the best ones.

The ranking depends on many things : the most valuable is length and regularity of writing. When you upload your post, you can immediately see how many points you got. You receive points according to the length of the post, you receive points for pictures and also for views – how many people reads the blog. Nevertheless, it is not easy because it is not enough to open the post – you also need to spend there some time. The length differs according to the article. Although for normal posts I got around 1000 points and then 2500 for the longest ones and 700 for the shorter ones. It is great that you can see the ranking immediately and also you can see the number of views on your stories. Therefore, you can some control over it. There is also maximum limit you can upload per day.

The last part is that when the competition finished, they say that they will spend some time on evaluation of all content and they will add 25 % of points among the people who followed the guidelines and among the people who had an interesting content. I find this little bit unfair because I was so careful about my content and appearance of my blog stories and then I just checked people who were better according to the ranking and I got so angry. I found out that many of them just write about some bullshit things that are not interesting and I also think that just copy paste because it is not possible. Some people add huge amount of content every day and when I read it, they did not use their own pictures and probably they just transformed some information on the internet into their post. I don’t like it at all because it is obvious they do it only in order to win and they don’t care about anything else. I know that organizers will go through the content but maybe they should add more value to the content than this  - just my opinion.

Main issues about blogging

To be honest, I started with blogging because I just like competitions and I wanted to earn some money. Actually I did not expect anything else from it and now I have to say that it gave me many positive things!

English.Firstly, I improved my English. At least I think so. Sometimes I spent a lot of time on writing because I was searching for synonyms since I did not want to repeat same words all over again. It also happened to me many times that I did not know the right expression in English and when you write about everything in your life, you find many new useful words. It does not look like it but when you really write regularly it helps a lot! So even though I complained I could not write in Czech language, it was definitely beneficial for me.

Blogging!

Diary. This is the best thing about blog! I know many people around me who write about their travelling experience just on the papers or in the computer. I was surprised that few of my friends really do it! They write about travelling and about experience they have been through. It is really nice way how to save your memories because people tend to forget many things. Writing about it ensures that you can go back to the place or to the memory whenever you want to and you have saved all details! Since I still say that my time in France was amazing, I am so happy to have all details written on my blog even with pictures. I think that it will be really nice to read everything in few years!

Sharing. Since I wrote a lot, I did not expect my friends to read all of my posts. Of course, they don’t have time to read about all my days. Nevertheless, when someone contacted me that they read my posts and they commented it, I felt so happy. It was the most valuable thing for me because I appreciate a lot when someone reads me. When someone sent me message that they liked what I wrote or my advice helped someone, it made me feel awesome. I would like to mention one Brazilian girl who even told me that she decided to study in France based on my posts. I did not expect this at all! I guess that my blog already fulfilled my purpose because I could help someone through this blog. In addition, I am so jealous she has an amazing semester ahead in Lille! I also like when I went for a great trip and I can say everything I want to and then I can share it among people who are interested. These feelings are just unreplaceable.

Blogging!

Hard times. Of course, I have been through hard times. It was not always easy! Actually, I was considering quitting many times. I mean, it is totally fine to write once per week about all interesting things you want to share. Although since it is a competition, it was not like this. Sometimes, I just really needed to write but I did not have any ideas or I did not have any topics. Then, it happened to me same thing that I talked about in the beginning. Sometimes when I woke up, I already thought what I could do whole days and I was thinking what would be good enough to write about it – which is crazy. Moreover, I had to take pictures all the time. Sometimes it got really annoying. Sometimes I just wanted to enjoy my food without taking pictures but I always had this in my mind.

I liked the most writing about my travelling experience because you have always bunch things to say. You can describe your reasons why you decided to visit the place, what you liked or what you did not like and then you can include many stories. By contrast, when I wrote about all places I have visited, I had to start with normal topics – my days. It was so hard! I experienced weeks when I just woke up and I went to work and there was nothing to talk about. Therefore, I had to come up with new topics and new ideas and it seems to me that since May I described all my life in this blog. I talked about my family, about travelling, about school, about my program and much more. I had time when I wrote only because I was supposed to do it but I had also times when I could not wait to share my experience. So it is not that easy as you could thing. Nevertheless, I remember that blogging helped me a lot to settle my minds in my head because when you just think about something, it is a big mess but when you have to write the things down, you realize your attitudes because you have to name your feelings in a right way. I mean that I realized many things by writing and when I write about something that I am really interested in, it is awesome!

Thank you everybody for reading and for supporting me. I appreciate this A LOT!

Blogging!


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