How to develop your blogging skills during an au pair stay
Professional travel blogger Joaquim Miro shares practical tips about how you can use your au pair stay to develop writing and photography skills that will help you blog like a pro.
If you are an au pair – or have been in the past – there probably have been times where you felt like you wanted to share your experiences with a larger audience. After all, each au pair experience is unique and gives you a whole new perspective on the world.
Being an au pair also allows you to travel, to see a new culture and even to learn about new ways of parenting that probably aren't the same as how your parents raised you. Doing all this at a relatively young age opens up your mind and gives you new life perspectives that differ from the others in your home town who chose to remain in the comfort of their home.
These new perspectives provide you with a distinctive opportunity to start sharing your voice and experiences with your peers, family and network, and this can be done by starting your own blog.
Learning to develop your personal blogging style can be a long and challenging process. But as an au pair, you probably have free time each day that you can use to practice and refine your writing style. And the benefits of becoming a better writer and blogger are ones you can use your whole life long.
Here are some of the ways you can start to develop this highly valuable skill set:
Every day, events happen that help you discover something new about the world. There will be times when your host family presents you with new challenges, when your host kids express something in a special way, when you meet new people and start new friendships or see new sights and places.
By taking a few minutes every day to write all this down in a journal or diary, it will become easier and easier to express yourself in writing, improving your storytelling skills.
This differs from keeping a diary because in this exercise, you commit 30 minutes each day at a set time, creating a routine practice dedicated to your writing. Not only will this help you get better at writing, but it will also give you a way to clear your mind every day. You can try writing anything that comes to mind until you have three full pages written down. My friend committed to do this for almost a year, and it’s now part of her daily morning routine to start her day right.
When you are at school or in a full-time job, finding time to read is very difficult. As an au pair, your situation changes and you now have more extra time on your hands when you aren’t taking care of family matters. Utilize this to your advantage by reading other blogs, magazines and novels to discover different writing styles.
If you have access to a computer, you can use free time during your au pair stay to develop your typing skills. Being able to type quickly is a skill that will help you in most careers, and is a very necessary skill for all professional bloggers. Website like Typing Academy & Keybr are a great place to start.
You can polish your photography skills by practising framing, portraits and other types of photos.
Learn the terms of photography. A little bit of technical knowledge and understanding can help you to take big steps as a photographer. Websites like Pixel Perfect Blogging can help you learn the basics of photography.
Practice taking pictures. The best way to get better at anything is to do it as much as possible. Use your camera to photograph the things that interest you and that you find beautiful and striking. If you also take great pictures of your host family and the family events that you participate in, they will most likely love it as it makes for great memories down the line. But be sure to make clear arrangements with your host family about what they feel comfortable with you photographing of their family life and especially what is acceptable for you to post.
If you want to share some of your pictures with the world, you can add them into Pixabay.com or Pexels.com so that other bloggers and website designs can use your photos to embellish their content. Or you can keep them for yourself as stock photos for when you are ready to start your blog.
There are so many things that you learn while being an au pair, many of which are translatable into interesting hobbies to write about. After you polish your writing skills and uncover your writing style, it’s time to hone in on a specific niche you want to focus on.
This works best if you choose subjects that you feel passionate about or have some direct experience of. This might be connected with your travel experience, with what you're discovering in the new culture or with a hobby or interest that you have or are developing.
Once you choose your niche, it’s time to go into production! There’s no better way to learn than by doing it yourself, so why not launch a small blog of your own? If you are embarrassed or shy, you can always make the blog private by using blogging websites such as Wix or Wordpress. Here is an article on starting a blog to help you step by step.
There will not be many moments in your life where you have as much free time and freedom as when you are an au pair (even if it sometimes feels like you're super busy). When that free time comes, remember this: You can choose to use it to watch Netflix, or you can choose to develop the skill sets that could help you to work as a professional blogger. The choice is always yours! :-)
About the author:
Joaquim Miro from The Alternative Ways is a passionate travel blogger, paraglider, digital marketer and cryptocurrency enthusiast. He always felt the urge to travel the world but stopped himself because of his career. So he took a leap of faith to prove that it is possible to grow your career through travel. And it worked! Now his goal to help others do the same.