Hi dear friends,
I am back for another discussion post as I love reading your reactions, remarks and thoughts on these posts! Many of your comments already gave me food for future discussion posts!
Today’s topic is : what advice would you give new or aspiring bloggers? And is it worth it beginning a blog?
First thing first: is blogging worth it?
As we all know it blogging is a huge time consumer! I really underestimated the hours it would take to blog on a regular basis.
First to set up your blog (see below), to update the blog and to feed it with (hopefully) interesting content!
Honestly it’s like a second job as far as time is concerned.
I also did not expect to love it so much!
Yes there are times when I feel a wee bit discouraged. When I write a post that I think (obviously) is the next Pullitzer in the blogging world and it gets nearly no likes or comments. Or when I spent hours working on a graphic and it gets no mention. Or …
Yet I never regretted beginning this blog.
1) I learned so many different things! Photoshop, Instagram, how to interview authors, some CSS and html coding …I could go on and on.
In life I have a real thirst for learning. I don’t think we are too old (or too young) to learn new tricks or technologies.
2) I’ve become more outspoken and daring!
If there is one thing talking and following US bloggers taught me it was to promote myself! To dare messaging authors I had never spoken to and ask for an interview. To contact publishers to request for an egalley. To shout to the world that “I am good and I am worth it!”.
In my national culture we are rather “humble” and it’s frowned upon to tell others that you are good. It’s considered gloating. But when you witness other cultures, especially our American friends, it’s considered as an asset! And rightly so!
3) I’ve made friends who share common interests! I’ve opened my bookish world to other genres.
I’ve tried science fiction thanks to Shanah and Alexandra. I tried some mystery thanks to Norrie. And maybe one day I’ll try mild horror thanks to Laura, who knows.
To make it short: yes it is worth it but you have to be ready to sweat blood and tears.
Second thing: what advices can we give beginners?
I will give a few here but I would love reading your advices in the comments below!
1) On the technical side, choose wisely your content managing system. In other words: the tool you will use to create your blog!
I wrote an article some years ago on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (you can read “The Wonders and Traps of blogging” HERE) but the big differences are:
-Wordpress.com will update your blog while on .org you will have to update and maintain your blog alone.
-On WP.com they could shut down your blog (it is unusual and would follow some illegal or offensive published content certainly) and you have a limited number of plugins and space (or you have to pay lots of money to get more).
So if you don’t know anything about blogging and are not interested in the technicalities, WP.com would be the best choice for you.
WordPress is not the only managing system of course! You have Joomla, Blogger, Wix, etc.
2) Follow and engage with others in the blogging community!
If you create a blog it is probably because you want to chat with other book lovers (or food lovers or …). Go look for them! Like and leave comments on their posts if you think they are great! If you don’t interact with others there is a high probability that you won’t get likes or comments either! Even if you write the most wonderful post if you have no bloggers friends your range will be very limited!
Plus visiting others is the best way to keep ideas coming and discovering new books, authors, trends etc. Broaden your horizon!
You’d be surprised to discover new likes.
3) Find your own voice, be yourself.
I think this is a very “evident” but important advice. It’s also one that is not easy to follow right away.
When I began blogging I had no idea of what my “own voice” or “signature” was. Should I stay neutral (see last week’s post)? Should I get personal (but not too much as we have a certain “duty of confidentiality” at work and my family would not appreciate all their intimate moments being displayed)? Should I be serious, only writing well built and well thought serious reviews? Could I be a little bit wild as it is in my nature? Etc.
After some months I discovered what and how I liked to write. Some days I am a jokester. I love taunting people. But always good naturedly! Other days I would rant. Because I am a passionate person. When I am in I am all in. I am also deeply loyal and supportive so don’t touch my authors and my friends else! 😀 And aesthetic is very important to me so I learned Photshop, used Canva, Pixabay etc to make lovely graphics.
If I did not like a book I will tell it because what’s the point in lying right?
Don’t try to imitate others. Be inspired yes! But don’t be a clone because that won’t be you and it will feel fake. People are no fools! And you soon will lose interest.
So do you!
And HAVE FUN! This is a hobby and it should never feel llike a chore!
There are many other advices that I could give but I want to hear YOUR thoughts! So what advices would you want to share? Shoot!
Thanks for reading!