Friday, February 10, 2012

Starting Out Blogging

Hi all! For today's GPF, I welcome (again) Golden Eagle. She's one of my favorite bloggers out there, so her advice is well worth reading today. ;-) Take it away, Golden.

First, thank you so much for having me today, Misha! It’s an honor to be here at My First Book.


When I started blogging, I didn’t know that there were writing blogs—nor did I have any idea that it was considered common for a writer to have a blog and/or a social media platform. It was only after several months of blogging and trying to find some kind of niche that I stumbled upon a popular writing blog. It started snowballing from there, and now the great majority of the sites I follow are written by writers.


Personally, I’m glad I found that writing blog back when The Eagle’s Aerial Perspective was still relatively new to the blogosphere. Other writers are a great source of encouragement and traveling companions along the path from first draft to finished novel (whether published or not). Blogging is also excellent for doing something with words that doesn’t involve a novel—everyone needs a break from their projects now and then—while also challenging you to produce content on varying schedules, depending on your style.


Furthermore, blogs are good places to learn. Everyone is moving along with their own goals and ideas, their own failures and successes, and it’s likely that someone somewhere has tried what you’re planning to do. It’s easy to find advice, help, or even just similar circumstances by rifling through someone’s archives or even using a search engine—and if the exact thing you’re looking for doesn’t exist yet, most people (I’ve found) are willing to share what they’ve experienced. Or you can strike out on your own and chronicle your adventures through your own posts, which is always interesting and helpful for readers.


And finally? Another benefit to the online writer community is that it is online. I’m very introverted in person—I don’t like to say much and I don’t really enjoy small talk. However, unlike good old Real Life, when it comes to blog posts there’s time to think about responding and no need for immediate, constant feedback. With my own posts, I find that there’s much more room for exploring a topic than there usually is in person. Other important or interesting things can be saved or bookmarked to be revisited later, and if something strikes you as particularly good, it’s easy to link to content to share with everyone else you know virtually.


The blogosphere is a fascinating, ever-changing place. Whether blogs will still be as popular in ten years (or even just a few) is unknown, but for the moment, I’d definitely recommend branching out into it—even if you aren’t a writer, though writers have a lot to gain. There’s a great community in this corner of the web.




Thanks so much for visiting, Golden. Anyone else who wants to do a GPF post, please check here for details.

Anyone have any tips for beginning bloggers?
 

31 comments:

  1. I always tell new bloggers that if they don't enjoy it, try something else to create an online presence. They could feel more at home with Twitter or Facebook.

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    1. Good point. Everyone has different likes/dislikes when it comes to the web. :)

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  2. Ooh, I'm interested! Hopping over to check it out.

    It's so true that blogging is a fabulous outlet for writers. I know for me, it's given me confidence, made me push myself, and gathered an amazing new group of friends and supporters who are now in my corner. :)

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  3. I had no idea there was so much writer support online when I began. And I'm a private person by nature, so blogging works well for me.

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    1. That makes two! And blogging works for me for the same reason.

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  4. Like Alex, I too had no idea that there was so much writing support,love and encouragement online. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with all the support and help writers offer each other.

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    1. I've felt overwhelmed by it as well. But it's great that other writers are there to talk to. :)

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  5. The 'obscurity' factor of the online community, has actually given me the courage to blog and put my writing "out there" for the world to see...

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    1. Yup. I'd be much more nervous showing my work to someone I knew well.

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  6. I think it's important for writers to blog because it gives you a bigger picture of the business. For example, if I didn't blog, I might be tempted to think that what I do is somehow unusual. I might be lulled into thinking that I could actually make a career at this (and I think that is virtually impossible). Knowing what I do now...that a gazillion people write and that everyone does it with pretty much the same skill...makes me realize that I'm a drop in the ocean. That yes, I can write if I want to, but it needs to be done in my spare time while I concentrate on the job and career path that actually pays the bills. If people in real life ask me about writing, I give this advice. 1) Don't quit your day job. 2) Everyone is writing a book. 3) Anyone can be an author and publish...you are not special at all. 4) Read a lot because that's the only way you are ever going to get anyone to read your stuff. If you don't bother to read what other people have written, they won't bother to read why you have to write. 5) Discard everything I have said if you become famous. But seeing as you are not famous but a nobody like me...pay attention to rules 1-4.

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    1. Realistic advice. Telling someone to pursue writing is fine--but beginning writers don't turn into popular authors overnight.

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  7. These are all fantastic reasons to start blogging! Even if you don't want to blog, you can just make the profile and be able to comment and interact with others that way. It's such a great way to meet other writers and know you're not alone!

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    1. I spent a couple months just commenting on blogs (albeit non-writer ones)--it's a good way to become acquainted with the blogger community before starting a blog yourself. :)

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  8. Of course, the key to success of a blog, in terms of readership, is having something interesting to say. Which sounds obvious, but the first thing you have to focus on is who your readership is, or who you want it to be. Then you have to offer them some reason to stop by. For me, when I was writing my blog The Big Litowski, it was snarkiness. Now that I've put my novel out as an ebook, I have a new, so far more professional and subdued blog. We'll see which in the end is the more successful one.

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    1. Indeed! In the end it's the content that motivates visitors. :)

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  9. Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog! :)

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    1. My pleasure. I love having you over. :-)

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  10. Golden Eagle - I was surprised to see you here when I came over. I agree about blogging having so many good things going for it.

    Hi, Misha!

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  11. A really encouraging post (funnily enough was just over at Golden Eagle's blog too!).

    Thank you for sharing, definitely motivational for writers taking steps into blogging :)

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    1. I was just replying to your comment there.

      You're welcome!

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  12. A great post with The Golden Eagle. Her blog posts are always interesting.

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  13. I too was surprised to discover this wonderfully rich world of writing bloggers. I agree with Golden Eagle. They are supportive and inspiring but if I was to give any advice out to new writer bloggers it would be to take note of the time devoted to blogging. I've had to reduce my time in blogland in order to get some writing completed and submitted. It's all about prioritising.

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    1. Same here. Blogging is fun, but you can't be a writer without writing.

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  14. I think The Golden Eagle covers all the bases excellently. The only thing I would add is to make sure you have fun with it :-)

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  15. Great guest post. I had no idea there was so much on-line writing support when I started blogging. As all newbies do, I had so many questions & kept making mistakes. I was amazed at the number of bloggers who offered assistance. It was such a good feeling. The only other experience I had with peers working together was law school and it was cut-throat-every student for him or herself. Becoming a member of this cool group of on-line writers was a refreshing experience and I am constantly amazed at the willingness of so many people to go above and beyond to help a fellow blogger or writer. I am proud to be a part of something so good.

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  16. Hi Golden Eagle, Hi Misha!

    Well I'm glad Golden Eagle started her blog - one of my fave bloggers! I do like the eclecticism of blogworld and how it's online - I do feel more confident expressing myself with written words than verbally!

    Take care
    x

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  17. A Nice post with The Golden Eagle.
    I read all every post of Misha and and her posts are always interesting.

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