~ I Get By With a Little Help from my Friends ~

“Oh I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.

Do you need anybody?” ~ The Beatles

Blogging Heroes

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

YES, I need you! I have totally embraced blogging—I love writing almost daily, I love the feedback, I love the friends I have made, and I love the whole blogging community. So, today I am going to ask you, my wonderful friends to help me out a bit. My Writing Group has asked me to do a little presentation about Blogging and I have a few ideas to share about my experience, but I was wondering if you would like to throw your two cents in.

I will be talking to a group that wants to be introduced to blogging. As far as I know, none of them are bloggers yet, though a couple of them have set up accounts. What advice would you give them, and how would you encourage them to get them started in the world of blogging. What do you like best about blogging, and what is something that you do not like or did not expect.

I have been blogging for a little over a year, but did not really embrace the whole experience until about May of this year.  From the outside looking in, I would never have realized the satisfaction that can be derived from having a blog, nor did I expect to make some pretty wonderful friends. The blog world is full of all kinds of people, and those I have run into have been with very few exceptions, truly kind and generous.

So what would you tell a group of writers who were interested in blogging?

(And if you are not a blogger, but a commenter, what do you get out of reading the posts of those who blog?)

 

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Published in: on October 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm  Comments (69)  
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  1. Wow that sounds awesome my friend 😀
    Hmmm I would tell them blogging provides an outlet for your thoughts and creativity, which when you share with others is simply the best feeling you could experience!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • This is a great suggestion — as writers we need outlets for our creativity and sharing is what it is all about!

  2. Wow, what a brilliant opportunity! To convert people to blogging 🙂

    But where do you start?

    Ok, if it was me I would start with a list of all the benefits I get, from blogging. I think I’d probably write an article and then try to adapt that to a talk.

    Try it out on us first 😉

    Xx

    • excellent idea

      • Good luck! 🙂

        Xx

  3. I know this sounds trite, but I would tell them, be yourself. Let your blog be a true reflection of who you really are and people will respond in a positive way. You really can’t go wrong. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

    • good advice – I will be passing it on – thanks so much

    • This was going to be my advice as well! Don’t get caught up in what you feel like you should be writing, or what you think others want to read, just do YOU! People respond to authenticity. (Both of you are great examples of this!!)

      • that is really good advice – being ourselves I think is what people expect–and can see through if we are not

      • So true!

      • Me too! Write about what makes you who you are. Write in your own voice rather that trying to write in ways that don’t suit you. For instance, I’d love to be funny and sometimes in real life I am but I can’t write like that.
        What have I got out of blogging – well so much! I started my blog just for me and had no prior understanding of the friends I would make along the way, that people might actually be interested in what I was doing and that I would come to look forward so much to reading other people’s blogs and thoughts and that we could have conversations across the miles.
        I have learned so much about other people’s lives, about the hardships some people face every day, about lives in other countries – blogging has opened up a whole new world for me!
        There is so much other good advice here from all sorts of people – and that’s another thing! I love to read other comments and when they touch a chord, I go and look at that person’s blog and another friendship begins to blossom.

        There is so much other good advice here from all sorts of people – and that’s another thing! I love to read other comments and when they touch a chord, I go and look at that person’s blog and another friendship begins to blossom.

        I’d love to see the transcript of your talk. In fact, I’d love to be in your audience!

        Good luck 🙂

      • Thank you – Like you, I had no idea I would enjoy reading other blogs as much as I do–it really has opened up a world that is not accessible unless you travel a lot–when I come up with my presentation, I will post it for you–but part of it will be reading all the responses I got–it is important to get all your voices heard–it is so much better than my one voice

      • As I went downstairs the book programme was on and they were discussing Hunter Davies’ new biography of John Lennon, The John Lennon Letters and he was saying how personal these letters are and that they all have little drawings around them. It’s published by Weidenfeld and Nicholson. You might like to find it. 🙂

      • thank you so much for thinking of me–I am going to check and see if the library has it 🙂

      • I just put it on hold – thanks

  4. I agree with She’s a Maineiac – your blog, when it comes right down to it, is for you. I write to be true to myself, I use it as not only a form of self expression but as an outlet for some serious stuff. I started blogging so I had a place to put stories about my boys’ childhood but it has become something way more. Never did I think I would open up and write about my dad’s death or my hair loss or Cody’s medical issues.
    Tell them to be surprised by the great community of bloggers out there. Tell them not to worry about what others think. Tell them to have fun with it. But also warn them that it can be all consuming and that if you let it, blogging can take up a lot of time. 🙂

    • Oh, and please tell them to attach their blog link to their gravatar!!

      • will do

      • Yes, please! 🙂

    • All good points, and I agree that sometimes you end up sharing more than you initially thought you would. I have come to a balance now, but I agree, blogging really can capture your time.

  5. Sounds wonderful!
    And – I agree with what has been said already.
    I say just go with the flow & see where it goes…
    & have fun with it! 🙂

    • fun is one of the best ingredients – thank you 🙂

  6. What a fun opportunity! For me, blogging started as an outlet for my bubbling enthusiasm about all kinds of tech stuff. But …. I thought it would be a passive experience. I would write and it would just disappear into the universe. I was totally blindsided to learn how interactive blogging is, and with that the experience is far richer than I ever imagined. The friendships, the community, and the broadening of my knowledge as I read the incredible blogs of others. I only started blogging in May, so I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve been enriched beyond my wildest dreams. 🙂

    • me too – you mirror me a lot except I do not know much about tech stuff (though I am learning a lot from you).I did not realize what a great community it is either

  7. I too was so surprised by how interactive this whole process is, and how rewarding it is to have these interactions with total strangers. As for advice – I think this is one of the many experiences where perseverence is crucial!

    • I can’t agree with you more — perserverance really is the key.

  8. Another thing I think is important that no one has mentioned yet is to pay attention to how your blog presents itself. Is the site easy to navigate? Are the posts easy to follow? Is it cluttered, or engaging? Too much “stuff” can distract or confuse readers. On the flip side, lack of personalization makes it that much harder to become part of the community of bloggers. The “Preview” button is my best friend!!!

    Also, having a separate contact e-mail, just for the blog, might be helpful 🙂

    Good luck, this sounds like a fun opportunity!

    • Those are really important things — sometimes I cannot find the comment button and give up — and I find I need some white space or it is hard to read. I am going to take all your advice to my writers group–thanks so much for taking the time to help me out

      • Yes, I definitely need some white space too! It’s hard to know where to look when there is stuff everywhere. I hope it’s a successful group! 🙂

  9. I agree with every-one”s views. I’ve also found it has taken my writing to a new level, since as a blogger, you only get encouragement, not critiicism. It’s been very freeing, and this means that your writing becomes more honest, more authentic, and therefor, more readable..

    Beatles still around !!!!

    • I too, love the encouragement–it is such a positive atmosphere and you are right–it makes it easier to write for a friendly audience

  10. I would tell them not to get hung up on the stats as an indicator of success. Success is defined solely by whether or not they achieve what they set out to do. The stats can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you react to them. ~Gail

    • very true, as someone learning not to rely on stats – thank you

  11. Lou Ann, that’s great! I began blogging in February of this year and my earlier posts are awkward because I didn’t know what to blog about. I think a person begins a blog with something in mind and then as she/he goes along they begin to gravitate more to whatever it is they’re trying to say. It’s like finding your voice (you know when you write) so any advice I’d give is just dive in and don’t worry about people following and all that. It takes time (as you well know!) and dedication, but the more you do it, the better you get at it. Also, I’d advise to of course apply proper grammar and good writing but don’t fret so much over “mistakes” because they are going to happen. Good luck and I can’t wait to read your post about your experience!

    • you are so right — my first posts were just my columns and many are quite long–once I started to get feedback I felt more confident to share other things — thank you so much for this–it will help a lot, because I do not want to share just my experiences

  12. I began blogging as a way of getting into writing again and I committed myself to posting at least once a day (some days I got carried aways and over-posted). What came as a complete surprise to me was the lovely feedback I began to receive from ‘followers’ (I still find that term oddly disciplish). The other thing I didn’t expect was to actually make friends with people this way – like you! My blog altered from a bird blog to a life blog and now it’s a bit of both. But, and I know this sounds a bit ridiculous, but blogging has now become a passion for me – writing and reading blogs I mean – and it has actually saved me from utter despair at times.

    • Blogging does become a passion–and until you become a blogger I do not think you understand that. Thanks for your feedback Julie — (and it is wonderful to have a friend like you–I do not think of you as a follower – lol)

  13. Everyone has made really great suggestions. It’s true that the blogging experience has been such an unbelievably nice surprise for me—I really wasn’t expecting to find a network of such intelligent, creative, kind-hearted and sharing people. It’s been such a wonderful addition to my life, both my social life and my creative life. And like everyone else has said, I would just advise people to write what they want, and it will fall into place as they go along. My early posts were good practice, but it was a while before I hit my stride.

    • Thank you Madame Weebles — you are so right about the creative kind-hearted intelligent community — and having a blog to do and create whatever you want is wonderful–and the fact that people read it, is a real bonus.

  14. remember to tell them that being scared of pressing “publish” might never wear off. and that’s ok, they should do it anyway.

    • that is so true — great point–but there is always a little rush to it to–fear, anticipation–but I find edit a wonderful feature–just because you publish it, it is not a done deal–you can correct or erase altogether

  15. Great opportunity Lou. As a reader, I respond to enthusiasm, passion and honesty….it’s what keeps me reading. So if you can pass on those three, which you certainly have, future bloggers can’t go wrong.

    • I like that — enthusiam, passion and honesty — yes people who are reading this, she is my sister–that is why she says these lovely things– but I like and believe them anyway

  16. I would say: ‘Go for it!’ I have found blogging so rewarding for many reasons. I love the fact that I can write without worrying about whether it would be good enough to publish, it is also great writing practise. But I think the thing I like best is the friends I have made. I really wasn’t expecting this and I know I will never meet my blogging friends, but the feel of community is great. As a reader I really enjoy reading about people’s lives in different parts of the world, to see the differences and similarities.

    • I love a lot of the things you do–especially being friends with people all over the world–the feeling of community surprises me

  17. I’d tell the group that the sense of community is great, but even if no one read mine, it’s a living diary / scrapbook of life. It’s also a great spot to be creative. You can be as anonymous as you would like.

    • Good points — at first I wanted to be somewhat anonymous — but as you becoming more comfortable with your “friends”, you get to open up at whatever pace you like – thanks Heidi

  18. Pretty much everything that I feel about blogging has been covered here. I think my favourite part is gaining a new family because that’s what all the other bloggers seem like. They pat you on the back, they listen to you, they encourage you, and they help you to learn – just like a family! Also, write from your heart and don’t worry about what other people will think. If it’s important to you, let it out, and there will always be someone else who thinks it’s important too!! By the way, I think you will be an awesome person to teach others about blogging! Have fun :).

    • I like that — we are a family – thank you for taking the time to add this —

  19. I would tell them to be themselves. To blog about what they know and what they feel comfortable with. Perhaps most of all, to have fun.

    • ah, to have fun – good advice indeed!

  20. I would suggest they decide what they want to write about….specifically or just generally whatever comes to mind.

    I would say that at first you may not get too many people reading your blogs, so make sure you’re writing for your own enjoyment.

    I would say to make sure and use enough and correct ‘tags’ so others can see what you are writing about.

    I would suggest that when you read someone’s blog that you only give advice if they ask for it….encouragement yes…insight yes…but avoid telling them what they ‘should’ do unless they ask of course.

    I would say that you meet so many wonderful people that write from their heart and that is the great part about blogging.

    Sometimes there are those that have an agenda in their writing and that you should choose who to ‘follow’ wisely. It is easy to follow everyone that comes to your site and either ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ on a blog of yours, but you need to read their ‘about’ page or one or two of their blogs to see if their interests etc. are what you would like to keep reading about.

    Don’t be surprised if at some point you get a comment that kind of ‘stings’ but consider what is said but don’t take it as necessarily true.

    I’ve been blogging now for almost a year also and have enjoyed so much the interaction and even learning from others. I have been ‘blessed’ many times over.

  21. Hey, I am just going to read them your answers and those of the other commenters — you have provided a perfect list – thanks so much for taking the time — and I agree on all points–although I have had only a couple of comments I didn’t like –I have to admit I did edit them out and they are now in some sphere far far away.

  22. What I like about reading other people’s blog is an insight into other people’s lives,especially when it is from the other side of the world. Its great to learn what you have in common and what differs

    • I agree–it makes is so interesting

  23. Actually I like what everyone wrote. When I started I had no idea what to do, and I changed my format three times, trial and error, now like someone said, I write for myself searching for things that interest me, and starting my writing as if I am writing a letter which I guess I am in a way to my wonderful blogging friends. I get so much more out of reading others and I have mentioned before, so many doors have opened to me, I have learned appreciation for new things, like haiku, and developed a stronger love for hobbies I always enjoy like photography, I have traveled via the internet and learned about many different countries and cultures and the most important is developing a deeper relationship with God through many of His Saints in the blogging world. I look forward to reading about your experience in teaching the new bloggers.

    • what a wonderful synopsis–I write my posts sort of like letters sometimes too – thank you so much – this is going to add to my body of knowledge for my little presentation

  24. I’m a little late to the party on this but this sounds like a lot of fun! I’d say for anyone who enjoys writing even the teeniest bit would get a lot out of blogging. That being said, the beginning is always the hardest and if they start out wanting to write for an audience, it’ll be a hard initiation indeed. But if they learn to use the key tools well (like tags! this took me a while before I figured out that it leads people to my blog), follow others to look to as an example, become a good commenter, chances are they’ll start feeling like a part of the community in no time.
    Best of luck to you on the presentation!

    • PS. I reread my comment and I meant that if people start blogging with no intention other than to have an audience, it’ll be a little hard. We all write hoping to have readers, but I think its important that people start out just wanting to express and write for themselves.

      • I so agree-though I found out the hard way

    • You are not too late–I still have a few days to prepare, and I like your warning – you are not going to have a lot of readers right away–that takes a fair amount of work–but the work of visiting other blogs and commenting is fun work

  25. I would tell them to blog regularly, comment on other blogs frequently, and find as many excellent blogs to follow as possible.

    And way to go!

    • thank you – good advice all

  26. Beatles rule !

    • A fellow believer

  27. “…by hippies, poets, (it was the 70’s)” from your about page. Sorry dudette. 70’s ones are mere wannabes. The 60’s defined it all and no hippie would allow disco music. I wonder what happened to us. I was a moderate hippie. We wanted to change the world and were sure we could. Seems like we just got sucked up by realities of job, marriage, kids and bills. I am disappointed that our anti Vietnam War efforts have not carried over to contemporary times. Thanks visit my blog.

    • yes, but I had a professor who was a hippie – he still wore the peace sign on the buckle of his belt — he taught linguistics though–my least favourte english course
      I still think we have vestiges of the anit-Vietnam war in all the peace loving people it spawned

  28. Good luck and you must share some of your wonderful advice with your fellow bloggers!


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