Blogging books

As a newbie blogger three months ago I needed some help setting up a blog even though I had recent experience in digital publishing working in a publishing house. Looking around the numerous blogging books available the three publications I have found most useful are listed below. If any of you awesome bloggers know of any recent books or even blog sites to recommend regarding blogging advice I would love to hear from you.

  • Houghton, Robin (2015), The Golden Rules of Blogging (and when to break them), ILEX PRESS
  • Sabin-Wilson, Lisa (2017), WordPress for dummies, 8th Edition, for dummies®️A Wiley Brand
  • Williams, Richard N. (2014, How to blog made easy, FLAME TREE PUBLISHING

I still have much to learn about blogging. The journey is both enlightening and fascinating. By just throwing myself into it I have probably learned more than reading all the books though.

The above three titles are great reference books on a bloggers shelf (a digital shelf perhaps!). I could have written full book reviews on these books but given the dates of publication I thought they’d probably been through the reviewing mill so I have just listed the books for your reference.

Thanks to all those bloggers who have liked posts during my baby steps into the blogosphere. I am stunned at the boundless creativity out there and enjoy exploring other people’s blogs. Blog on …

Blog safe and hang out the laundry?

It has been a convoluted journey navigating round the blogosphere in the last two months. I played it safe. Surrounded my blogs in a capsule of security with ‘nice’ decorative photos and a haiku-to-match in order to test the environment of the blogosphere. Bit dull perhaps but it has given me a creative challenge daily and my photos got an airing. What’s not to like? The number of likes gives the clue. But then I am new to this blogging lark and perhaps I didn’t boost the posts. Learning the terminology fast. Even thinking of writing an article on being a newbie blogger to encourage others.

Each day I am eager to get onto WordPress Reader to gaze with awe at the creativity and quirkiness of other peeb’s blogs. Makes me feel quite square and insecure. But I will carry on pushing out those haiku for the time being. I set myself a challenge to get a haiku out there every day until the end of June.

Q: Then what?

A: I don’t know yet. Something is brewing.

Q: Any hints?

A: Er. No. But had enough of haiku for a while! Well, after June 30th.

Q: Have you checked out other bloggers’ sites? Any types you particularly like?

A: Doodling blogs enchanted me and I pushed out one of my own but realised I wasn’t too good at it. Not like the charming doodles in a doodling site I visited. Then there was another doodling site with tens of thousands of visitors which had character doodles involving puns which made me both squeal with laugher and squirm. Quite a delicious site.

Q: Only doodling?

A: Daily photos were a pull too. Probably because I was trying to do the same. There is one gloriously popular site that has a photo and haiku every day as mine does. No. Didn’t copy – just thought of doing the same. And happened upon someone who did it better.

Q: What about Longreads?

A: Dropped into some of them but more interested in daily posting sites to see how possible it is to keep the mojo going. Yes, Longreads will need a bit more time to digest. Can see myself reading more of these once I have established my own blog.

Q: Have you made connections with other bloggers in these two months?

A: Yes. If you mean have people commented on my site?

Q: That and more. You may have looked up a site, perhaps?

A: Yep. While playing with tags for the Reader I typed in ‘Shiatsu’ and met a great blogger who gently reminded me that it would be a good idea to have an ‘About’ page (still on my ‘to do’ list. Too busy creating haiku!). This blogger has a similar interest in walking as I do. And she kindly guest-posted one of my posts on her site. That was a first. Made me feel I was making some progress!

Q: So. Now your blog is two months old. What does blogging feel like?

A: Erm. Is there a word for it? ‘Blogophantastic!

Q: Maybe ask your fellow bloggers.

A: Hey. Good idea. Haven’t tried a poll yet.

Q: Name one thing that drives you mad about blogging.

A: Choosing a theme that fits the content! Driving me mad activating and customising themes and they are never quite right. There are some screamingly atrocious colour combinations too. Spent too much time with the psychedelic colours! Squirm-worthy!

Q: This interview is turning into a Longread. One last question. If there is one piece of advice that you would give another newbie blogger following behind you what would that be?

A: Get off my tail! No, seriously. I would say take your time and experiment. That is what I am doing and enjoying every twist and turn. Every time I see another blogger’s site I learn something. Blogging, I have learnt, is about community. It is also about finding your own unique voice so that people engage with your blog. I did think about a mission statement but that’s far too formal. It is my own unique voice that I need to allow through. Still waiting …

Q: Sure it won’t take long to emerge. Thank you for your time. Hope to interview you in a year’s time and you’re still blogging.

A: No doubt about that but what about I wonder. Might still be hanging out the laundry … at least it will be colourful. Which theme’s colour scheme shall I choose … any advice anyone?

Colourful laundry seen on Camino to Santiago © Sanandi-jacq 2017
Blogsite at end June 2019 @sanandijacq

Blogger seeks mission

A newbie blogger, one month old, had one intention in setting up a blog: I wanted to learn about the blogosphere and the whole concept of blogging through plunging in and experimenting. So, what have I learned?

  • The astounding creativity of other people’s blogs
  • The nuts and bolts of setting up a blog – Phew. I did it!
  • Basic blog terminology – themes, categories, tags, posts, blocks, etc.
  • Writing a blog every day is hard work unless you have a strong theme
  • Blogging is interactive – connecting with other bloggers is fascinating
  • Statistics don’t always lie – must try harder
  • The importance of the blogger’s voice and tone
  • The importance of having a mission statement or plan for your blog
  • The need to identify who my potential reader could be
  • Blogging can be addictive and fun
  • Adding photos makes a blog more appealing
  • Which of my blog topics appear to work and which don’t
  • Regular blogging helps the skill of writing
  • The need for an ABOUT page
  • The importance of good headlines

I am sure there are many other things I have learned but am not consciously aware of their impact on how I might blog in the future. One thing I do know is how much I have learned about blogging from visiting other bloggers sites. Very inspiring.

Thank you to those bloggers that visited my site, liked my posts and made comments. It has been good learning about you. You inspire me to continue blogging. Any advice welcome.

A newbie blogger seeking a mission statement.