I just finished reading the book Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh Joy! I picked it up because I'm always trying to learn something new and I've been fascinated with the business of blogging since my friend Kate (back in 2008) introduced me to the blog formerly known as "my charming kids" (then became "MckMama") and the Pioneer Woman who can now be seen on Food Network.
It seemed to me that a blog was pretty much an online journal slash scrapbook. The notion of being able to journal the goings-on of my family was an appealing idea especially since writing was something I'd been doing both as a hobby and professionally for years. And I could add photos? Awesome, I took photography in college and knew the ins and outs of a darkroom.
But HTML and digital photography? I was a novice. All I had was a PC and a simple digital camera that I had gotten as a Christmas present so I could upload photos to eBay.
Fast forward --> nothing like a few hundred hours of Googling and looking at code to give you a lesson on coding, templates and the inner workings of a blog!
So although it may seem like this blog is a baby (2 years old) I've got plenty of blogging experience behind me. I've gone from a point-and-shoot camera to a Nikon SLR (half paid for by blogging) to leaving my crummy PC to a Macbook Pro and an iPhone. (I was blogging when it was popular to have a music playlist on your blog and Pinterest was just a glimmer in Ben Silbermann's eye.)
But back to Joy's book, I loved that she interviewed other bloggers (very famous ones) and that she gave lots of pointers, because when you start out blogging, it's like a secret society.
I remember wracking my brain wanting to learn how to center links and create blog buttons. I joined every link party, got on all the blogging networks, commented my head off and at times burned myself out. Blogging was work! And it was work I wasn't getting paid for!
Although I am not a "big" blogger, I think I am like many other bloggers out there. I do fine, I've learned a lot. I do think one of the secrets to success in blogging is longevity. Sticky with it is the best lesson you can teach yourself.
Blog because you love to write, blog because you love digital photography, blog because this is your creative outlet or blog because you want to contribute. If your heart is in it, the rest will come.
Here are a few sites and links (that I trust and have been using for years) that might prevent sleepless nights and help newbie bloggers:
- Need to find the perfect color with automatically generated code? Try Colorpicker
- Could use some help with HTML specifically for blogging? Go to Blogger Sentral
- Want a new FREE template for your blog? Here's where I go: BTemplates
- Do you want meta tags in your blog? Blogger Tricks makes it easy
Happy blogging and welcome to the club! :)