Adventures of a Rookie Blogger

I’m a rookie blogger. 😦 

I decided to start my blog about four years ago. At first, this idea wasn’t quite appealing. Perhaps, it wasn’t alluring at the time because my idea of blogs consisted of only one type: personal dairies. A few friends and mentors advised me to get a personal journal instead.

Nonetheless, after checking out a few blogs and speaking to bloggers– I decided to start one. A blog, I thought, would give me the opportunity to practice my writing, improve my grammar and editing skills. (English is not my first). At the time, I also thought that it would give me the opportunities to write about the topics that interested me, such as education, women’s issues, writing, film, and books.

My first tries at blogging looked like this: Link.

These are embarrassing to read now. I look back and realized that my attempts were poor at best. Granted, I still think my attempts at blogging are poor. I don’t update often, and my topics are quite scattered. I’ve written attempts at film and book reviews, on trending news about women, and written personal observation on random topics. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was doing everything wrong. After doing some research, I learned that most popular blogs concentrate on one topic. These are often about specific music or books genres, travel journals/guides, writing, photography, etc. Sometimes blogging actually feels like writing a journal. I started to wonder if those friends I mentioned were right after all.

Regardless, here are the five things I learned from my adventures as a rookie blogger:

Grammar/Editing. As mentioned, English is not my first language. I started writing a blog to hone my writing and editing skills. Why? If I’m putting my writing online for the world to read, then this means I need to put more effort into my writing and editing.

It’s not a secret that grammar and editing are essential when it comes to blogging (writing anything actually). Communication is a great factor of our lives and our careers. It’s the way in which we engage with others and present ourselves to the world (in whichever language we speak). Readers might be put off by poor grammar. It’s essential to write as clearly as possible. After all, writing is rewriting, and practice is the only way to become skilled at those things.

Book Reviews.  In the beginning, writing reviews for me consisted on writing only positive reviews and withholding my negative opinions of what I read. My reluctance on writing negatively about books comes from the knowledge that writers put a lot of work into these books. My first reviews were short and badly edited. Although I have not mastered the skill of writing book reviews, I understand that these should not be mean, but honest. Readers like to read honest reviews. If they believe to share the same feelings about a book reviewed on my blog, these readers will likely come back for more reviews. This type of blogs are wonderful for avid readers. It’s also a great way to exercise critical thinking. Again, all of this is partly an observation.

Check out Nadine’s blog, one of my favorite book reviewers. She writes about sic-fi and fantasy books.

Movie/Film Reviews.  Film reviews differ from book reviews in technicality. Movies are a combination of music, photography, and acting. A film can have the perfect acting and cinematography, but awful music choices. It’s important to take these techniques into account when writing film reviews. This is something I noticed from film reviews on the net. Of course, practice makes perfect.

Blogging Frequency. It’s my understanding that successful bloggers are frequent bloggers. I am not a frequent blogger, but I enjoy writing the occasional post like this one. Nonetheless, writing often is key for a successful blog.

Choosing a blog topic. At the beginning, writing a blog does not have to be about anything in particular. Four years ago, I thought that my blog would mostly be filled with topics about education or women’s issues. I still enjoy reading and learning about these topics. However, I realized early that it’s easier for me to write about films, media and books. Finding a topic for a blog may take some experimentation and practice. Try the topics that you love to talk  and learn about and see which one fits.

Okay, these are my experiences and observations as a rookie blogger. If you’re just starting a blog, I hope this is helpful. Some people start blogging already knowing what they’d like to write. Many of my blogger friends are photography bloggers. They went into blogging already knowing what to write about, but this does not have  the case for everyone. If you enjoy writing, then you’ll enjoy this exploration into blogging. There are great resources on the net for writers/blogger, search and try them out.

Thanks for reading,

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