I’m a newbie, virgin, just off the boat beginner at the blogging malarkey. The blurb says it's just about writing down your thoughts and sharing them with people… aye right!
If anyone is going to read my blog then it will have to offer them something. I’ve already hinted that I’m a bit of a butterfly, landing on the flower that seems to be the most interesting at the time. Is that a good thing for a blogger to be? In fact, what is a good blogger? In the best traditions of social research, I decided to do some fieldwork and find out what makes a blogger.
First of all the fieldwork. I looked at the styles of well know local and international bloggers. This wasn’t as difficult as it sounded. I had four bloggers who I occasionally read and they acted as my random sample.
First the international blogger Natham Bransford. This guy is a literary agent for a high flying publisher and a highly recommended and prestigious blogger. He lives on the West Coast of the US and writes about all things to do with writing and getting published. Having read some of his posts I noticed two things - he is well received and gets lots of comments – okay three things – he writes very well (annoying ), four things – he writes like a West Coast American, with lots of references such as ‘Let’s shoot for the high country,’ or ’ I'm a Times New Roman guy, so I'd shoot for 3-4 pages double spaced TNR.‘ Having read this I must be on the track of something.
Next comes a well known runner (in East Lothian he is) and jazz enthusiast Stuart Hay. Now I can really relate to this guys wit and in depth knowledge of the said running and jazz, both things I like, but maybe not as much as Stuart. Applying the test of noticing things about his blogs… well yes he does sound a lot like a Scottish runner who likes jazz and has a lot to say about running and jazz. So that can’t be a bad thing can it?
Now I come on to Nicola Morgan, who describes herself as a ‘crabbit old bat’ who helps people who need a publisher. Reading her posts, I notice that she tells her readers that getting published is an incredibly difficult business, rent with heart ache and disillusion and the only thing to do is ‘ never, ever give up writing.’ She also mentions chocolate quite a lot. Now this woman is very successful, she has published loads of books and when I met her she was the chair of the Scottish authors society. Does she live up to her title?… well she likes to think so.
My final piece of research takes in my good friend Christine Howson. Now Christine is a mother, a very good swimmer and she likes triathlons. So we have a lot in common, apart from the mother bit and of course I’m not a very good swimmer, anyway, what she writes about is her family and various aspects of family life and events that happen to her, such as swimming and entering triathlons. I must say that she sounds like a mother a very good swimmer and of course, a marine biologist… that is obvious from the photos on her blog.
So what has my research shown? Well all four bloggers are good writers and they write like the people they are, and about the things that are important to them.
And what have I learned?
1. A blogger is a person who likes writing and posting things on a blog site.
2. It’s important to be a good writer.
3. It’s a good idea to write about things you are interested in with a style which is instantly recognisable as your own and not somebody who lives in San Francisco.
4. It helps if the things that interest you, also interest other people who can comment on what you have written.
5. Reading other people’s blogs is good idea.
Now that I have carried out this research I feel ready to move on to the next stage in my blogging career and find out how to become a good writer. Work out which of the many things I am interested in, I should write about. After that I can write a little tag line describing my blog and what it is about… brilliant.