I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by three of my very favourite bloggers.
The Rules for the Blogger Recognition Award
Thank the nominator, and publish a post on your blog about receiving the Blogger Recognition Award. Make sure to provide a link to the nominator’s blog in your post.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Nominate 10-15 other bloggers for this award, and inform them of their nomination.
So here we go.
A huge Thank You! I am touched (as in ‘delighted’ and ‘surprised’ 😍 rather than ‘a bit crazy’, hopefully).
They are responsible for the following blogs:
Laura from https://improvemywellbeing.com provides articles with positive-psychology-inspired advice for yourself as well as for children.
Emma from https://relaxinglavender.com shares her holistic approach to wellbeing for our mental and physical health.
Wendy from https://wendymegget.wordpress.com takes a light-hearted look at self-help.
How my blog started
I had been working on my first novel for some months and had just completed some online ‘How to Write a Novel’ workshops led by Stephen Carver. He was a tutor with the Unthank School of Writing. (I blogged about it here.) As they came to an end, I was a little lost without the writing ‘homework’ and community the workshop had provided. I read a book recommended by Stephen called Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World by Kristen Lamb. Although it’s probably completely out of date by now (in this digital world and all that) some of the content is evergreen. Kristen recommends starting a blog to grow a readership.
This gave me the encouragement I needed to start the blog.
Blogging is a way to practise writing and a brilliant creative outlet. So although initially I began blogging to try to reach out so there’d actually be someone to read my novel when it’s published (she says, jumping wayyyyy ahead of herself), I’m actually really loving writing the blog in itself. It’s almost like having your very own (small) magazine, and I’ve always been a big magazine fan.
‘What is a blog?’ somebody once asked in one of the workshops.
‘Free magazines.’ I offered.
What’s not to love about that?
Two pieces of advice for new bloggers
I’m not very well placed to give advice to new bloggers as I only began in January 2019, but for what it’s worth, here we go. If I could do it all again I’d probably have self-hosted straight away. A few months in, I spent a lot of time and effort changing to self-hosting because I find all the tech stuff challenging. There’s so much to know (SEO, keywords, images resizing, the list goes on and on and on). So if you want to make blogging into a career or a serious hobby then I would recommend self-hosting from the very beginning.
Remember your ‘whys’
Remember why you are doing it. It’s so easy to get distracted and carried away in all sorts of directions.
For example, these kinds of blogger recognition awards can be really brilliant. When I received my Sunshine Blogger Award quite early on from Vanessa, The Wellbeing Blogger, it was a huge boost to my confidence. By all means, if these awards float your boat, then write the posts. They are a great way for bloggers to share the love in the blogging community and for you to discover other blogs (and for other readers to discover your site).
But on the other hand, if it takes you a long time to prepare each post and you only have limited time, then remember that you are allowed to respectfully turn down a challenge so you can concentrate on what you want to be doing.
And perhaps an award or a challenge doesn’t ‘fit’ your brand anyway.
Don’t pay too much attention to your numbers. It’s difficult not to if you put so much effort into your blog, but just remember why created your blog in the first place and continue to play the long game (that’s what I tell myself, anyway).
The second piece of advice might contradict the first piece, but I think it’s even more important. Just Do It!
I broke all the rules that new bloggers ‘should’ follow when I first published (and I’m sure I’m still breaking half of them). I only began reading blogs about blogging after I’d begun to blog so I hadn’t realised you were recommended to have at least a dozen or so posts ready to publish when you begin (so that if readers visit your site they’ve got something to read!).
If I’d taken any notice, I probably wouldn’t have ever felt ‘ready’ to post a blog. You’ve really got to take your courage in both hands, write something you feel is about as good as you can do, and push that ‘Publish’ button. Then post it to any social media accounts you have.
And then – and this might be crucial for your sanity, as it is for mine – walk away for the rest of the day and do something else.
Whoops… I think that might be slightly more than two pieces of advice.
The blogging community is really welcoming and kind, and there are writers from all warps of life and from every corner of the world. You make unexpected connections.
You can touch people with your honesty in the most surprising of places. Be as daring as you… dare.