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10 In blogging

the blogging apprenticeship | what you wish you knew

lilyfrance004

Blogging is like an on-the-job apprenticeship, don’t you think?  An apprenticeship in which you are your own boss, your own teacher, and your own student.  Only once you try explaining to someone new to the blogosphere just how much is involved, do you realise the extent of it yourself! And how much you didn’t know when you started out… and how much you still don’t know…

Blogger = writer + editor + PR + techie person + web designer + sometimes photographer and the list goes on.  That’s a lot of jobs to learn!  Explaining the ins and outs to a newbie would just be too much – there’s a lot of figuring out your own way that you’ve gotta do yourself.  Where do you start?  I think only bloggers themselves understand quite how many layers there are to navigate and how involved you can be.  ‘Finding your voice’ sounds cheesy as hell but I think it’s really important to suss out your own writing style.  I sometimes think of mine as ‘pointless writing’ haha: I’m not informing anybody of  anything in particular, rather just sharing my thoughts on whatever I fancy that day.

I’d say the main revelation comes with the fact that your blog, no matter how fantastic it may be, isn’t gonna be discovered by magic.  Actually getting your blog out there for people to read is half the job, unless you’re going for an online personal journal kind of thing.  I started blogging to have another platform to ‘share’, so interactions with others has always been a big part of it for me.  Maybe some people blog just for themselves and their nearest and dearest, but I really feel like most of the learning curve comes with the social side.  Which networks to find people on, where to find other blogs, how to make new friends – there are innumerable different social ‘things’ to do!  Let’s be honest, most of us would like our follower count and pageviews to increase though, so joining those networks and showing your face really is important.

I know that when I started out, it took me way longer than it should to realise just how good Twitter is for chatting to bloggers.  I hadn’t really been into tweeting before and thought ‘nahh, it’s not my thing, Insta is my place!’.  Boy was I wrong!  Come to think of it, there are actually loads of applications and networks that once I’ve started using, I’ve wondered what I ever did without.  Like Tweetdeck for example: I kinda shunned the whole idea of scheduling tweets and having all my twitter ‘decks’ open at once, until I saw loads of bloggers saying in a chat that it was a godsend.  Of course, I now never close my tweetdeck tab.

Oh and another learning curve that can be difficult to explain is just how random and inconsistent blogging can be!  The posts you think will spark most interaction perhaps don’t, yet the posts you maybe don’t consider your finest work seem to go down really well.  Don’t even try to predict your stats!

Just over a year in and I still feel like a beginner, even though I feel like I’ve come on leaps and bounds (for want of a less-cringey phrase) since I started.  I am still a beginner.  But if you’d told me about things like SEO, HTML, outreach programs, all that jazz when I first started, it would’ve seemed way too much to take in for something that was meant to be a hobby.  All the general organisation involved would’ve seemed overwhelming too!  Which is where the apprenticeship comparison comes in: you can’t learn how to be a blogger from any textbook.  Or website because y’know, 21st century kids.  Learning through doing really is the best way!  It’s also kinda weird how what starts as a writing hobby, turns into feeling like you’re running your own online mini business, even when it isn’t a ‘business’ for some of us at all.  It’s still a hobby, and it still feels like a hobby, but a hobby that has evolved loads from how it started out.  A much more involved hobby, if you will.

  If a ‘blogging apprenticeship’ did exist and you were the boss, what would be the first point you’d teach?

lily kate x
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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Max
    14th December 2014 at 3:39 am

    Wow! What a question! I would want to learn whatever you thought would help me get going on getting a blog set up and posting, but the rest I imagine is all touch and go. Deal with it as it comes up.

    It is still a hobby, but because you have followers I guess you have some responsibilities. So if you don’t post for a while you may get that feeling that you should let us know how you are doing. But if you haven’t knit anything for a bit you just have your own self to answer to. So more involved,because of all the networks you have built up. Though there are still some of us waiting with bated breath for your next knit garment, cactus, or Xmas ornament. In case you were wondering…

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th December 2014 at 10:05 pm

      That’s what I thought too – it’s a hobby but because other people are involved, there’s some obligation to show my face often. No disasters if not though.
      I’m waiting with bated breath to finish one haha! I really wish I could dedicate more time to knitting; it’s my favourite chillout hobby. It drives me mad how busy my life is! Although it’s mainly this blog that’s taken over from knitting as a hobby haha 🙂

  • Reply
    Jordan
    14th December 2014 at 8:46 am

    I love this post! I think if I took a blogging apprenticeship the first thing I’d teach is how to love writing, followed by how to use social media. I still feel like a beginner too even though I started in January! I don’t think I’ll ever feel like a real expert at it 🙂

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th December 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Thank you Jordan! Really glad you liked 😀 That’d be what I’d teach too – how to make more use of social media!
      I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m even half an expert. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah
    14th December 2014 at 9:28 am

    This is a really interesting post! The first point I’d teach would be to focus on creating something you like and to not worry about stats etc to begin with. I definitely have a lot to learn though as I’ve only been blogging for just over a month!
    Hannah x
    Hanniemc.co.uk

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th December 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks Hannah! Yeah, worrying about stats is pointless because they’re always all over the place!

  • Reply
    Megan
    14th December 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Hi! Completely unrelated to the post (though I very much enjoyed it) but where did you get all your photos from? Obviously they’re all of you but I’m always taken aback by how professional and well composed they are, do you take them week by week or do you have a huge stockpile of them waiting for appropriate posts?
    🙂 Megan x
    London Callings

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th December 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Hey! I’m very lucky that my mum is a professional photographer, and we very often have a camera out and about with us! For example this shot was from back in August when we went on a walk and took the camera equipment, as I wanted to do a post about walking/fitness. I must admit that finding photos for this kind of post can be a little difficult not to duplicate though! And at the minute, it pretty much is ‘shoot whatever we can’ at the weekends to have for during the week, as the lack of daylight makes shooting Monday to Friday damn near impossible.
      Hope that helps! 😀

  • Reply
    Emma
    15th December 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I think the first topic that I would cover would be how to write about what you are passionate about. I think it’s super important to have a good base and since people will be there to read your writing , it is important that you know how to write and that there is passion behind the writing. A very I interesting post, I completely agree!

    Emma | frillsanddoodads.com

    • Reply
      lily kate
      16th December 2014 at 10:15 pm

      That’d be what I’d say too, although my topics are all over the place because I write about whatever I’m feeling particularly passionate about that day. I love when you can recognise somebody’s writing style though!
      Thanks for commenting Emma!

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