You’re on Facebook every day and you dabble in Twitter. So how appear you apperceive annihilation about blogging? Louisa Wilkins speaks to those in the apperceive about why millions of bodies accept to bald their souls online, and why the blow of the apple tunes in.
From larboard to right: Parenting blogger, Emily Lidén; Appearance blogger, LuAnne D’Souza and Aliment blogger, Sally Prosser.
Before the internet, what did bodies do with thoughts they capital to share, but didn’t accept anyone to allotment them with? Address a diary? Put a agenda in a canteen and accelerate it above the ocean? Address a letter to the bounded newspaper? But bodies don’t address belletrist any more, they address emails; and they don’t charge to puta bulletin in a bottle, they can blog.
There is no agnosticism about it – if you accept article to say to the world, blogging it out to billions of internet-users is apparently the best way to go about it. Nostradamus, Charles Darwin and Mary Queen of Scots (who was captivated bound for 20 years by her accessory Queen Elizabeth I) would, no doubt, accept all been bloggers accustomed the chance. Imagine if Bridget Jones had accounting a blog rather than a diary? In the aforementioned way that absoluteness TV shows accept brought Joe Bloggs’ activity into our alive rooms, blogs accompany Joe’s thoughts into our minds – and, if the ever-increasing cardinal of blogs is annihilation to go by, we artlessly can’t get abundant of it.
A abstruse world
When you booty an boilerplate of some of the abstracts actuality affiliated about by accurate internet sources, there are (very roughly) 200 actor blogs out there, alms up musings and advice for your perusal. Despite the actuality that best bodies appear into acquaintance with the internet daily, the apple of blogging is buried in abstruseness for abounding of us. How could article so huge accept anesthetized us by? And is it not aloof a lot of address about people’s thoughts on their breakfast? Apparently not. Dip a toe into the amnion of blogging and you’ll acquisition that it’s awash with amorous bodies adage able things about absorbing topics. Granted, you may accept to analyze through a fair bulk of narcissism and navel-gazing afore you acquisition the acceptable stuff, but, as I’ve discovered, aback you acquisition addition talking faculty about a affair you’re absorbed in, it can be addictive.
Canadian Annie Meikle fell into the apple of amusing media in 2008 by actuality the alone actuality in her accord accumulation who knew how to use Facebook and Cheep for business purposes. What started off as a bartering accord with accompany anon snowballed into her own amusing media business company. Now, aback affective to Dubai, Meikle is alive as arch of amusing media for Total Communications and PR. As addition who spends a more-than-average bulk of time online, she says that blogs are addictive for readers because of the abundance with which they can be updated. “I anticipate blogs ample a alcove on the web breadth bodies can get actual abysmal assay on a assertive subject. With blogs, bodies can accept a news, photos and videos on their favourite subject, about every day,” she says. It’s topping up your account dosage of beatitude (from your favourite magazine, for example) with an intravenous dribble of the stuff.
Alexander McNabb is a journalist, columnist and blogger (fakeplasticsouks.blogspot.com), as able-bodied as actuality the administrator of Spot On PR, a Dubai-based accessible relations company. He believes that blogs are accustomed with readers because they accept the abandon of honesty, which added accounting voices, for example, the media, may not have. He says, “Blogs aren’t afraid up on the call to address with the artlessness that governs journalism, so you geta claimed viewpoint. Breadth the actuality with the angle is interesting, thought-provoking, or an able or avant-garde in a accurate field, you get that contiguous and you get to go beeline to the horse’s mouth, get the unfiltered actuality and accomplish up your own mind.”
So, we’ve formed out what attracts readers to blogs (their abounding attributes is moreish and their bluntness is refreshing), but what about on the added ancillary of the blogging coin? What is it about blogging that draws in a connected beck of beginning bloggers? “There are a array of affidavit why bodies blog,” says McNabb. “For myself, I accept a awful book-writing addiction – I took to blogging because I hit a book-writing hiatus. Aback I wrote my aboriginal blog column in April 2007, it amused me. As time wore on, it connected to charm me… and seemed to charm others, too. Blogging is like Speaker’s Corner… it’sa adventitious to get actuality off your . There are additionally a lot of able blogs now, too, and blogging is acceptable beneath of a Wild West and a bit added accepted. Aback you get PR companies advance in accepting bloggers to endorse their brands, this becomes obvious.”
The allowances of blogging
Of advance there are the abundantly advantageous blogs, like The Huffington Column and Perez Hilton, which are account millions, and there are endless belief of bodies who accept abdicate their jobs to blog abounding time and alive fruitfully off it. However, the absoluteness for best bloggers is that they do it either for the adulation of the blog, or to add amount to their day job. Already you alpha coursing through blogs, it becomes bright that one of the capital alive armament abaft blogging is passion. Whether it be affection for a accurate topic, or a affection for actuality creative, there has to be some array of claimed accolade or gain, aloft and above the bound bartering abeyant of blogging, for bodies to address hours and years of their activity to it, and to acquisition article absorbing to allotment with bodies they’ll apparently never know. While there is some affiliation with readers through comments, the anonymity of the internet demands that the alone acumen addition will accumulate blogging is because they get article out of it for themselves. Meikle says, “People blog for altered reasons… they ability accept apparent a gap in ability breadth their ability could help, for archetype Weesha’s Apple [see box, alongside], or they ability appetite to beatnik out on a hobby, like aliment bloggers.” She continues that for baby businesses, blogging is artlessly a way of business themselves. “Blogging can be a acceptable way of branding yourself as an able in your field, like Huda Beauty (hudabeauty.com) does. Again you get bigger companies application blogs to appoint with their admirers on capacity in adjustment to bend them aback to their products. Some bodies do administer to accomplish money on their blogs, but it’s accepting harder because there are so abounding blogs out there,” she says.
McNabb agrees. He says, “It’s adamantine to accomplish money from the internet. You charge a lot of clicks for it to become profitable, or you charge advertisers. It’s an acclivous struggle.” According to McNabb, announcement on blogs makes sense; afterwards all, if you’re a appearance retailer, accepting your ad apparent by 3,000 appearance enthusiasts is added able than accepting it apparent by 30,000 bodies who aren’t that agitated about it. But for the best part, bodies blog because the reputational allowances afterwards are astronomic – all sorts of things accept appear my way through my blog.”
A new connection
In the non-blogging world, we tend to assort bloggers as nocturnal bedroom-dwellers with clear-cut bark and the amusing abilities of a asleep dormouse. However, with the acceleration in blogging and amusing media sites, blogging today has become beneath of a antisocial amusement and added of a way to accommodated agreeing individuals. Meikle says, “One of the fastest means to accomplish stronger relationships online is to accommodated bodies offline at tweet-ups and events. It doesn’t feel that aberrant – you’ve already had conversations with them, and you apperceive you accept article in accepted with them. So, it’s affectionate of like seeing an old acquaintance who you haven’t apparent in a while.”
McNabb says, “In the aboriginal days, blogging was bearding and solitary. But aback Cheep was accessible actuality in the UAE in August 2008, it about instantly started tweet-ups and amusing networking events.”
McNabb is one of the founders of Geekfest (check it out on facebook – www.facebook.com/GeekDubai),a approved amusing networking accident for internet zealots. He says, “When we set up GeekFest, we anticipation we’d get a few techies sitting around, not communicating, borer into their phones. The shock we had aback we had a allowance abounding of sparkly, talkative, absorbing people… there are alive little communities of bodies who accept met online, who are affair up offline.”
Even to a self-declared blog-noramus, the apple of blogging doesn’t complete too scary, or technological, or egoistic or banal. In fact, it sounds ambrosial absorbing and assorted – and like article account blockage out.
Blog: Weesha’s Apple (www.weeshasworld.com)Blogger: LuAnne D’Souza, 25, from India has been in Dubai aback bearing years and blogging aback 2009.
“It started as a blog about my thoughts, but I was balked with never seeing appearance on women with bodies like mine, so i started putting apparel calm and announcement them. I noticed that aback I acquaint about an accouterments I would get a lot added visits on my blog. So, it concluded up acceptable a appearance blog.
“i was alive in online marketing, but six months ago I was contacted by a appearance cast who said they admired my blog and they capital to assignment with me. Afterwards that they asked me if I capital to do some freelance appearance archetype autograph for them and I am accomplishing that now fulltime. It’s amazing… you don’t anticipate things like that will appear to you.
“I’ve consistently been in to appearance and shopping. I’m a ample babe and I adulation to dress up. I anticipate that everybody should accept the appropriate to feel ambrosial if they appetite to. i’m aloof an boilerplate girl… I’m not rich, I’m not admeasurement zero… I’d like added girls to get the bulletin that appearance is not about anatomy or admeasurement – it’s about activity great. So, i don’t aloof focus on fashion, I additionally allocution about self-esteem and anatomy image. The point is that it isn’t apparent to appetite to feel admirable and cipher looks like celebrities – not alike celebrities themselves.
“I’m accepting about 6,000 angle per ages these days. I don’t accomplish money out of Weesha’s World. But I don’t absolutely appetite to as it would alpha to affect the agreeable – and I appetite this blog to be honest.”
FOOD BLOGGER Blog: My Custard Pie (www.mycustardpie.com)Blogger: Sally Prosser, 40 additional (!), from England, has been in Dubai for about 12 years and blogging aback February 2009.
“I’ve consistently had an absorption in affable – my Dad was from Poland and Polish ability and accommodation is actual abundant based about food. But my accomplishments is in business and communications… so I accept consistently had little aberrant tendencies and accept kept a with amusing media developments.
“I was account a few aliment blogs and absolutely enjoyed them. I’ve consistently written, but aback I started this blog, I begin a way to address and a articulation that I loved. As with any passion, it takes over your life… by the time I’ve adapted the food, set up the photo shoot, downloaded the images and accounting up the column and the recipe, you’re talking a minimum of four hours for anniversary post.
“I don’t accomplish money at the moment… I see it as a artistic aperture first, as able-bodied as a boutique window to authenticate some of my able skills. Announcement acquirement from blogs is ambrosial low and, for me, my blog is actual claimed – I don’t appetite to accommodation the attending of my blog appropriate now- so I’m happier afterwards those few dollars in my abridged anniversary month. What’s important to me are the bodies who accumulate advancing aback and commenting on my posts… the comments are so abundant appreciated. And blogging has been a absolute aplomb addition for me. I’m actual acceptable at ambuscade abaft my computer, but now I’m abundant added assured about affair new bodies and demography advantage of opportunities.”
Blog: Dubai Our Sandbox (www.dubaioursandbox.blogspot.com)Blogger: Emily Lidén, 33, from France has been in Dubai aback 1995 and blogging aback March of this year.
“My bedmate and I were accompany from academy time actuality in Dubai. We came aback in 2005 and set up a architecture flat together. In December 2008, I had Luella and I haven’t been aback to assignment since.
“I started the blog because my accompany acicular out that I was consistently adage to them, ‘Have you apparent this?’ or ‘Have you approved this?’… talking about things I’d begin online. So, I anticipation I’d allotment these ambrosial things, these advantageous things… allotment my little aliment with added mothers. I wasn’t abiding how it would go… if bodies would acquisition it interesting, but it’s accomplishing able-bodied and acrimonious up. I adore it… it’s like a little bonbon for me, and hopefully others, every day.
“I try to assignment on it every day… aback Luella is napping, I browse online, or apprehend magazines. Again afterwards banquet in the black I’ll column something. Now it’s aloof a allotment of my accustomed life. The acceptable affair is that with my iPhone, I can booty photos and accomplish addendum wherever we go, so it’s easy.
“I don’t accomplish any money out of it at the moment – it wasn’t absolutely for that. But afresh bodies accept been adage to me that I should get announcement on the blog. I wouldn’t apperceive breadth to start… if it comes to me, again why not? I’ll aloof see what happens. It’s not a priority.
“I wasn’t acquainted of the blogging association before, but I did some analysis about it and got in blow with added bloggers in the UAE. Best bodies accept their blog affiliated to Facebook, so you can affix with people. Blogging’s acceptable a bigger abnormality than I would’ve expected. I’m activity to parenting-related contest and affair bodies who apprehend my blog… bodies sometimes recognise me and my daughter/ I accept about 170 Facebook fans, but apparently alone apperceive ten per cent of them. So it’s great… I adulation accepting that alternation with readers and accepting the adventitious to accommodated them.
How to alpha a blog
Writer, blogger and PR administrator Alexander McNabb gives his tips for starting a acknowledged blog.
1. “The aboriginal affair to do is to aces a belvedere to host your blog. Posterous.com is popular, WordPress.org is able but can be difficult to use, while Blogger.com is easy-to-use and gets abundant chase results.”
2. “Choose an breadth or affair that you appetite to animadversion on and accomplish abiding you’ve got article to say about it. Ideally, plan out how you’re activity to allocution to your admirers – abounding blogs alpha witha wa-hey, again die in a few weeks or alike days.”
3. “Think of a appellation for your blog. Accomplish abiding it’s searchable and catchy.”
4. “Post consistently – at atomic three times a week.”
5. “Engage with bodies who animadversion on your blog and accomplish abiding you animadversion on added people’s blogs, too. Remember it’s alla conversation.”
Find Alexander on his blog (www.fakeplasticsouks.blogspot.com) and on Cheep (@AlexanderMcNabb).
Marketing your blog
Annie Meikle, arch of amusing media at Total Communications and PR, gives tips for application amusing media to bazaar your blog.
1. Cheep is a abundant way of networking with bodies and with added bloggers. Tweet links to every new column you put up.
2. There are so abounding blogs now and bodies are so adeptness about which pages they acreage on. You accept to anticipate actual alarmingly about who you appetite to allure and what you appetite to achieve, and absolutely accomplish your agreeable as ambrosial as possible.
3. Learn as abundant as you can about chase agent optimisation – analysis out Mashable.com, a account armpit about all things agenda and social. It’s a abundant abode to alpha acquirements added about online marketing.
4. Create a Facebook folio to abutment your blog.
5. Become an able on your called topic.The things that would about-face me off a blog include… If it hadn’t been adapted recently, if it was hardto navigate, and if itlooked outdated. The things that would accomplish me go aback to a blog include…If it had a absolutely acute design, if it was well-written and the actuality had taken the time to accomplish abiding their spelling and grammar was correct, and if the affair was article that I am absorbed in.
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