Do YOU Have What it Takes to Blog? (Spoiler Alert - You Probably Do!)

So. Your friends tell me you've been talking about starting a blog.

Blogs are absolutely amazing things when the person writing them is enjoying themselves, and I'm sure you'll get a lot of enjoyment from it as long as you have what it takes. Just ask yourself these questions, and if the answer is yes, then you're good to go!

Are you passionate about your subject?

If you're interested enough in books or fashion or technology or whatever to consider blogging about it - which I'm guessing you are if you're reading this - then the answer is probably yes. If you think you have enough to say about it, and will enjoy talking about it for posts on end, then it sounds like you'll make a great blogger.

The secret blogger police - I'm absolutely sure they exist - will, however, be on to me if I don't tell you that blog subjects are not the be-all and end-all. Yes, this is a book blog, so most of the posts are just me screaming about books everyone needs to read, but I also have posts up about disability and the fabulous me and of course blogging (this post, you may have noticed, is not specific to books). It's a good idea to keep most posts themed, so that people know they can keep coming back for subjects they're interested in, but you don't have to feel boxed in by that theme.

Are you willing to devote a lot of time to your new baby?

Blogging takes commitment, and there's no point beating around the bush: I probably spend anything from forty-five minutes to two hours on every post I write. That adds up to maybe six hours a week, some weeks, and doesn't even cover the endless tweeting, taking bookish photos (only some of which actually end up in a post) and how long I spend skimming the blogosphere looking for ideas to write about in the first place.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.

As long as you are willing to commit as much time as will make you happy with your blog, then you can make it work. Maybe you're okay with writing shorter posts than me, or only posting once a week, or not tweeting as often, and that's fine . . . you just need to be honest with yourself about what to expect in the time you have. 

Are you brave enough to put yourself out there?

Merida? From Brave?
The basic concept of blogging is putting out your thoughts, feelings and opinions for the world to see, if they want to. It's a hard fact of life, and the whole point of a web-log (I never knew that was where "blog" came from, did you?) is that you get at least a tiny bit personal.

That doesn't mean that you have to tell everyone where your full name and address. In fact, DON'T - what I mean is that, even if you avoid social media like a disgruntled tiger and don't ever comment on anyone else's blog, someone you know will probably find it eventually, and you're going to have to be prepared for that.

I am, however, going to say that putting yourself out there, while scary at first, is not akin to offering yourself as a blood sacrifice. Commenting on other blogs in the community and establishing yourself on social media is fun. You get to meet people, chat with them and work together, which was kind of the reason I started. Also, if you want to get views and comments on your own blog, then you are unfortunately going to have to reach out to people. Even your blog opinion twin (again, totally exists) can't read your stuff if they don't know where to find it.

You should also ALWAYS reply to comments on your posts. It's just polite, makes people want to come back because they know they're being listened to, and can start conversations that lead to pretty cool opportunities.

If you're worried that anxiousness or low self-confidence might make you answer no to this question, then you can still become a blogger. I didn't pluck up the courage to even tell my best friend I'd started a blog for almost a month, and now I never shut up about it. The confidence will come in time.
As you can probably tell from everything I just said, almost anyone has it takes to be a blogger: you just need to have enthusiasm and know how to work a computer to even the most basic level, which are probably both true for you if you've found your way here.

Start a blog. I promise you'll enjoy the ride.

In the comments: What sort of qualities do you think help as a blogger? Do you think you have them? And, if you were to start a blog (or if you have already) what would you blog about?
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