What Marcus Aurelius Can Teach Us About Blogging
Six months after I launched BookerTalk I was ready to throw in the towel. To be honest with you, I’d made the classic errors of most blogging newbies:
I didn’t have a clear purpose for the blog. Just a half-formed idea I would blog about my project to read all the Booker Prize winners.
I didn’t have a plan for when and how often I’d post.
I didn’t understand the mechanics of blogging. Categories and tags were a mystery. The difference between a post and a page escaped me. And what the hell was a ‘slug”?
Frustration. It took me hours just to post one piece of content. Hours I didn’t have to spare when I was also working full time, frequently away from home on business trips and also trying to maintain an exercise regime.
I came close to deleting all my content and closing my WordPress account.
What stopped me?
First I started getting a few comments. Just one or two per post. Small fry I know but they were enough to make me feel that I wasn’t entirely whistling in the wind. Unfortunately they didn’t resolve my struggles with the technicalities of WordPress.
Marcus Aurelius Has The Answer
Marcus Aurelius came to my rescue. Not in person of course, but in the words of wisdom captured in his book Meditations.
Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?
Those last two words nailed it for me. If I asked for help from some established bloggers, what was the worst thing that could happen? Even if they said no, I’d have lost nothing.
None of the bloggers I approached did say no. Not one of them sent me packing or made me feel my questions were naive. Each and every one of them was generous with their time and their expertise.
I came across that quote from Marcus Aurelius again last week and it got me thinking. What if I created a space on this blog for bloggers to ask for help? A space where we can use the Wisdom of crowds concept to help new and experienced bloggers solve problems, explore new ideas and become more productive.
I know you can find thousands of blogging tips already on line. You can just do a Google search or check out one of the experts I listed in an earlier post. You’ll certainly get answers to your questions about blogging in general. But you won’t find it as easy to get answers to specific questions about book blogging.
I loved doing the A2Zofbookblogging series earlier this year; especially the contributions made by so many bloggers who had particular knowledge and expertise to share.
Open Invite To Book Bloggers
I’m going to continue that series. But I’m also going a step further and throwing the door open to any book blogger who has a question or a challenge.
Maybe your question is about attracting more comments on your content. Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s OK to post content on books you didn’t enjoy. Or you’re looking for content ideas beyond reviews and book hauls.
Whatever your question, don’t be afraid to ask. I don’t claim to be an expert in the field of blogging. But I promise you I’ll do my best to help. And I’m sure that if I don’t know the answer, there will be plenty of other bloggers who do.
We may not be storming walls when we blog, but Marcus Aurelius can still teach us that it’s futile to struggle alone when all we have to do is ask for help.
How To Ask For Help
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