Before I begin this post proper, I'd just like to share the news that I just spent a ridiculous amount of money on day tickets for Reading Festival in August because the headlining band on the Friday is... THE CURE. (!!!!!) The line-up also includes a couple of other bands I like (Crystal Castles, Coheed & Cambria) and a few that I don't... but yeah. I just got tickets to see The Cure. (And now my friends know that the reason why I never have any money to do anything ever is because I blow my cash willy-nilly to go see spooky bands from the 80s. It's an investment...)
Firstly, I'd just like to note that I am not a professional blogger; this is something I do for fun in my spare time, I earn maybe a little pocket money but mostly it's something I do for enjoyment. Those of you who have queries regarding ads, money-making, or things like HTML or web design are best advised to look elsewhere as I know very little about such things.
That being said, I've been writing this blog in its various incarnations for, ooh, a good five years now (does anyone still remember the Very Serious Babygoff days on Piczo? D'aww...), so hopefully I have picked up a few pieces of helpful advice along the way that I can share with those of you who would like to join our spooky wee blogging community.
- Notebooks! Carry them. (Especially if, like my Dear Reader, you are not sure yet what precisely you would like to hold forth about - making notes on things you observe, things that amuse you, products you'd like to review or even daily occurences or parts of your life that are interesting can help you create a few starter topics to talk about.) I am forever forgetting post ideas because I never remember to write them down. Don't be like me, darklings!
- Honest enthusiasm can work wonders. Good days, bad days, opinions and vagiaries; whilst not everyone likes to bare all on the internet, readers can tell whether or not a writer is genuinely passionate about their chosen subject. If you write on a topic that you think will get hits or be saleable, that's all very well and good, but if you lack enthusiasm, people will pick up on it and will respond with equal apathy.
- Talk to people! I am very shy and get all squirmy and shuffly when talking to new people, even online, but following blogs that interest you, posting comments, and responding to comments from readers can help promote your blog and can create new friendships both on and offline.
- Sort out your profile page. Heaven knows talking about yourself is awkward, but here on Blogger you can helpfully find others with the 'interest' tags. I used to spend HOURS going through the 'goth' tag and leaving comments on people's blogs.
- On the subject of networking, Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, Scoop.It and Tumblr have all been useful tools for further connecting with readers and those with shared interests, as well as providing endless inspiration and topics to blog about. Let's face it, at the moment there are a LOT of bloggers talking about assorted Goth and alternative things, which is great to read but not so great when you're aiming for a different take on the whole thing. It helps to keep your eye out for news and gossip that people aren't talking about yet; I tend to trawl mainstream media like the Daily Fail for interesting tidbits too.
- "I don't think that a lot of people would be interested in what a young gothling has to provide to the subculture and general life." - why not? If you doubt yourself before you start, you'll never try. Whether witty observations on the Goth scene from a newbie's perspective or wide-eyed delight at new discoveries, I can think of plenty of things I'd enjoy reading from a young Goth's point of view. :-) At the end of the day, a lot of people are basically interested in other people, so if all you can think of to write is showing other people what it's like to be you, then do that. I mean, why the hell not, right?
- Watch out for copyright. I have occasionally been caught out by copyright on images that I have used; it does help to check sources, credit as much as humanly possible and ALWAYS include a disclaimer. Sharing other people's delightful creations is one thing, but never, ever, ever, ever claim someone else's work as your own.
- Really obvious stuff: please make sure your font isn't too difficult to read or your background too garish (I know, I know, I'm a fine one to talk...). A simple, basic layout and clean font are the best way to start.
- Begin at the beginning, of course! If you draft an intro post in your notebook or on your computer, you might find that doing so will help you cultivate more ideas for what you would actually like to blog about. It seems you already have a few ideas... all you have to do is write them down and post them up!