I would imagine that Hobbits would have loved blogging and that if JRR Tolkien had been aware of the technological developments that were to follow, he might have given them all a laptop and had Gandalf show them how to blog. I can just picture Frodo and his fellow Hobbits sitting in the Shire tapping away on their latest post, chuckling as they chronicled their latest adventures.
The Lord of The Rings trilogy and the Hobbit have long been favorite reads of mine and watching the movies again has led me to reflect on the qualities the Hobbits displayed in their quest that might help us to succeed in the blogging world.
Here’s the blogging tips I think they might have passed on to us.
The first and maybe the most important lesson for bloggers and hobbits – you can’t do it on your own. Just imagine how far Frodo would have got on his quest without the help of Pippin, Merry and particularly Sam.
And don’t just look in familiar places for fellow travellers as you might find support in unexpected places. Elves and Dwarves make unlikely bed fellows but Gimli and Legolas turned out to be wonderful friends to Frodo and even ended up with a grudging respect for each other.
So build your own fellowship, reach out to other like minded people, connect and engage, support others and you will find your own blogging journey much easier. Step outside your comfort zone and connect with what might seem unlikely friends as they might surprise you.
2) Defend against the Orcs!
Ok you don’t have to contend with Sauron and his evil minions but you do have to beware of the hackers who send out their nasty Orcs and Nazgul to infect your beloved blog. You need to take steps to protect your self so have strong passwords, install updates as soon as they become available and have a look around to see which security plugins will work best for you. Find a way to back up your blog so it can reincarnate after an attack.
As a blogger who has been attacked in the past by them evil Orcs I can assure you that it’s not a pleasant experience so act now and not with hindsight.
3) Be wary (of Gollum!)
Frodo was often taken in by Gollum although his good friend Sam could see through him and was always suspicious of him. So where is your blogging Gollum?
Watch out for him suddenly appearing out of nowhere and showering you with praise – it usually goes like this;
Hi I’m …… I recently came across your excellent blog, love what you are doing. Do you accept guest posts? I would love to contribute and have added some examples of my previous work below. All I would ask in return is a link back to www……….
This will be followed by 3 or 4 links to posts which you will probably find will be fairly generic stuff with no relevance to your blog and a link back to a site you wouldn’t want anything to do with.
Don’t damage your hard earned reputation by posting this stuff, they only want to be your friend until they have that back link and then will disappear back into the darkness from which they came. Guest posters are fantastic for your blog but make sure you get to know them before inviting them in and have some guidelines to deter the unwanted who might try to turn your head with their ‘glittering gold’
4) Use the magic
Magic? Where’s the magic in blogging I hear you ask. Well to a non techy person like me the way I was able to create and manage the blog seems magical.
Make good use of all the technology out there by having an efficient host and theme. Use plug ins to protect, promote and polish your blog but don’t overdo the plug in magic as that can lead to problems, remember Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerers Apprentice!
5) Recognise the King (Or Queen)
When the Hobbits first came across the mysterious and threatening character Strider they could never had imagined that he would turn out to be a great leader and heir to the throne that he would eventually inherit. On your blogging journey you need to watch out for the leaders and while some social media ‘royalty’ are easy to spot they may not be that person with thousands of followers on Twitter who makes a lot of noise on your social media networks.
They might be as hard to spot as Aragorn was and like Strider be lurking in the shadows watching what is going on and making quiet, but meaningful moves. Try to spot the influencers, connect with them, support them and show them that you have something of value to offer and you will reap the benefits in your blogging journey.
6) Have Courage
Frodo and friends showed exemplary courage at times to keep moving forward and to complete their task. But does a blogger need courage? Too right you do – courage to put yourself out there for scrutiny without fear of failure. Courage to make a mistake, learn from it and bounce back. Courage to have an opinion and to be prepared to defend it.
7) Be Determined
The Hobbits certainly showed great determination to keep going against what seemed overwhelming odds. You hopefully won’t face the same level of challenges to make your journey as a blogger but you will need to be determined to carry on at times.
Like when your creative juices dry up or when real life gets in the way and you don’t have much time to give to your blog. Like when you publish that post and no-one notices or you engage with someone you admire and don’t get a response.
Be of brave heart my friend and persevere as you are doomed to failure if you don’t.
8) Add Some Mischief
Hobbits can be by nature mischievous creatures as evidenced by the antics of Merry and Pippin. They always seemed to be up for a bit of fun and however dire the circumstances the smile and laugh was never far away.
That’s an important quality to keep in mind for any blogger. Never take yourself too seriously, whatever you blog about there should always be a little room for some light relief and the odd piece of mischief.
There’s no doubt that blogging can be a great adventure with many unexpected twists and turn. We will never know if the Hobbits would have made a good contribution to the blogging world but, if we equip ourselves with some of their qualities, we can at least have a better chance of completing our own blogging quest.