7 Tips For Starting A Blog In Korea
One of the most popular questions which floods my email’s inbox daily concerns the start up of blogging while in Korea. It makes sense that most of us who were English Literature majors in university would feel like the best way to connect to the world and share our experiences would be through writing. That’s definitely the reason I started Chasing Glitter one year ago in Korea.
The scary part really is just getting started. You worry about how the world will perceive your writing, what people back home might say, and worst of all…writer’s block. I understand all those worries when it comes to breaking out and starting your own space on the internet. While I am in no way an expert on the art of blogging, I have learned a few tricks and tips over the last year as I’ve cultivated and tended to my own blog.
1. Hobby Vs. Career
Some expats start blogging as a way to share photos and memories with loved ones back home, while others begin a blog as a way to earn income and potentially create a job out of it. There is no right or wrong reason to start blogging. You should, however, sit down and seriously consider why you want to blog. When you really understand your own intentions, so will your readers.
If your blog is meant to update family and friends on your adventures, they won’t be upset if you only post a couple times a month. If you want to attract and keep readers to start a community around your writing, though, you’ll need to understand the time commitment and work that will go into your blog.
You’ll hear stories about people who started off blogging as a hobby which eventually lead to a career, but believe me that their passion had them blogging 24/7 when they first started writing as if it were a career. So, first things first. Decide what your intentions are with your blog and be honest with yourself.
2. Read, Read, Read
One of my favorite all time quotes comes from Honest Abe. “All I have learned, I learned from books.” I’d like to go ahead and amend this quote to include “and the internet.” One of my favorite things to do when I was getting my blog ready to launch was read books on the art of successful blogging, sign up for email lists that would send me daily tips, and stalk my favorite travel blogs.
Learning the ins and outs of wordpress, SEO, and helpful plug-ins got me pumped to get started. The most helpful tips I learned were from reading other successful blogs as I tried to pinpoint what made them so popular. I felt like Sherlock Holmes as I scoured the internet late at night looking for clues to crack the code and become a successful blogger. Reading a broad range of material on your new project is probably the best thing to do to get motivated.
3. Have A Clear POV
This was really what my blog struggled with in the beginning. I wasn’t really sure what my point of view (POV) was when I started. If you go back to my first entries, my posts have an all-over-the-place feel to them. I wasn’t sure if my blog should be all about South Korea or travel in general. I had no idea if I should focus on just food and culture or also write about fashion and chic destinations.
In the end, I had to sit down and really decide what I wanted my blog’s POV to be, and I chose general travel since I knew I wouldn’t stay in Korea much longer. My blog has had tons more readers now that it’s clear it’s a general travel website.
4. Know your audience
If you’re writing for friends and family back home, they might not really care about the “Top 10 Reasons To Visit Jeju.” They’ll want to read your blog to get a small peek into your daily life, so writing articles that don’t give them a window to Korea won’t keep them entertained long enough to get past Reason # 3, much less all the way down to #10.
Just try and understand who you’re writing for and keep that in mind when you start punching out posts. Of course, if you’re writing solely for the purpose of keeping yourself happy and your writing pencil nice and sharp, by all means, write about whatever the heck you like.
5. Develop Thick Skin
You might as well face the reality of the existence of internet trolls now and toughen up because trolls don’t have hearts or souls. It’s just a sad fact of the internet, but it shouldn’t be a reason to stop you from writing. If you’re writing to get your blog out into the world, you’re going to run into these ugly little monsters sooner or later.
Some people troll because they’re angry that you’re brave enough to put yourself out there. Others troll just because they really have nothing better to do on their lunch break at their 9-5, and they’re annoyed because the BLT sandwich they ordered came with mayo even though they asked for it dry…so they take all that mayo-hating anger out on the internet.
All you can do is take a deep breath, refuse to feed the trolls (they’re nourished by attention and negative energy by the way), and keep doing your thing. There are plenty of other people who believe in you and support you, like me!
6. Join A Community
Find a Facebook group or meet-up for bloggers in Korea to keep your creative juices flowing. There really is strength in numbers and sometimes those large communities and connections can help grow your audience.
Check out the Reach To Teach bloggers list to see bloggers from around the world.
7. JUST START ALREADY
Seriously, just get your butt off the couch and into your office chair and start writing. Oftentimes the wealth of information on how to blog and be successful is overwhelming. Most people take one look at the top of the food chain and realize just how far down the totem pole they are and never even lift their pen once.
The hardest part really is getting that first word for your very first article written down, but once you get over that first obstacle, blogging becomes euphoric and addicting. So, stop worrying about logistics and the business side of it, and start writing already!
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Have some questions about blogging in South Korea? leave a comment below.Please share!