Blog Like A Hobbit – 8 Blogging Tips From Frodo and Friends

 

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 favourite reads of mine and the forthcoming movie release has led me to reflect on the qualities the Hobbits displayed in their quest which could help us to succeed in the blogging world. Here’s the blogging tips I think they might have passed on to us.

Fellowship

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.

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.

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’

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Many thanks for visiting the blog today, I hope too see you again soon. If have enjoyed this post please share it with your friends and if you would like to see more like this you can subscribe and connect by way of the options in the sidebar.

*Image credits

King – Image courtesy of zirconicusso/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • http://twitter.com/Soulati Jayme Soulati

    I love this trilogy; have only watched the movies, though, and I do need to read the book. Same with the Harry Potter books; watched the movies. Sad, I know.

    What a great analogy to the blogging quest! And, since you can’t go it alone, how about posting this up on Bloggers Unite! ?

    I see it needs some attention, and good writing should have it, Tony.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Hi Jayme, many thanks for your kind comment. I read the books many years ago and enjoyed the movie trilogy just as much, I must admit I’m a bit of a fan of the Harry Potter stuff too so maybe you aren’t so sad :-)

      I will do as you suggest with the group – great idea to set it up by the way!

  • http://twitter.com/Soulati Jayme Soulati

    P.S. How the frack did you get 1800 Stumbles??? What’s your secret? Wow.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      I share all of my posts via su.pr – I’m not too sure of the benefits though, one of my posts (http://www.thetop10blog.com/top-10-things-your-teen-hates-to-hear-you-say/) has had over 38,000 stumbles in 2 years but very few RT’s or comments. My feeling is that Stumbles are great for numbers but low on engagement, maybe that’s a question I could put to the community!

  • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

    As small as hobbits are, they have quite large feet for their modest stature. There could be a lesson in those curly foot locks. No? If not, perhaps, in the large foot prints left in the wake of hobbits.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      I hadn’t thought about the Hobbit’s physical characteristics when I wrote the post, maybe that’s the basis for another one!

      Let me see – short, shy, large hairy feet, slightly pointed ears, brightly dressed. There must be a blogger out there somewhere who fits the description but I think I’ll leave that one alone as it feels like a blogging challenge too far :-)

      Thanks for stopping by with your comment Stan.

  • http://pioneeroutfitters.com/AlaskaChickBlog/ Amber-Lee Dibble

    Tony,

    I am part of Bloggers Unite with you and boy, this post is a fantastic way to begin! What an absolutely wonderful piece. I can’t wait to dig. And you! You are my blessing for the day! I may have never found you without our new group. (cringe later, you don’t know me yet! LOL)

    I have two children, (ages 14 and 5) and these movies are a permanent part of my life. You made them come to life, again.

    What struck me, in each part, was this:

    Fellowship. The people I have met online, the work that I have done, all I have learned personally and professionally have touched every part of my life. I know I am more and better in every way than I was before I started blogging.

    The Orcs and Gollum, well the nasty and difficult are part of this life that we each have to deal with. It isn’t easy, it can hurt, maim, crush and defeat if you don’t train, strengthen and defend.

    The magic? Yes. It really is quite magical. (For me too!) I think that the magic is in each of us… and it glows when someone notices. A tweet, a mention, a like or a share… and a comment! Wow, I still remember my first comment! That is a pretty magical moment.

    The King and Queen, the real ones, ARE hard to spot. Actually, Tony, I am surrounded by royalty… the people that have touched my life by being part of it are the ones I owe my fealty to. THEY are the ones who have tolerated my fumbles and faux-pas, answered my endless questions and they are the ones that lead by example. If there really is any higher royalty than they, I hope they will notice me someday, of course, but I truly hope they see me, who I am, what I stand for and that like they, I stand for the realm.

    Courage is an important part of my life, everyday. The people I have met, give me the courage to keep on and stay the path, even when I am not online, but living the life I blog about.

    Determination. Yeah! Well, I found what that really meant, last year, after working insanely for months to get the website up and running and for it to be all I dreamed of, including a blog that was posting 3-4 times a week, and then…. I had to head to the field. To leave it all. Would anyone remember me? Would I be able to schedule enough ahead? Would I be able to type up, edit and add photos to the posts I had written in the field, in 12 hours? Enough for the next 10 days? I did.

    And the mischief supplies itself! LOL, I made a promise when I started. I would give you the real-deal. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. The truth.

    Thanks for this, for sharing this post, Tony!

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Thanks ever so much for your kind comment Amber-Lee, I think it’s better than the post!

      Like you I’m delighted to have connected via Jayme’s community :-)

  • eleanorjodway

    I think I have to agree with Amber! And the only thing I’m sorry about is; this is the first chance I’ve had to read it! But Tony….I have come to expect, “Blogging Excellence”, from You! And You NEVER disappoint! So, Bravo on another excellent piece. And a most entertaining set of analogies as well!

  • http://twitter.com/LogAllot Sonia Winland

    Tony, this was fantastic! I am a huge fan of the Lord of the Ring Trilogy and watch them quite often. You hit it on the nail with this post. I especially loved the part about the “Gollums” of blogging and the sneaky ploy they try and play. That crap hits my inbox all the time and I simply say no and keep it moving. For me, to accept a guest post from someone I don’t know is stupid. If you haven’t commented on my blog, and taken the time to get to know me, your agenda is front and center. Next.

    Also, we do have to support one another blogging because trying to do this all our own is overwhelming in itself. I couldn’t have gotten my blog where it is now, if I didn’t have online friends to support me. Great piece Tony, I really enjoyed reading this.

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      Many thanks for the kind comment Sonia and I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments you express – you are definitely part of my blogging fellowship :-)

  • Jeni

    Thank you! This was very inspiring. :)

  • http://twitter.com/MaryMeyerWrites Mary Meyer

    Tony,
    I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved this post! Like Amber-Lee, these movies have meant so much to me and my daughter, who is now 17. They were such great examples of exemplary writing based on exceptional novels. Each one of Tolkien’s characters offers such awesome fodder for life lessons and reading your post brought back all of the deep emotion that we feel each time we see these films. The subheading that most resonated with me was “Have Courage”. Many freelance writers/bloggers like me who have taken the leap to do this full-time have essentially headed out of the Shire not knowing what they would find and if they were ever coming home. Its’ helpful for us to remember that like Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, it’s ok to take the risk and be changed for the better by the adventure!

    • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

      And hopefully our blogging quest will also overcome all those obstacles and end in success! Thanks ever so much for your kind comment Mary :-)

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