In a recent blog on The Top 10 Blog entitled Blog Like A Hobbit – 8 Blogging Tips From Frodo and Friends, Tony Hastings mused on the particular characteristics of Hobbits and how to use them to craft superlative blogs. It sounds like a bit of a stretch, but Hastings does manage to make some perceptive blogging correlations to the world of Middle Earth. Hastings’ most relevant five metaphors to the world of blogging are:
- The Fellowship of the Blog – Just like Frodo couldn’t have gotten too far in his epic journey without the assistance of Sam, Pippin, Merry et al., a blogger cannot excel in a vacuum. Hastings encourages bloggers to break through the fundamental hermitages of their chosen profession and reach out to connect and engage with other like-minded individuals. Whether the Fellowship is of the Ring or of the Blog does not matter. What is critical is to build a fellowship that will be mutually beneficial to all involved and can provide both input and impetus.
- Courage to complete the journey – In completing the task in the face of an overwhelming series of obstacles, Frodo and his buddies demonstrated a level of courage (or stubbornness) that is unimaginable by ordinary humans. Bloggers need to gird up their courage as much as Frodo in order to banish the nagging fear of failure. If there is a problem faced in the task of blogging, you should never be afraid to make the mistake, take your lumps, learn from the experience and become a better blogger. Remember that when the going gets tough, the tough get blogging.
- Have some mischievous fun – Even when the future seemed bleakest, Merry, Pippin and others were always ready for a bit of a prank that would result in a moment of levity. If as a blogger you are taking yourself and your subject matter far too seriously, then you are boring your audience and distancing them from the passion you have for your topic. As long as you don’t offend anyone, you should be encouraged to have a bit of fun in a mischievous manner. This will draw in your reader and provide an element of entertainment alongside the obligatory informative instruction.
- Protect yourself from the evil Orcs – The damage that can be done to the most established and reputable blog by an incursion from the forces of evil hax0rs cannot possibly be underestimated. Even though you would be a completely innocent victim, it is impossible to erase from the memory of your readership the results of a vehement invasion of your blog by the forces of havoc. Whether it’s an Anonymous attack to prove some political point, or just a vandalic irruption strictly generated by some skewed desire to get their lolz, you cannot possibly take too many precautions to keep your blog safe from hacking. That translates into strong passwords changed on a very frequent basis, keeping all your blogging software up to date, and committing to security plugins.
- Spot the hidden regent – It was not evident at first glance that Strider (secretly King Aragorn) would turn out to be a great and positive leader who would lead Middle Earth into a new age of wonder. Apply the same art of perception to determine who are the influencers in your social media field who have this “hidden quality.” Though they may begin with a much smaller follower total, they have quality on their side that well trumps quantity. The most important influencers to ally yourself with are not necessarily the ones with the astronomical follower count who live in a world generated and fueled by their own hyperbolic bluster, but the ones who actively and effectively engage their circle and can bring that energy and focus to bear on your brand.
The treasured ring of blogging greatness is within your grasp, so go get it!