Guest Post by Shanice
I used to find blogging a dirty word. To me blogging was 50-year-old housewives chronicling the life of their cats.
Blogging was socially incapable people trying to compensate with digital friends. Blogging was people writing about an uninspiring daily life in an even more uninspiring writing style, incorrect spelling and grammar included.
Not that I had ever really read a blog…
So it was with unnecessary vigor that I tried to squelch my own desire to blog.
My Dream of Being an Actress
Everyone knows how many people want to be actors and it was made quite clear to me every time I went to an audition.
But as I was getting more and more into the acting business, I started realizing how special the places were that I visited. How many other budding actors might want to know what a meeting with an actual Hollywood agent is like. How many movie-goers might be interested to learn how tough and unglamorous life behind the scenes can be.
I was slowly gaining all this knowledge that I'd have like to have when I was starting out. Which I, for the record, still am.
My First Blog Post
So there I was, with an interesting topic to center a blog on, and an ancient (well, about 15 years) love of writing.
A blog was also a great way of finally being able to share experiences with other actors, since I had none in my group of friends.
But I still thought blogging was dirty, wanted to have a perfectly crafted business plan first and, to be honest, didn't dare to write that first post.
I thought it would so be awkward, writing as if millions would read when a possibility was that no one would.
I was a scaredy cat. I'd dared to travel the world on my own, but found blogging too much a challenge.
It was my boyfriend who called me on my issues and said I should just blog just for myself and because I liked doing it.
It didn't have to be thought out perfectly in advance or be read by hundreds right away. I was surprised because my boyfriend, much like me, isn't into the many blogs there are out there that seem to have no real topic or quality. The difference was, he knew some fun, famous and well written blogs which I didn't.
Then I saw something on Facebook by Annabel Candy who I met a few years ago in Panama. She was on some paid vacation to China for blogging.
I was interested immediately, and started Googling around. Suddenly this whole world of quality blogs, money-making blogs even, opened up to me and I started to write my first post.
My First Year of Blogging
I'm now about nine months into blogging. If blogging was dirty, I'd be filthy by now. But it has brought me many positive things.
Annabel's blogging tips helped me get started and improve my blog by making the posts more personal, leaving comments on other people's blogs, formatting text, and always using pictures.
Although I write for a small niche (other actors) and don't have a huge amount of readers, my readers are loyal and a high percentage of them leave me comments, or send me tweets and emails. They ask for help or offer encouragement, share experiences and express their admiration for me taking the step of moving to Los Angeles.
The positive response about me taking my acting ambitions to L.A. somehow surprised me.
For me it has always been a logical step. I've always dreamed big, and I've known I would move to Hollywood at one point since I was little. And my blog readers are so supportive of that. It really gives me a confidence boost.
Another lovely thing about keeping the blog, a completely unintended side-effect, is that is keeps me focused.
Moving from Amsterdam to Los Angeles requires a tremendous amount of work. There's a lot to arrange. It was always my goal to update my blog with the steps I had taken towards moving to L.A. and doing professional acting, so that other people could learn from me.
If I didn't have anything to add to my blog it reminded me that I had been lazy and needed to be more pro-active. Blogging really helped me track my progress, or sometimes lack thereof. It was confronting and helped me move forward.
Blogging for Money?
Even though I always felt my blog could be interesting for anyone who is pursuing their dreams, be it becoming a published author or setting the world record of baking the biggest muffin, I'm now starting to think more seriously about promoting and expanding my blog.
Getting my own domain and branding the whole thing.
I leave for Los Angeles in a month or so, where I won't be allowed to work. It would be fantastic if I could make a few dollars here and there from my blog. Maybe by offering my skills as portrait artist, maybe by putting some ads on the site.
It's a new area I'm curious to explore. But I still have a long way to go,and a lot of things to learn.
And that's the great thing about the blogging community, we all learn from each other!
So, how did you experience starting your blog and promoting it and what do you think the next step should be for my blog?
Shanice is a 22-year old dutch girl who's moving from Amsterdam to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Her blog Stars in the Eyes shares the many trials and tribulations she encounters on her way and the unglamorous life of a budding actress.
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