Since March 2016, I have been the History Editor at Bloggeration (@Bloggeration_) an on-line magazine for bloggers across the globe. Editor in Chief is the fabulous Sarah Moody (@ ) of The Prosecco Diaries whom I met last year when I attended one of her Blogger workshops in London. You may remember reading my article about this event?
Bloggeration has been incredibly successful since its launch a few month’s ago and whether you are new to blogging or a seasoned pro, there is something for everyone in the magazine. New content is posted daily. Bloggeration‘s Twitter account (@Bloggeration_) is very active, a great way to meet other bloggers too.
Every Sunday between 9.30 and 10.30 am (GMT), a different Editor hosts #BloggerationChat – a themed Q&A covering a wide range of blogging topics. #BloggerationChat has even trended on Twitter! I will be hosting a history-themed #BloggerationChat on Sunday 8th May and Sunday 22nd May, so do drop by and connect, it will be lovely to meet you there.
My first feature article for Bloggeration was a long-overdue ‘how to’ guide to starting a history blog. The full article can be found, here but below are some of my top 10 tips if you want to start history blogging:
- Some history bloggers are academics but many are graduates, heritage professionals, amateur or local historians. A PhD is not a pre-requisite for writing a successful blog, but a passion for the past definitely is;
- Engage your readers by presenting fascinating subjects in a lively and innovative way. Use a mix of film clips, podcasts, quality illustrations, Pinterest boards and Periscope. Generate interest in your posts using Instagram and Twitter. I also recommend looking on Twitter at #Twitterstorians for all the latest history news and articles, a good place to find other history bloggers too;
- Create a niche. The quirkier the content the quicker you will find an audience. Feature hidden histories or lesser known individuals from the past. Take note of current affairs – straplines can inspire you to research fascinating backstories;
- Blog upcoming historical anniversaries. Best website for checking future anniversaries is the Mary Evans Picture Library;
- Explore the history of your local area. Visit your library and historic locations near to your home. Take photographs and share on-line via Twitter, film a Vlog or for more immediacy, Periscope. If you are based in England then look-out for the Blue Plaque Scheme run by English Heritage;
- Rummage in your local charity shop or boot sale for books, magazines, artefacts and objects. Research your finds, document results in your blog. History blogging is actually a fairly low cost pastime in comparison with lifestyle blogging;
- Delve into your own family’s history for inspiration. Talk to family members about their memories of the past. Ask if they have any photos or objects they would be willing to have featured in a blog post. This will also give your history blog a unique and very personal edge;
- Use plenty of illustrations in your blogs and be copyright aware. (For a full explanation of this point as well as details of copyright safe image resources, see my original article). Since writing my original article, I have discovered an additional image safe resource. The New York Public Library. Search their image catalogue but make sure you do so by marking the ‘Images In The Public Domain’ tick-box. It is a fantastic database and easy to use. NYPL have released over 180,000 images into the Public Domain;
- Quality not quantity. History bloggers tend not to post daily. Articles take a lot longer to research, write-up and curate illustrations. If you are averaging two or three a month then I salute you!
- Be a proof-reading Ninja. Your readers will quickly lose confidence in you if articles are full of spelling and grammatical errors or broken web links.
- For my comprehensive feature article on how to start a history blog, click here.
Good luck if you start a history blog. Leave me a comment below or Tweet me (@emmahistorian) if you do, I would love to hear about how you are getting-on and am happy to answer any blogging related questions.