Walk into WHSmith and head to the technology magazine section (after thinking that it’s a shame that the brand has gone so downhill, especially since Borders has gone sigh), and you’ll see a ton of magazines proclaiming to help you with every tech question ever but there’s nothing that really appeals to the fashion, beauty and lifestyle female blogger sector.
Mollie Makes, the crafting magazine, have spotted this gap and filled it quite well with their Blogging magazine. (What do you call these magazines that are as thick and as expensive as a book, anyway?) For £9.99, they promise 180 pages of inspiration to get the reader starting a blog that evening.
Obviously, a magazine isn’t going to be able to go in depth in all of the topics you need to create an awesome website – that’s why this website was created, because it felt unreasonable to go into detail in the book – but Mollie Makes Blogging does a pretty good job at covering the basics well. There’s a good balance between the useful information, features on bloggers and other bits of inspiration; you don’t feel bombarded with all this info, but it feels like something you can either read cover to cover, or dip in and out of as you need to.
The profiles on bloggers were really interesting, but there was a huge bias towards American bloggers. It was a little disappointing to see this, from a magazine that’s seen as quite British – are there really so few “big” UK crafty bloggers? The magazine felt a little heavy on the A Beautiful Mess side as well – in a moment of boredom, I counted up the pages featuring them, which came to a total of 18 pages (The cover, the inside cover, 9 pages of interviews, 4 pages of tips and 2 pages of ads. Yes, ABM are probably the biggest craft/lifestyle blog out there at the moment, but to dedicate 10% of your content to one site seems a little strange.
The magazine is very biased towards self hosted WordPress usage as well – which seems appropriate considering the magazine seems to be aimed at people who want to set up a site for their business. Some parts of the magazine felt like they were in the wrong place though – talking about how to find a host before talking about the platforms that are out there, for example. The first article in the magazine, “How did we get here” felt a little out of place as well – it wasn’t until the end that you found out that it was written for a different publication. It would have been nice to see this article rewritten to be more focused on the craft blogging sector, if not lifestyle blogging.
It was awesome to see a monetisation section in the magazine, as it is something that bloggers are thinking about at an earlier stage now, but it only briefly touched on sponsored posts by Trey from ABM again. This seemed like an odd choice, because while he obviously has the experience in dealing with sponsored posts, there was little relevance to the UK market and little in the article which could help the new blogger in finding sponsored post opportunities, or negotiating rates, or even what to do in accounting terms when you get the money. Also in this section was a 1 page article about affiliate links, which briefly explained what they were, but didn’t go into any detail about the different networks. There are so many other ways to earn money through your blog, even something simple like putting Adsense ads on your blog could have been covered here.
The social media sections were also useful – looking at the main 4 networks and how to build your initial followings on them. Social media can be a little daunting when you first look at them, so this was a really useful section.
Mollie Makes Blogging is a beautiful magazine which is ideal for the newer blogger, but if you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably won’t find it as useful. It’s brilliant to see blogging being seen less as something for nerds, and more as something that is accessible to everyone – because that’s what’s so awesome about blogging, that everyone can do it! While blogging help websites are good for keeping you updated with new technology, and updates to other services, it’s nice to have a physical copy of something to refer to. When I was on the hunt for this magazine, it took a few weeks to find, especially as they’re sold out in the online store. Sure, there’s an iPad version available, but there’s no difference in price, and it’s nice to have something to flick through! When I did find a copy, I bought all the copies they had and thought it would be nice to give one away with this post. So! If you’d like a copy of your own, we have one to give away! In your comment, please tell us about your favourite blog at the moment (which isn’t your own!) and make sure to follow Bonjour, Blogger! on Bloglovin’
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