Some of my fellow dance bloggers recently released an e-book about how to start a dance blog, and graciously provided me a copy to read over before I told my readers about it.
The book is pretty much perfect for anyone who wants to start a blog and doesn’t know where to start. While the book is written directed towards people who want to start a dance-focused blog, a lot of it can apply if you’re looking to start any type of blog.
A lot of the book goes over the basics, like choosing a blogging platform (WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr, self-hosted), choosing a blog title, choosing a tagline and even choosing your specific niche. Even if you’ve been in the blogosphere for a little bit, it might be worth the 8 dollars to go over some more detailed topics like analytics, social media, monetization, and SEO.
According to the book’s webpage, the book will take you through the following:
- Things you need to know to set up your dance blog quickly.
- Writing better content
- Engaging readers on and off the site
- Getting discovered using social media and SEO basics
- Taking those next big steps like monetization and traffic analysis
The book was written by some of the awesome pioneers in dance blogging:
- Nichelle Suzanne – from Dance Advantage
- Catherine Tully – from 4dancers
- Lauren Warnecke — from ArtIntercepts
- Maria Hanley – from Maria’s Movers
- Tiffany Kadani Braniff – from Dancing Branflake
Find the book here: http://www.danceadvantage.net/start-a-dance-blog.
This week’s profile is of Rachel Hellwig, who has danced since age 13 and runs a ballet-themed blog, Clara’s Coffee Break . Stone Soup magazine published her ballet story, Nutcracker Dreams, when she was 13. Last month, Dance Advantage published her article The Sci-Fi Origins of the Nutcracker’s Snow Scene and Other Fun Facts.
Did you ever take lessons as a kid?
Not before age 13.
Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?
I decided to take ballet as a teenager after I read the classic children’s book Ballet Shoes. The story really captures the magic of performing and being in a theater. It makes you want to be part of that magic.
Where do you take classes?
Birmingham Ballet Academy in Birmingham, Alabama.
What is your favorite part about ballet?
I love how ballet teaches you to improve your overall quality of movement and isn’t just about “learning steps”. It’s so neat how you feel stronger and lighter and have more “spring in your step” when you finish a class. I also love that ballet classes are done to classical music or music that has been arranged for the piano.
What is your least favorite part?
My least favorite part is the occasional physical pain. Although, one benefit of non-intense training is that you are much less prone to injuries and wear and tear.
Who/What is your ballet inspiration?
Listening to classical music and soundtracks is my inspiration because it immediately puts ballet scenes in my head and makes me feel like dancing. I am also inspired by watching other dancers. My current favorite ballerinas are (not in order): Sara Mearns, Alina Cojocaru, and Diana Vishneva.
What motivates you to keep dancing?
If I had to narrow it down to one thing, I suppose it would be music. Whenever I hear beautiful or exciting music, I feel like dancing. It’s amazing how an arrangement of sounds can create that response within you.
Do you take any other dance classes?
No, just ballet.
What are your hobbies outside of ballet?
Blogging, writing, animation, listening to music and audiobooks.
What advice would you like to give to those who want to start ballet or have just started?
Listen to your body and don’t push it too hard or take unnecessary risks. No one can master ballet, so settle in and enjoy the wonderful process of learning instead of making goals about how soon you’ll be able to do a double pirouette. I think that only ends in frustration and needless feelings of failure.
Do you have a blog?
Yes, I have a blog, it’s ballet-themed. Here’s the link: http://clarascoffeebreak.wordpress.com/