Because I am a special person who is known in many circles as a giver, I am giving you all HELPFUL post for Thanksgiving! See! Because I am nice! And just maybe because I am also not really celebrating Thanksgiving today either (we’re doing it tomorrow).

I noticed that a disproportionate amount of people had taken some time out of their day searching my blog for “sweater kittens” and “white trash thanksgiving dinner,” but really what you wanted was this post. Which I am going to turn into a page. Probably this weekend because I have time AND a husband. YAY!

Emma Gracie

That picture, I’m sorry, but how could it not make you laugh? Unless you were DEAD INSIDE. She says, Happy Thanksgiving, my gnomies!

So add your comments below and I’ll add them to the Master List.

  • Most blogs have about a one year shelf life.
  • There is such a thing as over-posting, but I’m unclear as to what that is.
  • Blogging takes a ton of work. Really, it does.
  • Proof-read your posts religiously and make liberal use of spell check.
  • Omit unnecessary words.
  • No one likes a Grammar Nazi in the comments, so back off.
  • The trolls will come and they do not read most of what you say before they chew you out in the comments.
  • It’s really up to you whether or not you allow the trolls to have their say on your blog.
  • No one will read you for a couple months. It’s okay. Soldier on.
  • If you want people to read you, read other people.
  • While you’re reading other people, why not make some friends while you’re at it?
  • Use a full RSS feed in the reader because a partial feed makes a lot of people unsubscribe.
  • You may be 1000% certain that you are The New Dooce, but you’re not. Now, you might be as talented as fucking Hemingway, but you’re not going to get the same press that she did. No press = no instant popularity.
  • Find your own writing style and realize that no matter what you’re blogging about, someone else has probably already done it.
  • Try to keep your audience in mind when you’re writing because it will help you to focus your post into a more coherent whole.
  • There’s more politics than you can imagine in blogging.
  • If you want more comments then comment until your fingers bleed.
  • Get a reader and subscribe to the blogs you like. Comment the shit out of those blogs. People will (eventually) come.
  • There will be bloggers who will NEVER visit your blog no matter how many amazing and witty comments you leave. Period. Move on if it hurts your feelings.
  • Begging for comments is distasteful. If you want comments, ask for advice or opinions.
  • Nothing – not even the “official” de-lurking day – will coax 97.2% of your readers to comment.
  • Support each other as best as you can, in good times and in bad. Every comment helps.
  • Every couple of weeks, some new trend will piss off a number of (especially) mom bloggers and they will become annoyingly polarized.
  • Resist the urge to chime in about Your Take On This Trend. Seriously.
  • Every time the Today show features Dooce, there’s a bazillion start up blogs that believe (hehe) that you can $40,000 a month blogging. Maybe if you’re Dooce that’s true, but for the rest of us? Bwahahahahaha! I don’t mean to sound mean, and if you do manage this, pat yourself on your back for me but don’t get your hopes up.
  • Whenever one of those stupid blog contests gets started, everyone freaks out. It will blow over.
  • If you’re totally blocked for ideas about a post, describing the boring minutiae of your day is probably not titillating to others. Write it if you must, then delete it. Hopefully that will get your juices flowing and you can write about something more interesting. A turd of a post will always look like a turd no matter how you dress it up.
  • Talking shit about anyone–especially behind their backs on your blog that they presumably don’t read–is a bad fucking idea. Password protect those, or better yet, don’t write them at all. Although they may be satisfying, remember, those are the posts that the very same people you talk about may find. It’s a smaller Internet than you think it is and you’re not as anonymous as you think you are.
  • If you don’t want people to respond in a negative manner, then don’t let it all hang out there. Not everyone will agree with you and there are people who will happily tell all of the ways you are wrong. You don’t have to like it, but if you put it out there, you do have to deal with it.
  • There is something about being able to hide behind “anonymous” that makes people say really dick-ish things that they probably wouldn’t say to your face. It can hurt, I know this, and people will get you all wrong and it will suck, but if you don’t want to deal with it, go private or password protected.
  • Your feelings will get hurt. I promise you this.
  • Although most of your followers will wish you well, there will always, ALWAYS be a contingent that hopes that you will fail. And fail badly.
  • Sarcasm doesn’t always translate well through the written word, so be careful when you use it.
  • Music on blogs is universally hated. If you want to put it on there, it’s wise to leave the playlist on mute and allow other people to turn it on should they want.
  • The Blogger word verification system will cause you to lose comments because it’s often very hard and very confusing to use.
  • Don’t clog up your sidebar with crap. Especially blinky crap. Because it makes the page take like 40 hours to load and then people will click away because who really wants to sit there, waiting for the page to load?
  • Put your blog awards on a separate page and link to it from your sidebar.
  • A nice clean uncluttered background is preferable to something that makes it hard to focus on the content.
  • If you write long posts, use larger, not smaller, fonts.
  • Don’t steal other people’s stuff. Stealing gives you herpes.
  • Don’t put shit on the Internet you wouldn’t wear on a tee-shirt.
  • Beware of the donate button. It causes many people to be very, very mad.
  • Begging for money pisses people off.
  • Constant self-promotion can be a real turn-off.
  • Meme’s, although a nice tool to get the writing juices flowing, are usually boring to read. If you like doing ‘em, then fuck it and do ‘em anyway.
  • Edit your posts. Edit them religiously.
  • Paragraph breaks are a necessity. It’s really hard on the eyes to read anything not broken up by small paragraphs.
  • The background of your post needs to be something that is appealing to the eyes. Some colors (especially pink, which is a favorite color of mine) although lovely, leave the reader squinty and headachey. Check out what your finished post looks like YOURSELF and see if you can read it without adjusting your monitor.
  • A black background is very, very hard to read.
  • If all your tweets on Twitter are links to stuff that people can buy from you or ways to get a zillion followers overnight, you’ve probably pissed off a good portion of your readers.
  • There is such a thing as over-sharing.
  • Stuff on the Internet–even the stuff you erase–is never, ever, EVER gone. EVER. So make DAMN sure you want to live with whatever you say.
  • Remember that your kids may one day read whatever you’ve written, so choose what you share (especially about them) well.
  • Writer’s Block does end.
  • Don’t lie. And for God’s sake, don’t fake a dead baby. I don’t even have words to describe people who do that sort of thing.
  • Don’t idolize the success of another blogger. Also, don’t hate them for it. In blogging, you often get what you put into it. And the higher you climb, the more pressure there is.
  • Be kind to other people. You gain nothing by being cruel.
  • The success of your blog should be determined by how you feel about your blog, not the number of comments or followers, because ultimately you are blogging for you.
  • Blog for yourself, not for other people.
  • Remember, it’s all supposed to be fun. Enjoy what you write, take pride in it, and if someone else comes along and tells you that you suck, tell them that Aunt Becky told them to shove it up their puckered pooper.
Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

198 Responses to Blogging For Dummies

  • PrincessJenn says:

    OMG. This is brilliant. A must read for any new blogger. I big puffy pink heart you.

  • Amie Simmons says:

    don’t tweet about your husband tweeting from the bathroom. it makes him very upset.

  • Spot on! It is hard work.

  • Ashley says:

    Aunt Becky, today I am thankful that I’m your friend. Because you. are. Teh. Awesome. And I really wanna Sex You Up.

    Sage advice, as always. :)

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    I’m with Jenn: this should be required reading for anyone even contemplating starting a blog.

    That being said, why couldn’t you be a little more on top of things and post this shit, uh, 15 months ago? Dammit, Becky.
    ;) Love you – Happy Thanksgiving! <3

  • drlori71 says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I have a little blog & I really blog for myself. I blog to tap into that creative side of me that’s been dormant for so many years (I’m a doctor & medicine isn’t a very creative field). I’m definitely a dummy when it comes to blogging so thanks for this enlightening post.

  • maya says:

    It is harder than I thought. As a newbie I am patiently awaiting the trolls. Then I will know for sure someone is reading. Thanks for the help!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      A word of caution about trolls: they will not make a whole lot of sense. Do not bother reasoning with them because it’s as futile as trying to nail jello to the wall.

  • Dana says:

    Nothing – not even the official de-lurking day – will coax 97.2% of your readers to comment. Get over it!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Great advice. Writers are performers and, as such, we need an audience, but to have an audience I believe you must respect your audience. So proof-read. Typos, bad spelling and atrocious grammar are distracting and disrespectful. If I could caption your photo I’d write: “Spell-check, for Christ’s sake!” I enjoy posts that entertain, enlighten, or educate. Yours, Aunt Becky, often do all three. Thanks for another great one. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • statia says:

    As someone who is geriatric in terms of blogging years, I give you a hearty golf clap. I’ve been on the popular end of the spectrum and on the under the radar spectrum (probably more where I reside now, thanks to lack of effort on my part)

    This is even good for someone who’s been around the block and whines when they don’t get any comments, even though they never blog.

    Oh and:

    If you think you have original content, you don’t. Someone else (most likely Dooce), has already blogged about it.

    Find your own writing style. (I still toy with this, some days I sound like a god damned weepy sap, and other days, I sound like a total asshole. I guess it works for me)

    I am a lazy and spastic mother fucker, who has good intentions of reading and commenting, but you know how it is when you see something pink and sparkly? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

    Happy Turducken day. Heh. Turd.

  • Jeanette says:

    What a great post!

    I’m a newbie and don’t really have any posting advice, but I do think a clean, attractive background and a unique eye-grabbing header will help gain more readers. I often just move on to something else if the whole background is too “busy.”

    I’ll be checking back to read new comments later looking for more tips!

  • Kisha says:

    You should sell this to Blogger and WordPress and they should make everyone agree to it before you’re given a page. I have a black background, but oh well…the number one reason I have a blog is to do whatever the eff I want. I think the hardest thing for me has been staying true to my own voice…I don’t want to alienate or offend anyone, but I don’t want to water myself down, either. I’m best served straight up, you know what I mean? How do you walk that line?

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I think you need to realize that saying this: “I love cuddly kittens” is going to offend someone. No matter WHAT you do, someone is going to say, “Kisha, you fucking bitch, you’re a fucking asshole,” and get used to it.

      As for me, I try to stay away from anything that is truly controversial unless I give a shit about it. I’m not a really opinionated person and I’m not all “THIS IS THE WAY IT IS” and really, I don’t want a war about breast vs bottle in my comments because THAT? BORING. Been done.

      I walk a line and I try to remember that I’m talking to a broad group of people when I write. It helps.

      You’ll figure it out, you know? I did.

  • Sarah says:

    Excellent tips.

    I have a livejournal which is friends only for when I want to bitch about private things like family matters.

    I was thrilled to find I now have 8, count em, 8 followers! I’ve been keeping Spilled Sweet Tea for 8 months now so I’ve gotten one follower per month. It really does just take constant reading of other blogs and commenting like mad.

    Happy Thanksgiving Aunt Becky!

  • andrea says:

    Thanks for the tips! I just started blogging very recently so these are very useful:)

  • E says:

    Like you said, it doesn’t matter how anonymous you may think you are…family and friends will always, ALWAYS find your blog. And the posts they will discover will be the ones where you talk about them.

    The success of your blog should be determined by how you feel about your blog, not the number of comments or followers, because ultimately you are blogging for you.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Your readers will come and go because that’s how it goes and what’s left behind is, well, you. Well said. I’ll add that in there.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  • Miss Spoken says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,

    In case nobody has told you lately, you’re a slice of fucking brilliance.

    Love and Hugs and Hearts and Cupcakes,

    Miss Spoken

  • Kisha says:

    Also, please don’t name your blog some stupid shit like flyingsparklymagicalunicorns.com or sissyandbubbaandleroyandfivechickens.blogspot.com. (hopefully I don’t offend anyone who may have used one of the above names, I just made them up.)

  • Heather says:

    No kidding on the music issue. Holy crap…do people really spend that much time reading your post that they can listen to an entire song?

    Sarcasm doesn’t come across well in the written word?

    Who knew?

  • Great list! My suggestion is have an audience in mind and write to them, even if the audience is Aunt Minny & Uncle Hank. Experiment with your style but do eventually settle on one. Put your blog awards on another page & just link to it on your sidebar. As someone who’s connection speed could be pulled over for impeding the flow of traffic, I appreciate an uncluttered side bar

  • I need to start a blog.

  • Siera says:

    I will admit that I am guilty of some of the above. Over time I have come to see the error of my ways when I see other bloggers make the same mistake. But damnit I like my dark blue background!

  • andy says:

    That is the BEST picture ever!!!

    And very cool list!! I know some bloggers that I might just have to send that to.

  • Delisha says:

    I really enjoyed this post awhile back when you posted it and it really helped me with some things on my blog. I agree with everyone else this is a must read for new bloggers.

  • Heather P. says:

    Oh that baby girl is such a doll!! Such a cute picture!!

  • Jenn says:

    I love that photo, it’s hilarious!

    Time AND a husband… can you tell me where to pick those up? ;)

  • Mama Cas says:

    Aw shit. A black background is hard to read? I might need to re-vamp my blog then.

    On a positive note, I’m pretty good at editing myself. I’m not good at confrontation, even if it’s on the internet.

    PS…baby girl is adorable and I looove that photo.

  • dg at diaryofamadbathroom says:

    Grassy ass! Have a great Thanksgiving. BTW – love that you used that wedding picture for your Toy With Me ad. Great stuff.

  • Nothing makes me flee a blog faster than a pink background.

    If you write long posts use larger, not smaller, font. I am not reading 1500 teeny tiny words.

    Want comments? Ask you readers for advice or opinions.

    Want friends? Cultivate a local readership.

    Unless you have a compelling reason not to, use a full rss feed.

  • Janice says:

    Great post – I am thinking of starting a blog, but I know it would be for me. I am addicted to reading them – you and my niece and Bags 4 Darfur are on my daily list, these days. I have a boring life, but in my youth I traveled to about 65 countries and it would be great fun to digitize all my stories and photos.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Love that turkey.

  • I have to blog, or I will forget half the stuff that I do in my life. Someone recommended a tangible journal in a notebook, but, um, I’ve moved 6 times in 6 years. A blog is the only journal I know I can’t lose!

    I agree with you on every single point. How the hell are you beautiful AND smart? Damn you, Aunt Becky!!

    Oh, and I totally think Amelia is saying “Bitch, where’s my turkey?!”

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      She has this plastic turkey drumstick she’s been lugging around the house all week. HILARIOUS. The kid cracks me up by doing nothing at all.

      And I’m glad that you like the post! If you think of anything to add, holler.

  • MrsJoyner says:

    Oh Aunt Becky..Such great advice and truthfulness!! You’re so right on all of these..Also, the baby is getting to be the not-so-baby anymore..and is SO FREAKING ADORABLE!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • a says:

    Hey, dumbass, you were supposed to save it for the book! People won’t buy the Blogging for Dummies book if you keep posting the major points right here for free. You’re never going to be a millionaire this way.

    (You know I love you, right?)

  • a says:

    Also, how do you ever get anything done? I’d spend my whole day staring at that little cutie pie (well, maybe I’d spare a couple minutes for the other two cutie pies).

  • Ms.V says:

    LOVED this post!!!

  • Betty M says:

    Happy thanksgiving Aunt B!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Thank you, my friend! Happy Thanksgiving to you! I know you guys probably don’t celebrate it, but I don’t care ;).

      Also, I owe you a picture of my dad, I know, and I’m getting a scanner for Christmas! Woo-HOO!

  • Alexis says:

    Thanks Becky.
    I think I’d like to start a blog, because I’m home alone and need something/someone to talk with/to/at…This helps! But is terrifying too!

  • I love this reminder – again! You should run it every month to keep us all on our toes. Like you’re a Blog Professor something. Thanks.

  • Melanie says:

    I have the type of blog that people prefer to email comment on instead of openly comment on. I hope someday that my type of blogging is more commonplace instead of an anomaly. That being said, your blog is way more fun to read. ;)

  • Joanne Schiffbauer says:

    OMG! I never ever thought about writing a blog and, after reading yours, it seems like maybe “Rocket Science” would be easier! So many rules…excellent
    rules…but never the less, so many!

    Don’t you think that sucess or failure has something to
    do with people just “Getting You?” I know that if
    somebody “Gets Me,” that’s all it takes!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Blogging absolutely doesn’t require that any of these to be followed in any way shape or form. Disregard every one of them, by all means. Not a single one MUST be followed, of course not.

      And you’re right: people will overlook a lot if they just get you. You’re spot on.

      (also, I can’t spell success without spell check)

  • Joanne Schiffbauer says:

    I couldn’t have a blog if I wanted one or not…I can’t
    even spell “SUCCESS” right!!

  • Ah, the truths you speak, Aunt Becky, they are so true. In all my many years of blogging I’ve not found anything to dispute them (especially the Dooce one).

    I also find that different periods of life lead to different writing styles and different focuses, which (to me anyway) can lead to needing a new blog. My current one is just a baby and my first foray into using wordpress rather than controlling everything myself. I need to learn wordpress STAT because it breaks the rule of the teeny tiny text, and if it really fucking annoys me I can’t imagine what it does to my reader(s).

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Bwahahaha! I know NOTHING about WordPress, and my sidebar is so cluttered that it’s upsetting me so much that I’m kind of having a panic attack over it. I’ll probably be up all night finding a new theme.

      You think I’m kidding? I’M NOT ;)

  • Laura says:

    Great post! A must for new bloggers.

    I put up a stupid Christmas Tree on my blog and it is slowing it down, but it is just soooo pretty…

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Oh by all means, leave it up. Trust me, the blinky stuff I was referring to was mainly the myspace blogs. Those used to crash my computer EVERY TIME I tried to read them. Remember those?

  • That is one Cute Baby. Yo!

  • Melanie says:

    Great advice! Thanks!

  • JennK says:

    You mean I’m not Dooce?!?! Forfuckssake, bex, why didn’t you tell me that either.

    Oh, and if you’re missing your baby, check my house.

  • Ann says:

    I’m not a blogger, but I can say that I find white text on a dark background a pain to read. Our web designer at work doesn’t like pure black, so she uses a really dark grey. And I love that you actually answer your comments, Aunt Becky, and it made me move your blog up to my number one spot in my favourites.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, we Canadians had ours last month but I won’t say no to pumpkin pie.

  • After reading the first few comments, all I can think of is the Color Me Badd song “I Wanna Sex You Up.”

    THANKS. Thanks a pantload!

    For realz, though, good advice. No, the de-lurking never works. You’ll still get the same commenters, no matter what.

  • You crack me up, Becky! I just started my blog last weekend and your tips were like a highlights reel of my entire week. I have spent hours and hours reading about blogging in a hundred different places when all I really needed was you. Thanks for the breath of common sense!

    P.S. I think the baby is saying, “When are you going to put that damn computer down and feed me?” At least, that’s what my dogs are saying when they look at me like that.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen much on other blogs about blogging, but if it’s anything like “Tips To Get Followers” well, I’m sure that you learned jack squat. You probably lost brain cells. Sorry about that.

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  • I think this is excellent advice, and I wish I had read it a year ago. On the other hand, having no audience besides my mom kept the world from seeing some truly awful newbie posts.

  • Rebecca says:

    I drove two hours south and ate myself silly today at my mom’s house. Took home some left overs, drove home, and ate myself silly once again. No wonder I’m as wide as I am tall……at least it’s all yummy stuff.

  • Kate says:

    Soooo coulda used this advice a couple years ago.

    Something I’ve learned about blogging is that a person should expect some “growing pains” ~ you think you’ve got a groove, but then you realize that maybe you’re sharing more than you wanted, or your coments are going down & you realize you’re boring your audience, so you have to take a step back and revamp. Yes, ultimately you blog for yourself, but if you want an audience & comments, you need to not bore the hell out of everyone.

    If you’re passionate about a topic, it will come through. People respond to passion (I’m not talking about sex! LOL), even if they don’t agree with your point of view.

    LOVE the picture of Mimi ~ she has a ton of personality (guess she came by that honestly, eh?)!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Oh, if you look at my first 2 years of blogging, it’s mostly crap. Learning to tell a good story takes a lot of time and practice, and just like you said, you’re right, you have to take a step back sometimes and see what you’re doing right and wrong.

      AND…sometimes the posts that are stupid and pithy and dumb are the ones that get a zillion comments and the ones that you poured your heart into are the ones that tumbleweeds blow through.

      Sometimes, people have nothing to say, so they say nothing.

  • lauren says:

    Uh oh, I talk shit about people I know IRL on my blog. Those posts have actually blown up in my face so I think I’ve learned my lesson. OR HAVE I?!

  • Lucy Cooper says:

    Ok, Aunt Becky, a coupla things:
    Mimi? So cute and feisty. Love that girl.

    I’m still wet behind the ears. What is de-lurker day? I skimmed through half the comments to see if anyone else asked, but then got lazy, so sorry if I missed it. Can you skool me on that?

    and finally- I love the expression on your face and the hand gesture in the wedding photo of you on your blog- what’s the story behind that?

    Happy Thanksgiving

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Honestly, forget de-lurker day because no one really de-lurks anyway. There’s some day (I think it’s in November, but maybe it’s February) that you’re supposed to de-lurk for some reason and maybe 1 person is like, “HI!” and then you’re all, “HI!”

      People don’t usually de-lurk unless they have something to say, and sometimes they’re just shy, you know? It took me AGES to get the balls to comment on a blog where I didn’t know the owner. Now, I’m all, “HI!” but for ages, I was shy. I get that.

  • Trista says:

    Fantastic advice – especially the bit about not getting too bogged down in the teeny tiny details of your life. You care – others probably do not. And I’ve broken this rule with many posts, but it’s my blog, so tough :)

    I don’t know if this has been covered in other comments, but when it comes to the appearance and layout of a blog, I don’t think you shouldn’t be afraid to change it up whenever you want, if you’re not happy with it. My husband was going on about how the appearance of a blog is like your ‘brand’ and you shouldn’t change it because it’s all about ‘branding,’ and although I get his point I had to explain that I am not going to be the next Dooce, we are not going to be able to monetize the hate, he cannot retire and live off my website earnings, and if I want to change my layout weekly I will, ‘branding’ be damned. I’m not crazy about my current one as it’s a little blah, and will probably change it for the second time soon (although I may wait and deploy one of those obnoxious Christmas themes, wheeee!). It’s not always perfect the first time, or the second…

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m actually, as you mention it, trying to change the layout of my blog! HA! Mainly because this is a lame ass template and I have been using it on and off for a zillion (read 2) years and I’m sick of it.

      And if you want to blog about the tiny details of your life? DO IT. It’s your blog. Do what you want with it. Seriously. Plenty of great blogs do it and do it well.

      I’m hoping to make The Daver finish it this weekend or it will never get done and I am a WordPress Gimp. The free WP themes all suck ass.

  • Nyx says:

    Very…very true. On all accounts.

  • Mad Woman says:

    Well said! And a couple points I will be taking to heart.

  • Leslee says:

    Ok, so two things that I’m embarrassed to admit.

    1- My first thought when I read sweater kittens was actually a visual of kittens in sweaters. Which lead me to think of kitten mittens from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And then I giggled cuzz of how satisfyingly pervy it can be. Then, and ONLY THEN, did I realize what you actually meant by the term sweater kittens. *shame*

    2- I am a complete moron when it comes to RSS anything. Help?

  • Badass Geek says:

    It is all so very, very true.

  • pixielation says:

    great points. I don’t think I can add anything more to it. My only thought would have been what you’ve covered under “find your own style”. I think you should consciously develop style, in both writing and content. If you flick about erraticly from entry to entry with a style that doesn’t seem to have a cohesive language or flow, then you’ll alienate the people who like reading you.

    I learnt a lot from this list. I now know what sweater kittens are.

  • joann Mannix says:

    I know you say, don’t idolize, but I have to tell you, in the little breadth of time that I’ve been blogging, I’ve come to realize, you truly are the most generous blogger out there. Not only do you freely offer up all your tips and treasures, you do exactly what you preach with your kind, supportive comments, a constant on my blog. Thanks Becky, again for pointing the way. Allow me now to kiss your feet.

  • Becca says:

    I would also add, check with your significant other before you post pics of her/him and your children. That led to a lot of tension in my house, but because of where we work I could put all of us in danger (especially the kiddos) if I posted pics. Damn, I really wanted to post those pictures though! :)

    And, Mimi is so damn cute it just makes me want to pinch her cheeks!

  • Word.

    And damn that kid is CUTE!

  • Jay says:

    I loved this. I wish could tell you a hundred different ways, and really wish I could say it on every last point. But one comment will do: great job, enjoy your thanksgiving when you have it :)

  • GingerB says:

    Ahem, I don’t have a puckered pooper, because, ahem, my shit doesn’t stink, yo. Ahem. cough, cough.

    I do appreciate your list of helpful tips.

  • Gunfighter says:

    Since we are new BFF’s and all, can I re-post this at my blog… “giving you full credit, of course” (please tell me that you know what movie that line came from)

  • Patman says:

    Aunte Becky,

    I have been labeled a troll in the past when in fact I was offering constructive criticism. Most people are not interested in the truth about their blog. So I gave that up. In fact, these days I’m usually one of the 97.2% that don’t leave comments.

    I will say this: your blog, my dear, is fabulous. One of the few I check in on regularly. Have an awesome weekend. Great post.

    PF

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Now this is where I disagree with a lot of The Internet. You can give me constructive criticism whenever you want, my friend. Honestly. So long as you’re not trying to insult me, please, go ahead.

      My skin is thick as hell. Critique away.

      But I know a lot of people don’t feel the same way, so I can see why you don’t want to comment. I’m sorry.

      Have a lovely weekend yourself! And always feel free to comment if you’d like to. Or don’t if you don’t.

  • excavator says:

    Miss Amelia looks just like you in your photo for the link to Toy With Me. (That was a bridal photo?)

    Girl, your fingers must be little stumps if you attribute your commentage to all of your commenting.

    You are made of stern stuff.

  • Molly says:

    Aunt B, a great list! And yes, writer’s block DOES end. Right? RIGHT?! Sigh. Lawd, I hope so…….

  • Allie says:

    That is some really great advice, I fail at a lot of that but I just keep trying.

  • Krissa says:

    Fortunately for me, I still haven’t gotten my first “hate mail”. I attribute this to hardly having any readers. ;-)
    As far as I’m concerned, everything you said sounded golden!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I don’t think it has anything to do with readership nor does it have anything to do with being controversial, being rude, being belligerent, saying anything bad or something that might even be THOUGHT OF as bad.

      In short, trolls come for no reason and pay very little attention to what you say. Want proof?

      I posted awhile back about my neighbor, who I had gotten into a fight with over my puppy who had a habit of bolting. My eldest had held the door open for too long and he’d gotten out. I was very, very pregnant with Amelia, had a walking cast on my foot carrying a naked Alex, chasing the puppy around the neighborhood with Ben, my mother, 3 neighborhood kids, right?

      We were TRYING to take care of it.

      My neighbor comes out of the house (I’d previously watched her granddaughter) to yell at me about leash laws. I was very, very hurt, but the post was pretty lighthearted.

      THAT is the post my trolls come and attack me.

      W.T.F?

      No rhyme or reason.

  • igster101 says:

    Puffy pink hearts? Really? I get sucked into checking my stats a gazillion times a day. I keep saying I won’t, and then again I do.
    I also worry about what to blog. I don’t want to do the complain about my wife thing.Or wall whiny and bitchy. Sometimes I just write and am pretty happy with what comes out.

  • Dora says:

    Love the picture! She is such a character. So your girl!

    Love the list. Oh, the dreaded black background! Had a little scare last night when I started seeing spots. Something my OB told me to be on the lookout for as a sign of preeclampsia. Then I realized it was from the white text on the black background of the blog I was reading. Can you imagine if I’d really panicked and gone in to L&D!

  • mumma boo says:

    Wait? Did you say something? Mimi has me spellbound. How the hell do you get anything done?

  • amber says:

    That thing you wrote about blogging supposed to be fun? Waaay too many people forget that. I mean, sure, I’d like to be the next Dooce, but I think I have just as good of a chance of waking up looking like Angelina Jolie tomorrow.

    Also, as my creative director’s always telling me, there’s no such thing as an original idea – only an original way of repackaging the same old ideas.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Your creative director is smart. And blogging is supposed to be fun! We’re friends here, or we’re supposed to be (I consider you guys my friends) and if it gets to be too much? Walk away from it, right?

      There are enough people who take themselves too seriously all over the place. Even in *gasp* the Blog-o-Sphere.

  • submom says:

    AWESOME, redux! I think this post is a must read for anybody that wants to start or has started a blog. I really appreciate your paying attention to the “user friendliness” to one’s site. Yours is the best example: clean layout, large enough (but not freakishly large) font, and line spaces. Line spaces people! If I need to use my fingers to pull at my eyes in order to be able to follow the tightly-knit texts, if I need to print out your blog in order to read it AFTER I add proper space between the lines and paragraphs, if I get a headache when I look at your site, I probably won’t come back again. Nothing personal: I am aging and my eyesight is getting poorer every day. Together with my attention span. Aunt Becky, thank you for posting and adding new tips!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m so glad that you liked my list.

      I’m actually HATING my site right now, but I’m waiting on a design, and this one is…it’s okay. It’s better than it could be and it’s clean-ish. WHAT, ME OCD? Never. Free templates that are also decent are impossible to find, so I deal with this one, which I’ve used off and on for 2 years now.

      /rant

      If you want someone to read your blog, it should be readable. Period.

  • Sharon says:

    So you think you can tell us all about blogging? As if you have, like, thousands of readers and hundreds of loyal commenters who stalk your every move and beg you to make out with them?

    Oh, wait… Never mind :)

  • Jen says:

    Ah, thank you for these blogging tips. As a new blogger using the medium to write about Hard Stuff, I appreciate the advice. And as a new reader of yours, I am so happy to learn that your daughter is doing so well. Dang, she’s cute!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Mimi is my mini-me. I wonder if she’ll always look so much like me. And if she does, if she’ll hate me for it.

      And thank you! I hope that the tips help. Feel free to ignore ALL of them if you like it.

  • kys says:

    You know I love this advice more than sweet potato pie. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! (That Mimi is adorable!)

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I have never had sweet potato pie, ever. But it sounds mighty fine.

      My Thanksgiving Part I was lovely and Part II was not so lovely, but Mimi says, Word UP. Thank you again for allowing me to post.

  • linlah says:

    With a resounding yes I echo that list and yeah I know that’s redundant.

  • Nicely done!

  • I had to google troll .. there I said it. I wasn’t sure what a blog troll was and I had to look it up.

    Trolling… sounds like bottom feeder fishing or old men looking for cheap blow jobs (I guess that’s kind of the same thing).

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Trolls are, eh. Whatever. The thing about them is this: they won’t ever come when you expect them and don’t bother reasoning with them or fighting with them. My advice is to ignore or delete.

  • Mrs.Rotty says:

    So spot on!! I love that list.
    I need to come around here more often.

  • Thanks for the list of good stuff. I just learned this one: don’t be afraid to take time off from blogging. Quality is more important than quantity.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I am SO adding this. Good call.

      Also? I think I might be in love with your blog.

      • Keep announcing that publicly and I will send you chocolate, some elk meat to slip into your McDonalds burger, everything pink that I own (which would mean filching from the daughter), and I will come babysit your kids. Or could you drop them off in Southern Colorado? Are they allowed to butcher animals?

  • Alright alright ALRIGHT ALL FUCKING READY. I got rid of the black background. (siiiiigh) AND the word verification for comments (eye rolling, more sighing).
    But only for you. *mwah*

  • Brahm says:

    What a FAN-tastic post! Have been blogging for a couple of months, with heartache and joy, and “meeting” some really great people, and now I find the instruction manual I have wanted all along – how fabulous are you!!!

    Your tips hit home, I will embrace about 74.3% of them wholeheartedly and be a maverick, rogue-like, and ignore the rest.. maybe!

    Love love love your blog – will be back a lot!

  • Heather says:

    Aunt Becky~ Thanks for this post. I have been trying to blog more, but I find I only blog when I am really pissed off. Like you suggested, I blog for ME not others.

    Thanks for blogging. There are many days when your whitty snark gets me through the rough spots. U Rock!

  • carlynn says:

    Love that photo!!

  • ParlinMom says:

    you are just what I needed at JUST the reight time….I was wondering about ALL of what you said and being new to the blogging world (since July 09) I thought I had barked up the wrong tree.

    I blog for me and I enjoy it!!

    Thank you!!!

  • Erin says:

    this:
    “Use a full RSS feed in the reader because a partial feed makes a lot of people unsubscribe.”

    is SO TRUE!!! i’ve only just gotten into blogging – reading and writing – and HATE partial feeds. if i have to click around too much, i’m not that interested in what is being said.

  • Ms. Bibi says:

    I read about your Blogging for Dummies in one of my buddies blog today.

    Great list and so very true. I’ve been “really” blogging for only 2 months and it is pretty much everything you described here.

  • L says:

    Love, love your blog! And this post was especially helpful as I was thinking of starting a blog myself.
    As a prolific writer of many teenage diaries, I figured blogging would be easy as pie and not like trudging up a steep hill for days only to discover more hills.
    Now, which is worse? Jumping in without knowing the risks or knowing the risks and still jumping in? I guess I’ll find out soon enough…

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Oh, you can totally do it. Feel free to ignore EVERY ONE of my dumb ass rules because what matters–really—is what you think.

      xoxo

      • L says:

        “Oh it’s true, it’s true!” … you do read all your comments.You rock! (if you’re wondering about the quotation marks – it’s a quote from one of my favourite movies “Blazing Saddles”, there was a second part but it’s not PG haha!)

        Seriously though – your tips and insights have been tremendously helpful.

  • Shawna says:

    I usually don’t bother to comment on a post that has over 100 comments already. I mean, what kind of value can I add?
    But for this, thanks!

  • Estela says:

    I can’t even remember how I got to your blog… but i LOVE IT!!!

    Thanks for this post! I’m fairly new to the blog world… everything you wrote is so true!

  • You forgot one:

    •Make your posts short or I won’t read them unless your name is Aunt Becky and even then, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll keep my attention away from Twitter long enough to reach the end.

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  • subWOW says:

    Day after day, on some days more than the others, I am grateful I saw this list at the early stage of my blogging life. “Blog for yourself, not for other people.” We should all put a poster of these words in front of us.

  • F. Haataja says:

    Aunt Becky,
    I just got started in the blogging game, and this was exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for. My fiancee reads your blog like The Bible and recommended this to me. Thanks for the tips! I’ll be stopping back, and look for my add on Facebook.

    F.

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  • I loved reading this- I started my blog just a few months ago and have read lots of how-to’s about bogging. This was more like an Aunt Becky Pep Talk- exactly what I needed!

  • Misty says:

    Thank you for the tips. You rock.

  • Sarah says:

    I read every single freaking thing you write, but I just now found this. Love it.

  • Kristina says:

    How did I not find you earlier? Your advice is priceless (actually, you could probably get a lot of $ for it, if you’re not already) and your writing is educational and cracks me up (kind of like comedy driving school, but better…much better)! Thanks for the tips!

  • Holly says:

    hahaha i like you! good stuff!

  • i like this. i like you. i loooove your blog. i follow you now…read a shit ton of your posts. most of them make me laugh to myself.

    i’m new to blogging. started mine for me. not to make any money. can you really make money by writing shit you enjoy? i’m down with that.

    i have one follower. & i must admit that it’s my fiance’. bwahahaha.

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