Now, I always feel like a crotch rocket whenever I blog about blogging (Blogging for Dummies Part I) because it presumes that I know more than you do and that I am speaking TO you, my Pranksters, from some position of authority. That makes me feel douchey. I don’t run a clinic on blogging here because that seems weird and honestly, I have taught before, but they’ve been subjects like BIOCHEMISTRY not Blogging 101.
Most of the shit that’s been written out there about blogging (if’n you Google “how to blog”) is fucking useless. There are some diamonds written by REAL bloggers, but most of it is garbage. Why? They’re articles written for SEO hits. And articles written for SEO hits (search engine optimization, i.e. the stuff that will get you Google Hits.) are fucking BULLSHIT.
If you want to learn to blog, you need to learn from a blogger. That’s not a question.
So, let’s take it back to basics, and back to the beginning.
Also, feel free to ignore me entirely. Like I said, this isn’t what I do.
When I started blogging it was 2004, and I wrote a blog called Mushroom Printing. It was a co-blog that I wrote with Pashmina (then Stimpy) and our blog was started as a Shock Blog. Like, “I can’t believe GIRLS talk like that.” If you think what I write now is bad, it was MUCH worse then.
So by the time I got to writing Mommy Wants Vodka in late 2007, I’d sort of figured out what works. I’d also committed the cardinal sin of blogging and switched URL’s. I lost most of my readers.
But, I’d learned a couple of things.
First, I’d learned that what makes a good blog is to tell a story. It doesn’t so much matter what the story is, but it needs to have something there more than, “and then I made soup for lunch!!” Because genuinely, what you had for lunch IS fucking boring.
Unless it’s made out of platinum and you are giving it to me.
You need to post consistently, but not over-post. There’s some weird balance to walk there, and I’m not trying to be all ‘YOU HAVE TO POST 12 TIMES A DAY’ because that will get you unfollowed by most people. Why? No one has an interesting enough life to have much to say THAT many times a day. And if you have nothing to say? Skip a day.
Plan out what you have to say ahead of time (See what I said about platinum lunches).
If you want to build a community, develop friendships, not business contacts. Now, I’m not blind. I can see that The Word Of Mom advertising–even if you’re not a mom–is infecting the blog world. Advertisers remain convinced that bloggers are going to see their souls for a packet of rice or a sample of shampoo.
If that’s the kind of blog that you want to run, there’s no problem with that, but remember that this will not endear you to readers. Why? It’s not authentic. My advice is to separate the two. Do a review blog and a personal blog. People aren’t going to be jumping at the chance to read your reviews of products just because they love you.
But (and here is my teeny soap-box, don’t sell yourself short. Your time is worth a lot. I say this because I love you) make sure you’re compensated handsomely BY the advertising companies. They pay gazillions of dollars for the FREE advertising they’re getting from YOU. Just don’t let them compromise YOUR reputation.**
Blog authentically. I cannot stress that enough. You want to know why people read my blog? This is who I am.
My driver’s license doesn’t say “Aunt Becky Sherrick Harks” but it does say “Becky Sherrick Harks” and this, Pranksters, is who you get. If you were to come over to my house for a Sausage Party this summer, you’d meet me, who is just as I am here. Except for more devastatingly beautiful.
People want to feel a connection with someone else. They get that when they feel like they really know the writer.
So blog authentically and do it for yourself. The comments, the praise, the awards, the love, those all come later. Or not at all.
If you want to throw your neck out there (and you should), you have to accept that no one may ever read your blog. It’s not your fault, it’s not because you’re a bad writer, sometimes the worst blogs get the most comments*** because that’s just the way it is. It’s not 2001 any longer, the Internet isn’t a new place and blogs aren’t the new pink.
So get over it.
Do I sound harsh? I’m practicing tough love. I love you, you know that, but you need to accept that no one may ever love you like I do, and move on, okay? Because are you doing this for fame? Fortune? Because I am actually a Nigerian Prince. Please be sending me your bank account information to email@example.com
It was 4 months before I got a comment here and 6 before I got on a blogroll. That was 4 solid months of commenting until my fingers bled broke into tiny nubs. Feel better now?
So blog for yourself, not for the huddled masses.
You’re never going to please everyone, so you might as well give up now. Some people will say that you’re too swear-ful, some people will say your posts are too long, others will say your posts are too short. Some will find you too crass or too mind-bendingly dull. It’s just a matter of personal tastes. Opinions are like assholes (presumably because everybody’s got one), and you may as well give up trying to please everyone because it’s simply not possible.
Haters be hatin’ and they can eat a hot bowl of dicks****.
Comments are the best way to make friends. Yes, I said friends. Because I have a theory that half of all subscribers are robots or aliens (since I never see them) and the rest are my friends. May as well make some yourself. One can never have too many friends.
There is a lot of wonderful kindness in the blog world, and you should revel in it when some is thrown your way, but you should never, ever expect it. No blogger is obligated to help another. If you remember that, it will help clear up many hurt feelings.
Do it because you love it. It’s supposed to be fun, not work.
Write hard, Pranksters. Write hard.
And here, My Band of Merry Pranksters, is where I turn my comments to you. Please, tell us what you have found out about blogging.
**deep thoughts, by Aunt Becky
****deep thoughts, by Aunt Becky.