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 aunt.becky.sucks@gmail.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.

*two

**deep thoughts, by Aunt Becky

***see: http://mommywantsvodka.com

****deep thoughts, by Aunt Becky.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

140 Responses to Blogging for Dummies deux*

  • Natalie says:

    Good post… I can’t imagine blogging for SEO hits. I’d just have nothing to say!! VERY few people read my VERY new blog… which is perfectly ok. I like blogging for myself – it makes journalling just that little bit more interactive.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Journaling is fantastic, blogging is cathartic and wonderful. This new era of blogging/marketing makes me a little twitchy. Luckily, there’s enough of us bloggers out there who do give a shit about content that will make it real for the rest of us who want connections, not just SEO hits.

  • Shin Ae says:

    Aunt Becky, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had my blog for almost a year and a half. Since I’m not the most consistent poster, maybe I’ve really been blogging for a year. Or maybe six months. Whatever. Anyway, YES! Do it for yourself. I don’t get many comments and only have a couple followers, but you know what? I love looking back at the pictures I’ve put up and the things I’ve written. It reminds me of how far I’ve come, even in such a short time. Additionally, having a blog where I’m posting stuff motivates me to actually DO something to write about, which is good for me. Another thing I’ve learned is that even if it seems no one is reading, someone may be, after all! And, he or she may really, really appreciate you.

    But seriously? Yes, I get sad when I see people blogging for the wrong reasons or with super-high expectations. Then they are disappointed and/or desperate when it doesn’t go as planned. I say, just enjoy it for what it is!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      It’s a wonderful exercise in creativity, I think, and most importantly, it’s key to not take yourself so SERIOUSLY. I know you don’t because I read your blog.

      No one is going to be Dooce. Dooce is dooce. We’re not dooce. It’s okay.

  • Natalie says:

    Umm… when I click on the “blog about blogging” link, it brings me to http://www.mommywantsvodka.com/?page_id=3048 and there is nothing where the blog content should be. Just me?

  • Libby says:

    I wouldn’t sell my soul for a packet of shampoo. Shampoo and creme rinse maybe.

    I’ve always said the second I think of blogging in terms of work, I’ll be done with blogging.

  • SoccerMom says:

    Thanks for the insight. I find myself to be alot like you, of course my blog page is not awesome, but I agree that 100% of what you write should be authentic.

    I am not into advertisments or /and any frills. Justing writing to get shit off my chest. So that my head doesnt explode.

  • Titanium says:

    This is so freakin’ RIGHT ON. I am printing it. I am emailing it. I am keeping it.

    It’s about living life out loud- and writing about it. Regardless of whether or not anyone ever reads it. Follow me, unfollow me- it matters not, if the words stand on their own two feet.

    I just loved this. Thank you and thank you some more.

    One Very Merry Prankster,

    Ti

  • My personal blog sucks ass but when I posted a blog post the other day and noticed on my blog I had 6 followers I almost had a party in my pants. I can’t imagine why 6 breathing, adult human beings give a fat shit what I have to say, but it was cool nonetheless. I will keep posting whenever I feel like it and maybe one day I will have 10 or 15 followers! I don’t care about making money off ads or sponsors. I will leave that to the professional mommie bloggers. But your blog rocks. I wish I had the nerve to cuss in my blog because I sure cuss when I am saying it out loud to myself and typing it, and I just leave the cuss words out. I have alot of christian followers on Twitter (me NOT being one of those fine christians AT ALL) because I am a homeschooler and if they ever read my blog I don’t want them to get offended. I cuss like a sailor in real life but not on the internet. I am a chickenshit sell out, I know! I suck! But I am awesome at SUCKING!! Love ya Becky!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      It’s really funny, but I have a bunch of Christians on Twitter that follow me. Or they start to, then they drop off. Because OBVIOUSLY.

      Your comment is cracking my ass up.

      • cathyjoy says:

        okay…i’m a cussin Christian who will once-in-a-while drop the “f” bomb in my blog! I drop it enough in everyday conversations so…those who know me and love me love me and those who don’t – why i don’t give a flying fuck!

      • cathyjoy says:

        and i’ll nevah drop ya aunt becky! you are too full of the smarmy Awesome!

  • amber says:

    I have to SEO things up for a living – I refuse to do it on my blog. And personally? When I visit a blog and see nothing but giveaways, giveaways, giveaways? I click right back out.

    So, in other words, write on (see what I did there? write/right? I crack myself up), Aunt Becky. You’ve got it down.

    But, I would also add (because this is what I am myself learning), that you have to remember not to take yourself too seriously. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of pressure in the blogosphere to be bigger, better, tweet more, comment more, whrrl your heart out, vlog…

    Get caught up in all that and you might as well hang up your blogging hat. Because that takes all the fun out of it. At least, that’s what I think.

  • WebSavvyMom says:

    –>Blogging is like twitter, Be Yourself. Unfortunately, many people are all about contests/PR and it leads to a big UNFOLLOW from me.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    @debthaxton

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I got unfollowed this weekend (on Twitter) because I didn’t help someone out as their tour guide. She asked me Wednesday, unfollowed me on Friday. Apparently I was supposed to be her bitch.

      But yes, being yourself is SO important. If you’re not blogging for yourself, why the hell bother?

  • Kadye says:

    Just because you can not see us robots (and those pesky aliens, too… which btw – robots>aliens – so watch yourself, or we might have to come get you for grouping us with those stupid buggers) does not mean we can not see you. ;)

  • Lorraine says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,
    For a while there, I wasn’t sure who loved me more–Aunt Cath or you. Now I know.

    Oh, and: I’m hungry. Cookies, please. NO RAISINS.

  • Kelly says:

    Aunt Becky,
    Your blogging for dummies blogs, make me hopeful that someday, I may follow in your footsteps. Curse words, and all.
    Kelly

  • drlori71 says:

    Wait, so you’re not going to teach me about the Krebs cycle? :-)

  • Joanna says:

    Great entry. I do break some of the rules, I have given away a few items on my blog but for the most part I write so that my husband doesn’t divorce me.

  • Deenuts Dana says:

    Help a girl out–what’s an SEO hit?

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      It’s a string of words that people search for to get to a website. Let’s say you’re looking for me. So you go to Google and you search for:

      “Becky Sherrick Harks.”

      “Aunt Becky”

      “Mommy Wants Vodka”

      “Aunt Becky Sherrick Harks”

      “Mommy Wants Vodka Blog”

      With SEO (search engine optimization), you write blog entries that stuff your post with those keywords in it so that a search engine is most likely to pick up those words in your search and make my blog the #1 hit if you search for it.

      It’s most helpful if you’re running a store, not a blog. Also, it really takes away from a blog because really, how many times in a sentence do you need to read that?

  • I read all that SEO stuff and just can’t get into it personally. Every so often I take a stab at it, doing all the things to get my hit count up etc, but after a month I am exhausted and have little to show for it. Blogging for money is very very hard work with very very little return in cash. And I suck at self promotion anyway.

    I blog for me. And I hope I am entertaining enough that others enjoy most of what I write. I think I have a lock on authenticity. I blogged about my kid being sent home with lice 3 times in two weeks. And I blogged about my cat peeing on my stove & my not noticing it until I was cooking on said stove. I dare anyone to question my authenticity after that! :)

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      SEO is boring and it makes your entries seem stilted unless you’re trying to sell stuff. I don’t get it for personal blogs. Perhaps I’m missing something, but if you’re searching for “vodka” and you come across my blog, I don’t think you’re going to stay.

      And girl, your cat pee in the oven post made me piss myself. Not in the oven, though.

  • Anne says:

    Fantastic post. The thing I have learned is that you can have all the followers in the world and I, of course, love all of mine (all 5 of them–ha). But the thing that makes it all worthwhile, like you said, are the genuine, heartfelt readers who actually give a shit about what I have to say. Although in the end I blog for me. I guess that’s where it’s at.

  • Molly says:

    Well-said. :)

  • Anna says:

    Didn’t Ice-T just twitter-vite someone to eat a big bowl of the weiner?

    Also – game on! I’m driving to Chicago this Thursday and will be there until Sunday a.m. Email if you were serious about letting me bathe in the aura of your awesomeness.

  • I love when you blog about blogging. Because by blogging about blogging, you’re blogging, you know? Whatev. Just keep being funny.

  • Jessica says:

    I just want to say I’m going to start using the word: “if’n”. Thank you.

  • Kat says:

    I’ve been blogging off and on since 2003. I have like 5 friends who read as consistently as I blog. Which is cool because they are 5 friends I didn’t have in 2003, I met them through blogging, and we’ve gone through marriages, divorces, babies, weight loss, weight gain, depression, pet loss, etc. together. It’s totally awesome having random people across the country/world to talk to. I love that while they’re in one way total strangers, in another, I can tell them shit I can’t tell people I know in “real” life.

    I’m on an off blogging cycle right now, but I still enjoy reading (and commenting!) Plus, I’m a privacy freak, so I don’t have a lot open to the public, and even then, I have varying levels of privacy between my friends.

    I also had to laugh at the twitter comments, because I’ve been following you for a while, and just recently had the honor of being followed back! Totally exciting! But yeah, I don’t follow people expecting to be followed back. I follow people I know and who are funny and interesting. Or who pimp shit I might want to buy.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      You have the best attitude ever. Seriously. Gonna frame this comment.

      • Kat says:

        LOL! Thanks! Seriously, blogging and my dog saved my life during my divorce!

        I think another reason I like blogging is that I can ‘talk’ and ‘listen’ to people on my terms, because I don’t generally like people. Like small talk and shit. Here (blogging), if I’m interested, I jump in. Or not. If I’m bored, I just keep going, I don’t have to pretend. Although HERE, I’m usually not bored, I just don’t have anything interesting/funny/not stupid to say back!!

  • Jen says:

    Your first post on blogging was hugely helpful to me as I launched my own site. Your additional thoughts here had me nodding and thinking “right on!”. (Or is that write on?)

    What I love most about you, Becky, is the amazing range and authenticity you write with. Raunchy, swear-y, hysterical posts ring just as true as those that come straight from your heart. Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

  • Nancy C says:

    I always remember that I write for me, and I write in blog format so my thoughts don’t sounds like rejected songs from a Morissey album. Because I can be whiny if I don’t have an audience, even if it is imaginary.

  • pattypunker says:

    you give the best advice — and inspiration.

    blogging has introduced me to this awesome community of people who share the same sensibilities and mindset as myself. people who make me feel like i’m not a fucking lunatic and that i don’t need to censor myself or conform to be likeable. people who have breathed new life into my soul and re-ignited my creative spirit. people who i actually miss when i or they are away from the cyberworlds. people who have entered into my dreams and emotional conscience.

    people full of the awesome like you!

  • Sam says:

    Just today I read that Ice T twittered someone to eat a bowl of dicks. It’s pretty cool that you and ‘T are on the same page. That should really up your cred. Just sayin’.

  • Katie Krank says:

    Your honesty and common sense is what makes your advice so good!

  • Dana says:

    Don’t you just hate sounding like a know-it-all? It doesn’t matter how much you try to get people to understand that is NOT where you are coming from, many still will … which brings me to my what I have learned statement.

    When you blog authentically, people will start to think they know you – what motivates you – what you are thinking – where you are coming from. That can be a little disconcerting when they are WRONG, yet insist they are right and spout off to the world about how right they are … and how wrong YOU are.

    No amount of explaining/rationalization will get them to see they are wrong because … well … YOU are wrong!

    Learn to look at what they say as an opportunity to learn to communicate more effectively (as in “How are they getting that from what I’ve written?”) then move on.

    Blogging often times requires a thick skin … or a therapist on retainer and an unlimited supply of Valium!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      It requires you to not take things personally, for sure. Because otherwise, we’d all sit around weeping into our hands like babies. Which? Why bother. Life is too short.

  • MommaKiss says:

    High Five.
    To the ass!

  • Sarcastically Yours says:

    Great post!

  • CatPS says:

    I’m just so impressed that you seem to understand RSS feeds… I have the attention span of a gnat and haven’t been able to master the concept yet! Plus there’s a little old man living inside me that comes out whenever hooligans on skateboards get in my way or when a new technology gizmo requires more than 27.1 seconds to understand.

  • Melissa says:

    The reason you are my #1 blogger is because you interact! Whenever you reply to me I am all like “Aunt Fucking Becky replied to ME!!”

    Seriously, so not like that Pioneer Woman. Who has the nerve to not respond to every singe one of her thousands of comments a day. What a bitch :P

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Bwahaha! She should sit there and respond to ALL OF THEM!

      I try like hell to interact with my Pranksters because I enjoy the give -n- take of the community. I can’t always because I am a bitch. Also: I sleep sometimes when I am not making out with my pretend husbands from television.

  • Amy Mayfield says:

    I occassionally worry that being myself is too offensive but then I realize I do it IN PUBLIC. Like EVERY DAY and I’ve rarely been thrown out of anywhere or chased by an angry mall-much to some people’s disappointment I am sure.
    In fact, I actually get a lot of, “wow, I wish I could do what you do and say whatever comes into my head.”
    And my most honest, I’m a total idiot posts are the ones that get the most response.
    Oh, and I had TOTALLY for real learned something just by your second paragraph about what SEO is, your definition just confirmed my thought that I probably wasn’t interested and trying to be would hurt my head.

  • Dual Mom says:

    I blog because my commentors appear to like when I tell stories about small penises. It’s the comments that make my day….everyone of them is like a succulent piece of chocolate.

    Of course I’m also a big spaz…so there’s that.

  • Amy Mayfield says:

    Mob, not mall. Clearly my overly pollinated brain is focused on all the lovely spring things Ann Taylor and Sephora keep trying to tempt me with.

  • Shell says:

    Great post and so true.

    I got asked about 10 times in the past week for blog tips from people and I finally got tired of saying the same things over and over(no, I didn’t save the emails, that would have be a smart thing to do and I was not having a smart moment when I hit delete), so I did what made me feel like a total douche and wrote out my “tips.” Which I’m sure most people will roll their eyes at. Like I have a freaking clue. But, now I can be lazy and point someone to that page if I’m asked again…which I probably won’t be anymore. LOL

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Yeah, just point to the post. Because really? Repeating yourself gets old. One concise post is worth having to say the same thing over and over, you know?

      (I still feel douchy for this post)

  • Fran says:

    While I “know” all the things you said here and I do blog for me, I still obsessively check for comments and get a little sad when there aren’t any/many

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Of course. I think we all do. The first comment I got (I should have said) was from a spam bot. Some of them SOUND like people. And when I got it, I called Daver at work and bounced off the walls for 3 hours. Trust me.

  • mepsipax says:

    Hey….what I had for lunch is not boring…krabs. Yeah I got krabs for lunch…now I know what you are thinking…and yes, you gave me krabs, thanks a lot. Ok, sorry but your VD valentine card made me think this… you only have yourself to blame.

  • The Mommy says:

    I like to blog. I don’t give a damn if anyone reads it or not. It’s for me. And eventually for my kids to look back and understand what being their mommy was like. Sometimes those stories entertain others. Most of the time, they entertain me.

    I sometimes worry that someone will read what I wrote and find it necessary to criticize me. The negative comments that I read, the ones where someone actually took the time to type to knock someone else (not usually just their idea) piss me off. I think, especially if the blogger is in it for the money (which, HAHAHA) the best way to criticize is to click that “x” and not go back. It’s good to read things you might not agree with – in a “know your enemy” kind of way.

    I don’t always agree with everything YOU say, but I read you nearly every day BECAUSE YOU ENTERTAIN ME. I have only UN-followed a few people (yes, I’m loyal to a fault) and mostly it was because they were trying to generate an income by doing exactly what you said NOT to. They ended up boring the shit out of me and I axed them from my roll. I get a little bit defensive when someone criticizes mommy bloggers for, well, blogging about their life as a mommy because that’s what I do. I don’t really want to entertain people. I entertain ME. And I never, ever TRY to get people to read what I say. I comment because I DO have an opinion, even if I’m “JUST” a mommy but I don’t really care if my comment is scintillating enough to generate traffic to my (totally boring, all about life with my kids) blog.

    How’s that for real?

  • Great post!

    Sometimes I wonder how to “be a better blogger” but then I realize that I’m mostly writing for myself (and maybe a few family members who’ve promised to read the blog at gun point). But at the end of the day, if what I write makes me chuckle or provides therapy for me in some way… it’s a successful post. Comments are always nice but I know that there are many people who read blogs regularly but never comment. Hey, that’s even me many times!

    Just because they’re not commenting doesn’t always mean there’s no one reading!

  • Don’t be anonymous. Own what you say. Otherwise, you wont’ be authentic and people won’t take you seriously.

  • First…every time I make a comment here, after I hit “post comment” my little icon dude is a devil…perhaps I picked it once, but I do not recall doing so…oh well, I’m good with it, I just find it amusing.

    So here is my not so devil-ish comment…I like to blog, and had you told me three years ago that I would be blogging, I’d have thought you were crazy! Today I posted about what my goals are for my blog and I wrote…”In the end, I am doing this for me. If no one else reads my posts, but I learn more about myself, then it will be a success.” And it was before I even read your post…and since you are a veteran blogger (my hats off to you) I feel a bit vindicated. But, I do wonder…is this whole blogging thing a bit too self-serving and selfish? But then I think, “who cares, I am having fun!”

  • Kristy says:

    I have found that there truly is kindness and connection out there in blog world. I try very hard to stay true to my original purpose – to write. To write stories and be myself. To be honest, and not take myself too seriously.

  • Carol says:

    I am learning, so I was very interested to read this blog, but right in the middle you had to mention SAUSAGE party and I kept coming back to that sentence. Later I’m going to try reading it again, starting after the sausage thing.

  • Delicia says:

    I see you and some of my other favorite bloggers, and you always seem to have STUFF TO SAY! I can go for days or even a week or two between posts because frankly nothing intersting is happening or I just don’t feel I have anything to say.

    But, since I mainly blog for my own amusement and that of my close friends and family, I guess it doesn’t matter. If other folks find it interesting or fun to read, then cool!

  • Wendy says:

    Loved the blog post, Becky. I recently abandoned my old Twitter account because it was so full of the local “friends” who happened to be the SEO, let’s such each others’ man parts for hits, zOMG I’m holding a conference on to TWEETER, please pay $200 so I can tell u how to MAKE PEOPLE care about what YOU have to say.”

    Eff em.Their blogs suck.

    I read your blog because I love your story and the way you tell it. And I didn’t it via search engine.

  • avasmommy says:

    Lordy, I love you.

    Kick ass advice, love. I keep saying, if you blog for anything other than the love of doing it? You’re doing it wrong.

    There may be another Dooce out there somewhere, but your chances of becoming it? Are less than winning the Powerball.

    Write. Love. Laugh. Live.

  • Soxy Deb says:

    Firstly, let me thank you for imparting your words of wisdom. And for letting us know that “deux” means “two”. Otherwise there may have been masses out there trying to figure out what the hell you were trying to say.
    I think that whole “write for yourself” thingie may have been the reason I haven’t blogged forever. I felt like I had to always tell a funny or interesting story because that’s what would keep my “friends” coming back.
    Blogging for me is something I’m trying to regain. That and being more like Aunt Bex.

  • Tracie says:

    Imma get all fan-girl gushy here for a minute (because I haven’t done that over here in a month or two).

    You are my favorite blogger in all the land. You’re popular but accessible. It’s like reading Us Magazine and seeing that famous people are “Just Like Us!”.

    There are some popular blogs that I can’t stand to read (let alone comment on!) because I get the feeling that they are lording their supreme snarkiness over the rest of us mortals. You are so talented and funny but make everyone feel at home here. (And on FB/Twitter.)

  • Krissa says:

    Oh, I think the thing that you said that most hits the nail on the head for me is “There is a lot of wonderful kindness in the blog world.”
    I never have any idea if what I’m doing is a good idea or not. (Kind of like everything else in my life… I operate on a trial and error standard on a day to day basis.) My regular readers know and understand that. Usually that’s what makes what I’m writing about funny. A lot of the time it’s Henrietta. And most of the time it’s dealing with literal shit. ;-)
    Who knew!?

  • blueviolet says:

    Awwww….you did a good job with this post. It takes time to figure it all out, doesn’t it? Very few of us start out and end up doing things the same way. You sort of feel your way and end up if you’re lucky in a style that works for you, and ultimately you are the one that matters. If it’s not fun or authentic for the blog author, what’s the point?

    Now, I’m one who combines my PR and my personal blog in one place. I seriously thought of dividing the two a long time ago, but I can’t multi-task and I’m organizationally inept. I simply can’t handle more than one blog. However, I try to be consistent in how I do it so readers know what to expect.

    Although with the divorce, house for sale, and upcoming move…I’m not entirely scoring an A+ in consistency at the moment. But it will get back to that again when life calms down.

    Geez, I shoulda just written my own post. Criminy.

  • Sharon says:

    I think you may be my role model. Which sucks, since I am old enough to be your mother.

  • MstoMrs says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love how you write. I’m a firm believer in this is what you get!

  • I think it’s the flashing gifs, auto-play music, and pictures of my cat that brings all the readers.

    Or not.

  • Jenn says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I am a very new blogger, with a very new blog, and I really know nothing. This helped a lot. I really love your blog, and I didn’t find it from a google search, either.

  • Clair says:

    I believe, Aunt Becky, that you and I have very different definitions of “crotch rocket.” I love you blogs about all things, but especially about blogging. Not that they’re going to help me reach the levels of bloggy stardom that I so envy (or do I? Hard to say! mwahaha) help me to have even one measly follower.

    But seriously, you make blogging fun… just because you’re you and you’re a great source of inspiration.

  • Megan says:

    Thanks for the info! I started blogging to try and keep my sanity in my crazy life. I’m lovin it!

    Sometimes I wish someone would come visit and critique the shit out of my blog though. I am such a freakin perfectionist and feel like I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. Yet I want to get better, better, better. I’m going to be elected mayor of Crazyville someday…I just know it. :-)

    Thanks again for the blogging lesson!

    Megan

    http://reddirtandcrazy.blogspot.com/

  • Lauren says:

    You’re the shit. I hate review/giveaway blogs. Seriously, what do those bloggers do with all of that shit they receive to review?

  • Jennifer says:

    Totally Awesome! I love it. I got so confused when I thought I was new to blogging. I mean I am new to blogging because there are a few things I want to blog about but … yadda yadda yadda … anyway, thank you for such an awesome blog.

  • Aww…that is just tender. Makes me want to put a stupid song on my blog and dedicate it to you and the heart attack you’ll suffer when you read my post.;)
    Best Advice Ever: Leave the fucking music off of your blog.

  • Thanks for reinforcing all those things I thought I knew, but needed someone smart to actually point out for me.

    You rock.

  • linlah says:

    Ah, 2 is as good as one.

  • Michelle says:

    I just recently found your blog (don’t ask me how) and I don’t blog. I have learned one important thing about blogging (mommy blogs to be precise) – that my life isnt as boring as I thought! Thank you so much Auntie for putting a sparkle in my day.

    Aloha!

  • moonspun says:

    You have to read other peoples blogs, too. People that do it for you, in that writing way. People whose lives you care about because of the way they write about it. That’s how you get friends. And if you are lucky like me, you get to meet one or two in real life. It’s quality, not quantity.
    You, my beloved Aunt Becky, have both… :-)

  • Heh. I am going to be a squalilijionaire and have all the gold that I can eat, from my blog advertising.

    And I am thinking about rollover advertising and links within the post at the top, middle and end.

    That wouldn’t be annoying AT ALL.

    *snigger*

  • SciFi Dad says:

    So when do we get to learn from a real blogger?

  • Jayme says:

    I fail at story telling a lot of the time. But I blame the kids for stealing all my smart braincells. I agree with you on the blogs that are all PR, although I’d totally take the free stuff LOL

  • F. Haataja says:

    Bacon party > sausage party. Just saying.

  • Alice Brody says:

    I just started blogging 2 weeks ago and I fucking love it to pieces. I get like 3 comments per blog (if I’m lucky). I’m OK with that. I feel like I’m coming out of the Mommy fog and doing something for myself (which is a joke since most of my posts are about being Mom) is down right crucial right now.
    Since I’m a blog newborn I don’t have much in the way of advice for anyone….about anything. BUT I will say that having a friend to look over my posts before I publish them is important. I’m not super wonderful with the spelling and grammar so I turn to my lovely red pen happy friend quite a bit.

  • Alexandra says:

    I love this stuff!! Never feel like you’re talking down to us, b/c I lap this info and all in it up!!

    Thank you!

  • Maniacal Mom
    Twitter: Maniacalmom
    says:

    Great Post Aunt Becky! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • mumma boo says:

    “Crotch rocket” – hehehehehehe. Spot on again with the wisdom, love. Friendships are born through this community – write for yourself, comment like hell and the friends will follow. I can attest to that! Cheek-smooching, please, now, Aunt Becky. MMMMMWWAAAHHH!

  • Trista says:

    I know you said you don’t DO this sort of stuff, but you SHOULD, and I’m glad you did. Your posts about blogging are the most common-sense, “snap out of it the world won’t automatically love and reward you!” posts I’ve read about the imperfect art of blogging (also known as “Navel-gazing, perfected”). I completely agree that you should do it because you love it, and do it authentically, because if you’re looking for validation/freebies/slavishly devoted followers who hang on every word, you are likely to be disappointed. That being said, I like to think I’ve made a couple of new friends via blogs, which has been an entirely unexpected bonus.

    I’m not sure what it says about me as a “blogger” that I had no idea what SEO is – thanks for clearing that up! Given the search terms people have used to land on my blog, I could probably use some of that SEO myself…

  • Jennie says:

    Excellent advice. I love your blog! I blog because I enjoy it. I never knew how much I liked writing until I started my blog. It now serves as a journal for me to catalog what it’s like to be a mom. What a concept! totally original, right?! ;-). I never could get into writing in a private journal. I’d write an entry then forget it for a year. Somehow knowing others might find and read my blog (hopefully like it and come back) makes me want to write a whole lot more. I’d be a big fat liar though if I didn’t admit that I secretly hope for more recognition sometimes!

  • So when your post on Brewed For Tots got all kinds of comments and Sean and I got none, you’re saying it’s not because my readers aren’t the commenting type, or that the articles were so perfect nothing was left to be said, but in fact because we’re both losers and have no friends while you’re Mrs Popularity?

    That just hurts….

  • Wombat Central
    Twitter: wombatcentral
    says:

    I began blogging mostly for my own amusement. The best thing to come of the blogging experience has been visiting other blogs, leaving comments, and having them visit my blog in return. I feel like I’m getting to know some really great ladies.Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned. You are, as always, chock full of The Awesome.

  • Sarah P says:

    OMG! We’re friends now 4-evah! Can I braid your hair? Smell your sports bra?

  • Honestly, I love you and think you are so amazing….you are always consistent.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  • Zakary says:

    *Mmmm, bowl of dicks…*

    Wait, what were you saying? Something about blogging?

    Seriously, thanks for throwing this out there, love ya.

  • Lindie says:

    I started reading blogs a few years ago and wish I had something to say in one of my own! But my life just feels dull and I would bore myself! I am a working grandmother and love all my grandchildren but can’t write about them. Can’t write about my job and don’t seem to do enough to write about anything else. :(

  • In the last year of blogging I’ve learned a lot.

    One of the biggest being to continue posting even when there were no comments and hardly any readers just because I loved it. And once I ‘found my voice’ wouldn’t you know I even made a few friends.

    The main lesson I have to remind myself is that this whole blogging thing is just for me. There’s no reason to stress about readership, views, SEO, ads and crap because I will never be the holy grail of blogging. And turns out that’s ok.

    But I gotta say, I sure do love my little blog child.

  • Jack says:

    So blog authentically and do it for yourself

    This is my blogging mantra and the only reason I do it. Six years of blogging- WTF is wrong with me. Hell, I just like to write.

  • Ash says:

    “I’d also committed the cardinal sin of blogging and switched URL’s”

    Whew, at least I’m in good company – formerly Em at Life, Liberty and the Pursuit

    But as I waste my time trying to link back up, replace e-mail addresses, track down people, I’m feeling more and more like an idiot.

    You give me hope.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I KNEW YOU LOOKED FAMILIAR. HA! I remember you! I love you! Your blog is awesome (adding your new blog to my reader).

      Yeah, don’t switch URL’s unless you plan to lose your readers. People? LAZY.

  • Thanks for posting this. When you said there were some bad blogs out there, I didn’t know quite what you meant. Until I came across some that are run, as you said, by robots. And I recently unfollowed someone that clogged my dashboard full of give aways. Whatever.

    I blog because I love to write, I love to feel like I completed something, and l love interacting with others and making new friends.

    Question: do you think changing from blogger to wordpress would result in reader loss if i kept the same name?

  • bashtree says:

    I love you too Aunt Becky! I never really thought about the ‘authenticity’ aspect of things. I mean, writing is showing yourself in a way, but I don’t think I do enough of the ‘real life, real me’ stuff over at Chez Duckling. This might be the nicest kick in the pants I’ve ever had :)

  • Angel says:

    I think you’re totally cool Aunt Becky. Thanks for the advice. But you know what? I’m probably the only person who has a blog who just doesn’t get twitter? I have a twitter account, if that’s even what it’s called, but what is the big deal with it? I mean except to say that I had soup for lunch.

  • michelle says:

    i DID have soup for lunch! ironic!

    love you aunt becky. and i love z-dub for introducing me to you (or vice versa – you to me – not sure how that works. she linked me to YOUR blog. so, introduced ME to you or introduced you (your blog) to me? i dunno. now my brain hurts).

    and i can’t agree with you more.

    ps i LOVE curse words – like music to my sailor ears. (cuss like a sailor – wasn’t srue if you got that or not)

  • MODG says:

    I’ve been away awhile. Hate.

    First, love the new design. it’s probably not new and that shows what an asshole I am.
    Bloggers love reading about bloggers talking about blogging. It’s super narcissistic of us.
    You say good words friend of friends.
    PS I’m changing my url next week.

    HORRORS.

  • You’re the best. I big puffy heart you.

  • MommyLisa says:

    Amen!

  • Jaci says:

    I needed to read this today, especially the part about how not everyone is going to like you.

    I had a couple of comments about how I need to be more grateful and stop complaining–I’m NINE MONTHS PREGNANT!!! God, if the grossly pregnant gal can’t bitch, who can?

    I know the negative comments are the ones that will toughen me up and get me to grow as a writer, but still…they eat at me.

  • Mandi Bone says:

    I started a blog because Angie from a whole lot of nothing made me.I didn’t think I would like it. I say that I am a better talker than writer. I now find myself having something to write and getting excited to write it. I am going to Blogher “10. I am hoping to learn a lot more.

  • Really great advice. Thanks for that.

  • Pingback: Six Ways To Be A Better Blogger: Mommy Wants Vodka

  • StrongerMe says:

    I would probably attempt the overachiever SEO thing, if I understood what the hell it was. I tried to read through a WordPress SEO Optimization something or other, and then woke up in a puddle of drool.
    I’m not even sure how to find out if I even have followers. Geez. I’ll just continue to write random things that are all over the place…much like my personality. One day everything is sunshine and rainbows and the next day…all hell, who am I kidding? I like to vent EVERY day.
    Thanks for all of the info. I am sucking it up like a sponge. I’m also freaking out a little about all of the mistakes that I am probably making, but I will save all of that for my next therapy session.

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