I find it incredibly odd that anyone asks me for blogging tips. Certainly I’ve been blogging a long time, that much is not debatable, but my first blog was a sarcastic anti-blog used primarily to elicit as much horror out of the readers (who were our friends) as we possibly could. If you think I’m profane now, you should’ve seen me back then.

this is me in front of a fucking tree

(this is me, in front of a fucking tree, assholes)

 

tree-cat-paint

(this is me with CATS with frickin’ LASER BEAMS under a tree, assholes)

Anyway, here’s my yearly list of ways to be a better blogger. (see also: Blogging for Dummies)(Blogging For Dummies Deux) and (Blogging For Dummies Part Number C)

Feel free to ignore them all.

1) Forget about the numbers. I know how tempting it is to obsess over your stats, painstakingly calculating your unique visitors every day, closely following your subscriber count and The Twitter followers. I’m not a numbers person (just like I’m not a geography person) so to me, ignoring them is Easy-Peasy, but I know others are. Every other Tweet in my stream seems to be begging for more followers.

But here’s the down-low on blog statistics: they’re only a guess. And? They change dramatically depending upon which blog statistics tracking program you use.

I happen to use some geeky program The Daver installed which allows me to occasionally track the odd search terms that bring people here (sweater kittens and boring things always at the top of the list). For awhile, I hosted my blog with some crappy company that ALSO gave me blog statistics. And? The two were COMPLETELY different numbers. It’s likely that if I started looking at blog stats with ALL the programs I could find, I could average them out and MAYBE THEN get a better picture.

But that sounds like a shit-ton of work. Work = bullshit.

2) Don’t get all hot and bothered if you get lumped into a group of people. If you have a vagina and a blog, you’re probably going to be called a “Mommy Blogger” whether or NOT you have crotch parasites gnawing on your legs.

When I first started Mommy Wants Vodka, I was infuriated that I’d been called a “Mommy Blogger!” How DARE they! I thought furiously to myself as I blogged, occasionally telling stories about my kids, occasionally not. Fuck that, I thought as I clacked out a post about my vagina, how DARE they insinuate I am nothing without my children! I am more than my children! I am a PERSON!

It took awhile, but I realized that people will always slap a label on you – sometimes good, sometimes bad – and my anger was unfounded and, quite frankly, kinda dumb. I can let my blog, not the label, speak for itself.

Which brought me to Number Three:

3) Don’t take everything so fucking seriously. Take your blogging seriously and write the shit out of whatever it is you’re going to write about, but stop making every little thing into an outrageously Big Fucking Deal.

Why?

It adds stress and will eventually alienate readers. It’s one thing to be mad some of the time; but outrage! at! everything! gets old.

Life’s not always such serious business. Relax and enjoy it.

4) Blogging is important. It’s really easy to minimize what you do with your blog. Hell, I’ve done it time and again. But at the end of the day, your words all matter. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday, people will stumble across your words and find whatever it is they are looking for in them.

In the past two years, I’ve met at least four families who have received the diagnosis of “encephalocele” (generally, prenatally) and have stumbled here to read about my daughter. Those words I hastily pecked out while writing Amelia’s Grace have provided a light in the darkness for them.

I can’t place a value on that.

So even if you’re writing a blog about knitting or cooking; know that what you do matters. All of it.

5) Blog because you enjoy it, not because you think it’s going to make you rich and famous. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing for an audience of 5 or 5,000, enjoy the time you spend blogging. I spend many, many, many hours every day writing, blogging, and working on my sites, and I couldn’t be happier.

Do I make a lot of money? Absolutely not. Thanks to my profane (whore) mouth, I scare off potential advertisers. But you know what? I’d rather write as Your Aunt Motherfucking Becky than as Aunt Becky Trying To Be A Famous Money-Making Blogger. I do a little freelancing, sell shirts and and ads on this blog in order to pay for servers and other boring things on my other blogs, one of which, Band Back Together, I intend to turn Non-Profit. Mostly, I run them at a loss. Which is fine with me.

Bloggers who do make it “big” are an unusual flash in the pan, not something that happens to everyone who gets a kicky URL and a great idea.

6) Be careful who you get into bed with. Your name, your blog, your unique voice and your audience all mean a lot. Be wary of those who want to take advantage of it.

You don’t have to be all distrustful or anything, just make sure to read the fine print.

————–

What are your suggestions for being a better blogger, Pranksters?

Comments

comments

67 thoughts on “Six Ways To A Better Blog

  1. You forgot a very important blog lesson:

    6) Your blog needs more Kitties with Laser Beams

    I’m not talking about YOUR blog, of course. I’m talking about everyone else.

  2. Actually, this was an excellent post. I linked over here from Twitter by the way.

    You raise some good points. My blog was primarily point #3. Then I was prescribed some Fukitol and I am all better now.

    1. It’s easy as hell to get Very Serious Indeed about blogging. Whenever I start, I have to remind myself that I don’t need to be a douche. Which is, you know, my preset way of behaving.

  3. Ok this is all very good advice but what makes this post rock is the angst ridden photo of you by the fucking tree!

  4. I really love your blog. The kitties and laser beams made me laugh my ass off — and the fact you’re a fellow midwesterner…and you’re right on all counts.

    Do it cause you love it or it connects you…all the rest can be crazymaking.

    What I love about your blog is the range — it’s funny — but layered.

    Love it.

    Thank you for it,

    Pam

  5. Love this post. My biggest frustration as a new blogger is that I DO still get hot and bothered by being lumped together. I write one recipe, and magically, I am a food blogger who must eternally write recipes. Which is great! I love that! But it spooked me out of writing non-recipe posts for a while. I am going to use this post as inspiration for my next one…

    Thanks, Aunt Becky.

    1. It’s tricky when you get pigeonholed. I figure I should write what I want, when I want, and that’s how I do it. My first blog DID get pigeonholed, so surprise, surprise, when I tried to write about something OTHER than a hilarious story, I got no response.

      Gotta keep people on their toes!

  6. Great tips, especially about ignoring the #s. Getting people to your site for one click is worthless – It’s about writing something that would make people want to continually come back.

    I’d add be true to your writing voice and interests. I pitched a blog a while back that I’d had all kinds of ideas about, but what was “sold” to the host ended up being entirely different from what I wanted to actually write. In the end, they got shit writing and minimal attention, and it was a total chore for me. Write what you care about and enjoy the ride.

    I’m pretty pissed to discover I won’t be retiring on my own island from this gig, though.

      1. Oh Noooooooooos!
        I wrote a blog today and used alot. Spell check tried to correct me but I ignored it because a lot WASN’T an option and I was too lazy to fix it. Well-hey–at least the Island will be like a vacation!
        Thanks Aunt Becky!

  7. I think I actually prefer my blog on the small side. I know my readers and commenters as friends, not as numbers. It’s more fun that way. If it’s not fun, what’s the fucking point?

  8. What if you get lumped into the female, surfing, crab-eating, ultra eco-friendly, race car driving, cat-loving, super sensitive, radioactive, coal mining, hopeless romantic, sports hating, hot as lava blogger category?

    I mean, I don’t have a vagina. I hate the water. I hate eating animals that live in the water even more. I do my share to NOT mess up the world (nothing more/nothing less). I have an SUV. Never been friends with a cat… ever (though the laser are making me second guess that). I’m not sensitive at all. I do give off an aura but it’s not radioactive. Never seen a coal mine. Kinda romantic. (My wife will adamantly disagree!) Love my sports. Now, I am hot like lava! 🙂

    Can I be upset about my label at this point or should I still roll with the punches? Either way is fine with me. I was just wondering.

    1. i don’t have a blog. but i agree 100% with this comment.

      you let your readers know you actually give a fuck when you reply to their comments 😉

  9. You and I both know that I have a screaming girl crush on you, er, your blog and have looked to you (yes, you Aunt Becky) for an example of a really great blog. You know how I know it’s really great? Yours is one of the only ones I come back to day after day after week…and now it’s been years. So, hells to the yeah. And thanks. Good stuff, yo.

  10. I’m still pretty new to blogging and I seriously am going to print out your six suggestions and post them on my bulletin board. So very true and such a good way to keep blogging as “that fun thing I do sometimes” instead of making it “that stressful thing I hate.”

    Thanks 🙂

  11. When I started my current blog, it was mostly because my husband was deploying (or so we thought) and writing helped me cope. I wrote a lot about what I was going through, so my readers were pretty much all military wives. Then when I wrote about anything other than the military (which were usually my best posts) . . . crickets. If I wasn’t whining about my husband, nobody responded. It bummed me out. I still write about what I want though. If no one reads, fuck it.

    Thanks for reminding me that’s ok. I need to let the stats go.

  12. Thank you for being another reminder that I don’t have to live in a crystal pink bubble wearing an apron & heels and being “proper”. I tend to have a mouth like a sailor– toned down now that my child is my little parrot. But if I scare of a blog reader just because I happened to drop an F bomb…well, fuck ’em.

    Actually, the crystal pink bubble thing could be pretty cool. Just not the heels. Kill me.

  13. Good post. Blogging, I believe, is about passion. Passion for writing and sharing and connecting and getting it all out on paper so that you can get the hamster to SHUT THE FUCK UP so that you can get some sleep once in a while. Yeah. I know. Run on sentence. Had to get it all out before I lost my train of thought. I think I have ADD.

  14. If only I could take myself a little more seriously… perhaps my blog wouldn’t be all random bullshit. Surely there must be a happy medium. 🙂

  15. Love your blog, love this post. Especially the part about the numbers.

    I nearly shat myself when I had 15 followers. Now that number has nearly tripled (and yes I’m saying that with sarcastic font), so I can barely look at it anymore without needing some baby wipes and Febreze.

  16. wow…i almost missed out on all this sage advice but thank GOD at the last minute i decided to check out your page. So, i need to chill…and relax…and not do math. But don’t do geography either, right? ALSO, i need to get the Daver to help me. I don’t know him so forget that.

    I was worrying about the numbers but then that became boring. Now i’m a little worried that my cat doesn’t have any laser beams. Neither does my dog now that i think about it.

    My animals suck.

  17. This post really hit home for me as I am working hard right now to grow my blog and get noticed! I am still trying to find my footing and my niche. Thanks for telling us to relax!

  18. I love seeing what brings people to my blog. High on the list the other day? Big Breasted Asian Porn. WTF? Look, nothing against it or anything, but I can tell you, that’s never been a featured topic of blogging for me. I’m not terribly big breasted, Asian, or doing porn. Go figure.

    Very good advice, though. Of course I found you because of Amelia, and the dreaded Encephalocele. And I’m grateful I did. Things that make me laugh are awesome right now.

  19. Damn good advise. Too bad I can follow it. Every time I get mouthy on MY blog I manage to piss off some friend or family member and end up wasting too much time in real life trying to placate them and talk them out of the depths of despair. Who knew anyone cared what the hell I rambled on about? Also, I am now utterly screwed because my extremely proper Grandparents discovered my blog and plan to read it. Shit. So glad I’m anonymous–not!

    And my savage kitty may not have laser beams, but she can shred a scalp (mine actually) in less than three seconds with her claws of steel. I think I may train her to be an attack cat.

  20. Great post, Aunt Becky. And I agree that making friends with other bloggers is a super fun part of blogging. I also lost interest in my numbers . . . every once in a while I peek at them, and I’m like, “Still going up? Yep.”

    I have to admit, I think people who comment are awesome. Particularly when a random person you know in real life comments and I’m like, “Teacher from high school? You read my blog? You didn’t even know my name when I was in your class!”

  21. Post more than once a month. Otherwise, you will end up with only 4 loyal readers because everyone else will drift away from sheer, utter, mind-blowing boredom. Not that this has happened to me PERSONALLY*, y’understand.

    *much

  22. Can’t help but to chime in . . . It’s a matter of COMMITMENT aka staying committed to your blog . . . your readers. Of course, this coming from Madame Queen of has nothing else to do except blog all day long (I soooo wish). Okay. I’ll shut up now.

  23. Good advice, all of this – though ignoring statistics is downright near-impossible for some of us. I’m all happy, though, as “midget masturbation” is one of the terms that got people into my new blog.

  24. I have zero advice. I just started and have no clue what I’m doing. I do think that if I put more animals with lasers I would probably be more successful. Your infinite wisdom strikes again.

    I just love getting out all the drama or amusement in my head. Not trying for anything in particular, except maybe a major motion picture staring Jennifer Garner as me. Not anything big though, it’s just a blog.

    1. I found you through The Mommy Therapy – who is a big, fat liar, because she is the funniest, most awesome thing! …and she led me to you. I’m still laughing at your blog and hilarious picture captions! 😀
      Crap…I didn’t use a single cuss word…Fuck it.

  25. I would love to hear how you come up with your topics. I’ve been reading for nearly three years and I often wonder how you come up with some of the off the wall shit you write about.

  26. OMG! I can not believe you are from the Midwest and use ‘f**cking alot, you know, I mean, more than once a week, for goodness’sake, that’s alot, I mean really alot… awesome… I, of course, only use phuquing, which is far more ladylike for us seniors (although, I know many whose names appear on backstreet walls who would disagree with me… AND, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)… well, I sit here alot, with mouth agape…. come visit when you can.

  27. Hey Aunt Becky

    Thanks for the honesty and the laughs, and the good advice. My blog number have been plummeting and I was freaked out, but after reading your post, I’m just not gonna worry about it. It’s Spring and I’m outside gardening, not at my PC as much and I figure other people are too. Either that,or I just totally suck at the moment.

    KarenN

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