September 11, 2012

How To Blog Good

If you are reading this, you are grasping at straws, that's right, desperate.  But when people hit rock bottom in the blog world, they'll try anything.  That's where this post comes in.  Naturally, I do not know how to blog well, so I'm just going to make some things up and tell you what I do.  You can either take my advice, or do the complete opposite.  I'm sure one of the two ways will work out for you.

Yep, it's scary to hit publish.
Anyone can have a blog these days, no it's true, they let anybody do it.  No tests to pass or anything. I'm not going to lie, kids, if you start writing and are looking for some instant gratification, a bajillion comments and followers...well you're going to be disappointed.  As narcissitic as most of us bloggers are, we have to do some leg work so people know we're out there.  If you're not willing to connect with people and put in as much give as you take, sorry to say, you won't last long.  I think the average life span of a blog is a year anyway. 

Your Voice

If one wants to write, they must have something to write about.  What is it that you have to offer the world?  Is there something you feel passionately about?  The most important thing about writing is the connection.  Can that person identify with you on some level, even a humorous level?  Is it something someone might want to read?  That's important.  While milling over what to write about remember your audience.  Do they really want to hear a timelined event of your day?  First I went to the grocery store, then I ate dinner, this is what I made...trailing off into coma.  Maybe the stalkers want to hear that, so if you are catering to them, go for it.  But for the most part transferring from your planner to the computer screen equals boring.  I'm not saying always a complete fail, it's all in the presentation.  I write about dumb stuff all the time;  it's all how you present it and finding a way to connect with your audience.

Write Your Outline

................At this point, you are either saying, "check" or "I need to write an outline? Who the heck does that?"  This girl.  Guess which one I am?  Not the outline kind.   If I were any kind of professional, or smart, it might do me some good to write an outline.  But that's not how I work.  I'm more of a organic kind of girl.  For example, I experience an unsolicited Dr. Phil moment,  I will hop on the computer and just start writing, it's magical really. Make sure you always jot down your ideas as you go also, it really stinks at 1a.m. when you are racking your brain trying to remember your brilliant blog idea and then you end up blogging about riding mechanical bulls.  Which brings up another point, your blog will haunt you for the rest of your life, be careful.  I'm obviously not, but I should be.

Blog About What You Love

At the end of the day it is a good thing that most blogs start off with small readership; you know, friends, family or anyone we can pimp it out to.  But many blogs find they change throughout the course of their blog life and so looking back we I can be grateful only 2 people read my crap at the beginning.  This blog started as a way to document and share progress about my son's Autsim, and look where we are now.  Yes, that could very well be considered downhill.  Naturally you have to give your audience what they will respond to.  But find a way to say what you want to say AND connect.  Not sure I know the trick there, just be yourself.  People even respond to jerks, true fact, they get good ratings.  Don't take yourself to seriously either, mkay?

EXTRA TIP: Think Twice Before You Sell Out

Every Mommy and Daddy on the planet has a blog these days.  We are a coveted commodity, we are the people, people.  So as you grow you will get offers to promote, giveaway, sponsor, products and links, either for money or fame...or nothing.  I get tons of ridiculous offers a day.  Some companies want you to do that for nothing, hmmm.  When you take coupons for writing a 500 word post, companies will expect bloggers to write for coupons.  I for one, do not write for coupons.  Not because I'm better than you, but my time is precious to me. I am not going to ignore my kids while I compose a masterpiece for diaper coupons. Before you head down the slippery slope of free stuff, it may do you well to think about what that product says about you.  Also, I can't take you seriously if you there is a banner flashing hookers from overseas in your sidebar.  I'll also probably tell you there were hookers in your sidebar when I comment; you probably don't know, can't think anyone would want to advertise that.  But to each his own.

I wrote this post in response to a friend who is considering starting her own blog.  I actually can't be trusted to give any serious advice, so you'll have to help me out.

What is your best blogging advice?



25 comments:

  1. Well, I'm no expert, but I think your advice is excellent =) I also usually suggest to people not to give in to the ads and solicitation.

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    Replies
    1. Well thank you. I agree, it can be tempting, but I'm not sure if it's really worth it. Only 50 bloggers out of 4 million get a free trip to Disney, but then the mouse owns you.

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  2. Everyone should also write a post about how to blog... Instant followers!

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    Replies
    1. I have no idea what you could be talking about.

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  3. Your points are good. Be yourself is the best, I think. You're right that anyone can blog...and it shows. Like with anything, there are well-crafted blogs, and lame ones that are hard to even skim. Blogging is a great tool if you really love to write, that's the key.

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    Replies
    1. Well said. Sometimes it does get to be a chore, and that comes through in the writing. Mine included.

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  4. Well U, for one, am glad you mentioned the voice thing and writing about stuff no one wants to read. My advice would be to look at your blog and ask yourself if there are 4 billion other blogs with the same exact content. If there is, you need to dig a little deeper for YOUR voice, otherwise no one is going to read your blog and you'll get bored and stop blogging. And we'll have one less boring shit blog on the net.

    Diaper coupons also...but we already know how I feel about that. I think you covered it all. Good luck to your friend.

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    Replies
    1. That all really makes me wonder if "boring" is subjective? Between you and I, no. I suppose there might be some gratification to writing coupon posts, to to each his own I guess. That just makes it all the harder for Joe Schmo Great Blog to even make a dent in the blog world. I think there are blogger cults, I'm not sure, I haven't been invited, but I'd bet on it. Pretty sure that's why there aren't unicorns anymore, just sayin'.

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  5. That should say Well I, for one. Some moron in my keyboard typed U.

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    1. Should've had your kid proofread for you, that's what I do.

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  6. You are right on with your advice.
    Finding your own voice is essential.
    Stay true to that voice.
    Happy blogging!

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  7. You do make some very good points, especially ramaining true to who you are. I can't abide blogs that ramble on about a boring daily routine.

    I think if you write about stuff that you care about you can't go far wrong. I enjoyed this.xxx

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    Replies
    1. That's true, when we write, our posts can be emotion laden, whether good or bad, I think on some level, that's where the connection factor is.

      One of these days, I'm blogging about how to make PB&J.

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  8. Embrace your style and just go with it, like you so beautifully and delightfully do. I always laugh when I read your stuff! Now THAT's valuable!

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    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks Kim! I really should be getting paid for this shouldn't I? Haha!

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  9. I was going to mention, not to mention siblings by name or post photos of them....but then I changed my mind and erased it........ooops! Did I just post this?

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  10. That little gem goes to the top of the list, but I didn't mention it, because I was afraid, very afraid;)

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