I recently read an article about blogging that made me want to kick someone in the shins.
I’d love to link it to you, but then I’d be violating one of his “seven sins” of blogging. :: gasp:: G_d forbid! Here’s the gist: basically he wrote a blog post using the seven deadly sins and correlating them to things people shouldn’t do in their own blogs. At first, it’s easy to look at it and say, “Oh, that’s cute.” But does it really help a new blogger blog or even one that’s already doing alright, but doesn’t want to feel like he’s just wasted 20 minutes of his or her precious life on hot trash? I can’t say the blogger escaped either clause.
With all the gimmicky blogs out there, it’s hard to distinguish the ones that weren’t complete wastes of time and ones that actually may matter not just now but also in the near and distant future. Fortunately, I have a few tips for people who’ve been asking me how I do it, much of it inspired by Louis Gray.
- Write what you like: It doesn’t matter what your field is, who you know, what you do, or what your interests are, blog what you want to blog about. Write about education. Write about sex. Write about politics and entertainment (though those are certainly a little more saturated). Whatever you write, write on. Write about you, even if you’re not that interesting, make us interested, which leads me to …
- No Hoodwinking: You can use your blog to entertain, fabricate, exacerbate, and pontificate, but for the love of G_d, don’t use any gimmicks to try and make your blog look interesting or make it look like you’re trying to set some obscure standard.
- Blogging Without Writing: Writing’s great, and I love it to no end. I love taking my time with what I’m saying, and expressing myself as I please, taking my time with what I write. Others won’t. There’s a difference. However, just because you don’t write well doesn’t mean you can’t be a good blogger. (There’s a good discussion on it here.)
- Read First, Write Second: If you’re going to actually write about a specific topic, do what the great writers do: read first. Read around, talk to people, see what you like, and what you can get away with. Once you think you understand the style you’re going to go with, run with it.
- Give Props Where It’s Due: If you find a style you like, and you’re going to ask the originator about said style, then give them props. Never ever forget to give props. You can consider yourself self-made all you want, but if you’re starting to blog at this point, that’s a farce. Found a story you like? Give props. Found a blog you like a lot? Give props. Got a helpful tip from a reader? Give props. Get the theme?
- Comment Like You Post: If you want to “get the word out,” then feel free to comment on like-minded (and not so like minded) blogs. When you comment, comment like it’s a sample of your postings. Granted, some posts only warrant a few lines, but if it’s a good post, reply in kind. People will read back.
OK, I’m done giving away gems. I’m still learning some of this blog mess myself. And whatever you do, don’t be the one to write that article … ugh.
jose, who had a fun time at the Tweetup last night …