Step number 1: make sure your laptop isn’t DEAD.
It’s really creeping me out that it’s 1am at the time of writing this and I have randomly started to smell an unfamiliar womens perfume that wasn’t here before… anyway. I dislike talking about my own personal goings on (going ons?) on here. Not everything I write is autobiographical, but sometimes you can’t help but spill over into your words, you know? I have trouble expressing myself because there are literally not enough words in any language, not enough metaphors to help me do so. So immense frustration ensues and I write even more to dispel this frustration. Also, remember that one can write poetry in a way that makes the reader think it is autobiographical; it’s not difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Anyway, I am NO blog expert. But take it from a person who frequently dissociates and rarely cares about anything: I can tell you what you’re doing wrong, and I can tell you what will make it better. Here are a few blogging tips:
1) Don’t use it as a diary.
I want to know the interesting places you visited and what amazing restaurant you went to. But don’t treat it as place where you talk about what’s happening in your life in excessive detail. Reality TV in blog form, a show about a nobody. Honestly, you’re probably not that interesting. If there is a specific personal battle that you want to talk about that others will relate to, or if there is an amazing announcement that you want to make, that is perfectly okay to do! Talk about your struggles, open up to an extent – but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Never express your family/friendship/relationship problems on your blog, never mention any names; there’s a place for that and it’s not the internet. If you gotta bitch, write a story and switch up the names. NEVER talk shit about people you know and expose them. I’m sure your parents wouldn’t appreciate you talking shit about them to the public, and it makes you look like a twat anyway. Maybe I’m fortunate in that I have somewhere I can go with all my troubles and worries, but those troubles will always stay off the internet.
2) Post regularly.
Regularly could be anything from daily to every week. But don’t take random month long breaks because your readership will decline rapidly, and they won’t visit you again!
3) Unless it is literally your job, don’t treat it as a job.
Don’t post just for the sake of posting. If you have nothing that comes to mind, wait until you do. If you randomly have 20 blog post ideas one day, write them up and schedule them! I know that writers block feeling all too well. Post because you WANT to, not because you feel you have to. I have probably been posting a lot more in the run up to my fast approaching exams and deadlines, when theoretically I should have disappeared. The reason I blog isn’t to give people something to read – some days I get a lot of views, others I get less. That doesn’t bother me. I post whenever I want to talk about something, whenever I want to express something. Blogging is one type of de-stresser, one where I can talk about my main de-stresser..
I am guilty of neglecting this one, although to be fair a lot of my posts don’t call for photos. Nobody likes to read essay type blog posts that have no visual aids (like this post right here). I rarely ever post photos but I want to because I know it’ll make my posts nicer – I know this because even when I scroll through my blog to see how it looks, I just can’t be bothered to read some of the stuff. I can’t even be bothered to reread this now. But having said that…
5) Check your grammar.
I don’t alway do this myself, and I should. Proofread your stuff, especially if it’s a post where you want to be taken seriously. The way you construct an argument, the way you talk about things and the way you present your sentences will have people form an opinion on you and whether or not you really know what you’re talking about. Also, it’s a chore to read a post written by someone who doesn’t know the difference between ‘you’re’ and ‘your’.
6) You don’t NEED to stick to a strict blog theme.
If you have a sports, beauty or fashion blog you should obviously be consistent, HOWEVER. It’s nice to have something different every now and then. I don’t have a theme, but I don’t like having poetry and more poetry on my blog (lies. I do. But I can’t help it), because then it becomes a poetry blog. I like to put in a rant every now and then. When I’m reading a beauty blog I’d like to see a random rant about political climate that gives me an insight into the writer (I have yet to see this), because it catches my attention. You don’t need to do this, of course. But you also don’t need to stick to your theme if there’s something you’re dying to talk about.
7) Tidy it up.
Pick a clean layout that is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. Minimalist themes are, in my opinion, the best, and I’m much more likely to visit a blog that is easy to read. If it’s cluttered with links and youtube videos all over the place (DAMN YOUTUBE VIDEOS), I’ll be put off. I’m also not too fond of the grid layout, but everybody has their own opinions – I find scrolling through the blog much easier. Stay away from excessively fancy fonts – please, no cursive.
8) Say it louder for those in the back: SIMPLICITY
Imagine someone wants to read your blog but they forgot that it’s called elizabethtrotsaroundtheworld100.blogspot.co.uk. This isn’t your 14 year old hotmail account – keep it simple and easy to remember. This applies to your ‘about’ page too. Keep that short and simple, a little about yourself maybe with some contact details.
9) Speak your mind.
Unless it’s something racist, hateful, obnoxious or generally just purposely offensive in any way, speak your mind. I have been warned many a time to be careful about what I post. I have been warned about posting things that other people may think are about them – what the hell, right? I’m sorry, did I mention your name? If the shoe fits, by all means wear it. I have been warned about posting things that expose the reality of racism and Islamophobia, simply because some people don’t like the truth and I may come off a certain way. I don’t believe in quietening down simply to observe the status quo, but I do believe in keeping your mouth shut if you’re a brainless idiot. I will never stop opposing feminism, pro-life people and cultural appropriation, and if you dislike that then ya know where that little x is. If you’re a neo-nazi who uses racist terms, waves the confederate flag around and supports Donald Trump, it’s best to just set yourself on fire before even typing a word. Remember – your boss, institution or potential employers can find you. I can justify my anti-feminism to anyone who opposes my views. You can’t justify your racism. If you want to be controversial, do so eloquently. Don’t just start slamming on your keyboard.
I don’t have a 10th point…*awkwardly walks off stage*