I’ve traveled a lot of miles since beginning my journey on the blogging superhighway a little over two years ago. On each stop of my adventure, I’ve met many interesting characters and learned a lot about myself.
Because knowledge gained from my experience is practically seeping out of my body holes, I decided that it is now time to do as other bloggers have done and write an unnecessary, common-sense article on how to be a blogger.
I must preface this by declaring that reading this article will not teach you how to drive more traffic to your website. There are thousands of other (pointless) articles floating around the deep internet ocean on this topic, and they all waste your time by saying the same damn thing: write good content, comment on/share other blogs, spam your friends on various social media platforms, promote yourself, promote yourself, and promote yourself.
Instead, the purpose of this article is to provide an honest look inside the eclectic world of blogging so that you may make an informed decision as to whether or not writing for the internet audience is right for you.
Brace Yourself – Complete Strangers Will Judge You
One of the best things about blogging is that your material has the potential of being shared and read by thousands of people all over the world. One of the worst things about blogging is that your material has the potential of being shared and read by thousands of people all over the world. Within this pool of thousands, many will find it necessary to assign you a personality trait (often incorrectly) based on the content in which you write.
For example, I once had a piece published on a humor website that targeted new parents. I don’t want to say the name of the site, but it rhymes with Hairy Commie. Based on the feedback left in the comments section, quite a few of these wizards of analytical psychology surmised that I am a terribly angry person that calls straight people “breeders” and lives a pathetically unhappy life.
Besides being dumbfounded by the number of parents who research humor websites for parenting advice (that’s like asking Sarah Palin for political advice), I was intrigued by how many made strong declarations about my personality based on one article. Don’t misunderstand me; I wasn’t upset (being called a faggot most of your life gives you a pretty thick skin). I was just curious as to what motivated these commenters to label a writer.
Don’t Write If You Have Nothing Interesting to Say
It’s your website, so I’m not here to say what you should or shouldn’t write about. Instead, I’m just going to tell you what you shouldn’t write about: pointless, rambling, unclever garbage.
One of the great things about blogging is that anybody can write and share their stories. One of the worst things about blogging is that anybody can write and share their stories. Personally speaking, I will jump off a website faster than (insert your own witty comparison here; I most often suck at them) if I have to wade through your sludge to find a rare gem.
If you want to stand out as a talented writer, write something that nobody else has written in a way nobody else would have done (I, however, have yet to accomplish this), but before you do, keep in mind that:
- People don’t come to the internet to read Atwood or Chaucer. Don’t get all uppity with your prose. Remember, you’re just another shitty writer-wannabe, which is why you still write for the internet.
- “I will cut a bitch if you trick me with a click-bait article title,” is what many of your readers are thinking. Don’t tell them that you just wrote the most hilarious and/or incredible thing ever that will change their life. Doing so sets off so many bullshit alarms it will likely be ignored and ridiculed.
- You are not the end-all/be-all for advice on your chosen topic of self-publication. Please don’t promote yourself as such. Doing so makes me embarrassed for you.
- Your website is your playground. Write/post whatever you want. Watch…
See? Nothing happened. Cunt gravy.
Don’t Be a Comment Asshole
Personally, I don’t understand comment sections as I do not write for validation, opinions, or critique.
However, comment sections exist, so they must be addressed. So before you leave your little mark on someone else’s post (as this is good exposure for your own website), remember:
- Unless otherwise solicited, the writer does not care for your opposing opinion. If you do not agree with an article, try something that millions of others do every day: shutting the fuck up. Your opinion is not going to change the world. Your opinion will not give the writer a change of heart. Your opinion is only an irritant, and what is worse is that you know this.
- Unless the writer is a mental sadist, they do not enjoy reading comments such as, “That was dumb,” “You’re not funny,” or “Meh.” If you feel the urge to comment like so, ask yourself, “What will I accomplish by being negative on a complete stranger’s website?” There are so many answers to this question. One of them being, “You will accomplish looking like a smug twat that gets off on the power trip provided by belittling a complete stranger. Nothing more.”
Numbers Don’t Matter
Just because so-and-so has thousands of followers, this doesn’t mean that they have that many readers. Little trivia: did you know you can buy “followers”? This gives blogging a bad name and makes the baby Jesus sad.
If you’re going to write. Write for yourself. If it’s good, and followers interest you, they will eventually come. Hell, you should write for yourself so much that you don’t even give a crap about any of the information or guidance I just shared.
Besides, what the Hell do I know about blogging? I only write for the fucking internet for God’s sake.