How to blog

wordpressSo, you signed up to WordPress, answered all their intrusive personal questions, got yourself a blog and an “About me” page that says:

“This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from..”

Congratulations! The hard part is over! Now all you have to do is blog.

You might have some particular topic in mind and want to write themed articles so your readers know what to expect. Or, like me, you might just rush in and blurt out your thoughts without any planning or foresight in a stream of consciousness:

Naked women, fair trade coffee beans, transgender deviants, Barack Obama, zombie apocalypse, http, hashtag, sexy underwear, …

OK, perhaps it would be better to filter and structure your thoughts a little so that your readers can understand you better.

But what to write about?

Writing poetry is a popular blog topic. After all, WordPress has no “laugh” button, so what have you got to lose by sharing your poems with the world? Just an endless stony silence and the cruel shattering of your dreams. I say, go for it.

Or you could make money blogging by selling people tips about how to make money blogging so that they can make money blogging by selling people tips about … oh, nearly got swallowed up in an infinite loop there, thanks for pulling me out.

Here’s a tip – don’t pay anyone money for an ebook of 37 blindingly obvious ways to boost your blog traffic by 764% in three days. Especially if you get a bonus report if you buy within the next 24 hours. Just check out my free tips here.

Here’s some more free advice. Don’t get sucked into the trap of counting likes and followers. This can be addictive and destructive in equal measure. Write because you enjoy it and not because of numbers. It’s more fun that way. Remember that even if only one person reads your blog article, it was still worth writing. You changed the world, even if only in a small way. What more can any of us hope for?

Don’t be afraid to write whatever you feel or think needs saying. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Well, this is the internet, so almost limitless bad things might happen. You could be stalked by a random weirdo who makes your life a living hell. You could be spammed by a Chinese manufacturer of fake cell phone accessories – implausible, but true in my own case. You might even be mistakenly singled out by an alien invasion force as a spokesperson for humankind and made to answer for our species’ various crimes and misdemeanors.

In short, anything you could think of that could go wrong, might actually go wrong. And worse. But still, it would make a good blog article.

But it could turn out well, so prepare for success. Soon you might be one of those “bloggers” who gets interviewed on the news when no proper expert could be found to talk to. You might even become a celebrity. After all, if Justin Bieber can do it, anyone can.

But most importantly of all, remember to have fun. Because if you’re not enjoying it, you’re wasting your time. Do something more productive with your life, like go on Twitter.

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18 responses to “How to blog

  1. “Naked women, fair trade coffee beans, transgender deviants, Barack Obama, zombie apocalypse, http, hashtag, sexy underwear.”

    That made me laugh. It also caused me to remember back in the day when Don Imus had his “Imus in the Morning” radio show. He may still have that show, but I don’t listen to radio much these days. Anyway, he had a character on that show, I believe it was “The Cardinal.” One of his radio team members would speak in an Irish accent and would rattle off a bunch of names or items and end it with “which doesn’t belong and why?” It was a hoot!

    So to that rather eclectic list of blog topics your offered, I ask, which doesn’t belong…and why?

  2. It’s a struggle to put aside what I think my followers are expecting. However, as I continue exploring ideas it doesn’t feel right to just keep doing what I did before. I’ve found your blog to be helpful in that I find that I am interested in how you think about things, so it doesn’t really matter what topic it is that you happen to be exploring today. Noticing that it’s one person’s own voice that is compelling has encouraged me to write with more freedom in my own blog.

    But it’s still really nice to get likes.

    • The only person you can guarantee to be of interest to is yourself. So you must write about the things that most interest you. QED.

      I have conversations with myself (is that normal?) and when I have an interesting one I write it down. That is what my blog consists of.

  3. Thanks, Steve (or whatever your name is today.) I got into blogging through a long sad story that no one even wants to hear. And if I told it, someone might have me arrested, so that isn’t gonna happen. I like knowing I have an audience, but I would write either way. It helps, for me, to have two venues. One is the quilting blog, which (surPRISE!) primarily attracts quilters. And one is the blog with Jim, wherein we write about whatever we want. Since they are separate, the quilters don’t often encounter other parts of my life or thinking they don’t care about, and vice versa.

    Anyway the advice to repeat: write for yourself. If other people listen in, it’s a bonus (unless they have you arrested.)

    • Yes, I also write about other things in other places (see my resume on right hand side of page) but I’m not very good at keeping my thoughts contained. By the way, I enjoyed your recent quilting article because it contained a valuable life lesson and a useful financial one too. I also really enjoyed Tracy Chevalier’s novel The Last Runaway which is all about quilting.

  4. Also, as you develop your network of friends, they might suggest blog topics you hadn’t thought of yourself. Or better, they might invite you to be interviewed on their site, and the meaningful connections that ensue will bring about more enjoyment and blog posts. Just enjoy yourself, and the rest will come.

    As always, thanks Steve.

    Fondly,
    E

    • Thank you Elizabeth, comments mean a lot. I personally find that I have developed my thoughts a lot through interacting with others, and – dare I say it – made some new friends too! Thanks for commenting!

  5. Ha ha- love all your tips and can’t wait to read your post about naked women, and alien invasions, I love alien invasions and cannot wait. I also blog to have fun about whatever comes into my head, though I went back and re read my posts, they are a curious mixture of fashion obsession, green topics, afternoon tea, love of animals and passionate dislike of fur coats…

    • You can read about most of those topics in my book, The Yoga Sutras, to be released soon! No zombies or hashtags, but all the others will be there.

      I think of your blog as a kind of lifestyle guide. A guide to your lifestyle. That works.

  6. Fan of Dickens

    Making followers laugh is always welcome. I woke up this morning with a real cob-on, but this blog really tickled my funny bone, so I want to give something back. Regarding extraterrestrials, did you see an old Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekend about a self-styled reverend who claimed that aliens spoke through him? If you go on Youtube, and type in Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekend, Central Control, it will come up. Should appeal to your sense of the absurd, especially when the guy goes into a “trance”, or when onlookers are suppressing their giggles. It is hilarious!

  7. So true! Thanks for making me laugh!

  8. Steve,

    You bring up a lot of big points. Most people think just setting up their blog is enough. Growing it and being consistent is another story.

    Bryan

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