Just sitting with my writing is a disconcerting experience, how I imagine one with low body image feels when dashing into the shower so fast their reflection is a mere a blur in the mirror. Or worst, those who bathe with the lights off. It’s a reflection of yourself, what’s in your heart, head or soul. It’s putting something out there, with your name on it, standing by your convictions. Nothing I have written here is revolutionary or ground-breaking, and that makes me sad. I am still learning how to not walk away from a blank page, filing it in the ‘too hard basket’, and not trying.
That’s the worst feeling isn’t it? Failing to make an attempt, seeing what others write and are prepared to put their stamp on while thinking, “What the fuck, I could do better than that.” But you don’t, not if you walk away from the blank page. There are always better things to do. Each one of us blogging is exhibiting a tremendous amount of privilege in being able to do so freely. But some blogger’s just don’t get it. They act like assholes, and their writing isn’t even remotely good enough for them to get away with it. Yet they do – more on that later.
Sometimes it isn’t even their writing – but actually how they operate their blog that gets my hackles up. So I have designed a little list for you to use as a guideline to make your blog a happier place. A place people want to visit, rather than a place that produces so much side-eye that it should come with an epilepsy warning.
If your blog has some derivative of ‘my little corner of the web’ as its heading tagline, I invite you to take your less than creative ass to Twitter. I mean really – we’re all trying here, but that is not trying. That is giving up. Be creative, thoughtful, funny, verbose, snarky, hungry, dirty, anything – just anything. Have a point. I understand that if you have a personal self-reflection blog it can be hard to some up, so treat that tagline as a litmus test of sorts. If you can’t come up with one line that sums up what you and your blog are all about, perhaps blogging isn’t for you.
Also, if you have “Just another wordpress.com site” as your tagline you deserve to have your high speed broadband disconnected and replaced with a dial-up modem. You’re lucky I’m not confiscating the whole internet.
There is nothing like finding a nice new blog that hits all your right buttons, it’s like discovering a yet unheard of book. The smaller the blog the better as far as I’m concerned, I have never been a fan of uber blogs. Something just happens to the material when a blog becomes unwieldy; like the mass media it becomes diluted and strained for the masses to be spoon-fed on, rather than raw and rough around the edges, the way it was first intended.
It always strikes me as odd when a blog that has a mere handful of comments per post has comment moderation turned on. Who are you moderating, ye of small page views? If you have had more birthdays than total amount of comments there is nothing to moderate, although it begs the question: who’s trolling you? Turn it off and let the comments flourish, rather than gumming up the works with ‘your comment is awaiting moderation’ malarky.
Following on from the comments we have interactions. It is just plain rude to ignore a comment. Period. This isn’t about bumping up your page view stats, it’s about being polite. Now, it has become apparent from reading some comment threads that your mother’s didn’t teach you that others will not always agree with you. Say it with me – “people will not always agree with me”. A bit of discourse in a comment thread is great, we all learn a bit about one another and walk away richer for the experience. But if you react like a spoiled brat every time someone chimes in with a difference of opinion you are just that, a spoiled brat. There is no need to get nasty, mind your damn manners people. I know it’s the internet and we are all hiding behind our computer screens, but that’s not a license to turn into a grade A jerk.
However often you wish to post is up to you. There is no right amount. But if you post multiple times a day with only a Youtube clip, or a picture you find, you are annoying and belong on pinterest. Nobody wants that clogging up their inbox. If someone has deemed your blog worth following, you need to show some respect and not troll their inbox.
I haven’t mentioned anything about content, spelling, or grammar. To me, those aspects of blogging are personal and secondary to what I have deemed be the basic etiquette of blogging. Write about anything and everything, it’s not for me or anyone to judge what you should and shouldn’t put on the internet. Its public domain, and if your happy to stand by your work, then who am I to judge said work. I will say this though: if you do nothing else, at least run each post through spellcheck, it’s the least you can do.
P.S. None of this applies to my blog as I don’t read it.