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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Writer's Workshop: 10 things I wish someone had shared with me about blogging

I started blogging on a more regular basis in 2008. I have created nearly 900 posts. Some of which have been read by no one and some of which over 1000 people read.

Here are a few things I wish I had known when I was starting out.

Names are important. I can't stand the name of my blog but it is too much work to change it. Be certain you don't pick anything too long. It is a pain typing out mine.

Blogger isn't the only choice. I am (mostly) happy with blogger, but I wish I had at least investigated some other choices, like self-hosting or Wordpress.

Comments are like crack. I am actually jealous of some of the comment love my fellow bloggers get. The funny thing about it is you can't control it. You can write a funny, thought provoking post about the trials and tribulations of lunch lady training and get 3 comments, while someone else can write a post about free cat litter and get 54 comments.

Posting a comment will not get you a comment. I once thought the more I commented, the more comments I would get. Nope. Doesn't work. Comment if you want to. Not because you feel like you have too.

Follow forcing. Some bloggers offer incentives, like prizes or blog candy, if you follow them. I don't care if you follow, if you aren't gonna read what I write. Therefore, I choose to believe all 120 of my followers are actual readers.

Stat reviewing can become addictive. At any given moment, i can look up what my most popular post to date is and ponder why people were drawn to it an not to this one about why I am not a doctor yet.

Google reader is as addicting as Facebook. I have blogged a lot about the vexes of Facebook and still continue to visit at least once a day. Google reader has the same power over me.

It's your blog, so blog what you want. If you wanna write a post about when liberal became a bad word or what you love the most about being a lunch lady, then write it. If people don't wanna read it, their loss.

Offend. Sometimes people find what I write upsetting or even offensive. I had a few people stop following after I posted my views on the new car seat regulations or my thoughts on this children's book. I am okay with that.

Enjoy it. The day this blog becomes something I have to do instead of something I want to do then that will be the day I write my last post.

Happy Blogging.

Inspired by the genius that is Mama Kat
(I will always be jealous of her comment love)

20 random thoughts:

Kristen said...

Aw, Wen. I love your posts. If people are offended, too bad. Sometimes I don't like things I read, but it's good to see others opinions. It's called freedom of speech, if you don't like it, stop reading if one can't be open minded. Always be true to who you are and write what's in your heart. Your posts have made me laugh and made me cry. A good writer gets emotion from their readers and that's what you do! Keep on doing what you're good at, because girl, YOU are GOOD!

kt moxie said...

Awesome list. I agree with all of them! I love reading Google Reader -- maybe more than facebook, and why are comments so addictive???

Amanda said...

I can relate to your list. :) Good advice.

Nothing wrong with Google reader. It's SO practical, I love it.

K said...

I think this is the best advice I've read yet about blogging, for newbies and those who have been blogging for some time. When I started out I was longing for comments, confused why posts didn't get some while others did, uncertain if I was writing for me or for the public. Then I took a year break from blogging and it really helped me realize that I just want to write on my blog for me. I love the comments I get as it helps me to have a discussion, but now I write purely for me and that means I don't get a lot of followers and I'm okay with it.

Rachel said...

I totally agree with this list!! :) I understand about comments. I read so many blogs that there are days I don't have time to comment on all of them (which I hate, because I want to show some comment love), but sadly, my job gets in the way. Can't I just quit my job and read and comment on blogs all day?

Hope you have a great day!


Kristie Maynard said...

I love this post. I do wish I had more comments on my blog. I'm okay with it now though. I can look at the stats and see that there are people visiting and that's good for me. I don't comment on every blog I go to, but there are some that I almost always comment on. But I'm there checking them out.
I'm like you about the followers, it would be nice to have more, but I'm not going to give someone a prize to get them to follow me, they will if they want to and I think a lot of the people that come to see what I have to offer aren't followers, but they come back often.
I started my blog so I could be on a design team and I have never regretted that decision. I'm on 2 DTs now and enjoy that and blogging.
I for one am very glad you have stuck with it, I really enjoy reading your blog.

DeepBlue said...

You meant 121 followers! ;)

I've learn so many wonderful thing about my own life from reading about the ups and downs of a lunch lady.

I feel exactly like you do about blogging. I'm new at this and haven't found my rhythm yet but I really enjoy the wonderful contacts I've made so far! For that, I'll keep stalking all of you people on the bloggosphere! LOL!

SUPAHMAMA! said...

I like you... I think I'll keep you... on my blog list at least! Great post with some fabulous tips!

Gina said...

Yep, yep, yep. I agree. And look! You have already gotten more than 3 comments! Woot!

becca said...

i agree with everything you just said especially the part about comments i comment on all 189 blogs i follow but in return only about 10 return the favor so i'm getting to the point where i only comment when i have something of value to say or if i just want to let someone know i'm still reading. plus who knew free kitty litter was more popular then a lunch lady..hehe

Jessica said...

I love this! And, comments are like crack. I learned long ago, however, not to gauge my "success" at blogging by comments alone. As you said in your post, it's amazing which posts do well with comments and which ones don't. Rather than focusing on comments, I try to just write what is true to my heart and hope that others connect.

Amanda Putri said...

'Posting a comment will not get you a comment'. Thank GOD I'm over it. I mean.. there's a time where I make comment here and there just b'cause I want they commented mine to. But it never really happen. So now.. I just let it go.

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septembermom said...

I have to start using Google reader more. It has been such a crazy summer. I miss blogging regularly. You will always be one of my all time FAVORITE bloggers. Your honesty, humor and perspective are wonderful!!

Jenny Girl said...

Totally agree with everything you said. As for the blog name, I have often thought of changing mine, but would people still know its me?
I am not that creative to begin with, so I would probably come up with some other silly thing Jenny loves to do? I think I as get older and continue to blog, I don't care as much about things as long as I blog how I want to in the end. I write what I like. Acceptance maybe? Have a great weekend :)

Jenners said...

You had some good points. I made the mistake of having very long titles for one of my first blogs -- and ended up changing to a shorter one. I think it takes about a year before you really find your voice and balance as a blogger … and realize all the mistakes you made in the first year. The commenting thing is mysterious though.

Momma@Live. Laugh. Pull your hair out said...

LOVE this!!! I am thinking about switching to Wordpress...

Enfys said...

I'll hang out with you for a bit longer Wendy, until you stop making me laugh which will probably be never...totally agree with you about the whole blogging thing, and comment envy is a whole new phenomenon that probably will become a university degree course before too long. I have the opposite, comment guilt, when I feel guilty about not having time to visit my favourite blogs and commenting....

Zeba said...

This made for a good read. And put a lot of yucky thoughts out of my head. I am not vexed anymore about the little things regarding my blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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