Sunday, January 28, 2007

Everything I needed to know, I learned from blogging.

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OK, not everything... But I have been blogging for a little less than a year, and I have learned a lot. This week's theme for The Carnival of Blogging Chicks is What I have learned from blogging.

  • The first thing I learned is that you have to be real. No one wants to read a blog that is trying too hard, especially if you are trying really hard to be something you are not. Every word rang false, and it was evident in my lack of comments. Besides, who needs another blog looking for it's 15 minutes of fame? I had my 15 minutes in real life... it's not all it's cracked up to be. I decided that instead of having a blog that was putting a fictitious positive spin on things that I really needed to be the real me, flaws and all.
  • If you insist that your husband read your blog, so you can get your daily dose of validation, hoping that he will think it's funny... expect that he might just have something to say about you putting your family life under the microscope for anyone to scrutinize. I have learned what is (mostly) acceptable to write about and what is not, all based on a post I made while I was steaming mad at him. He was not pleased and let me know about it.
  • Next I learned that a certain amount of weirdness is allowed and even accepted, but know when to say when. Most people do not want to know about your insect collection, or that you can shoot milk out of your eyelids... unless you are tagged for a meme that asked about your weirdness. Otherwise, keep your belly button lint collection to yourself.
  • Don't expect overnight success. Unless you are giving away free stuff. :O) Even then, expect that there is a need for "word of blog". You can't expect to develop a readership overnight, it needs nurturing and care.
  • Speaking of readership... reciprocation is the name of the game. If you find that someone has left an interesting comment, check out their blog and see what is going on their world. Everyone loves comments, it's nice to give back to your reader too. I have also learned that commenter's appreciate being acknowledged. You can't just expect for readers to keep commenting if you never acknowledge them.
  • Don't blog for the sake of posting everyday. Most people don't want to read that you have nothing to post about, every other post. If you aren't in the mood, don't force it.
  • Not everyone is going to like you, and try as you might- you won't like everyone either. If you find yourself in a place where you aren't being appreciated for your comments and the human being that you are... try reading another blog. There are other blogging fish in the sea.
  • Remember why you started blogging in the first place. I mean, really.. you started your blog because you had something to say. Whether it's a personal blog, a techie blog, or a blog about where to find the best knitting supply deals... it's yours. Don't feel pressured to please the reader because then you're not being real.
  • I have discovered my inner geek. Though I had my husband help me a little in the beginning (and I used to tease him about being a geek)... now I can rip apart a template and build it back up again. I enjoy figuring things out for myself and have discovered I'm pretty good at it. Now, when I tell my husband of a new discovery, he will point and smile and yell "GEEK!".
  • Most importantly...Everyone gets a little blog crispy at times. Sometimes you need to hang up that "I'll be back in a few days, I am taking a blogging break" sign, kick back and relax. You'll feel so much better for it, and you might actually enjoy blogging when you come back.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my version of "underwater blogger weaving 101". Now that you're done, and since you have a few minutes to kill, why don't you head on over to Blogging Chicks to read some interesting views about blogging?


maggie said...

I would like to tell you about my latest hobby collecting other peoples crispy belly button lint. I have blue and gray but my greatest prize winning one is the red swirl. Wanta come over and see?

Mert said...

Ummmm, sure! Can I bring my tranquilizer gun, just in case? :D

swampwitch said...

Just popped over from the Carnival to say Good Morning and report on the paint drying on my walls. This was an excellent post. You have hit the nail right on the head. What were your 15 minutes of fame in real life?
No need to tell you what's posted at TheAsylum, you are a dedicated reader. Thank You.
The reciprocal comment is so VERY TRUE. I always try to respond back to every comment made on my posts and I wonder how many come back to read my 'profond' statements.

tiggerprr said...

This was a great post!!! My blog is much newer, only 5 months old and I've learned or am learning many of these things. I've always been me, but I'm finding that it's ok to let the rest of me out there too. Oh, the sarcasm that lies in wait for the's starting to leak out, little by little. LOL

CyberCelt said...

Beware of the template god. You may have said to much about being able to tear down and build up templates. LOL

Here from BC Carnival. Have a great week.

twiga92 said...

Ah, yes, being real is something I have to remind myself. I blog more for myself and find it's much more fun that way than trying to please others.

Rebecca said...

Why, you ... you ... you GEEK! Did you know you can buy milk off

I'm a geek too.

wolfbaby said...

LOL... So very true. my hubs never reads my blog. I kinda think he's afraid to sometimes;P

Robin (PENSIEVE) said...

MaryMert, you said all of this sooo well :). I think it would be GREAT reading for a blogger neophyte, and for those who've been around, some good information to mull over. When I started my blog, I wrote and wrote and wrote as if I were being read but I visited no one (but the two friends IRL who had blogs) and commented NO WHERE. After about six months, I was "lonely" and SOMEHOW found blogging chicks (I have no idea how now), joined it, was lucky enough to be the 100th Chick to join :) :) :), and the rest is history.

I've made several online friends I REALLY like, and probably one of the most poignant things you said in this post was the line about "as much as you want to, you won't "like" everybody"... Reciprocity IS key, too, and although I try NOT to write FOR the comments, I do enjoying hearing people's thoughts.

Thanks for the way you give back to all of us, for using your GEEK talents for others! YOU ROCK!

Biker Betty said...

Hi Mert,

I'm here from Blogging Chicks and I really enjoyed your post. I'm really glad CBC picked this theme. Everyone I have read has said it all so well.

I sure can't tear down and rebuild a template, but wish I could. Kudos to you, I'm very impressed!! I have learned a few tricks and my husband would call me the Geek, lol.

Thanks for sharing what you have learned. Have a great week.

Robin said...

Believe it or not, this is the post I was looking for...glad I found it :).