Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blog Day: The Rules

Hi all, just a reminder to go check out the competition!

So. During the A-Z Challenge, I've bumped into some very interesting blogs (over a thousand of them). Some I really enjoyed... Some, while they had something interesting to offer, just weren't as fun to hit as others.  There were various reasons for this, but it got me wondering if I would be incredibly presumptuous to throw a few tips out there.

Well, that was the plan. As I thought about it some more, I realized that while the tips aren't that numerous, the reasons behind them will take up space. So... I'm going to do my first ever blog series. Every Wednesday I will highlight some aspect to the blogging experience that requires some attention.

Today I will start with the rules. If you travel through the blogosphere, I'm sure you've found about fifty blogs with rule for blogging. Those rules might even differ. Are all those rules valid? Well... yes.

But don't go giving up on me now. I know how impossible remembering all those rules and their applications will be, so I was nice and decided to give you precisely two. These two rules are the keys to every other blog rule in existence. The are:


Those two heavily influence each other, pretty much always vying for precedence. An example of this will be the background. Is it a representation of your tastes? Excellent. Will it drive away visitors? Not excellent. Unless you are planning to sift through visitors to attract a select few from a specific niche, change the background. If the aforementioned is the plan, by all means, keep it. But make a conscious decision about it. I'll get back to decor later.

If you've never seriously blogged before (or are looking to freshen up and/or refocus your blog), close your eyes and think about how you want to represent yourself to the public. Then think about who you want to draw to your blog. Given those two, what will you focus on when you blog? How will you want your blog to come across?

When I started out, I wanted to attract writers and readers. I wanted to give an accurate depiction of me and my experiences while on my journey as a writer. The "me" portion of the goal meas that I'm honest. Really honest. I try my best to be honest to myself and to others about myself. This carries over to the "experience" aspect of it. I show my journey with all the bumps and doldrums along with the moments that I get to soar. Sometimes it's scary to blog like this, but I try to find a way to write a post in such a way that I won't cause the blog reader to chew off his/her pulse. Because while I am somewhat *snort* mercurial, I know that people won't appreciate me ranting every day or moping around hopelessly and uselessly for too long.

The secret is to find the balance.

So... have a think about your blog (hypothetical or no) and if you like, please give me a short exploration (like the one I did) in the comments section. I'd love to see how you approach your blog. Also, if you have any blogging-related questions, feel free to ask. I will do my best to shoot with an answer, probably in a Blog Day post. :-)


  1. I look forward to following your new blog series! Blogging is so tricky sometimes. I am relatively strict and generally keep my posts tightly focused on my own little niche (psychology and YA). I try not to talk about my personal writing journey too much because I don't think it's that interesting for others, but I try to keep enough of it in there for my followers and visitors to understand where I'm coming from.

  2. I think what I am (usually) strictest about is the length of my posts. I don't like to read long posts (unless they're really worth it!) and so I assume that other people don't like to either! <--- that's the thinking of my audience part ;-)

  3. I am still relatively new to all this with just under a year and have made my share of mistakes. Any help is greatly appreciated. Look forward to following along.

  4. A balance is really hard. In the end I try to keep it honest by writing what I want to write.

  5. Oh dear, I hope my blog isn't one of the "less interesting" ones! ;)-

    I think this will be a great blog series.

    I try to impart information on my blog, along with a little humor, and I share my journey on the road to publication. If anything else, I hope it's helpful to my followers.

  6. I wanted my blog to represent who I am as well as my writing platform and I didnt want to do it just because 'that's zhat writers do'. When the name 'Creepy Query Girl' came to me, I knew I was ready to put something out there with my own voice, style and views. It's important to me to stay honest. The path to publishing is not full of rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it can really suck and people thinking about going into it should be prepared for the good and the stinky. Nice 'meeting' you!

  7. I started out writing photography tips for teens (since I write YA). I posted once a week and didn't do much to promote my blog (i.e. I didn't follow any blogs). I just did it because I thought thats what writers were supposed to do. Plus I did check out a few blogs, but they were boring. Then one day, I wrote a post to tell people that I was going on vacation. Suddenly I had a bunch of comment. I didn't realize people were following me on Google.

    Then I started writing about writing, and people started commenting. This was how I found my focus. Now bloggers comment on all my posts. Oh, and I do cool links friday because it was the best way for me too remember all the great posts I found during the week. Purely selfish reasons. ;)

  8. Well actually, I've never really given it much thought from the audience perspective. My blog is mostly dictated by my mood. The background, images, etc. i.e. the decor most certainly reflect these, and tend to change pretty often. Content-wise, my blog is more of a sparingly edited journal of everything that goes on in my head, and some times my life. :) :)

  9. You visited over a thousand blogs? Blimey. That's impressive stuff, chica.

  10. When I first thought about blogging, to me it was making a decision to "journal" for an audience, so choosing a part of myself to share with people. The theme of my blog was an easy choice as it was something I seemed to be talking to folks about on an almost daily basis. Then, I read (back over Christmas break) a whole bunch of friends' FB status' about dreading going back to school and having to pack lunches. The big thing I have to remember when creating my posts is that my goal at the outset was to help make things easy, so including tips, humour and a reminder to readers that while I love what I write about, I don't necessarily love it every day! Looking forward to your wednesday series!

  11. I'm looking forward to the rest of your blog series! :-)

  12. I love the idea of the blog series. It's so hard sometime to stay on track in the blogosphere. Looking forward to your new series!

  13. BE YOURSELF and THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE -- those are two really great tips. I agree, it's all about finding balance with your blog. Talking about the things that are important to you in a way that your audience will appreciate. Great post!

  14. Great tips! I try to be myself but there are so many sides to me that it is difficult to pick and choose. So I have tried to set up weekly posts to highlight certain aspects of my life. That way my blog doesn't jump from here to there and people have no clue what just happened. At least I hope it helps to sort out the chaos anyways.

  15. Over the past year I've been trying to decide what is the best types of posts to have on my blog. Do I write for me or write for others? Is the blog about things I like or about things others like? Can they reconcile? I think I'm slowing understanding how it works.

  16. My focus has changed over the three years I've been doing it. I definitely have learned a lot about being short and to the point, and using lots of white space too :-) Good idea for a series!

  17. Ooh, blogging tips, sounds good!

    With my blog, well I used to have trouble thinking about what to post but now I'm not worrying about it so much and things have been a bit easier.

  18. I'm also sharing some blogging tips this May. I've got so many emails from those starting out, I decided to put my replies out there.

  19. Excellent topic for a series. I like your tip of writing for the audience. If we were just writing for ourselves, why bother publishing it?

  20. Look forward to your blog series. I'm new to blogging so your tips will be extremely helpful!

  21. You're right - you definitely need to think about your audience. I technically started my blog a few years ago, just to say I had a blog. But, I didn't contribute much. When I decided to blog with purpose (writer's platform) and started following other writing blogs - that's when it really took off. It's a great blogging community to be in!!

  22. I keep my blog strictly to medical fiction consultations and anything having to do with the writing process. I don't get deeply personal, unless it directly relates to writing. Great post!

  23. Thanks Misha, I may find something in your series I can use. I am in the process now (after a year +) of trying different and new things with my blog. The current look, I like, so I am going to run with it for a while but mid-summer I may change. The construction project has no deadline...scary, right?

  24. Hi Misha, this is gonna be helpful. Thanks.

    I started my blog with the intention of writing a diary of my activities on The Farm. Then I found myself writing various stuff about Life - which basically are of interest to anybody, whether you are a farmer, writer or plumber.
    At the same time because I like to read and I find writers really have way with words I find myself gravitating towards people like you :)
    So the combination of one and two makes my blog what it is now. I think it is cool, and I'm quite happy with it.

    Life on The Farm

  25. Misha, I look forward to reading your posts.

    I just started my own blog and its a personal journey of sorts and to reach out to the larger community. I thought it was very important to identify my focus first before I began. Its hard to sum up but mindful eating and knowing where our food comes from as well as my personal experiment to grow more stuff.


  26. Hi Misha. This was really great advice. It is really hard to tick all the boxes, but in the end, being yourself is what matters most, being honest.


    I've just announced a new writers group that you might like to check out on my blog or on the link.

    Join the new Romantic Friday Writers Group.

  27. Wonderful post, you definitely are following the rules and I look forward to your series. :D

  28. Great pointers! I'm pretty new to blogging and still learning the ropes, but already I've been stricken with the great importance of honesty. Blogging is a strange world and it's easy to pull off a cool effect, but not for long. Being consistent with any personality other than your own is almost impossible. Authenticity is the key for me. Let's just be basic, honest people engaging in healthy relationships - on the web! :D

    I'll be following this series!

  29. Sarah, looks like you know exactly what you want when you blog. It's great! :-D

    Good point, Rachel! :-)

    Thanks Odie!

    Al the balance is tricky, but I think that your way of being honest is a good one. :-)

    lbdiamond, I think you have a great blog. That's why it's one of the oldest blogs that I still regularly visit. ^_^

    Katie, that is a good point. It's very important to be true to your own voice. And yes I agree, people should know how rocky the road to publishing can be. Because people who keep asking "so you finished writing, do you have an agent yet?" really need to get a clue. Especially when they want to write a book of their own.

    Stina, sounds like you had an interesting blogging journey. :-D

    Pencil, if you write according to mood, your voice should come through quite nicely (as it does). :-)

    Hehehe thanks DUO.

    Kim, it's great that you know your audience so well. I will definitely head to your blog more often. :-)

    Thanks K.C.

    Thanks E.C.

    Thank you very much, Jessica. I'm glad you like it.

    Dafeena it sounds like you made a good plan to sort out the chaos and accommodate your readers. :-)

    Clarissa, I think it can take a while, because we all have to find the balance by feel. Not even sure whether I have it all the time.

    Thanks Christina. I know I still have to learn that lesson. ^_^

    TayLyee, I know what you mean. Stressing about blog topics won't make them come to you.

    That's a great idea, Myne. :-)

    So true, Maria. Going public with our thoughts means that we have to pay attention to how we word them.

    Great Amy! Good luck with your new blog.

    Donea, my blog also took off when I started checking out other blogs. :-)

    Lydia, your blog is also one of those I head to often. I love the tidbits and medical information that you post. :-)

    Chuck, I think you are brave and awesome to take on a revamp. I hope you find some tips here that will help you out.

    Grandpa, I like going to your blog, because I must say that I think your life is interesting. :-)

    Susan, good luck with the new blog! I hope that you slot in with the perfect community for you. ^_^

    Hi Denise, thanks for your lovely complement. I don't know if I'm ready to post romance on this blog yet, as I've never gotten far with the one I'm writing. But maybe one day, I'll see.

    Thanks Brenda!

    RG I agree with you. More than anything, blogging is about building relationships. Because of that, authenticity is super important.


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