Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bad Advice

Sometimes people send me email asking questions.

Someone sent me email. A 'new' blogger asking for advice. Me, an old hand at this after a little more than two years. Ha! But it puffs up my vanity to have someone ask my opinion, so...

Advice?? Oh HELL YES! And worth exactly what you're paying for it.

Here it is:

You will never become a famous blogger. You must blog/write for yourself. You, like i, are very late to this party. Besides, are you really willing to do the whoring marketing required to become famous?

If you start blogging for money, i will drop you like a hot potato. I have no problem with ads, i can ignore those (except pop ups, UGH!), but the pay for post thing is offensive. If i wanted to read a post about Oil of E-coli regenerative cream (or whatever) i would google it.

Never, never, never begin a post by apologizing for not posting.


Never, never, never begin a post by saying that you have nothing to say. If you have nothing to say, then don't say anything. (For more information on these last two points, click on the BWO button on my side bar.)

Blogging will not save you. It will make you feel good when your blogging friends affirm you, but don't neglect your real life friends.

You will have so much fun with the bloggers you meet for real. It's like you can pre-select friends who already know who you are. But they are not here. they will not save you. You will have to save yourself. I'm sorry to tell you this. But 'tis true. They can laugh and cry with you though, which is of immeasurable value.


Despite the temptation, do not tell anyone who knows you in real life about your blog. Start anonymously. You can tell people later, but it's really hard to untell them. If your mom is reading, you will censor yourself. Do you really want to do that?

Oh, and please, as a special favor to me, don't put word verification on your comments. It makes it much less likely that i will leave a comment, and junk comments are easy to delete. I think i've gotten maybe 6 of them since i started. If you start getting a lot of them, put WV on, but only for a while, and apologize for it.

Oh, and don't threaten to quit, either do it, or don't. You can always start back up later. If you do quit, at least say goodbye.

Who's got something else to add?

53 comments:

Mrs. Chili said...

This one:

You will have so much fun with the bloggers you meet for real. It's like you can pre-select friends who already know who you are.

Resonated with me. I have had 100% positive experiences meeting bloggers in real life; they've been old friends I've just never laid eyes on yet.

I think you're right on with all of this. I don't aspire to greatness; I blog for the community.

hockamama said...

"Despite the temptation, do not tell anyone who knows you in real life about your blog. Start anonymously. You can tell people later, but it's really hard to untell them. If your mom is reading, you will censor yourself. Do you really want to do that?"

boy, is that the truth! I didn't tell mama for quite awhile about my blog, but since she found out I have definitely censored myself, because she won't hesitate to call me after she reads it if there's something there that pissed her off....or if she feels that my poor little brother needs defending.

jeez, I'm getting pissed off just thinkin about it, ugh!

liv said...

amen. and you know what else? don't fucking blog about blogging. what do i blog about? i got nothing. you know what? the fucking arrogance that anyone gives two shits about whether you have anything to say is ridiculous. write or don't write.

and you know what? i'm pretty furious that you're saying i won't be famous. just you wait, miss priss.

fiwa said...

Very good advice. I would add, don't be afraid to comment on someone's blog even if they already get a lot of comments. And the best way to get people to visit and comment on your blog is to visit and comment on their blog.

thailandchani said...

Make sure you don't put so much crap on the sidebars that your page load becomes prohibitive.

Don't put the word verification, as you said, and *especially* not if you moderate comments. Truthfully? I see that.. and I wouldn't comment, no matter how good your topic is.

Can the ads. I can't stand being marketed to on personal blogs. Especially when they suck up memory and have little "things" that float over the text or, worse, interrupt it.

The hardest for me.. but perhaps most important.. is to learn to flow with the fluctuations.

Da's all.

:)


~*

Vanessa said...

Everything you said plus this: do not put a music player on your blog. I listen to my own music. Your music player not only slows the page load, it interferes with the music I am already listening to, so don't do it!

Dick said...

You have some good recommendations in your post and the comments have also been good. I'll have to admit to saying I had intended to post more often a couple of times but have realized that it is kind of a meaningless thing to say. I did add the word verification on after too many advertising type comments a couple of years ago but maybe it is time to try removing it and see if the world is now a better place. I'll try.

Cagey said...

Great advice, Meno! I HATE Pay for Posts, too. Bloggers who begin blogging for fame and fortune stick out like sore thumbs and are sad. I hesitated about ads on my own site, but am okay with them because they just sit there and no one has to see them anyway if they are reading through a feed reader.

a few things:
1) Allow full posts on your feeds! Partial feeds are a pain for the reader, you will get MORE readers if you just do full feeds.
and
2)If you post pictures, watch for the background stuff. It AMAZES me how many folks post pictures of the front of their house. One blogger I read even posted a picture of her new front door. HuH?

jen said...

Amen.

full feeds in readers - that way if the blog has ads (like mine) folks don't have to come all the way through if they do not want to.

ask for advice rarely and never as a ploy. don't get upset if you aren't getting the traffic you think you should be.

and yes for the love of god, don't threaten to quit.

Lucia said...

And don't expect to start blogging and have people start to read right away. Look at it as building from the ground up. (And, if you're me, screw up a few times and let your blog go dead and flail its way back to life.)

ETK said...

Such good advice (and all crap that I've violated not only before but recently - I will be a better blogger for this, so thank you).

I just turned off word verification.

You're my hero.

Schmoopie said...

Thanks for the advice. I just turned off WV.

Marshamlow said...

I love all the advice given. My biggest mistake is I write too much, I think that the best posts are one topic and relatively brief.

Jennifer said...

Good advice all around, but seeing it written out like that, my first response was "damn, that's awholelotta rules."

I don't have rules. I just blog.

So maybe that's my "rule".

Just do it, nevermind what anybody else does/says/prefers/dislikes.

Just do it.

TTQ said...

only 2 RLP (real life people) read my blog. I like it that way. Blogging only for myself is another good one. I'm not neccesarily here for the luxe and glamour, if it follows so be it. I enjoy being able to rant, be silly, or just quiet.

Good post Meno, a long overdue one for many.

Irrelephant said...

Me too. Turning off WV, tho it recently told Nancy "Kangol." Coincidence? I think not!

Feral Mom said...

Good advice! I agree with most of this, especially blogging for yourself and the ultimate pleasure of meeting bloggers in person. And of my yes, for the love of all that's holy, don't tell anyone about your blog in "real life." I almost told my brother early on, and now I'm glad I didn't because he totally would have tattled to mom and dad, and it would have been all over.

However, I don't mind a "sorry I've haven't blogged in a while" post if the reason is because the blogger in question has a good excuse/story, like running into blood thirsty bears on a camping trip while menstruating. And the word verification can be funny too, especially if it's something like faaaaahrt. (Which it once was, no joke.)

patches said...

I suppose the possibility of becoming infamous is always an option.

QT said...

Don't write a post apologizing for anything you post that caused an unexpected reaction. It is your space - if someone doesn't like it, they can click away.

flutter said...

if you wouldn't want to read it, don't write it.

lu said...

this is why I loves me some Meno.

Sienna said...

Funny Meno!! (good advice and funny), and funny Feral Mom!!!

Crikey, people get paid to blog!?

Unreal.

I love how it opens up the world, you get to explore and listen, laugh and sometimes cry a little, I love reading anyway and it's a new spin (relatively here-techno-savant land)...and you can walk away without offending the speaker...

It's good fun for when your not climbing mountains...or scuba diving...or horse racing...or

Pam

furiousBall said...

i like that liv used the word furious in her comment, which of course indicates how famous i am

Scott from Oregon said...

Every now and then, show yer butt...

Clowncar said...

I may erect a statue of you in the back yard for getting people to turn off word verification. I hate that thing.

Cheesy said...

LOL @ Scott.. such a brat~~
amen to the blog-meets--Now I also know scott is a brat in person too!

ty ty ty For mentioning the WV it's so frustrating when you can't read those damned letters! If you want just make the comments to be read by you first... [[[meno]]]

Princess in Galoshes said...

I had no idea word verification was so offensive! Ooopsie. I still have it, I still get comments, it's not the end of the world. I hate spam, so I chose to go with the WV.

My other two cents is, don't mention real people's real names unless they specifically give you the o.k. It's fine if you want to give away your own name, I have, I don't think it's a big deal. (Esp. if it's just your first name.) But the internet is not for everyone, and a lot of people are VERY uncomfortable with anything personal appearing online. Plus, it sparks creative juices to come up with wretched nicknames for everyone you know and love and want to gossip about.

peevish said...

I'm right there with you on the WV thing. I have an internet friend who has WV AND comment moderation on her blog! How do I tell her you can do one or the other but not both?? Gah, she must really hate comments.

Gina said...

I hate word verification, too, but mainly because I fail miserably every time. And oh, do I ever hate pay-per-post.

And my advice? Don't let trolls get to you.

Brad said...

My Fav: avoid drunk blogging at all cost.

pat said...

Ummm, can i just add one more...i agree with every point you made...But also; NO music please! i hate having some mushy, dramatic, and usually country music that makes me want to weep in the background while i am trying to read you. No music.

pat said...

Ummm, can i just add one more...i agree with every point you made...But also; NO music please! i hate having some mushy, dramatic, and usually country music that makes me want to weep in the background while i am trying to read you. No music.

pat said...

ummm and oe more thing...DO NOT respond twice to posts. Makes you look ever so ignorant.

crazymumma said...

never ever ever blog on your MIL's computer. to be found out and have all hell break loose.

Mrs4444 said...

Excellent advice. I especially hate it when bloggers start a post warning me about how much the post sucks; I don't even bother reading further. I'm not going to read a post out of pity...my time is too valuable.

Um...at the risk of offending people (SORRY!), there is seriously no need for Guest Posters when you go on vacation. I do have a life and don't need to go to any blog (except Meno's, of course!) every single day (and if I did, how would a guest poster meet my stalking needs?!) I'll miss you when you're gone, but I will welcome the freetime :) Thanks, Meno!

Susanne said...

Excellent advice.

Interstingly almost none of the people I know in real life has read my blog even though I told them about it.

But I did make sure that my parents don't know about it, and I deleted my old blogger blog the day my father got a high speed connection. He likes googling our names...

Which brings me to my most important piece of advice (it ties in with your anonymous advice):

never, ever make the domain name of your blog your real name. Unless your an artist and it's your business blog. But then you shouldn't write about things too private.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Ok, I'm taking off my WV now (if I can figure out how) and never apologizing for not blogging again (if I can figure out how).

Mamalujo said...

Meno, why in the hell didn't you post this a couple of years ago? Could have saved me a load of angst and needless whining. I've violated all these, repeatedly. In fact, I'm just narcissistic enough to think that you're talking to me! I'm working on all these.

If you are ever in East Tennessee, please let me know.

Imez said...

Never become a famous blogger?

Never, ever?

God why you're at it tell me I was adopted and my husband is cheating on me and I'll never lose a single pound. I still have a few dreams giving me comfort, better squash those too!

Thhpth.

Michael Knight Rambo said...

I don't have clue about what the heck I'm doing.
This is all very enlightening.
Too bad I told my coworkers and friends about my blog.
It's a good thing none of them read it or I might have to kill them.

capacious said...

This comment will suck. I don't really have anything to say. Sorry I haven't commented in a while. I'm going to quit now. Maybe.

No drunk posts? Shit, I'd never post at all if that was forbidden.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Good advice you have there Meno.

One more thing - Do NOT belittle your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ spouse/ partner when the two of you decide to part. I've seen enough blogs that people just turn their blogs to attack others. I stop reading immediately.

And yes, I stop reading blogs which usually begin with "I've nothing to say" but continue to write a full 10,000 words essay and those who do product review. Arh!!!

Sally Forth said...

Well said meno. And everyone else as well, but... no drunk blogging? Really? I was so looking forward to that.

sari said...

Ok I will admit I haven't yet read all the comments (because, hello? there are 43) but my advice is "comment like you mean it!"

ie -

don't just comment on someone's blog (especially someone who gets a lot of comments) because you want to be "seen" or have them read your blog.

I hate randomly impertinent comments. I don't get a lot but I see it on a lot of other blogs and it irritates me.

And, don't "agree" with everything a person says because you think they will like you for it. Because everyone has their own opinion, otherwise, you'd never find anything interesting to read out there in blog-ville.

sari said...

Ok I just went back and read all forty three of the other comments and I have to add my AMEN on the "no music on your blog" thing. I forget who said it (sorry!) because it was early in the forty three but I hate reading a blog and then all of a sudden randomly this loud music (yes, usually country) starts TWANGING and it's ALL LOUD because my ten year old has been playing garage band and it scares the holy Crikeys out of me. I immediately click off the page.

So thanks for reminding me of that, dear earlier commenter. I'm AMENING you there.

egan said...

Very sound advice here for new bloggers. Nothing sucks more than reading post after post about how a blogger has nothing to say. Just don't blog then! Ugh.

I like your feelings on not telling real life peeps about your blog. Now you can see why I chose some random French name for my blog. C'est impossible de me trouver!

Robin said...

interesting.

i feel an urge to blog about this post.

maybe i will when i come "off hiatus".

oops.

Tink said...

Let me just apologize in advance for this crappy comment. I don't really have anything to add, but I like hearing myself type. BUY COCA-COLA! If you would click on over to my blog, I'm featuring a post today about the growth rate of mold on different types of bread. It'll cost you $53 dollars to read, but I promise it's really interesting stuff. My Mom said so. It's made me world famous. No seriously, I have a reader from Japan!

~The Great Blogger, Tink

Diane Mandy said...

Perfect perfect list! I wish I had read this before I started to blog.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You give good advice, Meno. I wish I had never told anyone in real life about my blog because I do censor myself occasionally (unless I forget.)

Ads turn me off as well as being marketed to. It feels like a friend has suddenly gone Jehovah's Witness on me after being invited into my home. And the word verification is far more trouble than it's worth.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I'd add, "Feel free to be snarky. It's your damn blog, and you have the right to make fun of and be critical of whatever you damn well please." Oh, or maybe that's just me in a contentious mood today.

fiwa said...

Tink...*snort*

Geez, this generated a lot of comments! I had to come back and second what Crazymumma said - except make it "don't blog on ANYONE elses computer". Stupid, stupid, stupid - that's how I picked up my person from work who was stalking me.

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