Friday, August 5, 2011

SUYL: how to be awesome

With a bold title like that, I'd better be about to deliver, right? Don't worry.

Today I'm joining the blog carnival from Kelly's Korner. Today's topic is Blogging Tips.

I know what you're thinking. Blogging tips? Um...girl, you have like 51 followers. What makes you qualified to give out blogging tips?

The same thing that makes me qualified to give out legal advice even though I'm not a lawyer (document everything and read EVERYTHING you sign. And also, Casey Anthony, you're guilty), medical advice even though I'm not a doctor (I'm like 90% accurate at diagnosing ear infections and various infertility problems), fashion advice even though I'm not particularly fashionable (please don't wear Uggs in the summer. Ever.), and parenting advice even though I'm not a parent (too much advice to put in parenthesis).  Basically, you don't have to be something (a successful blogger) in order to tell someone else how to do it for himself. Those who can't, teach...remember? (says the teacher)

Also, if there is some kind of prize committee searching for the blog containing the longest sentence containing the most parenthetical statements...I'm pretty sure you just found your winner. See above paragraph.

Right, so back to how YOU can be an awesome blogger. Here's all you need to know.

#1) USE CORRECT GRAMMAR AND SPELLING. This is number 1 because it is the number 1 most important advice I can give you. I am begging you. PLEASE. If you're taking the 10 or 30 or 90 minutes it takes to write a decent blog, then take the extra 30 seconds it would require to learn the difference between your and you're and when to use an apostrophe. I AM BEGGING YOU. I'm not even a top-level grammar snob...but I've quit reading blogs over this issue before. I simply cannot assault my eyes with consistently bad spelling. Trust me: if you're consistently abusing the conventions of spelling and grammar (ESPECIALLY if you are otherwise a good blogger! With good pictures! And excellent content!!), you're making yourself look bad and losing readers. The end. Getting off my soapbox now.

#2) Be yourself. A lot of things are involved in being yourself. Like...don't just copy other "successful" bloggers. I am totally over the 'fashionable mommyblog' genre. To me, they are all the same. I can't remember who is who because all of the blogs LOOK the same, they all wear the same clothes, and show the same artsy pictures, and talk about the same stuff. So what's the point in reading? I don't have a thousand hours a day to devote to reading blogs, so I'm looking for something unique and interesting. Not a hundred identical blogs. So be real, be funny (if you are, but if you're not, don't try too hard), and talk about what you know. Don't be afraid to show your crappy camera's crappy pictures of your semi-boring life (like I do). It's REAL, and it's interesting. 

Also, don't overdo the blog carnivals and "themed" days. You know what I mean? You really don't need to do a Pinterest Monday, That's What She Said! Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, and (insert other theme, I'm out of ideas here) Friday. It's unnecessary. And makes it seem like you don't have anything to talk about. Anything original, anyway. So limit the number of 'forced' posts you do. Especially if that's ALL you're doing.

#3) Tell a good story. This is one I'm always struggling with. Instead of simply making a list of things you did...tell a good story. This is much more interesting to read. Instead of telling me that you went to Target, then the park, then got ice cream, then came home and crashed...give me one good anecdote from the day. It's a lot more interesting.

#4) Diversify your topics. This is especially for people who have babies. Please, for the love of all things holy...please talk about something other than your baby. It's safe to assume that before you had a baby, you had SOMETHING else to think and talk about, and most likely you still do SOMETHING other than take pictures of Junior. So...share that stuff, too. Even if it's just opinions about shows on TV or current events or the weather or your unruly hair or your obnoxious neighbors. Just a little something to mix things up every now and then. It'll be good for you, I promise.

#5) Enjoy the community. It's my number one favorite thing about blogging-- finding friends and sharing life with people all around the country and world. No longer are my friendships limited to people within driving distance. I can keep up with people anywhere, and share life via blogging. An important part of this is the "sharing" part. I don't just stalk their blogs-- I join in. I comment, I give shout-outs in my own blogs, and I "follow" my friends. In this way, not only do my blog-friendships grow, but my circles enlarge as more people find me (through comments on other peoples' blogs). Blogging is a LOT more fun when you feel like there are people who enjoy what you write and connect with what you're saying...and people will never know this unless you tell them via commenting and/or following!

I'm going to stop with 5, even though I could probably go on all afternoon. I'm excited to read what other people are saying about successful blogging, so be sure to go back and check out the other links on Kelly's page!

Happy Friday! And one last thing (completely unrelated to the rest of this blog) before I go:

Y'all know the turkey recall? I GOT ONE! One of the potentially contaminated packages, that is. You can't imagine how excited I was to find that in the freezer. I was overwhelmed by the possibilities: return it to the store? I might make a profit, since I bought it on sale...and I'm not sure, do they just give you a flat amount back for it? I don't have the receipt. So I could maybe make a profit! How awesome would that be? Or...not return it? I mean...I don't think salmonella would be that bad (feel free to comment if you've personally experienced otherwise). It might be nice to keep it around in case I ever need a nice vacay from work (or, as Hollie commented on my FB, in case I need to lose a quick 8-10 pounds!). 

It's still in my freezer, since I'm waffling in indecision right now. Here's to hoping I don't just forget all about it and then, in a few weeks, decide to make some burgers...


  1. We got the turkey too. And ate it. I've been counting the hours till I hit 72 and know that we are safe ;)

    Now you KNOW I violate #1 all the time... but in my defense, some of us HATE grammer and spelling and love the freedom of being able to not think about every little apostrophe and comma. My posts are are not even close to grammatically correct. I think it's because I think in a stream of consciousness, and then I like to write that way :) That said, I'm glad you haven't abandoned my blog and I have been getting better about letting Ben edit it since it drives him crazy, he he...

    Great post.

  2. I agree; the community is my #1 favorite thing about blogging.

    And I like your reasoning for why you are qualified to give advice. All sound stuff right there...

    For what its worth, my 2 cents is - return that turkey!! ;)

  3. I love your tips! I need to work of a few of them. They do make me look bad.

  4. Oh, and can you please add a #6. TMI- please do not tell all about the pregnancy side effects you are experiencing, your birth story play-by-play, or breastfeeding/weaning detail. Most people do not want or need to read that. Just doing a post where I mentioned the word "breastfeed" or "contraction" made me slightly uncomfortable. Forget going into every little detail about it. Perhaps this is just a pet peeve of mine. Perhaps I have intimacy issues...

  5. You're hilarious!!! Love your humor!! Great tips!

  6. Who saves a receipt for turkey? Certainly not me! Sorry you got in on the recall :(

    I agree about the baby stuff. I no longer have babies(*Sob*), but I like reading about other people's babies....just not ALL the time! I'm not sure if I spelled "people's" right. My brain went on vacation for the summer ;)

  7. I love, love, love these tips!! I couldn't have said it better myself, even though I am fairly new to blogging. Thank you and know that you have officially just gained your 52nd follower!

  8. haha! love the tips :) and now you have more than 51 followers...'cause i'm a follower.

    also, i think you should eat the turkey and blog about the results. ;)

  9. Blog hopped from Kelly's Korner - I'm so glad you wrote about using proper grammar! It is one of my biggest pet peeve when someone has a bazillion followers and they have the worst grammar! Okay...back to my corner of the world now.

  10. YES YES YES (not to sound too much like the infamous When Harry met Sally scene)... maybe I should say ditto. But I could have written this post myself. Especially number 3 and 4. Not to mention number 6 from the comments.

  11. Great list. I agree with every single one and try to follow them in my blog...learning along the way! People tell me they can hear my voice when I write! I thought that hopefully was a compliment...


  12. You are such a great writer. Great tips. I like Hollie's idea on the turkey...

  13. Ok, I make a concerted effort to do #4, but then 4 out of 5 posts this week were about Davis/breastfeeding... please forgive me!

  14. Make that 54 followers . . . you had me at "And also, Casey Anthony, you're guilty." ;)

    Fun tips!

  15. I probably break all of these rules. s'il le vous. In my defense, taking artsy pictures all the time IS's kinda my hobby.In my mind, taking a crappy picture is not an option. And, well, most of my life revolves around my baby. There just isn't a whole lot of other stuff going on. But I'll try harder. ;) these are great tips though.

  16. This post was hilarious, but I may need to get away from the computer and go read "So Long Insecurity" like RIGHT NOW, because a) I don't diversify much on my blog, b)You are a regular observer of my parenting and I have no idea what you're thinking in the midst of it, c) I hardly ever comment on blogs (and in fact typed this long comment on my phone then lost it when I tried to sign in, reminding me why I don't comment - urgh), d) I LIKE blogging details about labor and breastfeeding because it drives me crazy that they're taboo topics and then when people actually experience them they're in for shock and confusion and "is this normal" - let's talk about it for goodness sake!, and e) I couldn't even get through this comment without making a list.

    So while I think you and your blog are totally awesome, I may just go jump in a bloggy lake and never come back. Thanks a LOT. :)

  17. I vote to return the turkey!! :) Cole got salmonella a couple months ago and the poor kid was feverish and had the runs and stomach cramps for a couple weeks. Not so fun.

  18. Hi there! Just popped over from Kelly's Korner. Thanks for the blogging tips. I love reading what everyone thinks!!

    As far as the turkey goes...DON'T eat it! So not worth is!!


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