Hey bloggers! I think it's time for a chat. I'm not a writer, I'm not a social media expert, I don't know clever things. But I am a tweeter, a twatty blogger, and I do know people. I know more about people than most. I am your target audience.
There are rules, bloggers. Unwritten rules, variable rules, rules that no one tells you about. But still, RULES. To break one is forgivable. We all make mistakes, especially when we start blogging coughEDBALLScough. Look, people blog for all sorts of reasons. I'm not going to hoik my judgeypants at anyone, to employ the literary device known as lying. But assuming you're writing a blog because you want to, here are the rules.
1. Write because you have something to say. Do not write to be read. I spill all kinds of blog twattery out on here. Sometimes in sorrow, sometimes in anger. Sometimes because I've found something interesting and want to write about it. Sometimes* I'm just twatting about. But I write because I have to, not in expectation of being read. Not for attention. Yeah, I know we've all read the stories of bloggers who have gone on to find fame, fortune & six figure book advance deals. Who end up on This Morning and Question Time. They are the exception. But you should have one thing in common with them. That you love/hate/ feel REALLY passionate about what you write.
*All the time
2. Blogging shouldn't be a chore. 'Oh! It's Saturday! I haven't written my blogpost! It'll be up in two hours, folks!'. Firstly, and I cannot emphasise this enough, NO. ONE. CARES. Secondly, if you're blogging to schedule, you don't need to blog. I know I have the very great luxury of an empty, unfulfilled and meaningless life, so I can write as and when the compulsion takes hold. Not many people are as fortunate. But if blogging is something you do, then rethink. It should be something you feel, need, must.
3. Blog stats. Ignore them. This isn't a popularity contest. I got 2k hits on a post a few weeks back, and a load of comments. A lot of those comments really pissed me off. But another post, a small, sad lost post that I didn't tweet about elicited a text from a friend. A text of solace, comfort, and understanding. Which do you think meant more? 2k hits in a day? Or a message from someone who was one of only 12 to read a post?
4. Be honest. Please. I'm a chronic oversharer. Not everyone is quite so prone to open soulbearing. But if you feel something, say so. Say why. Tell people. Say 'This fascinates me, it's amazing, it's incredible. I love X because Y.' But if I read 'This is what speaks to me', with no further explanation, no real feeling, no bloody passion, I guarantee I will have only one response. 'You big hairy arsed LIAR. Don't lay claim to thoughts and feelings you do not have.'
5. I'm going to say it again. DO NOT WRITE FOR ATTENTION. Blogging, tweeting, however you do it. Attention seeking is obvious, desperate, and pitiful. There is nothing intriguing in it. Nothing is a greater turn off. So do NOT tweet me a link to your blog, demanding I read it, demanding comments. In the context of a conversation, fine. Anything else, rude. Really fucking rude. Like a dog sticking it's nose in your crotch. If it's my kind of blog, trust me, I'll find it. I'm good like that. Another thing I'm good at is overenthusiasm. If I like you, you'll know about it. And so will everyone else. Like my hair, I have no control. If I like you and what you do, you will never find a more annoying advocate. But I am also a contrary bastard, and if you shove your blog equivalent of a toddler pasta shape self portrait in my face, I will smile, tightly, nod, and despise you for eternity.
6. Your words, your voice, your blog. I've had blogposts ripped off in the past. And trust me, it did not end well. I am not cool with that. If you've read something of mine, and it's given you an idea for a post, great. But do not fucking ever rip me off, and expect me not to notice. I will see it, I will hunt you down, I will fucking destroy you. I don't take myself seriously. But don't be fooled into thinking I don't care about my words, my thoughts, my writing, MY fucking blog. This blog is me. My voice. Do not ever take my voice. Because ventriloquists are creepy as fuck. And I will never lose my voice again.