“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” — Dale Carnegie
I’ve been sitting on this blog for awhile now. I wasn’t sure how to approach it, so I just didn’t. The seeds of this blog entry came from trolling around other people’s blogs. Most people set up a blog with the hopes it will attract traffic to their sites, or to help network with other like-minded individuals. Whether you are an author, or running an organization, or a wonder-mom, a blog is a REALLY good idea for getting your ideas out to bounce off others.
The biggest issue I’m seeing with blogs I’m reading is that it is evident that the blogger has no idea what a blog is even for!
In a nutshell, here is what a blog is for: a blog is a form of social networking where you exchange ideas for the purpose of identifying with a readership for the purpose of expanding that readership.
That’s it. Nothing else. Nothing more.
So let me break down a handy list of deadly blog sins!
1- Your blog is mostly just pictures, either of yourself, family, pets, organization, or whatever you had for lunch.
Why is this wrong? Simply, there are social networking sites that are more fitted to just showing off pictures. Like Instagram, Tumblr etc. A blog is not a proficient way of sharing that sort of media. You’ll get more views elsewhere. Also, it defies the purpose of a blog, which is to share information that others can identify with, and instead becomes a picture album for stuff no one was asking to see. You are killing your page views with these types of posts. Take it to Instagram.
2- Your blog is nothing but a place where you spout your feelings over life experiences that no one else can identify with.
Why is this wrong? To be frank, because nobody cares. If you write a blog post for the sake of saying bye to an old coworker, no one cares. No one has ever met your coworker. Now, if your blog is talking about your feelings over Jim Henson’s death, you might be on to something, because others can identify to that–there are people in this world who care/are fans of Henson. No one but you is a fan of Benny from accounting. Again, this goes back to whether or not your readership can relate and identify to what you are putting out there.
3- Your blog is basically your diary.
Why is this wrong? (I feel I’m repeating myself.) Again, No. One. Cares. And frankly, it is nobody’s business. Expounding the same stuff on a blog you do in your diary, with no apparent harmony between the posts or theme, is a blog killer. Diaries are emotional, sporadic, without order. There are a lot of boring bits to them that just chronicle out days, and a lot of emotions. Oh, Lordy, the emotion! If you judged a guy by his private journal entries you’d probably swear he’s bipolar. There is a reason diaries are locked. There are exceptions to this, like, I had a friend who blogged through the dirt and ugly of her divorce. There was a lot of emotion, and a lot of diary like chronicling. However (A BIG HOWEVER) there was a theme. It was all taking her through one topic, during one point in her life that a ton of women can relate to or find solace in. This goes back to my initial question, can the readership identify with your blog?
3- All you do is talk about yourself.
Why is this wrong? No one cares about you. Sorry. Thems the breaks, kid.
I’d like to open up to say there are, of course, exceptions to this. Here is a blog where the blogger talks about themselves done right. When this is done right the blogger is using their life and experiences to speak into others experiences and life. When it is done wrong, well, it is just proof for all your exes that you, in fact, do suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, and they aren’t actually crazy.
Now, ideally, your blog will talk about topics that others can relate to, be informed by, or entertained by. It is okay to talk about yourself, (again) so long as it is something others can identify with. No one cares about how you feel every time you take a vacation to New York. However, they might care if you are cat-called on the subways of New York and you use your experience to shed light on a serious social issue that a ton of people can relate to.
That’s enough complaining from me for now. I hope I’ve given you an idea of how to approach blogging through shedding light on what not to do. I may follow this up sometime with what to do…but that seems so evident to me, it might be a short blog.
In closing, write things that others can use, identify with, or see themselves in, and you are doing alright.