Despite being told not duplicate other people’s posts, I am using John Chow’s post about “blogging mistakes to avoid” to tell you how and why I keep a web-journal:
Mistake #1 – Not Updating
Have to agree with this one. I don’t upload as much as the average blogger. Maybe it’s because I have kept some sort of ‘journal’ for the past eight years, either on paper or typed. I had a blog when it was called a web-page. So daily posting doesn’t exactly excite me any more. OK, so you’ve had six posts from me in the last 24 hours. There is a simple reason for that:
I installed “ScribeFire”. It’s an addon for Mozilla Firefox (maybe also for IE, but I’m not interested in knowing). It’s easily to learn, doesn’t require a Phd in underwater macramé to decipher and is up-n-running straight after its installed. But the best thing is that I can type up stuff whilst perusing sites. Now that’s something to blog about!
I hope to keep a regular post going. If you install ScribeFire, you will too!
Mistake #2 – Blogging Only For Money
Blogging for money? I wish. I have about two adverts on here – and both are for my own stuff. Maybe I should put a few more on. Anyone like to enlighten me on where the cheapest (read:free) advertisers are located?
Like John Chow says: The second you decide to blog for the sake of money, you’ve failed your own standards. Many of us blog because we enjoy writing, typing and telling our story. B The second you caught up in the day-to-day grind of posting for the sake of your advertisers, you are no longer human – you’re just another cog in the wheel that you so desperately tried to avoid becoming! Relax, chill out, let the words flow. Think, type, write, conjugate, refer to the dictionary, research, “Google it“, and write something interesting. Otherwise you are just filling binary space that would otherwise be non-existent.
Mistake #3 – Rushing a Post
I rarely write anything that is rushed – unless that is how it was born. Many of us think have great tracts of text to get down before they disappear – but that should just be step one. Step two should be to make sure it makes sense. Step three is to show someone else (mum, that cute receptionist, PA) to get their vibe or opinion. This is not mandatory. Step four – hover your finger over “PUBLISH” button. Hesitate until you know the moment is right. You’ll feel it. But there is one thing to remember – and John says it very clearly: If you spot an error after the post, correct it immediately.
That being said, let me say that YES, sometimes I rush a post. I can type at around sixty words a minute (on a good day with the wind in the right direction). I often write short story’s based on just one word. I like writing. Which is why my journal posts don’t happen a lot. Strange, yet true. There’s no need to rush, not when you know the internet is not your whole life!
Mistake #4 – Not Being Personal
Although John is correct in saying that we need to be more personal. As Heather discovered, telling the world about your boss’s bad habits are going to get you into hot water. Which is why you rarely hear about the goings on around my home, work, social activities. So what I’ll do instead is analogize them, make them into interesting short stories about fictitious people, or completely rewire the event or situation to ensure nobody can think it’s about them. I find this most fun, because it increases my vocabulary and grammar.
Which reminds me of an old joke:
Teacher: “Oh my, your language is disgusting! Where is your grammar?”
Student: “In the lounge room staring at the television…”
Mistake #5 – Being a Copycat
Being unique on the internet is getting harder and harder. What with the trillions of websites that born every minute on waste.of.space.com (that do damage to Molly’s attempt to push web-standards), the great number of sites that built purely to cache not create and the other fifteen million that are primarily about stuff that should be kept private – you’d wonder why anyone would bother.
But bother they do. Seems everyone needs to have a space. Even a second life. (If I had the computer-power, I’d go on SecondLife. Just to discover what all the hoo-haa is about.)
So if you are going to dig a bit of ground on the net, find a good reason. Find something unique – if it’s possible. Write posts about a few things, not a lot of things. Refine your message, make yourself an audience, advertise around on forums – and wait for someone to respond. Being unique isn’t about wanting to be like everyone else.
Mistake #6 – Not Replying To Comments
Oh boy, I should cringe and bury myself on this issue. I’ve had comments enabled, disabled, half-abled, and restricted. I got a slew of disgusting comments some time ago. When I restricted comments to a NO LINKS policy, suddenly they all dried up.
I’ve since modified that. Please feel free to leave comments. But for the love of healthy discussion, keep it clean. When I work out how to install wordpress into my domain, I am going to include these two plugins.
Mistake #8 – Not Reaching Out To Other Bloggers
This is an area where I am quite guilty. I regularly read other people’s journals – but rarely do I leave a comment. And it’s not because I don’t want to, but it seems like someone has gotten there before me and said exactly what I was thinking. But maybe that is the point of commenting. Most writers want some form of assurance they are on the right track, that their research was accurate – or simply that plenty of people are noticing them. It’s not a crime to want more attention. So yeah, I’ll make a concerted effort to leave a message.
Mistake #9 – Writing For Google Instead Of People
It would be literally impossible to write a post that included all the words that Google is saying are ‘attractors‘. Everyday they change.
So simply write what you are thinking. Write the first things that appear in your minds-eye. I don’t dwell on whether Google is going to notice me. Hell, because I know it will. Search engines rely on words, words and more words. Just write. Keep it sensible. Avoid speling misteaks. (chortle) Keywords and phrases. Get over yourself. It’s not a do-or-die situation – unless you are a business that relies on Google for the food on the table each night.
Maybe I’d change my tune if I was writing to promote a product that I am advertising. Hell, yes, I would. But that isn’t happening. Yet.
Mistake #10 – Not Reading other peoples blogs.
This is actually far more important than Jon gives credit. It’s in other people’s blogs that our thoughts are born. By reading more and understanding the words, we question everything and provide answers when we know. By reading all that you can, you give birth to journal entries of your own. How on earth do you think this hunk of text got started.
So, read my journal or any other of the many in my sidebar. I do.