The best blog advice I have ever received is...

>> Tuesday, 27 September 2011

I'm feeling a little low on blogging inspiration right now, so BritMums Prompt of the Week was something of a godsend for me today. It's not that I have nothing to say, you understand; just that I have nothing I want to commit to the ether and - essentially - have it rattle around in cyberspace for eternity. Because, even if you post, and then think better of it and delete what you've written from your blog, it will always be out there - somewhere.


Having said that, thinking before you hit publish is not the best blogging advice I have ever received. It's not bad advice, you understand - (my personal approach is that if I'm writing something I think may be controversial I write it, save it, and re-read it the next day to see if it still holds true and if I am happy for it to be 'out there' for ever, then I publish it), but it's not the best advice I've ever read or been given on blogging.

No, the best bit of advice that I've ever been given about blogging is that the you shouldn't over-think. (Which, now I consider it, completely contradicts the paragraph above this but what the hell, it's my blog, if I want to be contrary I will). And by 'over-think' I mean, spend time fretting about writing the funniest post, the most popular post, the one that will get the most mentions on twitter, the most comments, the highest number of hits, the most links. If you start to worry about doing all of those things you are - or at least, I am - lost. You will lose your identity and spend all your time floundering around for the next hot issue to blog about, and will be at risk of losing any originality or individuality you have.

Sure, you should - or again, I do - ensure that when you post something, you are proud of it, if not in sentiment then at least of the way that you write it. But you shouldn't sit there in front of your keyboard worrying that what you write might not be good enough, might not be entertaining enough, and get yourself all tangled up in knots about that. That way lies bloggers block.

Which leads me onto the next snippet of the best advice I ever received, which is - to borrow a well-known advertising slogan - just do it. (Feel free to add expletive as required). What you need to do - if you want to be a blogger who enjoys what they're spending their time doing - is just write. Even when you think you have nothing to say, just log into your blog, click on 'new post' and write. You'll be amazed by how easily the words flow if you can just find that first sentence - even if it's nonsense.

And then, the third part of the best piece of advice I ever received about blogging. Say what you want to - and then stop.

So I will.

17 comments:

MsCaroline 27 September 2011 at 11:11  

excellent advice. While I usually prefer to look at things from the humorous side)those posts are more fun to write), I do have my occasional serious moods, and often wonder what readers who are expecting humor will think when I write something reflective instead. Those are often the posts I like the best. Thanks for the reminder.

Retiredandcrazy 27 September 2011 at 11:20  

I have had a couple of experiences of shooting from the lips. Not good. My words come from the heart and I like to "tell it as it is" without upsetting anyone, but hey! sometimes people are determined to be negative and I can't do much about that.

Expat mum 27 September 2011 at 13:54  

I definitely think a lot of bloggers totally over-think the whole thing and lose the joy by worrying about awards, polls and Klout positions. Furthermore, the posts tend to become very blatant attempts to get comments or clicks and lose a lot of personality into the bargain. (I just re-read this to make sure I hadn't named names or otherwise pissed too many people off!)

Karin @ BritMums 27 September 2011 at 14:15  

Outstanding advice Fair Potty. You are so very wise. And it is so very true! Thank you for sharing your wisdom...hope some of the "newbies" will take it on board! ;)

Karin @ BritMums

Bush Mummy 27 September 2011 at 14:44  

I totally agree with all of that. I think it's easy to lose sight of why you started blogging. It should be FUN not a chore or a job or a career.. if it is, it's no longer a blog, it's a website.

The posts I'm most proud of are the ones that I've written in an inspired frenzy.. often reading back only once before pressing 'publish'.

Either you put yourself out there or you don't in my view..

Great post.

BM x

London City Mum 27 September 2011 at 16:06  

Brain dump usually works for me.
And has got me into plenty of hot water (wetsuit notwithstanding) as you know.

Not sure what that says about me. Or my brain, for that matter.

LCM x

Knackered Mother 27 September 2011 at 19:13  

Brilliant post Potty...funny how my blogging mojo goes as soon as I start to think it really matters x

Potty Mummy 27 September 2011 at 19:52  

MsC - I think your readers will simply enjoy your excellent writing, humorous or not!

R&C, you certainly can't.

EPM, relax; no names, no pack drill...

Karin, I think I'm probably far too staid & boring for most newbies to bother! (But thankyou - again!)

Thankyou BM x

LCM, but you do cut such a fine figure in that wetsuit - would be a shame not to use it from time to time.

KM, maybe that's what I should have written; at the end of the day, it's just a blog... x

nappy valley girl 27 September 2011 at 20:15  

Totally agree with you. Some of my favourite posts by others appear to be written randomly out of the blue - that's the beauty of blogging, I reckon. If posts seem too 'prepared' it puts me off somehow.

Iota 28 September 2011 at 03:23  

That's good advice.

[That's a short comment, because I said what I wanted to say, and then stopped.]

PantsWithNames 28 September 2011 at 08:55  

Yes, yes. That. What you said. Perfect.

Paradise Lost In Translation 28 September 2011 at 23:02  

yup. I agree with all this. I have given up angsting & just do it! I think in a prev (long ago post) you also talked about not writing stuff about someone that you would mind if they read. also gd advice. That has stopped me venting unwisely, knowing family read it:o)

expatmammy 2 October 2011 at 16:06  

that's great advice I spend hours think OMG what if I offend someone. I used to worry about awards and stuff and when I couldn't be othered with them anymore one opped up for me, I just enjoy writing now. I feel like I've met so many friends through the blogging world, we'll never meet but they're still friends.xxxx

Julie-Ann Murphy 4 October 2011 at 20:38  

Good advice. My last post was a deviation from the humourous tongue in cheek articles I usually write, but I went with it anyway as I was in a proper strop and needed to get it out somewhere else other than venting to those around me. It's out there now though..(and work colleagues who follow my blog were kinder than usual to me on Monday!)

Pig in the Kitchen 7 October 2011 at 20:22  

I heard some good advice recently. Along the lines of 'just becoz everyone is video blogging, you don't have to. Who wants to watch shit video?' You can have that one for free :-)
x

Oh and what expat mum says...klout scores?? wtf? what happened to good writing?

nixdminx 9 October 2011 at 22:11  

You're so right about stopping - that's one thing I've learned, if you have something to say, sometimes it doesn't need to have a witty or clever amusing follow up.

Kitchen Benchtops 2 February 2012 at 19:32  

A very interesting discussion indeed! Great information shared. Well done.

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