No! Don’t run away, non-bloggers! Because this is the alternative how-to-blog guide that’s just as relevant to readers as it is to writers. That weird lump you can see on my face is my tongue, firmly inserted into my cheek whilst I write. This is the blogging guide that you’ll never ever read on more serious how-to-blog sites, I promise. Also, I guarantee not to be able to tell you how to make millions from your blog. Sorry. Here, my fine fibrous friends, are the unexpected things that they don’t tell you when that fateful thought ‘Maybe I should start a blog’ pops into your head. (If you’ve just had that thought, go give it some serious consideration. Blogging is a whole hairy heap of
time-sucking fun. It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s changed my life.) So here, in no particular order, is what they don’t tell you:-
- Eventually, several months after you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security, some really unexpected person will say very sincerely, “I always read your blog, you know.” Oh dear. “Ha ha ha,” you’ll titter, as you momentarily panic and try to recall whether you recounted that anecdote about them on your site. This will happen several times, and will involve both your ultra-upstanding great-great-great-maiden-aunt-Mildred and also Sid, your radical punk anarchist vegan neighbour. You will realize that by bearing your soul online, it’s impossible to avoid mortally offending at least one of them. You will sigh and resign yourself to wrecked relationships all round. But hey, who needs real-life connections when you can add to your blogging stats?!
- The Blogging Police is a thing. Stray too far into deceit, financial shadiness, or general obnoxiousness, and they’ll be on to you with more perspicacity than a toddler who knows you’ve hidden the chocolate. Their eyes are as sharp as their wit. Be ye afeared.
- So you like to photograph cool scenery for your blog? Yeah, me too. But you’ll only see any whilst you’re driving to work (late), and thus utterly unable to photograph it from the window of a moving vehicle. Those places where you can safely and legally stop? Pah, the view is rubbish.
- When the universe dumps a blooper on your life, 90% of you sighs. But the other 10% thinks, “This’ll be brilliant for the blog.” Reference my running app shouting UNDERPANTS at Colin-the-postman. OK, I admit it, in that case it was more like 70% of me thinking BLOG-FODDER!
- Call yourself a blogger, and you’re a narcissistic dabbler. Say that you run a website, and you’re a visionary entrepreneur.
- And finally, no matter how vehemently you deny that you’ll ever become that blogger who opens every post with, “Sorry I haven’t posted for ages but I’ve been soooooooooooo busy,” one wet weekend day you’ll find yourself desperately tempted to type those very words. (I’ve only given in to that temptation once in 218 posts… so far.) One day, you’ll be so tempted to do this that you’ll have to take yourself down to the cellar and give yourself a thorough beating to remind yourself that the internet has probably coped reasonably well with your absence this past week. Really, you’re only apologizing to yourself. Unless you’re the Dalai Lama, folks won’t have been refreshing their browser every five seconds in anticipation of your latest wisdom. But if you are the Dalai Lama (or ‘Dalai Llama’ as my yarn-obsessed mind nearly typed), then you can probably get away with apologizing for being “such a baaad blogger coz I haven’t posted in, like, aaaaages. Totes soz!”
How to blog. ‘Tis easy, really.
And now, back to the knitting.