Monday, 16 April 2012

Blogging the Good Blog Post

Do any of us really know how to do it? And more importantly, does it matter if we don't? I read such a massive variety of posts that all deserve to be credited, some I assume have been published elsewhere because they're so well-written. But a blog is such a personal thing, isn't it? It's someone's window to their life; the things that interest them; family matters, illnesses, special needs, photography. There was a time I only read about people's lives, updates on their experiences. Now I read reviews, guest posts and all manner of informative articles that teach me something new every day. To blog is to write. Whether it be in diary format about your own life, or as a series of posts documenting reference. Not all of it will interest all of us, but some of it will, and that's why I love discovering new blogs and rediscovering old ones.

There are such a lot of blogging police about these days, telling us 'how to' and 'how not to', but when all's said and done, I reckon the majority of us blog what we like. And that, in my opinion, is exactly how it should be. I've had people emailing me in the past, telling me how to improve or change my blog, what I should write about, what I shouldn't, but all their emails get deleted into the ether, because frankly, this is my blog, not theirs.

I do feel proud when people ask me for blogging tips because it makes me assume I'm doing something right. I've given several tips on this blog, all from my own experience and research, i.e., discovering what works for me. Another phrase I hear often is "blogging etiquette". There is such a thing but it's definition is "common sense". If I read and enjoy a post I'll leave a comment. If I read and disagree with a post, then again I'll leave a comment - maybe not what the author wants to read but still, a debate is healthy interaction in the blogosphere. If I read but dislike a post, then I tend not to comment because I think there's nothing worse than leaving negative comments just for the sake of being awkward or unnecessarily pedantic. But something that should always be welcomed in the comments section of a blog post is an opinion.

Therefore, in my opinion, anyone can write a good blog post. What you want to say is right there, at your fingertips. Show the world you're not afraid of the blogging police and make your blog stand out. If you want to follow blogging etiquette then do; but remember that if you don't, your blog is still as good as everyone else's. Because you're out there, doing what you feel is right and not what others feel is wrong.

70 comments:

  1. Thank you for that post, I am always worried I am doing something wrong but will just get on with it now :)

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    1. None of us are doing anything wrong with our blog; we are just too often made to feel as though we are :)

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  2. You know that you *totally* kick ass, right? I may even be inlove with you. Awesome post.

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  3. I totally agree that this is your blog and you should write whatever you want, as should all other bloggers.

    The thing is, people dip their feet into this crazy world for so many reasons; some to just have a place to write, others to network and meet people, but many use it as a platform for bigger and better things.

    I know I've given you advice before and links to blogs that I feel are really 'making it'. I know there a lot of bloggers who dream of being able to do this as their day job and I suppose I thought you were amongst them. You have an incredibly readable writing style and a life that many people either dream of living or love reading about. I guess my point was that if you wanted to make this blog bigger/better/profitable, you could absolutely do it. That isn't to say though that what you are doing right now is wrong. I read you every day and LOVE what you do. If you didn't change a single thing I'd still be here! However, if you did try to take the next rung up the ladder, I'd wholeheartedly support you in doing so.

    Your life, to you, is probably just 'normal' but to others it's interesting. Why do you think you have so many followers? You could take this wherever you wanted it to go.

    Just my twopenneth :)

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    1. And a great twopenneth it is too, Elaine. You also know how to write a great comment. I'm really grateful for your offer of support, we've known each other online for a number of years now and your loyalty is much appreciated. I've never been interested in making money from my blog though, because I always feel it will take the joy out of blogging - will put too much pressure on an activity I choose to keep as a hobby x

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  4. If only all bloggers had the confidence to follow your advice and to just blog for them and be themselves. Sadly many people that come to blogging are vulnerable due to other issues and seem to find it hard to make their own way and not follow the crowd.

    Great stuff CJ. Mich x

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    1. You're right, though I think a lot of it is down to the amount of bloggers now out for a piece of the action. It's a very competitive past time these days, especially with money to be made.

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  5. I adore writing my blog and it doesn't worry me in the slightest if someone disagrees about something on my blog. As you say, Debate is healthy as long as its not done in a horrible or rude way. I blog because it gives me a medium to get all my thoughts down. I love this little part of my life that only my husband and son know about. In an ideal world I'd love to make it pay so I could give up my crappy job but thats never going to happen but one can dream. It pays me more than money ever could anyway. Plus, I have made so many wonderful friends through blogging. Your blog has always been a great source of inspiration to me.xxxx

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, JB. The paid job you do is immensely important and I imagine writing on your blog is a great escape to the unsavoury tasks you have to face :)

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  6. Oh CJ if only every blogger could understand this. In fact every person in the world. I dance at home in private. Why? Because I'm rubbish at it and couldn't inflict it on anyone else but I do it for the same reason I blog; I like it.

    I think that what is going on in the blogging world right now is going to bring a lot of people back to "basics" which may be a good thing!

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    1. I reckon you're right, Pippa. Going back to basics is never a bad thing. There have been so many changes, some for the better, a lot for the worse, and a lot that have been unnecessary. But blogging has always been that one hobby I've enjoyed doing, even on the days I've wanted to give up!

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  7. You get enough people telling you what to do in so many aspects of life don't you? My blogging is mine, and I'll use my own criteria to fill it! I love reading a variety of blogs and like you, learn something new all the time, makes for a richer life!

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    1. Yes you do, Lisa. People have to have their say on almost everything but when they start to dictate how to blog, that's when I walk away.

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  8. I think anyone who publicises a guide on how to blog is trying to mystify a simple process, usually for their own end. Brain, fingers, keyboard. That's all you need!

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    1. Exactly, Alex. It is a very simple process, apart from all the technical jargon that I wrote about a bit since, but we are all capable of writing a good post.

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  9. I am a firm believer in doing what makes me happy. I am not sure it is the "blogging police" or just lots of other bloggers giving advise etc. I think that people shouldn't be afraid to stand out in the crown and do what makes them feel good.

    I for one am just a little peeved at all these posts about blogging. Stop looking for validation people and start blogging.

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    1. I think a lot of people are afraid when it comes to blogging, simply because of the competitive streak that we as humans, possess. We all want to do well at what we do and that's my point; we are all doing well and none of us should be afraid to write or publish our thoughts.

      I actually enjoy reading and writing posts about blogging, Jen. What I don't like is reading posts that tell me "how to" blog and what not to do when I'm blogging.

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  10. Fabulous post, CJ. I found myself very recently thinking about something and then blogging about it. That's what I used to do and what seems natural to me. And those posts have got more views and comments than many of the planned and scheduled ones. I love that my blog has become a bit more professional, with more book reviews and vegetarian recipes that end up repinned or linked to on Trap.it, but what I first enjoyed most about blogging was just sharing my thoughts about (family) life and now and then making people think. And I think some of the most popular blogs (like yours, m'dear) are popular exactly because that's what they're doing - blogging about what they think about, what concerns them, what makes them laugh, and so on.

    I wonder if, as Pippa says, we might end up with a certain amount of going back to basics, which might turn out to be quite a nice thing.

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    1. I always try to write in order to make people think, though I know some of my posts don't really warrant interaction as such. I know what you mean about spontaneous blogging - writing what comes naturally rather than having to ponder for hours on end. They are usually the posts that bring in the most interaction.

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  11. Well said. I have to admit I've worried in the past about writing certain blog posts I want to write and whether I might 'upset' someone. But recently I've decided to just write it if that's what I feel like doing. I get the sense that some recent posts I've written have gone against the mood but I think if we all write how we want to without worrying too much then we have a lot more varied content out there. No one should worry about the 'blogging police' but I can understand why they do.

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    1. I can understand why they do, too, especially when people write in order to earn a few bob. It's understandable they want to get their blog post just right and that's a whole different issue. I've always written on this blog in order to attract an audience but I must admit, even I have started to write more for myself rather than others. The blogging police don't scare me. I'm 'ard. LOL

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  12. Write what you will and be happy with yourself. I have started my teenage daughter blogging. Mostly I wanted her to have an out besides school work and friends. Something that was just for her. It has turned into a bit of a photography/ fashion blog and she loves doing it. Mine is just me and what I get up to. Nothing more nothing less. I take a few extra hints and suggestions sometimes but I don't want anyone policing me about it all, telling me how to or what to do. I agree with a lot of your commentors above.

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    1. Well done for getting your daughter blogging. It's something she will most probably really enjoy. I'd love to see her blog sometime if you want to send me the link...

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  13. Let your true self keep shining through. People want to engage with the real you, not some watered-down conformist.

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    1. I do hope so, Roy. I'd hate to think I was "watered-down".

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  14. Great post, as always CJ. Blogging should be what the individual wants it to be whether that be in a personal, literary or commercial sense. In this day and age, yes readers do matter but they arrive (and return) to read the content that the blogger has produced rather than demand what is to be written.

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    1. ...which is exactly how it should be, Nickie. No one should feel obliged to write a post because it's a trend, or because they've been made to feel wronged in anyway for a post they've previously written. Blog and let blog!!

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  15. at the end of the day as long as you are happy with what you write...the rest is hot air...i have learned a lot about writing through blogging...

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    1. And you write incredibly well, Brian.

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  16. Just keep blogging away and write about what you want. Its good to rant sometimes too! I do it all the time.
    Going back to your comment on mine...feel free to link up any time I write in a similar vein. I would be honoured!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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    1. Thanks, Maggie (post drafted, a good ol' rant!).

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  17. completely agree, its such a personal and subjective thing and people either get it or they dont but I dont like it when I get a sense that someone isnt being 'themselves' iykwim

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    1. I know a few people who don't get blogging and that's fine by me, though I have come across some folk who have put me down for being so interested in blogging. I tell them, "you like riding your bike and going to the pictures, I like blogging. It's a hobby. We're all different."

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  18. I'm actually really shocked that you've had people contact you offering advice for what to write about and how to improve your blog - how rude is that? Damn right it's your blog, and good for you for keeping your feet on the ground about it. I think it's great just how it is!

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    1. Thank you for those kind words. I've had emails from people over the years telling me "don't you think it would be better if you..." and sometimes I read the whole email before I delete it, just in case it does have a valid point. But I won't be dictated to in this case.

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  19. Apart from the bloggers who just use their blog to make money I think blogs are personal things and it's entirely up to the owner what they write about. :)

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    1. Absolutely, it shouldn't be anyone else's business. If you don't like a blog, don't read it. Simples.

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  20. I just blog like it's a diary of the days or week's happenings...I cannot stand the Blog Police! I'd rather they just keep going!
    hughugs

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    1. Yes, scurry off into oblivion and leave us serious bloggers to what we love doing, lol.

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  21. I had just written about my weekend and thought it sounds as though I should get a life but then I read your blog and thought she is right just write how you feel and want you want. My blog is never particularly witty, sometimes it is about my family and sometimes just what I have done but it is my blog and as you rightly say it is up to me what I write.
    PS I always like your blog

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    1. But you write it and that's what is admirable. To keep it updated from time to time is an achievement in itself.

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  22. so true, wonderful words. this might just be a fantastic blog post :). I am often/always surprised at what people seem to love on my blog and what goes unnoticed. Just today someone told me they were reading a post which had inspired them - I kid you not when I say it was a 5 minute rant of a post with very little thought and no planning. I guess it just shows that blogging is less in our control than we think.

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    1. Thanks, Emma. (I hope it is a fantastic post, lol.) It's usually the case that those quick posts are the best. I've written many over the years that have brought in a massive amount of interaction and have been whipped up in 5 minutes. Yet I've deliberated over posts for hours, sometimes days, and received hardly any interaction!

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  23. I always love getting comments on my blog, to me it shows that someone has thought it interesting to read. I blog what i like when i like, i blog in my own words, i don't try to make myself someone i am not. That is something i learnt a long time ago. I am Me and if people don't like my thoughts or ramblings then they don't have to follow me. If more people listened less to what other peoplw say then the world would be a better place- Or maybe i'm being naive in thinking that most people have common sense and decency

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    1. Exactly! Like I said in reply above, if you don't like a blog then don't read it. Don't go making the blogger look like an idiot by leaving stupid comments thinking it makes you look better than they are. There's nothing worse!

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  24. I always mix it up. To be honest if I over reviewed I would feel that i wasn't human ! I like to interact and tell people something of my life and hopefully they will find it useful .

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    1. I think a varied blog is good; always makes it more interesting.

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  25. I agree, I find it frustrating when blogging advice recommends having a clear vision/ focus. I like all different things and want to be able to cover whatever I want to focus on in that moment. In the same way, I recently had to decide what I wanted to with-hold and I decided that, for me, some things are too personal to blog about considering the nature of my job and that once out there, a blog is open to anyone.Rx

    http://sandersonsmithstory.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I know what you mean, Rachael. There are things I'd never blog about that are far too personal to talk about in public. I guess we must always remember that our blogs are out there for the whole world to see, including the pictures we publish of our children.

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  26. This is a great post, I'm so glad you wrote it. You totally lead by example, showing us that we shouldn't worry about what others think and should blog for ourselves. I think that's inspiring

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    1. Thank you, Laura. I think it's important that blog for ourselves as well as for an audience. I make no bones about why I blog and hope to attract readers here for a long time to come yet.

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  27. This is very true. Although I have now been blogging for a year I still consider myself a relative newbie, and therefore it is easy to get sucked into the hype surrounding how to write a good post. But I enjoy my blog more when I write just for me really- it feels good and if people pop past and have a read then that is fab. I'm not sure I want to be under pressure to get posts out or do too many reviews, so they will just come and go every so often. Good for you to speak up :)

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    1. That's what the problem is I find - once you start listening to people dictating the how to's and how not to's of blogging, you lose the joy of doing what you set out to do - and that's to run a successful blog that has been written and thought up by ONLY you.

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  28. I'm glad you mention this...I started stressing about the do's/dont's of blogging a while back and ended up not posting for a bit because I was so unsure of it was the 'right' thing or not.
    I decided after a while that I was going to write about whatever interested me and I'm much happier for it.
    Whether it's a good thing or not I can't tell, but hey ho I'm having fun doing it :)
    Fab post CJ. x

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    1. Quite right too. If you can't have fun whilst blogging then there's no point doing it in my eyes. Seems a waste of time doing something and getting all stressed out about it, even if you are earning money from it.

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  29. CJ, what an absolutely lovely post!
    I agree with your blogging philosophy (if that's what you call it!).
    I hesitate a lot when writing posts, and think that what I have to say is not interesting, and only sometimes remember that most of all I'm writing my blog for ME, as my diary.
    Great advice here.

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    1. There are many times I write a post and wonder if I've done the right thing. I've also deleted published posts in the past because I've had second's thoughts about it. People have noticed and asked where such and such a post is when they went to find it. We have a right to publish or delete any posts we write for our blog, that's one prerogative of having a blog in the first place.

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  30. I am surprised that anyone would try to tell you - of all people - how to improve your blog! So many of us think that it's one of the best. Agree with many of the other commenters that writing for yourself works best of all x

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    1. Thank you for those kind words. There are some amazing blogs out there and I've read a lot of them, but I imagine even they have been told how to improve or change.

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  31. I tend to write for myself, but memes also help top tease a little bit more out of me, about me, aswell. People have told you what to write? Really? What an odd thing to do. Its thanks to blogging that I have discovered that maybe, just maybe I can write .... and I am thinking about doing some sort of creative writing course.

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    1. I agree; I used to do meme's but haven't done any for a while now. I think we run out of unknown facts when we've been blogging such a long time! yes, you can write and a creative writing course would be a wonderful thing to do. I did the Writer's Bureau but it's very intense.

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  32. Thanks for this CJ, you are so right. We should be just doing whta feels right for us. I had a few moments when I was worried about what others will think, but not anymore. I am blogging for myself, and if someone doesn't like it... they don't have to read my blog. Miss tweeting with you, hopefully more time soon ;)))

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    1. Definitely, Mirka. It's the same old cliche isn't it? Don't like my blog...? then move on. No obligation to stay and read!

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  33. That's good to read, sort of gives permission. Thanks :)

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    1. Permission? Who needs permission to write a blog post? None of us do :)

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  34. I love reading other people's blogs, of all kinds. Obviously some are more interesting than others. Very rarely do I find one I actually don't want to read. However, when it comes to my own, I often worry that it's perhaps not up to standard. I'm still very new to blogging, so I suppose I have much to learn.

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  35. I think we will always have things to learn as we go along, Jen, because blogging is what we make it. We could read a post one day and feel inspired to write about a similar topic, and that to me is learning something new.

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