Friday, April 2, 2010

Making the Best Blog and the Best You

(explanation on the photo further along in this post)

When I first started blogging, my goal was simply to throw out the wild theories that rattled around in my head and see if they stuck to anyone passing by. What I found was that there are certain things that bring people back over and over again and certain things that make their eyes roll back in their heads and leave fast.

Use your own voice. I found that so long as I wrote in my own voice, people got it. No pretentiousness or large words or technical do-dahs… Simply write like you’re talking to a buddy about stuff, sitting back in a lawn chair and contemplating the universe after downing a couple beers and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. You know, that kind of talk… “What if the universe is the belly of a giant?” “If you won the lottery, who would you call first…” "Do you think your dog can get drunk?"

Keep it moist. What the heck does that mean? If you’re dry, that is, you’re quoting too much information from technical sources, using a lot of techno-words and writing it like it’s your dissertation, you’ve lost them. It’s not that people aren’t smart—the majority really do get it, they just don’t want to get it. They go onto the blog to check in with wild ideas and fun people that become a second family. They don’t want a “lecture.” Intersperse info with examples and short paragraphs and some wit. Put your spin on it. You know on “American Idol” when they keep telling people “make the song yours” that’s the same with the blog world. Only you can tell that post in your own viewpoint and own language. You see the world with special glasses--let others try them on for a time.

Keep it open-ended. I always try to make my posts a jumping off point for folks to begin dialogue about the subject. The comments on my blog are damn better than the posts!

Check your ego at the door: Above all, your ego should not be tied to your blog so much that you can’t laugh when someone comes on who is trolling (you know, the know-it-alls who want to tell you why your theory is fucked or you’re quoting the wrong source or pick you apart). Those Debbie Downers are really trying to suck the light right out of you. Just imagine their shriveled scrotum and their sad tiny little lives and move on. They are not an authority pointing a finger at you or making you look stupid. In fact, you can’t survive in the blog world if you don’t take yourself lightly. I expect to and often do stupid things. I can laugh at it. Once, I did a magazine interview and the photographer made me pose in this bizarre way. He was a short Asian and I’m a tall gal, so he made me go on my knees, turn my head towards the ground, but look up at him with my eyes to look spooky. Someone online commented that I looked like Natalie from “Facts of Life.” Jesus, I did! It hurt my girl ego for a few moments and then I looked at the picture and laughed. If I didn’t know how I look normally, I’d have seen that too. The reporter later called me back and apologized. She said she thought he sent in the wrong photo because I do not look like that.

So, the photo above shows you, I have no trouble taking myself lightly. I’m not all staunch and self-importance. People are too funny and I’m one of the funniest goofiest people around, so things can roll off me because I don't have a “perfection” standard but a "human" standard. Ease your standards. Being able to laugh at myself, I won that contest. I got a Chairman of the Board suite with like 1600 square feet, its own elevator, piano, sauna, a massage, a dinner and brunch, a huge basket of goodies and wines and such, and invited everyone I knew to party in the suite. People ask me, why would you let them publish that picture of me? Well, I earned the “after” picture on the right. I had nothing to be embarrassed about, and damn! My kid made a sweet drink holder and my feet were swollen—that’s pregnancy truth when you have preeclampsia.

The blog world can help you define yourself even better. The more postings, the more you realize what your focus is, the more others get to know you. You become a family. People check into your blog and see how you’re doing more than they even care what the posts are. Follow lots of blogs. They will follow you too. Soon, ya'all know each other real well. Sometimes, the posts grab their attention and they get giddy to talk about the subject. I’ve made it a rule that when someone comments, they often leave it open-ended, so I comment back. I stop there unless their next comment begs answering. So, if you leave a comment, come back—I very well might have answered your comment.

Lessons today? Try to keep it moist, leave it open-ended, don’t take yourself or your viewpoints too seriously (as a ghost hunter who doesn’t believe in demons or the concept of evil, I am often aggressively confronted and I appreciate the reasons they’ve come to believe those concepts, but I also know neither can be proven right and they aren’t changing my viewpoint—it’s my own voyage). It's all perspective.

Keep it up, I love all your blogs and your input. You’ve made my blog develop and adapt to your needs and that’s helped my theory focus too. I love ya’all!


  1. LOL, that picture of you preggers reminds me of sitting on my couch, pregnant with Katie, and sitting the bowl of icecream on my ever growing belly. I love it! I found that when I make my stories personal and different, more people will comment. This is what I am now focusing on the blog, as you know. Thanks again for all your help....I was lost, but now I'm found.

  2. You crack me up. I laughed so hard reading your post. You know when I see my family this weekend I'm gonna be all "keeping it moist".

    You're one of my favorite blog friends sharon.

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  4. Hey Paula;
    Glad to give you a giggle. I'm a goofball to be sure. I kidded with one of my friends the other day that if I won the lottery, I'd get in my car and drive around the country meeting my favorite blog people and giving them a hug and compiling a book of the photos and stories about meeting them called "Hug a Blogger." hee hee. I would so visit you! :-)

  5. Great post - excellent blogging advice. Luckily, I don't have signs of a shrunken least, not yet. :)

    That image made me LOL, funny stuff!

  6. Nate;
    I certainly hope you're not a troll, a most nasty practice. Glad to give you a chuckle.

  7. Hmmmm..... You are wonderful moist,,, but you probably don't want to see me moist. That's a bad thing.

  8. Hey Jessica;
    You're a girl of the south--you have to be moist! (just don't mildew)

  9. "Keeping it moist", that's something you don't hear everyday. At least you have the guts to theorize. I stick to facts and innuendo.

  10. Andrea;
    Yeah, I'm that fool around the campfire saying "what if???" It's my favorite passtime.