A “friend” sent me an email directing me to a blog that boasted this title: “Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?” Do you think she was trying to tell me something? I called her to ask her that very question. No, I did not respond to her email with an email. If I have something to say to someone, I say it! I don’t direct someone to a webpage to tell her what I want to say. If I was that kind of girl, I would have sent her to this page: How To Tell Someone You Do Not Want To Be Friends. Anyway, my “friend’s” reply to my direct question was “Oh, I wasn’t trying to tell you anything. I just thought you’d find the article interesting.” Yeah! Like a doctor telling me “you need a colonoscopy.” “Do you think I may have a problem, doctor?” “No. I just think you will find the procedure INTERESTING.”
So, I took a look at the list, and these are my thoughts.
Mistake #1: You don’t post enough. “Hobby bloggers may go weeks between posts. But frequency is what separates the men from the boys.”
First, WHY must it always be “separates the men from the boys?” Experience has shown me that there really isn’t much of a difference between men and boys. So, I think the saying says nothing. Can we just start saying what we really mean: “separates the women from the girls?” Now in THAT there is a difference!
As for the frequency, I do try and post something at least once a week. Apparently, if I don’t, my readers, all 10 of them, get pissed! I seriously received a message from someone during my 2 week hiatus from blogging, as I road travelled with my boys, that said “Enough play time. Get your ass back to blogging. I need to laugh.”
Question: How often should I blog? Here are your options:
a. Once a week.
b. Twice a week.
c. None of the above.
Mistake #2: You post too much. “Yes, this is possible, too. I don’t need to hear from anyone more than once a day—unless it is a group blog or a news site.”
Well, this ain’t a problem on this blog! As a stay-at-home mom, I have LOTS of bon-bons to eat and way too many daytime talk shows to watch to make time to “post too much.” Although, there was a SLIM chance that I would have more time once Oprah’s time slot opened up. But, I recently heard that Katie Couric is starting an afternoon talk show. Good news for you, dear readers, Oprah’s afternoon time slot has been filled! No extra blogging from me.
Question: Would you like to change your previous answer now that you know it really doesn’t matter?
Mistake #3: Your post is too long. “Seth Godin is the master of the short, pithy post. His are usually in the 200–400 word range.”
Good for Seth! I am NOT Seth! I am Sunshine. I write like I talk. I go on and on and on and on . . .
Question: No question! If you don’t like my on and on and on, go read Seth’s blog. He’s not as funny. Although, he is extraordinarily informative and inspiring!
Mistake #4: You don’t invite engagement. “. . . try to end every post with a question.”
I do!! But all 10 of my followers don’t comment. I actually had to throw my L-sister under the bus (and not the party bus, which I aspire to own one day) to get her to reply to a post that I specifically called her out on to comment! (See My Awesome Siblings! Damn Their Awesome Lives!)
Question: What else is a girl to do to get you to “engage”? Promise naked pictures? O.k. Don’t answer that!
Mistake #5: You don’t participate in the conversation. “When bloggers don’t participate in conversation by commenting on their own posts and responding to their readers, it is like hosting a party at your home, making a brief appearance, and then disappearing.”
I cannot agree more with this! I write my blog to make myself laugh. In turn, I share it with others to make them laugh! And, I hope that my readers will comment so I can then be encouraged to continue my little blog. But no one wants to talk to me! I even try and lure them with games and prizes. But, no one seems to bite! Come on, people! Bite! Otherwise, I will take my bon-bon eating, daytime show watching self to volunteer in my kids’ schools.
Question: Do you want to take the blame for me being a room mom again this year?
Mistake #6: You don’t make your content accessible. “Readers have shorter attention spans. They are scanning content, looking for items that interest them. When you use subheads, lists of bullets or numbers, it draws readers in by making your content accessible.”
a. Sorry you have attention spans the size of a flea’s brain.
b. I had no idea that your attention spans are just like a 5 and 7 year old!
c. Don’t they make something to boost attention spans? Then I advise taking that shit when you read my blog!
d. Are these bullets working on your puny attention spans?
e. I think I will stop with the bullet points, because I don’t think you have the attention span for any more.
Mistake #7: You don’t create catchy headlines. “. . . headlines are the most important thing you write.”
Working on that! In fact, let’s play a game! You know how much I LOVE games!
Question: What should I title one of my blog postings?
Whoever wins, I will make up a story to go along with the title they suggest! I see disaster in that posting. Does anyone else? Comment and then stay-tuned to see if I am right!
Mistake #8: Your first paragraph is weak. “Assuming that you have written a great headline, people will next read your first paragraph. You must use this paragraph to pull them into the rest of your blog post.”
Oh my damn (OMD!)! What do you lack of attention span people want from me?! Oh yeah! You want a catchy headline, because apparently “headlines are the most important thing you write” (See Mistake # 7 if you forgot already). Now, you want me to “pull you into the rest of my blog post” with a strong first paragraph. Fine! I will concede that I MIGHT be guilty of weak first paragraphs.
Question: No question. Just a comment – Sucks for you!
Kidding! I will endeavour to tweak my first paragraphs to make them less weak. I will start doing that during commercial breaks from my daytime show watching. Although, I may be using that time to lick the chocolate off my fingers from all the bon-bons I eat.
Mistake #9: Your post is off-brand. “ . . . you can get away with the occasional post that strays from your primary message or brand. But if you are trying to build traffic, you need to find an editorial focus and stick to it.”
Wow! I have to commit to a focus? I can’t just focus on All Things Sunshine?
Question: What should my “editorial focus” be?
And, lastly, my ABSOLUTE (decent vodka, by the way) FAVORITE MISTAKE . . .
Mistake #10: Your post is about YOU. “Unless you are a mega-celebrity, readers don’t care about you. Not really.”
Really? ME is all I got! I’m no mega-celebrity. But, the funny shit that has happened to me in my life MUST be shared! It just doesn’t seem right NOT to share! Like I’ve said before “sharing is caring!”
Question: What else, besides me, would you like me to write about?
NOTE: Excluding these final sentences in my “NOTE”, this Post is 1,245 words long. ”Only” 1,000 words more than the suggested 200 words length recommended in Mistake # 3. If I had stopped at 200 words, I would have ended on this sentence from Mistake # 1 “But frequency is what separates the men from the boys.” Can you imagine all the laughter you would have missed out on had I stopped there?! You’re welcome!!