Why I’m A Bad Blogger And How You Can Be, Too!

25 Jan

I am a bad blogger. Awards and accolades aside, according to those in the know, I am doing this thing all wrong.

My first error is in my headlines. I use clever headlines. I am, in fact, quite fond of my clever headlines. Indeed, I have written entire posts just so I could use a particular headline. “I Don’t Have ADH…”, for instance. My son has ADHD. So do some of his friends. One of those friends is fond of telling people, “I don’t have ADH . . .” and then staring off as if watching a butterfly flit by. I thought that was hilarious. I had to use that line, so I wrote a post around it.

If I were a good blogger, I would use titles like, “Top Ten Ways Americans Are Weird About Birthdays,” instead of “And Many More.” I would have written “Why Your Nine-Year-Old Drives You Crazy and What You Can Do About It,” instead of “Number Nine, Number Nine.” A friend and loyal reader suggested “ ‘Tween a Rock and a Hard Place” for that post. I think his idea has more universal appeal; my headline dates me. Still, neither of our choices has much marketing impact.

Blog marketing experts assure me that “How,” “Why,” and “Top Ten” are all words that should be included in post headlines if one is to capture attention in our blog soaked world. Maybe I’ll re-title the one on adoption. I could call it “Top Ten Idiotic Things People Say About Adoption.” Or, “How Your Comments About Adoption Make You Look Like An Idiot.” Or, “Why I Think You’re An Idiot When You Say Those Things About Adoption.”

My second error is in my content. I write humorous personal essays. There is no market for humorous personal essays, apparently. There is a market for mom-to-mom advice and I do give some mom advice on occasion. I like to think of it as parent advice, commie liberal politically correct pinko that I am.

There is a market for cooking advice, travel advice, craft advice, all kinds of advice. And there’s the rub. I don’t want to write an advice blog. I don’t care if you have a problem. Well, ok, I do care and if you want to email me to ask my advice about something, go ahead. But in my blog, I want to ramble, rant and rave with little-to-no thought at providing anything more useful than a laugh. Humorous personal essays are only marketable if you are a mean-spirited skinny bigot like Chelsea Handler. I’m not skinny, nor a bigot but my kids think I’m mean, so it’s a start.

Error number three also relates to my content. I write long. The most effective blog posts are 300-500 words. My posts come in at about 1,000 words. Apparently, not a lot of people want to read that many words. With the popularity of twitter, it’s no surprise to me that my 1,000 words are the blogosphere equivalent of War and Peace. I will admit that my writing goal of 1,000 words is completely arbitrary. It seemed like a nice round number when I started blogging. Now, it’s a habit and one that’s given me proof that I can write enough to produce a book. If I were Chelsea Handler, in fact, I’d already be published.

I commit my fourth error on a weekly basis: I post only once per week. If I were serious about blogging, I would be posting on a daily, even an hourly basis. I would also have no life. I am interested in having a life. At the same time, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to know more about me than I already reveal. I imagine that my readers are interesting people who also want to have lives.

I could avoid my fifth blogging boo-boo by including more photos in my posts. Adding photos is a lot more complicated than it seems, though. There’s the privacy thing. My kids deserve it. I am not overly worried about privacy for myself but I am overly critical of photos of me.  There’s the practicality thing, too. Pictures of naked Barbies is one thing; pictures of me riding pachyderms is another. Then there’s the copyright thing. I could just use other people’s photos, but then I couldn’t tsk-tsk my son when he pirates music and videos online.

My sixth error, and a grevious one it is, is my failure to market my blog. When I started blogging, I had no idea I was even supposed to market it. I wrote something that made me laugh, I posted it on WordPress, I told some friends and they read it. Many of them laughed, too. The next week, I did the same thing. And I’ve pretty much done that every week since September 30, 2010.

If I were a really good blogger, by now I would be running clickable ads in my blog. When I wrote about naked Barbies, for instance, there would be a link to click so that you could purchase your own Barbie. Whether or not you kept her clothed would be up to you, of course. My ADHD post would include a link to drugstore.com, where you could purchase your own supply of Concerta. If I were really savvy about this blog marketing thing, there would be a flashing banner across the top of my posts, hawking the things I’ve blogged about from bacon and dead squirrels to lawn services, elephants and condoms.

Perhaps the biggest blogging mistake I make though is this: other than the making more money from my writing bit, I don’t really care if I’m a bad blogger. I write what I feel like writing. I write even if I don’t feel like writing, but I don’t write because I have to. I write because I want to. I write about what amuses me and animates me. In short, I’m blogging because I like it and I like that you like it, too.

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15 Responses to “Why I’m A Bad Blogger And How You Can Be, Too!”

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge January 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Hooray for so many blogging “mistakes”. Bad blogger, bad blogger…(please don’t invent and award for that.) nice post

  2. jmlindy422 January 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Thanks, philosophermouse!

  3. the waiting January 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    All of the things that make you a “bad blogger” – every one of them – are the things I LOVE about your blog. In my humble opinion, you’re doing everything right and I am glad that you’ll continue to do so!

    • jmlindy422 January 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

      Aw, shucks. You don’t want more photos? You do good photo stuff. Loved those frilly pants the other day! Thanks for the love.

  4. nevercontrary January 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    a “good blog” sounds awfully boring. yuck.

  5. scribblechic January 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Oh dear, I am officially “bad.” Happy to be in good company.

    • jmlindy422 January 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

      I was told not to start the Bad Blogger award, but I’m starting to feel it may be inevitable.

  6. Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface January 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Some of your “bad” habits sound awfully familiar to me…

  7. Emily January 26, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    You are, too, skinny!

  8. Janelle Allee Baker January 26, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Yea, what she said…thats exactly why I follow your blog!

  9. kateluthner79 January 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    I agree with all above – I like your style and your style is pretty similar to mine.

  10. sukanya January 27, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    “I write because I want to”
    Amen!
    If this is what makes a bad blogger, I have no qualms of being one!

  11. Mad Queen Linda February 10, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Could you move closer to where I live, so we could have coffee, and I could have a non-virtual person nearby with whom I have something in common? Please. I’ll even buy the coffee.

    • jmlindy422 February 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      Weeeelllll, not knowing where you live, it’s hard to say if I want to move there. I have been thinking lately that I’d like to move to the south of France, very close to the beach. Or Florida, but the food wouldn’t be as good. Don’t drink coffee anymore, but I do love a good cup of tea.

      Thanks for the lovely thought.

  12. Toby February 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    And I’m a bad commenter because I arrive about 3 days after everyone else.

    I seem to tick 5 of the 6 boxes of being a bad blogger – I really must cut down on those photos!

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