So, before I started blogging I thought it was as simple as writing whatever your heart desires, publishing it on a website and waiting for the readers to share their thoughts and opinions. In other words, I was wrong. Very wrong.
I have always loved writing and thoroughly enjoy blogging about Our Altered Life but it’s by far the hardest thing I have ever done.
To explain this, I am going to compare Google to the strictest teacher you can imagine (I’m sure Freud would have something to say about this. Anyway…)
Mr Google will only show you off to his followers on the world wide web if you meet his very high standards. If you don’t, then your work is destined to be ‘filled’ at the end of the day (this is teacher code for binned, and no one will ever enjoy it. Insert sad face)
Some of his standards include things like using the right search terms, making sure the pictures are the right size and quality, making sure the post is the right length and written clearly, making sure that you link to other posts you have written and that other websites are linking to you too. Mr Google loves this! These factors are very much in the hands of the author and I can spend a good hour on these things on top of the time it takes to actually write the post.
However, there are a few ways that you can help your blogger friend become teachers pet and help him or her show her work off for the feel-good equivalent of a gold star! All blogger friends know these things will help but its honestly terrifying to ask these three simple questions –
Could you comment on the blog too please?
Imagine the blog is the school newsletter. Any comments that you make on it will be seen by absolutely everyone who reads it, regardless of where they are. Unlike Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc comments which will only be seen if you are on that platform. A bit like comments on a whiteboard in class. Lovely, but not everyone will see them. Mr Google LOVES it when there are comments on your actual blog as this tells him that people are visiting your site and liking what they read. You go up in his estimation for this one and he’s likely to show you off to many more people if he knows that your writing already has approval.
Sometimes, someone will leave a really lovely comment on my Facebook page and I will privately message them to ask if they wouldn’t mind copying it onto the blog. I literally have my teeth clenched and eyes screwed up as I press send because I don’t ever want to appear ungrateful for the time that someone has taken to share their thoughts on my post. I appreciate every single comment (and the Facebook comments matter too!) but I also know that Mr Google doesn’t even notice them on social media and so at times, I will reluctantly ask for the comment to be duplicated. No one has ever objected to this and always understands when I explain why but the ‘terribly British’ part of me feels incredibly rude to even ask – so I thought I would put it in a generic blog to save any further cringe worthy moments ?
Could you share the blog if you like it please?
Now no one is expecting you to become a one man PR machine for your blogger friend but, if you read something that resonates with you or simply entertains you then there’s a chance that some of your friends will like it too. On occasion, if you could share a blog it would be amazing because more views to the website means more brownie points with Mr Google and I think we all agree that he’s a bit of an arse so where it’s possible to keep him sweet, life is good! Plus, more people reading it means more chance of comments too. (See point one)
I don’t always ask for my blogs to be shared because
- a) it makes me sound like a narcist
- b) I feel rude
- c) I don’t want people hitting that share button to shut me up without actually reading and enjoying the blog.
You won’t like all of my blogs – if you’re still awake now then there’s a sticker winging its way to you as we speak – but if there is one that you particularly enjoy then a share would always be much appreciated by your blogger friend.
Is there anything you think I should be writing about?
I used to think that the idea of blogging was almost a cathartic purging of your thoughts and feelings. Nope. That’s what a diary is for. Blogging is about finding out what your readers want to know and giving it to them. Mr Google isn’t bothered about what you did over the summer holidays really, he wants a piece that will appeal to his interests and make him reflect or laugh (yes, sometimes Mr Google laughs – usually over a large vodka when his marking is done)
So for me, I want to help other parents through the early days of unexpectedly becoming parents to a baby with special needs so I write posts like ‘what to do when you’re worried about bonding with your baby‘ and ‘ 7 things to do when people are staring‘ (linking to other posts, do you see what I did there Mr Google, DID YOU?) I also like to share aspects of my own personality so people get to know the person as well as the mum. If there’s something about our lives that you are dying to know, then ask! Worst case scenario I’ll give you a censored version of the answer and at best, I’ll write a blog about it to give you your answer and maybe answer the same question that other people have too.
If your blogger friend is an avid camper (Why??) then maybe you want to know what they do to stay sane whilst enduring nights under canvas. Ask them.
Maybe your blogger friend is a keen gin drinker and can give you some top tips on buying gin that wont break the bank but will still taste delicious. Ask them.
Or maybe your blogger friend is a cheeseaholic who is constantly banging on about how gorgeous it is. In that case I highly recommend you just send me them some cheese and ask them to write a review for you. Message me for the address.
Writing content that people want to read is so rewarding and the very best comments that any blogger will ever read are the ones that say that the reader really connected with it. It’s a lovely feeling and even Mr Google with his strict rules and incredibly high expectations can’t put a dampener on that feeling!
So, there you have it, by all means please just read the post without commenting or sharing. That’s fine too! But IF there’s a time when a blog speaks to you then posting a comment on the blog as well as social media and giving it a cheeky share will be massively appreciated.
Thanks for reading and understanding. Mr Google has a quiz at the end to check you were all paying attention (of course he does, knob!). Meanwhile I’m off to eat cheese!