(how to blog revisited)

REVISTED, 2008.

how to blog by tony pierce, 110.

revisited for 2008 by d.

1. write every day.

2. if you think youre a good writer, write twice a day.

3. dont be afraid to do anything. in fact if youre afraid of something, do it. then do it again. and again.

4. cuss like a sailor.

5. don’t tell your mom, your work, your friends, the people you want to date, or the people you want to work for about your blog. if they find out and you’d rather they didn’t read it, ask them nicely to grant you your privacy.

6. have comments. dont be upset if no one writes in your comments for a long time. eventually they’ll write in there. if people start acting mean in your comments, ask them to stop, they probably will.

comments are pretty commonplace these days, so i’d suggest one more step: use a commenting system. they tend to be user-friendly and they’re easy to set up. consider haloscan or js-kit, both of which will self-install. or if you’re using wordpress you can probably stick with the wordpress system.

7. have an email address clearly displayed on your blog. sometimes people want to tell you that you rock in private.

also spend five seconds to join twitter (i’m @dblogged). you don’t even have to twitter, but feeding your blog to twitter (via twitterfeed) makes it easy for people online to see that you’ve posted.

8. dont worry very much about the design of your blog. image is a fakeout.

9. use Blogger. it’s easy, it’s free; and because they are owned by Google, your blog will get spidered better, you will show up in more search results, and more people will end up at your blog. besides, all the other blogging software & alternatives pretty much suck.

this just isn’t true anymore, with the development of wordpress. both are super easy to set up. however, wordpress is constantly being upgraded, while google seems to be confused as to their vision for Blogger.

10. use spellcheck unless youre completely totally keeping it real. but even then you might want to use it if you think you wrote something really good.

puncuation and capitalization, on the other hand, are negotiable.

11. say exactly what you want to say no matter what it looks like on the screen. then say something else. then keep going. and when youre done, re-read it, and edit it and hit publish and forget about it.

12. link like crazy. link anyone who links you, link your favorites, link your friends. dont be a prude. linking is what seperates bloggers from apes. and especially link if you’re trying to prove a point and someone else said it first. it lends credibility even if youre full of shit.

13. if you havent written about sex, religion, and politics in a week youre probably playing it too safe, which means you probably fucked up on #5, in which case start a second blog and keep your big mouth shut about it this time.

14. remember: nobody cares which N*Sync member you are, what State you are, which Party of Five kid you are, or which Weezer song you are. the second you put one of those things on your blog you need to delete your blog and try out for the marching band. similarilly, nobody gives a shit what the weather is like in your town, nobody wants you to change their cursor into a butterfly, nobody wants to vote on whether your blog is hot or not, and nobody gives a rat ass what song youre listening to. write something Real for you, about you, every day.

15. dont be afraid if you think something has been said before. it has. and better. big whoop. say it anyway using your own words as honestly as you can. just let it out.

16. get Site Meter and make it available for everyone to see. if you’re embarrassed that not a lot of people are clicking over to your page, dont be embarrassed by the number, be embarrassed that you actually give a crap about hits to your gay blog. it really is just a blog. and hits really dont mean anything. you want Site Meter, though, to see who is linking you so you can thank them and so you can link them back. similarilly, use Technorati, but dont obsess. write.

or use google analytics or statcounter.

17. people like pictures. use them. save them to your own server. or use Blogger’s free service. if you dont know how to do it, learn. also get a Buzznet account. several things will happen once you start blogging, one of them is you will learn new things. thats a good thing.

buzznet isn’t really what it used to be, so i’d suggest storing your photos on Flikr or Picasa.

18. before you hit Save as Draft or Publish Post, select all and copy your masterpiece. you are using a computer and the internet, shit can happen. no need to lose a good post.

most publishing platforms are doing this for you now. backing up your blog a few times a year isn’t a bad idea though.

19. push the envelope in what youre writing about and how youre saying it. be more and more honest. get to the root of things. start at the root of things and get deeper. dig. think out loud. keep typing. keep going. eventually you’ll find a little treasure chest. every time you blog this can happen if you let it.

20. change your style. mimic people. write beautiful lies. dream in public. kiss and tell. finger and tell. cry scream fight sing fuck and dont be afraid to be funny. the easiest thing to do is whine when you write. dont be lazy. audblog at least once a week.

audblog, videoblog (vlog), guestblog…just BLOG.

21. write open letters. make lists. call people out on their bullshit. lead by example. invent and reinvent yourself. start by writing about what happened to you today. for example today i told a hot girl how wonderfully hot she is.

22. when in doubt review something. theres not enough reviews on blogs. review a movie you just saw, a tv show, a cd, a kiss you just got, a restaurant, a hike you just took, anything.

23. constantly write about the town that you live in.

24. out yourself. tell your secrets. you can always delete them later.

25. dont use your real name. dont write about your work unless you dont care about getting fired.

26. dont be afraid to come across as an asswipe. own your asswipeness.

27. nobody likes poems. dont put your poems on your blog. not even if theyre incredible. especially if theyre incredible. odds are theyre not incredible. bad poems are funny sometimes though, so fine, put your dumb poems on there. whatever.

28. tell us about your friends.

29. dont apologize about not blogging. nobody cares. just start blogging again.

this is a rule i
‘ve never, ever forgotten since the day i read it. i immediately stop reading any post that starts with an apology about blogging frequency.

30. read tons of blogs and leave nice comments.

if you’re going to ripoff/mimic/be inspired by one blogger make it raymi, shes perfect.

or tony pierce. he’s a stud.

and some additions that come to mind about getting going as a new blogger:

31. you have a feed automatically, and its a full feed right now. dont ever limit it, which will force people to come to your site to read your posts. they will hate you for that, and they will read someone else instead.

32. dont blabber, because people have a lot to read every day. don’t try to make a point if there isnt one. if all your entries are really long then youre talking over your readers.

33. respond to your comments.

34. blogreading quid pro quo doesn’t and will never work…get over it. read only the blogs you love and write about why you love them.

35. finally, the KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. focus on writing. forget the widgets, playlists, flashy banners, whirlygigs and hoolawhats. you have to write your way towards a voice, and you probably write better when you don’t feel pressure to write. keep everything else simple, and your mind will finds the words.

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