Content is King

This is the post that appeared on Littlemummy.com:

When I was a wee lad, my Daddy sat me on his knee and said: ‘blogging, son; it’s a hard life…aye, I remember my first post like it were yesterday…and my first comment! I were so proud…’ He actually said none of that; because he couldn’t use a computer, he wasn’t from Yorkshire and the internet was just a back-of-an-envelope idea of the C.I.A to create a network of computers to illegally download Abba songs so they had something to listen to while they watched their puppet regimes flourish.

Where was I? Ah yes, blogging. I have been at this blogging lark for nearly a year and so, if you’re sitting comfortably, I can insert my virtual, mechanical-nodule (a la Neo in Matrix) into the back of your head and upload everything I have learnt, which isn’t much. So hang onto your dongles, because here come the bullets:

  1. Content is King This may seem like an obvious point and if you’re the next (or actual) Alpha Mummy or Christian Lander, then you’re probably skimming this bit already with a contented grin on your face and a smug chuckle. If you write boring posts then maybe blogging is not for you: you could get a job in a shop that sells slacks…or you could make oven gloves? Something like that. Your loyal ‘base’ will slink off, lured by other, funnier, more exciting blogs elsewhere gnashing their teeth that they wasted – YES! WASTED – their valuable time reading your turgid tracts about tinfoil…or putty.
  2. Quantity is Queen You need to write often. Not every day, you’re not Adrian Mole or that mook who lived in an attic in Holland. It’s a bit like sex, really. When you first start you want to do it all the time, sometimes twice or three times in one day…you just can’t get enough of it…but then, well, who’s got the energy for that? You have to pace yourself or you’ll have nothing left. Then you start hooking up with other bloggers – like a virtual swingers party – and doing favours and tricks and then people start to talk and you get a reputation…and then, well, you end up in an attic in Holland. That’s the problem, you don’t put out a bit then people get bored with you; but too much and no one has the time to feed that kind of addiction. Moving on…
  3. Formatting is Prince A mistake many bloggers make is that they write huge paragraphs with no breaks and very little punctuation. What I have learnt is that my readership (in particular) has the attention span of toddlers and they need short paragraphs, concise lists, links and bullet points or they just can’t cope. The Interweb has such a glut of information that if you don’t break it down (as Justin would say) then it becomes too much; a visual rockface of text that just scares readers and they run away to dynamic, good looking bloggers like me who give them visual stairlifts and steps with handrails and everything.
  4. Pictures are Princesses It’s okay to not use pictures if you are writing a post about genocide or Kerry Katona but as a general rule you must use pictures because when you do your readership will point, open mouthed and mumble the word: pretty. From now on you have your reader for the duration of the post. It works, I’m tellin’ ya!
  5. Being Social is Footmen Using Facebook and Twitter will only get you so far. Most of my friends have already hidden me from their Facebook feeds and my only followers on Twitter are stalkers, Nigerian finance ministers and penis enlargement companies. So you are going to have to crawl out from underneath whatever virtual rock you call …/index.html and leave some calling cards like the masseur that you must become. Read – and comment – on other blogs, hit the appropriate message boards and whore yourself around the forums. You’ll then create a little circle of bloggers, fans and spammers. Rinse and repeat.
  6. WordPress is a Lady in Waiting If you use Blogger then you won’t get a breakdown of how hits your blog gets, how they find you and what links they click once they are with you. WordPress does. Thus, Blogger is pony. There, I’ve invoked the wrath of Google; now some skinny dweeb will creep into my house at the dead of night and wipe my hard-drive.
  7. Draft is One of Those People Who Reply to Letters on Behalf of the Queen But I Can’t Remember What They’re Called…oh, that’s it: Posh Saddoes Unless you live a life of a rock star or international diamond thief, then life can have a mundane quality to it. If you blogged about how stuck in a routine you are or how few exciting things you actually do then you’d at best come across as dull and at worst a borderline sociopath with a teddybear collecting fetish. What I do is draft ideas that come into my head and then save them for later development. This way you’ll always have something to write about and won’t have to fabricate content on the fly…like twatting the postman for no reason…or taking a dump in the crisps aisle at Tesco…or crashing your car into Mr Wimpy (I once had a job where I had to dress up as Mr Wimpy: FACT!).
  8. Be True is a Corgi Find your style and don’t change it, no matter what. My gentle, compassionate tone has found a devoted readership mainly amongst folk singers and angorra weavers. We occasionally meet up and stroke our beards (even the women!), eat  yoghurt and whittle elves out of butter. Happy days…

Well, I have taught you everything I know, grasshoppers. Now use these tips for good, not evil; there is no hope in the dark side.

I don’t know where the royal bullets came from, but there you go. Happy blogging!

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17 thoughts on “Content is King

  1. You’re still a young un in terms of blogging, still like a pup, panting at the leash etc. Believe me when you get as old as me at this lark its like blogging becomes like a warm pair of incontinence pants -you want to take off the pants (stop) but they’re kind of comfy so you keep them on. Maybe that’s a bad analogy but after a few years blogging you feel like why the hell am I doing it and you don’t really know but keep doing it anyway because you’re a bona fide addict

  2. I totally agree with your points. I have found this out through trial and error and you sum it up so well. However, regular (but not too regular) posting can be really tough and you can start to feel like a victiorian dancing bear, for fear you may lose your readership.

    A pretty picture always catches a knaves eye, also.

    Liking the blog.
    A

  3. I really must put you on my “ooh I like this one” list – keep forgetting then come across you again and feel all warm and fuzzy.
    Great advice. I do wish people would heed your advice about blogging too often – it just smacks of desperation and drives me insane. The sex analogy is perfect: please don’t dangle it in my face every day.

  4. Good points, and all true.

    I thin these days with feedreaders you can get away with not posting as often if you have an established group of people who read your blog. Certainly go for quality over quantity anyhow.

    Not that i particularly achieve either obviously.

  5. Is it worth mentioning the similarities to working heavy machinery? Such as ‘not to be undertaken while under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering substances’.
    Which, it transpires, applies to commenting as well…

  6. ‘Taking a dump in the crisps aisle of Tesco?! Why the crisps one I wonder. It’s one of the quieter ones granted, you may just get away with it with no-one noticing. . no chance of that at the milk fridge aisle.

    1. Actually, I have some experience of the crisp aisle. When I was a teenager I had a job in Waitrose and I was given charge of the crisps, nuts and snacks ‘section’ and I can tell you: the crisps aisle turns over pretty rapidly.

      Worst sections were canned vegetables (too heavy) and the fish counter. Best section was drinks as it had the biggest scope for stealing.

      1. The dumping and crisps has reminded me that my brother was once caught taking a dump in the salad crisper of the fridge at his rented holiday cottage. Clearly he was under the influence but at least he wasn’t operating a non-carbon-fibre JCB.

        Sorry. Felt an overwhelming urge to share, as when am I ever going to get another link to that lovely story?

  7. What, in the name of Walkers, is a salad crisper?

    We own salad tongs. We have a salad spinner (no pre-washed salads for us cont-tinentals). We have salad dressing drizzler. But…a salad crisper? Isn’t salad already, you know, crispy? If it isn’t then surely – surely! – you must have to discard it as it is past it? Or is this a technological innovation that breathes new life into dead things? Like Pet Cemetery for plants?

    1. Ha ha…! Reanimated lettuce.

      No, it refers to the drawer at the bottom of fridges in which one keeps ones greens. In cheap, wee fridges found in holiday lets it’s therefore placed conveniently at squatting height.

      Why he felt the subconscious urge to shit in a drawer is beyond me.

    1. Eric, thanks for reading!

      I am imminently going to post on the subject of healthcare…and you seem to be an expert, so I’d love your feedback.

      MrShev

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