If anyone has an extra Blogging For Dummies book, I could sure use a copy. When I made the decision to start my blog, thelaughingmom, I barely researched platforms, quickly set up my page and blindly started writing. I didn’t follow any blogs at the time because I just wasn’t that interested in reading about every milestone in the lives of strangers. I was motivated by essayists such as Erma Bombeck and Laurie Notaro. It wasn’t until one of my posts appeared on Freshly Pressed (the front page of WordPress.com) that my eyes were opened to the world of fellow bloggers and blogging etiquette.
WordPress bloggers from all over the world, who were total strangers, actually took time out of their busy day to read my post and many made comments.
“Enjoy the ride.”
“I love your voice.”
Just to name a few of the well wishes. And they were all from writers. People who understand that when you have a story inside of your head that is dying to come out, you are obsessed until you can steal a few extra minutes, or in some cases, spend hours self-editing and previewing just to perfect those 700 words. Fellow bloggers can also empathize with the pit that quickly invades your stomach every time you press the “Publish” button sending your over-nursed random thoughts into cyberspace. They also understand the obsession with checking your site statistics to see who and what your visitors are reading. And, when that email comes through with the “comment” subject line, you know you’ve struck gold and are oddly satisfied until you get an urge to write another post.
It’s hard to maintain and build relationships if you are only a taker. Years ago, a good friend once pointed out while walking to class, every time she kicked a stone, I never kicked it back. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. If you are going to write, you also need to read. Some of the most interesting stories aren’t being told by accomplished writers. They are being told by bloggers who are writing on behalf of their hearts, not their wallets. Well, about 9 in 10 of them are hoping an editor just happens to stop by their blog, but most are writing because it’s a passion.
Last month, a blogger buddie, Kate from kateschannel bestowed upon me a Versatile Blogger award, in which she named my blog as one of her top 15 favorites. Mentioned were the following award guidelines to be followed by all recipients:
- Thank and link to the person who nominated you
- Share seven random facts about yourself
- Pass the award along to 15 new-found blogging buddies
- Contact those buddies to congratulate them
I thanked her for the award and moved on. Since I don’t read that many other blogs, I had no clue that this award is considered somewhat of an honor in the blogging community until I stumbled upon bronxboy55′s post. I felt like an idiot because I thought it was some sort of blogger chain letter and I completely ignored it. Just like several hundred people didn’t get recipes or dish towels when I broke those chains.
- So Kate, I’m kicking the stone back and publicly thanking you for giving me the award.
- Here are 7 random facts about myself: (1.) I am a self-diagnosed narcoleptic which is why I have a hard time reading because I fall asleep easily; (2.) I’ve lived in Indiana, Kentucky, Arizona, Ohio and New York; (3.) My very first job in advertising was working for Penthouse magazine (a story in itself – market research, not editorial research); (4.) I love to walk and would probably drop dead if I had to run even 1/8 mile; (5.) My first concert was being dragged as a child to see Elvis Presley who I loathed at the time but think is pretty cool now; (6.) I use the words “awesome” and “cool” far too frequently; (7.) The songs on my iPod are from Hannah Montana, SpongeBob, Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber, because my daughter has hijacked it.
- I am socially challenged off the keyboard, so expect no less online. I don’t know 15 bloggers. However, in addition to kateschannel, I highly recommend a few others I read regularly: Lifeflipping, Not Drowning Mothering and Pooterandboogersplace. Just as blogging imitates real life, I read a few others, but I can’t remember their names. If I need to read anyone else’s blog, please let me know. I’m willing to try to remember the URL, try not to fall asleep while reading it and promise to comment.
- The sad truth is, I probably won’t contact any of the Versatile Blogger award recipients to congratulate them unless they already subscribe to my blog and can read about it themselves. You know, that old “I only speak when spoken to first” excuse which is a highly effective habit of socially challenged people.
So the moral of the story is, be kind to your fellow bloggers, follow blogging etiquitte and READ, READ, READ! Then, COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT! And last but not least, THANK, THANK, THANK…unless you are socially challenged then you can think about thanking and write a post about never doing it.