Saturday, August 20, 2011

How to write a blog

If you're actually reading this, you must fall into one of three categories.

1. You're my biggest fan and most loyal reader. Hi mom! My mother reads these posts even though she never writes comments and doesn't understand anything about cards. I asked her why she reads and she said, "that's what moms do."

2. You've been reading for a while and know this is NOT the place you'd come to learn how to write a blog. You just came to leave a smarmy comment and tell me to come back to reality.

3. You did a google search on "how to write a blog" and this was where you landed.

Well, my mom is never going to write a blog and if you fall into category 2, it's highly likely you know how to write a blog because you're already writing one. For those of you that fall into category 3, I can only say take a look at the blogs on the sidebar. Go read them. Follow them. Those are the blogs you should be reading to see "how to write a blog."

I only bring this topic up because I was emailed twice last week by two different people asking the question. They were both people that are distant acquaintances so I'm guessing that's why they asked me. Here's what I told them.

First, find some blogs that are similar to the subject you want to write about. That's a great source of ideas and inspiration.

Next, find a blog site you want to use for your blog such as blogger, wordpress, etc.

Last, just start writing. It's fun and a great way to interact with other people with similar interests. The more you write, the more you'll like it.

The key is to write what you want and don't get hung up on how many followers you have or how many comments you get. That will come in time and the more you comment on other people's blogs, the more exposure your blog will get. The most important thing is to have fun with it. If it's not fun, you won't be doing it very long.

I'm sure many of my blogging readers have a thing or six to add. Any comments, smarmy or otherwise?


  1. I've been asked the same question and I always give the people a link to my blog and tell them to read and follow the ones on the sidebar... Nothing smarmy here, the whole process is pretty easy... If I can do it, anyone can do it...

  2. Nobody's ever asked me. What does that say about my writing style?

    Hah, but I think you hit it - figure out what you want to write, pick a blog host, and start writing about what interests you. I think on the card side, if you're interested in trading, you should probably put that info out there (have/want lists, etc). And while many of us post daily or even five times or more per day, posting just once a week, once per month, etc is fine too. Don't feel obligated to churn out content like you're the Associated Press.

  3. Great post, pretty much sums up how I started blogging (except for my mom reading my blog, which she doesn't). Another thing to mention is to have fun with it, if it's not fun then it's a chore and we all have enough of those to do, don't we??

  4. My daughter asked me this question last year. My answer was what I've always told her: "If you want to be good at anything, you have to practice."

    When it comes to blogging, you need to pick a topic you like (full understanding isn't necessary, since blogging can be a learning experience as well if you're looking to expand your horizons). Having a passion for the topic is helpful.

    It's also necessary to keep the right mindset; those with thin skin or fragile egos may not know what to do when the first "hate" comment appears. This, by the way, is a big problem when it comes to politically-motivated blogs: no matter which way you lean, there are plenty of people out there who will not see eye-to-eye with you.

    I do four blogs on a regular basis. Two are hobby-related and there haven't been any problems (it helps that I stay away from current hobby trends, which means fewer people to get irritated by me). The other two are music related (one focuses on 70s music and one on 80s music). Yes, I get the occasional "this sucks" comment, but I kinda expect it when I'm bringing up the subject.

    I've been interested in writing since high school (yes, I wrote for the school newspaper) and blogging gives me a great outlet to do that regularly...and the way I want to do it. It takes some discipline, but really...if I can do this, anybody can.

    It just comes down to practice. Take the time and get it done. You'll be surprised how easy the entire task becomes.

    (I really want to toss out a snarky comment, but I just can't. Sorry.)

  5. Wait a minute... this is supposed to be fun??? "I must be doing something wrong!!! Good evening Momma Play at the Plate, hope you're having a GReat evening. I have to agree about the followers comment, don't get hung up on it, some will follow for a while and leave, I just hope that folks like what I write about, and if they don't they have the right to leave a comment, or just leave. My followship has past 50 three times now, twice going up and once going down, I'm glad to have a following, but I don't want to hold anyone captive either.
    I also try not to write when I'm angry or upset, nobody want to read many of those posts, and I'm afraid of putting something out here that I could end up regretting. Life's just too darn short for all the drama, and my Mama don't card about no DRAMA!!

  6. dawgbones just said something that made me think of an important tip: be aware of what you're writing, especially if you're using any kind of blog where your name can possibly be attached to it. Talking bad about cards, companies, or players is no big deal. But be aware of what personal information is available (even if it isn't shown on the blog) if you're writing something truly personal or something that could be considered socially offensive - especially talking about relationships, politics, sexuality, etc. I'm *NOT* saying don't write about those things if you're interested, and being open about being gay isn't exactly taboo. If you wouldn't say it in a public place offline, don't say it online. There are anonymous blogs out there where you don't have to worry about it if you don't link or mention personal information.

    Most normal blogs don't have this issue. No baseball card blog should have this issue! But I think it should be mentioned - be careful about what you put online.

  7. I'm good at smarmy!!!

    and HI Plate's Mom!!!!

  8. I agree. Don't get caught up in followers, page hits or stats. Take a break every so often. Write what you want to write about. My mom reads my blog, too.

    Hi, Mrs. Plate.

  9. I don't think my mom knows about my blog. She probably shouldn't, because she'd try to involve herself more than she should, like on Facebook!

    Word verification: poodfauc. What kind of word is poodfauc?

  10. Well said sir, ya pretty much just have to run with it.

  11. I have no desire to have any of my family members read my blog.

    They in my biznezz enough.

  12. Love the advice to not worry about how many comments I get... because that used to bug me a little when I first started writing.

    Then I changed my philosophy... and instead of writing for readers, I know write what interests me... sort of like my personal hobby journal.

    Now 10 years from now, I'll be able to read about my hobby experiences.

    As for the comments... I look at them as huge bonuses. They're fun to read and respond to... but it's not the end of the world if I get zero comments on a post.

  13. I like fuji's comment about personal journal. That's how I view it too - all other stuff is bonus! My wife and I have a blog we started after moving out of Ohio. We're about 1.5 months behind, but we post stuff about what we've done since moving. It's probably good for family members to read, and I think it kind of acts as our facebook, but mostly it's good that we've documented what we did alot more than we used to. Someday we can look back and say "oh, yeah, remember that time we went to Coney Island?".

    For my BB card blog, I like posting the information that I've found so I can go back to it if I need to - that's the best part. If others find it interesting, great. Also - tied for reason 1A is that I've found over 30 trades to make, which is fun and actually saves some money, which enables me to collect a bit more!

  14. Great post...
    For a change I will not write a mile long comment...
    I will say that Mom says she reads my blog, but when I ask a question about it she says "Uh, well I haven't seen it lately". I don't think she reads it and that is probably better...
    It reminds me, I haven't called my Mom in a while, I should probably do that... Bad son!

  15. I was worried about who would read my blog when I started to, but like
    Fuji said, I hope to look back at my blog later and read my excitement in what I got, not about something I didn't care about but was the "in" thing at the time. I'm surprised as many people read it as they do.

    My mom says she reads mine too, I haven't tested her though. She gave me the same excuse "that's what mom's do"

  16. Is that what this is called?

    Kids these days and their internets and their clogging. I remember when we used to write our thoughts on paper! And we had a feather we had to dab in ink!