The Do’s and Dont’s of Blogging

Fair to say that at this stage I have seen a lot of blogs. The internet is heaving with them after all. I suspect there might be billions of blogs in existence – billions of voices speaking into the void wanting to be heard.

I have seen extremely successful blogs who are legitimately famous; ones everybody knows. I have seen highly successful blogs who are not famous but with a massive following. More often than not I have seen excellent and brilliant blogs who are unjustifiably unknown

Aaaand I’ve seen some really very bad ones 🙈

Through working with the I Am 1in4 charity, I had to source and scour tens of blogs to find potential articles for publication and this too has contributed to my having developed Opinions on blogs and blogging

Thing is, I never would have even deemed myself qualified to have such Opinions but over time, slowly but surely, people have been coming to me for advice

As if I actually know something about it!

Actually, it turns out that once I get started I kind of do….

Who’d have thought it?!? Not me!

I know that Much Love Kirsty is not perfect. I see and recognise its weaknesses and failings. If I’ve not changed those things it’s for want of knowing how exactly and not because I don’t acknowledge them

But I don’t think I can sit with a finger on my lips keeping a tactful silence on bad blogs anymore

Quite frankly I’m surprised that in this day and age people don’t know better to be honest

So without further ado, I give you the Much Love Kirsty Do’s and Dont’s of Blogging….

.Do make your blog aesthetically pleasing, at least on a basic level. Blogs that are interesting and pleasing to the eye – the ones that make you feel satisfied to look at – are the ones that get noticed. They don’t need to be works of art or a photo gallery. Lord knows I’m no photographer myself which is why I sourced most of the signature images in MLK from the ever so lovely Tia Talula. I do have some stock photos -they’re great and useful and often free- but largely if I can I’ll avoid because I don’t want the same images as fifty billon other people

. DON’T upload a hundred million poorly taken snaps of the SAME THING. Someone I know (who is unlikely to read this let alone recognise themselves in it) is in the habit of sending people hundreds (and I’m not exaggerating. We’re talking 50 at a time) of really very crappy snaps of their child in minor variations of the exact same poses and setting. Often the child in question is blinking, or pulling an accidental derp face or the image is blurry. Sometimes the child is a tiny dot on the horizon. I have seen bloggers do the exact same thing! Now I love this kid to ribbons, but scrolling through endless bad quality shots of the same thing is tiresome and boring. A single good quality, well taken photo carries far far more weight than a hundred bad ones. It really is a case of quality over quantity

.DO remember that your blog is for public viewing

.DON’T divulge specific personal details about your life such as the street you live on or where your child goes to school. Or do, because at the end of the day it’s your own neck on the line not mine. This is just a really obvious privacy warning and not an issue of blog quality

. Do keep it structured and contained. Pick a topic or a broad theme and, whilst a little tangent here and there or a quick anecdote to give context is fine, stick to it

. DONT ramble. At least not as a matter of course

. Do remember that the banalities of the average every day life are really really not that interesting for anyone, except perhaps the person living it. And even then…It’s a bit like dreams. Hearing about somebody else’s is yawn inducing . As such, writing at length about whether your child took a dump or not (seriously poo should be limited to comedic relief or on the off chance it is quite specifically relevant to what you’re blogging about in a very niche and obscure kind of a way), what they had for dinner and what colour their snot was is a no. Same goes for whether you opted for Asda over Sainsbury’s. You know that one guy who updates their Facebook with “Going to the supermarket now” ? Yup. You are now that guy. This is bad writing

. DON’T be fake. Don’t put on airs and don’t be pretentious. Insincerity is extremely noticeable and telling. Attempting to bullshit your readers is a mistake. It will show in the quality of your work and you will get caught

. DO keep it real

. DO be yourself

. DON’T try to people please. Nobody in the history of anyone anywhere has ever succeeded in gaining the approval of the entire population of Earth

. DO write how you talk. Write conversationally -as if you’re chatting to a friend- and with YOUR voice

. DON’T get hung up on minor details when they prevent you from getting started or moving forward. I couldn’t figure out what to call my blog for ages, and it held me back from actually starting. In the end I settled on a “make do” and proceeded to whack those keys. Later, the perfect name struck me like lightening one day and I rebranded as Much Love Kirsty. Inconsequential details can be tweaked later

.DO remember that your opinions are not facts. And that applies to me and mine with capital Os too

.DONT plagiarise. For the love of God DO. NOT. DO. IT!!! You WILL get caught!!! Don’t plagiarise from other bloggers. Don’t plagiarise ideas and concepts from successful authors. And do not filch other peoples – real OR fictional -signature phrases and sayings and pass them off as your own in a bid to appear more witty or edgy or whatever. There will be quite a few people out there who know exactly who you’re mimicking. My own nerdy pop culture range is pretty vast and yes, I see you over there being copy-cat 👀Referencing is totally fine. I do it my self all the time. But I always make a point of fessing up and CREDITING the original person. This is important. CREDIT people original ideas and work. Otherwise you undermine yourself and come across as even less original or witty than if you’d said nothing at all

. DO keep your brand consistent once it’s settled. That’s not to say don’t ever update it, but do make sure it is always recognisable

. DO consider add ons. Consider additional features on your blog to give it more depth and to make the experience of it richer. Also, the more you have to offer people the more likely you are to be appreciated. Having said that…

. DON’T overload it. A jack of all trades is a master of nothing. You don’t want your blog to be the digital equivalent of a junkyard

. DO proof read and edit. I’m notorious for the accidental typo and I myself sometimes use the incorrect word when I meant another one, even in speech. It’s not that I don’t know it – weirdly, the other day I said “audition” to S when I meant “water”-it’s just occasionally my brain picks the wrong one. But anyway, poor spelling is the epitome of a bad website. Go back and check

. DO promote yo’ self. This is where I fall short. In order to get noticed in blogging you need to shout about yourself from the rooftops. A lot. All the time in fact. It’s a very very VERY over saturated world and the sad fact is no matter how good a writer you are or how great your page is if you don’t shout and scream “I’M HERE!!!!!” as loud as you can as much as you can then you will slip by unnoticed

Finally, DO enjoy it!!

And DO have a very Merry Christmas Eve


Much Love