14 December 2012

How To Blog Well

In the oh-so humble opinion of Rachel G.

Here's what I'd advise anyone who wants to write a blog that people read.

1. Don't be boring. I wouldn't recommend making every post a play-by-play of the average day of your life, unless of course every day of your life consists of activities like skydiving, swimming with sharks, and robbing banks. Even if your life does consist of such activities on a daily basis, I wouldn't recommend writing about the robbing banks part. Legal reasons, you know.


2. Have a funny husband. (See mine, for example). If you don't have that, have funny kids. Or a funny pet. Or, better yet, do funny things yourself. People who have time to hang out on the internet reading stuff are often looking for a laugh, so give it to them.

3. Play to your strengths. I'm not very good at writing on serious topics that pull at your heart-strings. It's like I almost can't help but throw in a joke or two to ease the tension. I can be serious when called for but it's not my favorite way to write, so you won't see seriousness from me very often. At the same time--I don't have the patience to even sit down and read through a tutorial or a recipe properly, let alone write a craft tutorial or a recipe properly, so I'm not going to annoy myself trying to write something that I'm not good at writing. I'll leave recipes and tutorials and seriousness to those who are good at it, because chances are, if I hate writing a post, not very many people are going to enjoy reading it!

4. Don't give in to peer pressure. Just because "everyone" hates CAPTCHA doesn't mean that you have to. Just because "everyone" is wearing peplums doesn't mean you have to, either. You don't have to go to Disneyworld or buy a professional blog design, and you don't have to watch The Bachelor or know what the latest Katy Perry song is called. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: There's really no such thing as "everyone". We're all different.

5. At the same time, if you want comments and might not want to be too weird. That might be my problem. I'm ornery. When Christmas is the talk of the season, I want to talk about the 4th of July, and when New Girl or Real Housewives are the kind of shows I hear other people talking about, I want to proclaim from the rooftops that I love The Red Green Show and Gilligan's Island with all my heart. When other people ask nicely for sponsors, I try to seduce  people into sponsoring me. Even my husband says that he thinks I'm weird. So be you...but maybe secretly act a little normal until you trick people into loving you and then be yourself again.

 I'm spoiled--I've got a whole family full of pretty!

6. Be pretty. Or at least make a blog design or take pictures that aren't hard to look at. Most of us don't like looking at ugly or obnoxiously loud things--so if you want people to stay, make your blog look inviting.

7. Write in English. If your audience is American or generally composed of people from English-speaking areas of the world. Actually, 一个妇女 像 你一样  is one of my top 5 most viewed posts of all time. Why, I don't know, but judging by the lack of comments, people don't really know what to say when you post in other languages, so I wouldn't recommend it.

 My unfriendly face

8. Be friendly. That's what my mom told me after she met Angel for the first time and she knew that she wanted me to catch him. I think the same is true for blogging. Email, comment, tweet, swap ads, guest post, collaborate with others on big projects. The most valuable things in life are relationships, so don't miss out on your opportunity to build them through blogging.

9. Don't say the same thing everyone else does. If you want people to read, you have to offer them something of value that they can't get just anywhere. If you're familiar with the typical list of blogging tips, you'll notice that here I didn't mention that you should not be a no-reply blogger, that you should not write "Follow me, and I'll follow you back" type of comments, or that you should post consistently. All of that has been said before and said thoroughly. Instead, I'll telling you my ideas, the ones that you might not see in other places.

 10. Don't title your posts "Bare With Me". Because then people are going to snicker and they may not even tell you to your face that you made an amusing grammatical mistake. The phrase is 'bear with me.'


  1. I think you are awesome. You write really well :P I LOVED your Angel-isms post!!! I even read it to my husband.

  2. HAHA Love this! Totally awesome. I completely agree with all of it!

  3. 4 and 5 for the win. so glad i don't have to watch the bachelor to be a successful blogger. now i will probably just comment less on peoples posts. and seriously. whenever people start doing "fad posts" or seasonal things, i turn off. hence posting about halloween on thanksgiving. yep. i love this!

  4. This is great! Being a newish blogger, I've heard all of the things about not being a no reply blogger, posting consistently, etc. The tips you gave are original and I definitely agree!

  5. I have to agree with all of them - even though it's sometimes hard to follow your own rules! I decided to write in English because it is the best way to interact with others. Somehow google seems to know I'm German, though, and sends me people who google German stuff. Very funny.

  6. Bahaha...I love all of this. Some of it's hard, though! Like not being too know how it is, being super conservative and a Christian and what not...sometimes I want to write about things that are very unpopular, but for the sake of not alienating an entire people group, I hold it in...ugh. So frustrating sometimes.

  7. ROFL!! I almost died on that last one. Oh, grammar and spelling, you make me such a snob!! :) I love this post, I love you. You rock my socks :) (I don't think I've said that in years, so be honored!)

  8. all such great tips!!!
    what a darling blog you have! so happy to be following along now..XO

  9. I wish I knew how to write funny...the truth is I am in person, but not on my bloggy. I am great at sentiments and pictures so that is what my blog is based on, and mommyhood....I do love your tips though. I just don't have time to dedicate myself to getting new followers and "following" back or commenting on every comment...mommyhood comes first. When I have time to make a post, I am just happy I did that! Maybe someday mine will grow into more:) But probably not for awhile...our family is growing:)

  10. I just love you Rachel. You're so great! These are hilarious. I love that you're true to yourself on your blog. And AMEN to not giving in to peer pressure!

    1. P.S. I laughed SO hard at the picture with Angel and the shovel. AMAZING.

  11. YESSSS!! "Bare with me" when it should be "bear with me" and "Your" when it should be "you're" are some of my biggest petpeeves. Perhaps it's the English major in me, I don't know. I love every single one of these tips, no joke, especially not giving into peer pressure. I am not goo at the whole trendy thing. Seriously. I had to google "peplums" just then. I also recently found out my sheer shirts are called "chiffon" and my new hair is called "ombre!" Cool! I enjoy not being trendy

  12. I am usually just a kitchen-nazi, not a grammar-nazi, but there are a few exceptions (of course). Lay versus Lie is my big one. No, you aren't gonna go lay down. You're gonna lie down. You might lay down your head, sure. But you're not gonna lay down.
    I'm catching up on blogworld, so reading your post made me smile and reminded me of important tips! Thanks!

  13. Stopping by with the Saturday Morning Coffee Hop....some wonderful tips, I'm still trying to find my voice =)

  14. great post Rachel! I think you're a great blogger, so it's great to get your advice!

  15. AWESOME post Rachel. You are indeed very entertaining in your own special way and the way you write is very easily relevant. And you are right, everyone could use a laugh or two! Great job Rachel :)

  16. What a fantastic post full of awesome tips! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  17. Ahhh this is hilarious and awesome!! Bare with me, yes!! I've read that several times from everywhere, hehehe.

    REAlity Bites

  18. I'm so glad I found your blog! I definitely agree with you on #8 - it's all about connections!! But say it isn't so with CAPTCHA! I try to avoid blogs with CAPTCHA...I can barely read them, and get them wrong half the time and have to give up my comment! Your point is well taken though...we don't have to do something just because someone else does. :)