Six Reasons to Blog About a Traumatic Event

Oct 29

Don’t tell me the moon is shining;
show me the glint of light on broken glass.
~Anton Chekhov

Hurricane. Earthquake. Divorce. A bad diagnosis. The week that changed everything.

Some bloggers would jump on the chance to narrate their most traumatic experiences: it’s just more blog material, right? Others might be afraid that reliving a painful event would just make them feel worse. Why go through all that grief again?

It turns out that there are many benefits to blogging about your own difficult moments.

 

1. Enlighten

Psychologist Jim David says that the simple act of writing about trauma can improve one’s physical health and psychological well-being.  Writing about trauma is a form of mental exposure to the stressful event, and exposure is known to have benefits in the treatment of trauma.

Writing can also be a way for one to organize (mentally, cognitively) a major stressful event into something meaningful, and integrate it with other life experiences. It can help the writer make sense of the event.

Writing, I think, is not apart from living.
Writing is a kind of double living.
The writer experiences everything twice.
Once in reality and once in that mirror
which waits always before or behind.
~Catherine Drinker Bowen, Atlantic, 1957

2. Engage

According to Copyblogger, producing a mental image in a reader’s mind is one of the most powerful things you can ever do as a writer.

Colorful descriptions make readers feel like they are experiencing the event with you. The more feelings and sensations you can include, the more you will hook your audience and keep them reading.

3. Encourage

Offering your own story can help others work through their own similar experiences. One of the most fulfilling aspects of blogging is the connection with readers and other bloggers. There is great value in realizing that you’re not alone in your personal struggles.

4. Educate

The lessons that you learned the hard way can serve to help your readers. Explain what you learned from the experience. How could you have prepared better? How did you react? How could readers avoid some of the problems that you had?

5. Entertain

Someone once said that comedy equals tragedy plus time. According to Moira Allen, sometimes, the best time to write about your experience is when you’re finally able to look back on it and laugh. The resulting article will not only be useful, but entertaining as well.

She also notes that not every experience is appropriate for a lighthearted treatment. Some topics are more serious, and should be handled with sensitivity and care.

6. Epiphany

An epiphany is the “aha” moment when you have a new understanding of yourself. Writing about your personal experiences can lead to this feeling of clarity for yourself and for your readers.

In conclusion

Writing and sharing your personal stories could be difficult as you churn up old memories (or recent experiences). If you consider the therapeutic value of writing and the potential benefits to your readers, you may be ready to sit down and start sharing.

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes
to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
~Isaac Asimov

 

Note: This article appears in my Kindle ebook Blogging Rules!

Blogging Rules!

Aug 01

My  book  Blogging Rules! is available for FREE download on Kindle on Wednesday, August 1st.  You don’t even need a Kindle to read it. Please download, share with your bloggy friends and if you like, leave a review on Amazon!

Blogging Rules!: Creating a Blog That Attracts and Inspires the Readers You Want

Top Ten List of Great Blogging Ideas

Oct 13

 

 

Have you been thinking lately that you could you use a few new ideas for your blog? How about 500 great ideas for your blog? You don’t have to think of them yourself. Take a look at these tips to give your blog a little boost.

  1. 50 Can’t-Fail Techniques for Finding Great Blog Topics by Copyblogger.
  2. 50 Ways to Dodge the Blog Burnout Sucker Punch by Pushing Social
  3. 50 Easy Ways to Promote Your Blog by Quick Online Tips.
  4. 50 Creative Ways to Make Your Blog Popular by BlogOhBlog.
  5. 50 Thoughts for Creating the Best Blog Content Ever by We Build Your Blog.
  6. 50 Best Blogging Ideas That Will Keep Your Readers Coming Back for More by Martha Giffen.
  7. 50 Blogs That Accept Guest Blogging by Scope for Money.
  8. 50 Top Blogging Tools and Resources by Bloggers Domain.
  9. 50 Rapid-Fire Tips for Power Blogging by David Risley.
  10. 50 Blog Title Ideas for You by Michelle Shaeffer.

 

For more blogging tips, check out my Kindle book Blogging Rules! Creating a Blog That Attracts and Inspires the Readers You Want. 



BloggingRulesCover
You don’t even need a Kindle to read it!

Please CLICK HERE to see my other Amazon Kindle books for help with grammar, writing, vocabulary and copywriting.

 

7 Blog Post Ideas to Copy If You’re Stuck

Oct 03

 

You may be trying to think of a post idea. You’d rather think of one yourself. You might be desperate. You might not like any of these options, but just reading them could help you think of an even better idea for your next post.

1. Dispute an expert’s opinion

This could about politics, popular culture, blogging, morality, or the best films of all time.

2. Add to someone else’s numbered list

If you think a list from another blogger or magazine was helpful but it missed a few things, you can add your own spin. Link to the original, of course.

3. Survey the Experts

See what 10 different experts or other blogs have said about a certain topic, and list them (with links), adding your own opinion.

4. Write as if you were someone else

You could write in the style of a famous author, tabloid magazine, self-help guru, reality TV star. Is this too much of a cliche for you? Maybe, but it can still be hilarious.

5. Be a reality star

Imagine your life being filmed for a reality TV show. What would viewers learn about you if the cameras followed you for a few weeks?

6. Republish an older post

It’s OK to edit and post as new if you’d like, or explain that today you’re digging through the archives and wanted to share an older gem. You could even change the photo, or format it differently if it doesn’t match the way you write your posts currently. Don’t spend too long tweaking the old post, or you’ll waste the time that could have been spent on another project.

7. Explain your inside jokes

If you use certain inside jokes or refer to people with nicknames on your blog, explain to newer readers what you’re talking about so they don’t feel like they’re out of the loop. You could write a “5 Things About My Blog” post and put links to the older posts where these references are explained.

IN CONCLUSION

Remember that it’s OK to borrow ideas from other blogs. You won’t get sent to the principal’s office for cheating, and no one will beat you up on the playground.

 

 

10 Questions Bloggers Should Ask Themselves

Sep 29

Take a Look at Yourself

Blogging can be very rewarding, and it can also take over your life. It’s a good idea to take a fresh look at what you’ve been doing with your blog, and ask if it is working out the way you’d like.

 

1. Is there anything I’ve been meaning to change about my blog that I keep putting off?

2. Have my goals evolved since I started this blog? Do I write down the steps it would take to achieve those goals?

3. Am I happy with the amount of time I spend blogging each week?

4. Are there certain types of posts that get more comments? What kind seem to bring a response from readers? Would it feel right to do more posts like that or would that feel fake?

5. Do readers think of me as a friend, entertainer or resource? Does that feel right for me?

6. Do I think I might get negative feedback if I make changes in the way I blog?

7. What am I doing to actively learn and use new techniques to get more traffic or be more efficient?

8. Am I willing to try new technology or do I tend to stay in my comfort zone?

9. What is most satisfying, energizing and motivating for me? Do I need to get a positive comment in order to feel good about my blog?

10. Am I stretching myself and writing guest posts for other sites? Am I working on a book that I can turn into an ebook myself?

If there are aspects of your blog that you would like to change, you can start making those changes right away. Take your pick from all the help and advice that’s available, and you can start growing in the right direction.

 

 

 

Art source: Frida Kahlo photo from Biography.com.

Waiting for Inspiration to Strike

Sep 26


Ten Blog Post Ideas

Inspiration can strike in a moment and it can leave you just as quickly. If you can’t think of anything to write about, and it’s been too long since your last post, try these tips to get the words flowing again.

  1. Question and Answer: Interview yourself as a child or teenager. Include pictures, one flattering and one embarrassing. See if readers can tell the difference.
  2. Greatest Hits: How about serving up some bloopers, regrets, parenting mistakes, embarrassing moments. If there are too many to choose from, try to limit it to the mistakes you’ve made in the last month.
  3. The Other Side of Heartwarming. Everyone loves a heartwarming story. It might be your job to take a recent heartwarming story from the news and uncover its slimy underbelly, even if you have to make up that slimy side.
  4. Lessons Learned. Write something outrageous like a jaw-dropping report on how you kept your 12-year-old son off video games for two weeks without promising him an iPhone.
  5. Beginner’s Guides. How to dispose of a possibly diseased and creepy dead bird in the yard while calming down your 5-year-old daughter Robin who found it.
  6. Unwilling Expert. How you became an expert at something, and who you can blame.
  7. Write for Non-Bloggers. Explain what it does for you and why you sometimes seem a teeny bit obsessed with it. Your imaginary audience could be your own friends and family who have no clue what you do with a blog or why in the world you want to do it.
  8. Grab Your Camera. Take 10 pictures in one typical day and post the photos on your blog. Looking at things in your daily life through a different lens could give you some creative ideas for new posts.
  9. Explain Yourself. Write a list of 33 things you’ve never told your readers. Your faithful readers already like you–give them some new material.
  10. Take Some Time Off. No blogging. Go focus on your three-dimensional life instead of being chained to the computer.  Taking a break won’t kill your blog, and it might restore your enthusiasm.


Tell Me Your Personality and I’ll Tell You What’s Missing From Your Blog

Sep 13

By Guest Blogger Kirsten Simmons

It sounds audacious, doesn’t it? I know nothing about you, nothing about what you’re writing about, yet I’m claiming to know what’s missing from your blog? Ridiculous as it sounds, the odds are in my favor. Because as much as we want to be unique and charge fearlessly into the great blogging unknown, we’re essentially predictable at heart. Especially when it comes to our personality types.

Now, you may not have heard of the type system I use. And that’s OK, because it’s based on newer research than the Meyers-Briggs or the Enneagram. Using this typing system, I can not only tell you what your blog may be missing, but I can tell you the easiest way to fix it. Interested? Read on and decide which type sounds most like you.

Fantastical

If you’re a Fantastical, you have the awesome ability to get caught up in a problem for hours on end and not look up until you’ve solved it. The only problem is that a lot may have happened during those hours–like that important meeting with your boss, a date with your significant other, or the start of the Perpetual E-motion house concert. Whoops!

When it comes to your blog, everything you write about is probably fascinating–when you manage to get in an update. Most Fantasticals have a tendency to ignore problems once they’ve been solved. But your readers don’t know your solutions yet, so take some time each week to enlighten them. There’s no need to sit down and type it all out–in fact, you’ll probably be more effective if you pace around your computer with a wireless headset and a speech recognition program. You can knock out several posts in one swing and schedule them to post automatically so the world can keep up with the exciting work you’re doing.

Analytical

If you’re an Analytical, you have a sixth sense for seeing the big picture and how the tiniest details fit into it. You’re extremely motivated and goal oriented, to the point that you can neglect your friends and family when you’re getting close to the finish line.

Unless I miss my guess, you started your blog as part of your overall strategy to get where you want to be in life. You know which stats are important, who you’re trying to reach, and what you’ll be posting over the next few weeks. So what’s missing from your blog? Real life experiences. The best way for you to spend two hours on your blog is to turn off your computer and get away. Spend some time with your family. Go out with friends. Get some first-hand knowledge to back up the posts you write. You’ll come back refreshed and with some new insights that will impress the people you’re targeting with your blog.

Environmental

If you’re an Environmental, your focus is on the people around you and their needs. You’re a remarkable individual, and you probably started your blog as a way to keep in touch with friends and family that are further away. Or you started it to share your expertise, and you thrive on the grateful comments you get on a regular basis.

That said, I’ll bet there are a few basic blog housekeeping things that you’ve neglected. Not your design or layout–your enjoyment of rich color and comfortable environments has probably ensured that you’re in perfect shape in that department. But what about easy to find feed subscription? An an e-mail opt-in box? An advertisement for your latest product? (Have you even considered creating a product?) These are all things that you may have forgotten in your rush to help others.

Spend some time to look into these basic but important pieces of your blog and make sure you have everything in place.

Structural

If you’re a Structural, you take to routines and systems like a cat takes to a warm patch of sunlight. People around you depend on your ability to keep track of details and work out schedules to everyone’s liking, and you’re most comfortable when working within the structures of your routines.

Chances are that you’ve had a posting schedule for your blog since day one, and your editorial calendar is filled out a month or more in advance. You probably even have a few weeks posts written and scheduled to appear each day without your direct input. The best thing you can do for your blog is to take an hour or two to surf through your niche. As you do, ask yourself whether your blog fits in. Are your posts relevant, even though they were written in advance? Can you link to others in your work? What questions are readers asking? Your systems can sometimes isolate you from the people you’re trying to reach. Scheduling time to explore on a regular basis will help you make sure that you’re still reachable and relevant.
What type do you think you are? Do you fall into the typical pitfalls of your type, or does your blog have other problems? Leave a comment and tell us!

About the author

Kirsten Simmons is the co-founder of Personalized Productivity, and has been described multiple times as “freakishly productive.”  She swears it’s not a genetic mutation, and hundred of people who have taken the Personalized Productivity quiz agree.  Interested in learning more about your personality type?  Come to Personalized Productivity and take our quick quiz.  You’ll learn your type and get customized tips to supercharge your organization, time management and productivity.

How Much Time Do You Spend Blogging?

Aug 26

Should You Make a Blogging Schedule?

Bloggers are creative. We may be artists, poets, musicians at heart. We could also be sales reps, teachers, tech geeks, pundits, wiccans, humorists, moms, dads, risk-takers, introverts and class clowns.

In addition to our talents and writing skills, a lot of us are also time-stretched, conflicted, uninspired and disorganized. Creating a blogging schedule could be just what we need.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST AT TRIBAL BLOGS.


Source: Cover of Saturday Evening Post from May 16, 1959 features Norman Rockwell’s painting Easter Morning.

Making an Emotional Connection with Readers

Aug 15



Look at the photo of Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. Do you see two movie stars flirting with each other? Do you think it’s a scene from a movie, or a candid shot on a movie set? Are they laughing about whatever Shirley is holding? Did she draw a picture of one of the aliens that she wrote about years later?

I don’t know what was going on when that picture was shot, but what I see in that photo is an emotional connection that bloggers can and should make with their readers.

Look at the photo of Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. Do you see two movie stars flirting with each other? Do you think it’s a scene from a movie, or a candid shot on a movie set? Are they laughing about whatever Shirley is holding? Did she draw a picture of one of the aliens that she wrote about years later?

I don’t know what was going on when that picture was shot, but what I see in that photo is an emotional connection that bloggers can and should make with their readers.

I’m referring to intimacy, laughter, comfort, empathy, friendship, loyalty and a casual, close connection between two equals. Feeling understood. A shared moment. Two members of a tribe. (Hello, Rat Pack? We’re still intrigued by you.) I’m here if you need me, Doll.

Yes, I can read a lot into an old photo. That’s what I do.

Laughter: Inside Jokes

Any type of blog can benefit from a little humor. Your readers can feel like they are in on the joke with the following method from Kirsten Simmons.

Kirsten describes a great technique in her guest post on Problogger. She recommends sprinkling your posts with Easter eggs: obscure references that aren’t apparent to anyone who doesn’t know what you’re talking about. The people who don’t get the reference are none the wiser, and the people who do love you all the more for including it.

Friendship With Your Audience

Your writing is your performance, and your readers are your audience. The size of that potential audience is unlimited. You put so much thought and work into the blog, you deserve to have more than just your mom and your cousins reading it.

 

What would your reader like to hear about from a friend? What makes your blog useful? Are you teaching something that will help readers in their daily lives? Are you providing a service? How long would it take a first-time visitor know what your blog is about?

You might say, “Well, I write to express my own feelings, not to please anyone else.” That could be true, and that attitude might keep your writing very authentic. However, I don’t think there are any bloggers who wouldn’t like to have readers see their work, feel a response to it, and come back for more.

 

I’m Here if You Need Me

Make your readers feel that you can help them. This can be your goal whether you have a personal blog, sales blog loaded with affiliate links, or a cooking blog showing non-cooks that it’s not that hard making pancakes from scratch.

Give them something they can’t get anywhere else. That something might be your unique voice and sense of humor, your way with a whisk on your cooking blog, or the marketing tips that give a discouraged sales rep a new sense of hope and enthusiasm.

 

Empathy: Feeling Understood

Andria from Drawing Near, advises sharing your own difficult experiences with readers:

Finding times and places to talk about your struggles—divorce, miscarriages, postpartum depression—can make a big difference to someone else’s life. Not because you offer any great advice or insight, but simply because you are willing to let your humanity show, and present yourself as a fellow traveler, a fellow sufferer, and a fellow survivor.

 

In Conclusion
Rat Pack leader Frank Sinatra explained how friendships are formed.
“You bypass the acquaintanceship stage immediately. Either your currents are different and the chemistry isn’t there, or else you’re hooked and you’re a friend immediately, and in most cases, permanently.”
That kind of emotional connection is just as possible between bloggers and their readers as it is between swinging Hollywood legends, Doll.

 

6 Ways to Give Your Blog a Checkup

Jul 21


How healthy is your blog? When new readers check out your blog, they will likely scroll down to read your older posts. Take a look at the blog as if you were a new visitor. How does your layout look?

If you’ve had the same ads on for several months, and no one is clicking on them, maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe the logo you created three years ago just doesn’t appeal to you anymore. Check the list of older posts. Are there any typos or errors? Is there a better photo that you found after publishing? You can still change things that have been published, and it won’t change the date of the post. Making your blog better is always worthwhile. Keep reading for more ways to improve the health of your blog.

1. Write headlines that grab readers

Are your headlines clearly written? Do they let readers know what to expect in your post, or what’s in it for them? Check your older titles for typos or spacing problems. A brief blog title that is “tweetable” will get you more pageviews than a longer one. You can help publicize your posts with share buttons. It’s easier than ever for readers to share your content. If you didn’t know about share buttons when you set up your blog, it’s very simple to add them now. Check the “Help” section of your host’s website for instructions.

2. Don’t be too formal


Your casual, conversational tone is often the quality that blog readers like best. Don’t use long words to impress, when a shorter word will do. If you see phrases that are clunky in older posts, do a quick edit so your writing meets your current standards. Should you use slang in your writing? Of course! Just do everyone a favor and spell your slang words correctly.

3. Look sharp with great design

Even with free blogs, you can find thousands of options for design templates, photos and fonts. Be consistent with spacing above and below photos. Keep previewing the look of your post before publishing. Odd things can happen with placement, especially if you have imported text (with proper credit and links, of course), images or video from another source. You might need to learn a little about HTML to understand how to correct glitches in layout. Your blog host’s help forum can be a great resource, especially if you are new to blogging. A nice design that enhances what you have to say will help bring readers back. If you can’t find the look you want, browse through other blogs to figure out what is appealing about their pages. Just as you would tear out magazine pages when shopping for furniture or paint colors, start gathering samples of blog designs that you admire. Print out their home pages for reference. See what your five favorites have in common, and then tweak your own design.

 

4. Remember that some like it fast

 


Shorter blog posts means more people will read the whole post. It’s not that your stories aren’t interesting, but most readers don’t have much time to read your post. If it’s easy to scan, it’s easy to read. If you have a personal blog, often your best posts tell stories with lots of detail. But if you are blogging for business or to give advice, try to be brief. Shorter sentences and paragraphs may be more effective for you.

 

5. Be easy on the eyes


Long runs of text are hard to read, and might even scare off readers before they can appreciate how interesting your posts really are. Using attractive colors and fonts, and organizing text into numbered or bulleted lists can make the post more readable and appealing. Black type on a white background is the most readable. If you’re using a dark background to set a certain mood, you could be turning off some readers or simply making it hard for them to read. Enlarging the text font on a dark background might help.

 

6. Don’t get distracted

Take a realistic look at how much time you spend on different tasks relating to your blog. You could spend hours searching online for just the right photos to illustrate your post. You may think the task is fun and adds value to your blog. But sometimes it’s better to just write a new post! Providing great content is your goal.

Make a schedule for your blog. You might try to post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can easily pop in at least one Facebook update each day. Use a site like HootSuite to schedule your tweets throughout the day, so you don’t feel tied to using Twitter all day long to publicize your blog. Plan your days so that you spend enough time writing and editing, and not too much of your valuable day (or late into the night) on other things. Do take the time to look at other blogs. Leaving comments, making sure they know you’re following them on Twitter or “Liking” their Facebook page builds relationships. Other bloggers can give you great support and advertising.

 

Schedule regular checkups Periodically take a look at your blog with a critical eye. There are thousands of blogs out there, and you should make sure that yours reflects your best effort. With proper care, and maybe an occasional facelift, your blog will live a long and healthy life.

 

The Wizard of Blogs

Jul 18

 
 

 

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

You might have felt a bit like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” when you took the first step toward starting a blog. You were entering a new world, unsure of how to get to your destination. There are many similarities between Dorothy’s journey to meet the Wizard and your experiences after becoming a blogger.

images-12

 
Why, Oh, Why Can’t I?

There was probably a moment, after reading someone else’s blog post, when you thought, “Why can’t I do that, too?” When you decided to make your idea a reality, you felt excitement and probably some nerves, too. You were tempted by the thought of doing something creative, being challenged, and making connections.

Unknown
 
Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Your path as a blogger will not always go in a straight line. It’s possible to get a lot of good feedback at first, then struggle if your numbers drop. You might feel a summer or holiday slump when your regular readers are too busy to check in often and leave their funny comments on your blog.

We all love getting comments, and if they slow down, you need to just keep going, and not get discouraged by little bumps in the road. When your readers have a chance to come back, they can easily scroll through and read the posts that they missed.

WizardYellowBrick
 
You Never Know Who’s Watching

It’s very tempting for us to constantly look at our blog stats. We want to know how many people have seen the post we just spent days putting together. We look to see if anyone has mentioned us on Twitter, or if a new reader likes our Facebook page. We leave comments on other blogs that we enjoy, and we wonder if anyone will click though to our own sites.

When I first got hooked on reading blogs, I had a morning ritual of reading some of my favorite ones before doing anything else. For a long time, I read faithfully through every post and most of the comments, but I never left a comment myself.

Like most people who weren’t bloggers several years ago, I didn’t have a Twitter account, and I didn’t know what it meant to follow a blog on Google. I didn’t subscribe. I just liked reading the posts. I checked in every morning to see what was new, and the bloggers had no idea who I was or how much I liked what I was reading.

Keep in mind that your stats can tell you a lot, but you might not realize  how much someone out there looks forward to reading your next post.

Unknown-5
 
You’ve Got to Have Friends

Dorothy’s friends were committed to giving her support along their journey. You can easily develop new relationships through your blog, with your readers as well as with other bloggers. Even if you start out with only a few connections, they can give you friendly advice, useful tips, and publicity through their own blog connections.

A blogging network will teach you all you need to know about improving and promoting your blog, as well as offering support from other bloggers going through the same challenges.

WizardWitchHourglass
 
Time Is Not on Your Side

Time can be your biggest enemy. You could spend hours a day browsing around other blogs, looking for funny or helpful tweets to retweet, or checking in on Facebook.

The blogs that you’ve always enjoyed reading may have inspired you to start your own. Unfortunately, once you started your own blog, you didn’t have as much free time to read your old favorites.

Try to spend 80 percent of your time writing, and 20 percent promoting and networking. Even if you’re not feeling very creative, you can start a few rough drafts that can be refined later when you’re full of energy and ideas.

WizardScarecrow
 
If I Only Had a Brain

You give your brain a real workout when you write. Putting out quality information, while trying to make sure your spelling and grammar are impeccable, takes more than a little brain power.

Letting typos and grammatical errors slip through can really affect the image you are trying to project. If you hope to make money with your blog, increase your exposure, or get other writing opportunities, you need to look professional.

WizardTinman
 
If I Only Had a Heart

Blog posts can be so personal, and you are opening your own story up for scrutiny and possible criticism. It takes a lot of heart and soul to share yourself like that. Personal blogs might look easy, but sharing very personal subject matter is not.

I once read a blog that had a riveting story of the blogger’s past problems with drugs and alcohol. Her story read like a novel, and I felt that it took more heart to write that story than I have seen in a long time. Hopefully your stories aren’t so painful or intense, but your own personal experiences and emotions are valuable for others to read.

WizardLion

If I Only Had the Nerve
 
Some parts of the blogger’s job aren’t fun; they can actually be a little scary. If you’re writing a personal blog, you may have the urge to share your feelings, but you worry about violating your family’s privacy. Maybe you’re afraid of getting a nasty comment on a post.

Some bloggers have mixed feelings about trying to promote their blogs, especially if they’re not naturally outgoing. You might be nervous about telling friends and relatives what you’re doing, and may at first feel most comfortable connecting with other bloggers.

WizardDorothy
 
You’ve Always Had the Power

Glinda the Good Witch told Dorothy that she had always had the power within her to get back home. You might not feel especially confident about how things are going along your own blogging journey. If you worry that there are too many blogs like yours out there, just remember that you are the only person with your unique personality and voice. If you stay committed to expressing yourself honestly, you will end up right where you want to be.
 
WizardTheEnd
   

All photos from The Wizard of Oz.

The Intervention Begins

Jun 07

Hello Blogger,

I’m so glad we finally got together here. I have a lot to say to you, and I want you to know that I care about what’s best for you.

You’re probably wondering what this intervention is about. You don’t even know me. Am I a well-known blogger with tons of followers and fame? No. Am I an expert on web design or online marketing techniques? No. Are stories about my kids funnier than yours? Heck, no.

What I am is a superfan. Ever since I discovered Dawn Meehan’s blog Because I Said So several years ago, I was not only entertained by her stories, but intrigued by the connection she created with her fans. She has achieved a level of fame that got her two book contracts. Around the same time I also found another hugely popular “Mommy Blog” called Dooce, written by Heather Armstrong, which inspires rabid devotion by her followers, which becomes obvious when reading through her lovefest, I mean comments section. Both of their blogs are very professional.

After finding link after link on various sites, and finding inspiration and laughs all around the web, I admired the way so many of you share so much about your lives. The blogging phenomenon is fascinating to me. Some people hate the idea of technology getting in the way of real human interaction, and they think it leads to a coldness or disconnection between people. But I think it is a great way to peek in on someone else’s world, someone you would never have met in your daily life.

So who am I besides a blog junkie and superfan? I’m an editor and proofreader with a degree in journalism and public relations. And now comes the painful part.

You can have some coffee if you need it. The tissues are over there.

There are six points I’d like to make to you and all bloggers.

1.  Each one of you is unique and wonderful.

2.  There are a hell of a lot of you out there.

3.  Besides expressing yourself, you might be trying to make some money with your blog.

4.  You make a lot of grammatical errors and typos.

5.  If you want to stand out among the competition, you’ll need to make some changes.

6.  I can help.

It hurts me to say this to you, but the truth is that I have been cringing at the repeated errors I see, and I worry that you are making yourself look bad. I know, I know. You can’t be expected to remember every grammar rule from high school. No, I do not expect you to be a walking dictionary. No, I do not think you are stupid. I love you and I think you are awesome! Don’t cry or you’ll make me cry!

The thing is, I’m the one you need to help you. When I was in grade school, it irritated me to no end when I saw a sign for a diner called “The Koffee Kup.” Yes, I understood that they were just trying to have a cute name for their cafe. But I just wanted it to be correct. I read constantly as a child and wanted to be a writer. Are you calling me a nerd? OK. I get that you are hurting a little bit right now.

I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It says that what you should be doing is what you are already doing. So I realized that what I’m already doing is reading lots of blogs, noticing all the errors in the blogs,  and wishing I could do something about it.

So that’s why we’re here. Blog Rehab is a brand new resource for you and for anyone with a blog or website, whether it is for personal expression, running a business, building a writing portfolio, raising awareness for a cause or charity, or making some money from home in this nasty economy.

I’m going to give you lots of help from experts all around the web. You’ll eliminate mistakes that you’re not even aware of yet, and you’ll be making yourself look much more professional.

Now let’s have a hug.

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