So, inevitably I keep getting asked by people for tips on blogging. I’m sure I’ve given some thoughts about this in an earlier blog post, in passing, but with more and more people asking me the same question, I think I should devote a full blog post to this issue.
Blogging will bring attention, deal with that concept right off the bat. I was traveling the other day when I ran into an old acquaintance who was in mid conversation with a third person as I approached after my security check in at the airport. After we exchanged pleasantries, she moved to introduce me to her friend and surprisingly, the friend said she had heard my name before somewhere. I didn’t get the chance to ask where before she said “I think its just part of the name of a blog I used to read ‘something Roqzee view or something’. I feigned ignorance and proceeded to change the topic because frankly I was afraid to hear her opinion about the blog, and the less she knew, the better. Its just shocking how far your thoughts go when you splash them all over the internet…and splash them I do.
Which brings us to motive? If you’re blogging for the fame and attention, then you will stop blogging in a few weeks when you realize that your life is not as interesting to others as you like to think it is. If you’re blogging for money, even worse. Except you’re Linda Ikeji or Bella Naija, then park well (as my street friends would say). If you blog about something you’re passionate about, you’ll last for a few years because passions change and people grow…plus a private blog will not sell whatever cause you are on about, as much as a real advert will. But if you blog for yourself, then you are in for the long haul because someone once said to me that ‘the hallmark of good blogging is not so much that you have something interesting to say, but that you have something at all to say’.
So here are my tips for blogging:
1. The world is watching: and by this I mean the world literally. Everyone from your ex, to your parents, pastors, boss, colleagues…everyone has access to the internet nowadays and pretty much will stumble on your blog. Brace yourself for the impact, grow a thick skin really quickly and don’t defend your opinion. Just be clear to your family and friends that you have a right to AN opinion, and they will usually respect it. Avoid talking about identifiable things or people. no one wants to feel like they cant talk to you without expecting their stories to land on your blog. And oh before i forget, if (like me) you go on about how the church no longer represents what Christ stood for and all that etc…then you’ll also need sunblock and dark shades when going for church service to stave off the glares you’ll get from the more upright members of the faith who so happen to have passed your views round during choir practice.
2. Your boss might find it disturbing: Blogging is like a hidden area of your life from the everyday you that your colleagues are used to. As with everyone else, you probably put on your ‘game face’ at the office, keeping people at arm’s length and just getting on with your work professionally. imagine therefore when you talk about something really personal (your relationship, dog, family, church) targeted at your blog readers to whom you have a mental ‘off-work’ affinity, only to have it shared by your work friends who now know too much. It can get awkward, especially where people start making reference to something you said on your blog over lunch. Multiply this awkwardness by a million when you’re on a 5 hour trip with your boss and he mentions that he has a different view about a subject you wrote about or wants to know why you called babies ugly.
3. Avoid sex, politics and religion (Unless you set out to be deliberately controversial): You can never win any of these battles as they are the most subjective areas of human existence and can never get general consensus. As long as there will be the human race we will never agree on these issues, and setting a firm position on any is bound to embarrass you in the long run. Plus you might run for political office in future and depending on the social trend of that time your views will turn around and bite you (e.g. Feminism, Homophobia and Misogyny). Also, it is petty for you to tackle a subject you are not an expert in. So if you’re a Christian, don’t attack Muslim principles or demean them in any way. If you are a man, leave your opinions on what and how women ought to be in your chest. If you’re married, leave single people alone etc. Besides, every religion except your own has determined that you’re an infidel going to hell anyways, so whaddaheck.
4. Know your audience: Studies show that women do more light reading than men. Teenagers more than adults (correct as at 2013 when this article was first published), mothers more than single ladies etc. There is no gain to alienating your base readers by being too high level with your expressions or always trying to start a gender war. It gets old real quick and you offend more people than you should care to. While we are at it, keep your thoughts succinct, respecting the fact that every second spent on your blog is a gift and people could literally be doing anything else in the world other than reading your thoughts on ‘why a movie should have done better at the box office’ 🥱 :: yawn::
5. Get credibility: You only get credibility when you speak your mind and speak the truth, whenever you find the truth. You can only speak your mind, when you are able to express in words what others are thinking but wouldn’t dare say. Don’t shy away from reasonable controversy. Key word: “reasonable”. If you truly believe in something, then let it rip. I, for one, think that parents talk wayyy too much about their kids almost like no one else has had a kid before; I also think that this generation is smarter than ours even though they focus on the most mundane things; I feel that the pressure on single people to get married – like it is the cure for cancer – is completely unnecessary and I finally feel like the church is not…er…never mind. The point is, don’t expect everyone to agree with you, but don’t avoid issues altogether. Your views come from the place you currently are in your life, and its okay for it to evolve as you grow.
Finally, have fun. Its not all that serious. Its a damn blog not a Nobel Prize submission to cure world hunger. If you goof, ‘fess up, say sorry and keep it moving. If you get praise, say thanks, do the chicken dance and keep it moving. Overall, always keep it moving.
See y’all around peeps. blogging is an outlet for the mind, and its free. Give it shot will ya…I promise to read and comment on your first blog post. I promise.
Editors Note: This Article was first published in 2013 and slight modifications were made for accuracy and clarity only.