I have seen countless posts regarding the do's and don'ts of blogging. Everyone has their own opinions and the truth is - you ultimately have to find what works for you and your audience. But if there is one thing that I have learned to be of the absolute highest importance it would be this.....
Write about what you know.
When I first started blogging I wanted to be this super chic, fabulous, classy blogger. I wanted to write about fashion, grand adventures and ultra hot topics. In essence, I wanted to be a modern day Carrie Bradshaw. I wrote for posts for months and months with very little success and gained very few followers. I was so frustrated until I realized something very important. My knowledge of fashion is limited. Although I love to travel, my time and budget restrictions don't exactly allow for the grand adventures I want to write about. Most importantly - I am nothing like Carrie Bradshaw!
So I began writing posts about what I know. Essentially, I began blogging about my life as a newlywed. I wrote about my adventures learning to cook and taking care of my mischievous puppies. I wrote about my struggles with my weight and trying to development a positive body image. I wrote about the every day moments of my life: funny, sad, exciting, boring - all of it. And it worked. Suddenly people were commenting on my stories. People wanted to hear more and they began to follow.
The truth is - people can tell when you are being fake. Most bloggers are bombarded with fake every day - fake TV, fake celebrities, fake hair, fake friends, fake romance. Fake. Fake. Fake. People want to read real, true writing.
There is *nothing* more annoying to me than a blogger who always writes about rainbows and sunshine. The last thing I want to do is read a blog where everything is perfect every single day. If you have time to make the bed every morning, cook breakfast, lunch and dinner and keep a perfectly clean house all while looking fabulous, getting in a workout every day and having sex 5+ times a week with your smoking hot husband who brings you flowers every night - then I really don't like you. Chances are you are lying, and if you aren't lying then you are rude for making the rest of us real people feel bad about ourselves.
My life is messy. Being married is work. Creating a successful career is stressful. Balancing friendships and relationships can be complicated. Dinners get burned, pantyhose get torn and sometimes you fall down and bust your butt in front of everyone in your office. Such is life.
So my suggestion to those of you who are creating a blog or trying to revamp your blog is really quite simple. Ask yourself, "Who am I?" Take a long hard look at your life and determine what you should write about it. If you truly are a fashionista who knows all things trendy and fabulous - then write about fabulous trends. If you are a young mother struggling through dirty diapers and sleepless nights, write about the joys of your experience as a new mom. If you are in college dating tons of guys and living it up - write about those crazy nights on the road to becoming an adult. Whatever stage of life you are in - write about it. Write the good, the bad and the ugly.
Because people can identify with truth. If you can get readers to relate to you, then you will get them to come back time and time again. You will be surprised at the true friendships you will develop with bloggers across the world as you share real pieces of yourself with this community. It really is easy.....just be yourself!
Tomorrow I will share a few more obvious, cosmetic tips that I have found useful for those of you who have asked specifics. But I really do believe the key to any successful blog is finding your voice and personality as a writer.