Ranting of an insomniac
What makes you follow a blog? For me it is the content, the writing, the pictures, the recipes and most of all the "it" factor. If the blogger speaks to me on a personal level, doesn't talk down to me and is passionate about what he or she is writing, I follow them to the last post. I have met some wonderful bloggers who are funny and kind and generous. I have asked for help and have been given support and encouragement and good advice by them. I have befriended them on FB and exchanged emails with a few.
I have also been stumped to read bad copy (read language), improper use of words, shameless self promotion and rude comments all over the blogosphere. I credit the first two to ignorance and let go but the latter two leave me speechless (obviously not now). Without wanting to sound rude or offensive or arrogant here's a word of advice for those who wanna have 100 followers in a matter of few months: If you are good, people will follow you eventually. Don't go on a blog and ask them to come over and visit yours unless your posts are related. Most likely people will remove your comment from their post or just ignore it. If you still have the urge to solicit, be polite and say something nice about the post you are leaving your comment on and then tell them to come visit you.
And no matter what you do, for heaven's sake do not announce on your blog that you are a better writer or cook than Tarla Dalal. If you can hold a candle to TD let your readers tell you that and believe me they will. Do not brag what your guests said about your cooking. They are guests and have to praise you, whether it was worth the praise or they were being polite, you'll never know.
On the same note, if your recipe is adapted from TD, please give her credit. This goes not only for TD but for all those hardworking bloggers out there typing and composing there posts in the middle of the night.
Which brings me to my next point. For those of you who love to cut, copy and paste from other blogs and pass it off as yours, please don't. In plain speak, it is stealing and it is the worst thing you can do to some one's hard work. If you wrote your own posts and took the trouble of taking photos, editing and captioning them, you would realize how much time and effort goes into the process. Once you are exposed for the fraud you are, no one will visit your blog. It takes just one email to start the chain reaction to brand your blog scarlet. Try being original and I promise you people will try to copy you. Till then, stop and think before you click the copy button. Thank you.
Now I would like to direct everyone's attention to a great blog -- Amit Varma's India Uncut. His views of Indian current events -- politics, sports, culture -- are an interesting read. He has a huge following and millions of people log in everyday to read his posts. In this article -- Blogging Tips from a Jaded Veteran -- he writes a few commonsense guideline for writing a great blog -- keep it crisp, do not talk down to your readers, enjoy the process, respect your reader's time and DON'T COPY.
According to Varma, all the advice he gives for writing a great blog stems from one rule of thumb -- "Respect your reader's time." Here are a few of the points he covers under those rules:
Keep it Crisp
Don't Show Off
Ask yourself why you are writing your blog
Who are you writing for
Be regular but don't force yourself (I love this one)
Use Proper English
Don't Clutter Your Page
Do it only if it is fun (Gotta love that too)
Don't treat the reader like a fool
At the risk of talking down to my readers I will now sign off with the advice : Enjoy and Learn from the above mentioned article.
This post goes to Sra of When my soup comes alive. She is celebrating her third anniversary and has decided to host the unique event The Write Taste. Sra, you are a sister of my heart and I am glad I found your blog.