Perish the thought. Yes, the one that has sprung unbidden into your mind on reading the title of this post. Nope. I am NOT giving out tips on either blogging or commenting. There are enough of them around, too many if you ask me. I have a single grouse against them all. Without exception, they assume bloggers to be carbon copies of one another. Period.
A couple of years back (it could be more) I saw one such post written by someone who seemed to be well respected by the blogging community. I had opened the page with skepticism, having got the link from Twitter. What the hell was he going to tell me on how to blog? I had already decided in my mind that whatever it was, it certainly was not something I was going to agree with. You may well ask, ‘why’? I strongly believe blogging does not come with rules other than the rules of the language you write in. You are here to write what you want to, from your heart, the way you want to. I have always set great store on ‘being yourself’ as THE rule to follow. There is room for all types of us here. So why this keen interest to turn yourself into an assembly line product?
Strike me pink if the first sentence that the man wrote hadn’t charmed my pretty little pink socks off my feet. Let me clarify at the outset that this post, he wrote, of tips on blogging, is NOT for those who write for the sheer pleasure of writing or those who write for themselves.
That is exactly what I have been trying to tell these people who were throwing rules of blogging in my face. Such as us exist who are not bothered about ‘keywords’ and ‘driving traffic’ or ‘optimum words’ (not that it is a crime if indeed you are), for we write for different reasons. For example, ‘traffic’ on our blog does make us jubilant, but that traffic is NOT the reason we write. Every other article on blogging tips suggests how 700-800 is the ideal number of words to keep your blog-readers hooked. That has never stopped me from writing posts that average at least 1500 words. You get what I mean? We’d rather write what we want and not have traffic than have traffic by writing for traffic’s sake. Unlike that fine gentleman, they of the world-is-filled-with-carbon-copies-of-me syndrome refuse to even acknowledge that people like us exist.
Next comes the comment policies. As I see it, other than expecting that the commentator should be polite and not be selling viagra or breast enhancement products, are not dropping links worse than pigeons crap on the statue in the square, I see no need to educate them. But you get to read some really balderdash-y stuff about how and what we should and should not write as comments. Like, r.e.a.l.l.y?
One of the rules, oft repeated in all seriousness admonishes about leaving generic comments like, ’Nice!’ ‘Good one’ etc. But tell me, WHAT IF that is what I feel? That its nice, a good one? Why should I be asked to make up stories instead of writing down just what came to mind? I certainly don’t agree with the blogger dictating to me, the reader, HOW I should be appreciating their writing. Isn’t it upto the commentators to add to the conversation if/when they have something to say?
Some guests may come to your house with costly gifts, some with utilitarian items, others with flowers, some may walk in empty handed with a smile on their face, for a cosy chat or to enjoy the silence with you. But as a host if you start printing pamphlets giving details of what gifts are acceptable when they visit you, to me at least, it sounds extremely rude and weird a way.
Live and let blog. Don’t force comments, let them happen. My blogging mantra. What is yours?