First of all, I agree with everything they both say. Sam's blog was actually the first math blog I ever read. Next came Kate's. They both mentioned dy/dan but the first post I read of his turned me off to his blog for months. Now I am somewhat obsessed. So, don't judge by first appearances. But since people do, I have to say:
- A clever name is important. But stressing about it is not. A good strategy is to try to think of your name or nickname or hobby in connection with what you are going to blog about. (dy/dan, Blogush, Sweeney Math) It needs to be memorable. That's it. When you think of the right one, you will just know (kinda how when people tell you that you will just know when you meet 'the one'. Yeah, I haven't fallen for that one either).
- Light backgrounds with dark letters. An all black background with red writing looks super edgy, we know, and yes we all agree, but hard to read. Which defeats the point.
- Clutter free. Keep things simple and basic. Yes, you can have your blogroll, a picture or two, links, labels, etc. But keep things orderly and not too much. We want to read your writing, not be overwhelmed by billboardmania and flashing glitter graphics. P.S. I heart labels because I heart lists and organization of any kind. But it also gives me a quick summary of what your blog is about and the quickest way to get to what interests me most, which = me coming back. So, use them.
- Embrace your nerdiness. God, I was such a blog nerd when I started. I wrote about crap because I wasn't teaching or subbing yet. I just wanted to be in the cool kids club, dang it!! I didn't know anything and I basically was grasping at straws but the important thing is, I started. It's kind of like teaching... I begged, borrowed, and stole anything and everything. As I kept going, I started to figure out what I liked and what I didn't, what was me and what was not. And that's where the beauty lies. In being you and no one else. Speak your words, your way. Don't compare yourself to other bloggers. If God wanted you to be like them he would have made you 6'7". There will be a group of people who love your witty words and wonderful ways and they will become your loyal few. It's not the same few as Kate's or Sam's or Dan's (Notice the one syllable names. Trendy. Hm. E-lis-sa. Doesn't have the same ring to it) but that's the fantastical part: we get to share. If you write it, they will come. Promise.
- Blogging is like life. Treat people with respect, like in life. Encourage growth, like in life. Criticize constructively, like in life. Answer questions, respond, give feedback, like in...oh you get it by now. You are creating a family in a new neighborhood. Make it a place where people enjoy to come and will bring others with them. (Aww, can't you just see Danny Tanner waving in a cardigan in the background? Everywhere you look, ba da bu ba ba ba) Be yourself because everyone else is already taken! Learn from others and comment and tweet the crap out of everyone. People will answer your questions and ask their own. Return the favor. When they see you have something to say, they will come looking for more. And ta-da, your blog will appear and be magically delicious!
And we can't do that if no one writes. So don't let the blogworld down, tweeps.
Be like the Winston and never, never, never, give up. In. Up. In.
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