Sunday, March 07, 2010

Blogging 101

I'm nearing the end of my PR diploma program, and one of the last classes I need to graduate is advanced digital publishing, which includes such fun fare as PhotoShop and InDesign. My instructor is a particularly virulent form of grumpy old man mixed with a dash of hard ass, which means that despite most students in my evening class having full-time jobs on top of classes, we're expected to publish (write, edit and design) a full magazine and create our own blog. 

To that end, we've had to read an insightful book about blog publishing for businesses, which, while similar to what I do here, obviously has different goals, like building a brand and marketing products. Though I've ben doing this for a few years now there are still things the book taught me, and other things I knew already but have shrugged off. 

Among the top items is that good blogs, once begun, must be updated regularly. The minimum is 2-3 times a week, but optimum blogging (if you want to actually make a name for yourself as a blogger) is to write something interesting, pertinent and link-worthy 2-3 times a DAY. I'm all for building my little blog past the "peek into the diary of Ms. Fitz this week and see what neurosis she's adopted today", but, honestly, I just can't muster the effort. 

To get the creative juices aflowin', writers are instructed, the best things to do are 1) read and 2) write. Just do it. Like Nike, only way less athletically able or inclined. But damn, does my brain feel exhausted after a day of writing at work, only to come home and dedicate 1-2 hours (the suggested time allotted to a daily blog update) to writing blather. Maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit for what I write, but I figure that the miscellaneous collection of thoughts gives me one of two options to really be a success: narrow my scope to focus on one particular field of interest or become a much better, more engaging writer than I am today. Self-indulgence is part of the genesis of blogs online, but to succeed, a blogger needs an audience. And while I like to share things that I hope people will smirk at or at least get 30 seconds of enjoyment out of, if it doesn't interest me, I'm probably not going to be motivated enough to talk about it. I wish I had a passion. Perhaps if I were passionate about anything (other than the sound of my own voice or the clickity-clacking of my fingers putting out my own words) the writing would be easier.

Or I could continue writing what I know. Unfortunately for you, dear follower, that means expounding the virtues of cereal for dinner or 46 ways to entertain your cat instead of watching TV (as you're too cheap for cable). Maybe an expose on the contents of my fridge? Though if I haven't mustered the energy to toss the fuzzy green colony that was once a block of cheddar, I probably won't muster the energy to become the next HuffPo. (One side benefit, were I to become the next HuffPo, is that I would promise to never, ever, give Jenny McCarthy her own column.)

But hey! The Oscars are on! 



Alex P said...

most people who blog for business load a million photos and only write a paragraph or two. Or take for instance Sea of Shoes- one sentence per picture. I think I could do that. but what if your blog is more about developing your personal ramblings into a cohesive explanation of who you are?

Durr. Whatever. I will try harder.

Ms. Fitz said...

True, that. You're doing very well for yourself, as far as I can tell. You network very well with others and do reciprocal links and comments that are essential to building your blog brand. So you're on the right path.