To join my exclusive blog network, you must first swear fealty to the 9 Rules. After all, without rules, there’d be no rules.
1. Whatever you do, don’t bore yourself.1 For example, by blogging about blogging. *yawn
2. Provide substantial original content now and then. That’s the only thing that keeps the endless conversation at the heart of the interactive web from devolving into empty, meaningless chatter. Well, that and catblogging.
3. Never pass over a great title for a blog post just because it might hurt its searchability. That’s fucking lame.
4. Don’t take any numerically based ranking systems seriously. Technorati barely even works half the time, and the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem is a travesty of true ecological relationships spawned by a Bushite blog portal.2 Besides, why should we let numbers run our lives? Rank yourself alphabetically instead. Does your blog title begin with a V? Get to the bottom of the list!
5. If you don’t promote yourself, no one else will. Why not email your friends individually and offer them $5 if they’ll read your blog for a week? If you’re a knitting blogger, be sure to work your URL into everything you knit.
6. Always remember, no matter how clever you may think you are, somebody named Ralph probably said it first.3
7. Blogging is more than just a soapbox or self-publishing outlet — it’s a way to connect with like-minded people. If you’re a food blogger, why not invite your favorite Central Pennsylvania-based literary blogger over for dinner sometime? He’s probably nowhere near as obnoxious in person.
8. Snark without humor means the trolls have won.
9. Post at least once, O.K.? No post, no blog! I’ve had it with you people.
1 Boring everybody else is, of course, perfectly acceptable. In some situations, it may even confer a perverse kind of status in the blogging world. I name no names. [back]
2 Some of the best stuff on the internet appears on small sites with few incoming links and all too few readers. You’ll be lucky if you’re ever a fraction as good at photoblogging as Paula’s House of Toast, nonfiction as prairiemary, or poetry as Vivid. [back]
3 Ralph P. Lipswitch in Hoboken, for example, or CuttingRoomRalph33, on YouTube — or even Ralph W. Emerson. My favorite blogging-applicable Emerson quotes:
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.