Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Blogging For Dummies.

  • Most blogs have about a one year shelf life.
  • There is such a thing as over-posting, but I’m unclear as to what that is.
  • Blogging takes a ton of work. Really, it does.
  • The trolls will come and they do not read most of what you say before they chew you out in the comments.
  • It’s really up to you whether or not you allow the trolls to have their say on your blog.
  • No one will read you for a couple months. It’s okay. Soldier on.
  • If you want people to read you, read other blogs.
  • You may be 1000% certain that you are The New Dooce, but you’re not. Now, you might be as talented as fucking Hemmingway, but you’re not going to get the same press that she did. No press = no instant popularity.
  • There’s more politics than you can imagine in blogging.
  • If you want more comments then comment until your fingers bleed.
  • Get a reader and subscribe to the blogs you like. Comment the shit out of those blogs. People will (eventually) come.
  • I’m more likely to comment on your blogs if you’re a loyal commentor on my blog.
  • There will be bloggers who will NEVER visit your blog no matter how many amazing and witty comments you leave. Period. Move on if it hurts your feelings.
  • Begging for comments is distasteful.
  • Support each other as best as you can, in good times and in bad. Every comment helps.
  • Every couple of weeks, some new trend will piss off a number of (especially) mom bloggers and they will become annoyingly polarized.
  • Resist the urge to chime in about Your Take On This Trend. Seriously.
  • Every time the Today show features Dooce, there’s a bazillion start up blogs that believe (hehe) that you can $40,000 a month blogging. Maybe if you’re Dooce that’s true, but for the rest of us? Bwahahahahaha! I don’t mean to sound mean, and if you do manage this, pat yourself on your back for me but don’t get your hopes up.
  • Whenever one of those stupid blog contests gets started, everyone freaks out. It will blow over.
  • If you’re totally blocked for ideas about a post, describing the boring minutiae of your day is probably not titillating to others. Write it if you must, then delete it. Hopefully that will get your juices flowing and you can write about something more interesting. A turd of a post will always look like a turd no matter how you dress it up.
  • Talking shit about anyone–especially behind their backs on your blog that they presumably don’t read–is a bad fucking idea. Password protect those, or better yet, don’t write them at all. Although they may be satisfying, remember, those are the posts that the very same people you talk about may find. It’s a smaller Internet than you think it is and you’re not as anonymous as you think you are.
  • If you don’t want people to respond in a negative manner, then don’t let it all hang out there. Not everyone will agree with you and there are people who will happily tell all of the ways you are wrong. You don’t have to like it, but if you put it out there, you do have to deal with it.
  • There is something about being able to hide behind “anonymous” that makes people say really dick-ish things that they probably wouldn’t say to your face. It can hurt, I know this, and people will get you all wrong and it will suck, but if you don’t want to deal with it, go private or password protected.
  • Your feelings will get hurt. I promise you this.
  • Although most of your followers will wish you well, there will always, ALWAYS be a contingent that hopes that you will fail. And fail badly.
  • Sarcasm doesn’t always translate well through the written word, so be careful when you use it.
  • Music on blogs is universally hated. If you want to put it on there, it’s wise to leave the playlist on mute and allow other people to turn it on should they want.
  • Don’t clog up your sidebar with crap. Especially blinky crap. Because it makes the page take like 40 hours to load and then people will click away because who really wants to sit there, waiting for the page to load?
  • Don’t put shit on the Internet you wouldn’t wear on a tee-shirt.
  • Beware of the donate button. It causes many people to be very, very mad.
  • Begging for money pisses people off.
  • Constant self-promotion can be a real turn-off.
  • Meme’s, although a nice tool to get the writing juices flowing, are usually boring to read. If you like doing ’em, then fuck it and do ’em anyway.
  • Edit your posts. Edit them religious.
  • Paragraph breaks are a necessity. I cannot read anything not broken up by paragraphs.
  • The background of your post needs to be something that is appealing to the eyes. Some colors (especially pink, which is a favorite color of mine) although lovely, leave the reader squinty and headachey. Check out what your finished post looks like YOURSELF and see if you can read it without adjusting your monitor.
  • A black background is very, very hard to read.
  • If all your tweets on Twitter are links to stuff that people can buy from you or ways to get a zillion followers overnight, you’ve probably pissed off a good portion of your readers.
  • There is such a thing as over-sharing.
  • Remember that your kids may one day read whatever you’ve written, so choose what you share (especially about them) well.
  • Writer’s Block does end.
  • Don’t lie. And for God’s sake, don’t fake a dead baby. I don’t even have words to describe people who do that sort of thing.
  • Don’t idolize the success of another blogger. Also, don’t hate them for it. In blogging, you often get what you put into it. And the higher you climb, the more pressure there is.
  • Be kind to other people. You gain nothing by being cruel.
  • Blog for yourself, not for other people.
  • Stuff on the Internet–even the stuff you erase–is never, ever, EVER gone. EVER. So make DAMN sure you want to live with whatever you say.
  • Remember, it’s all supposed to be fun. Enjoy what you write, take pride in it, and if someone else comes along and tells you that you suck, tell them that Aunt Becky told them to shove it up their pooper.


What am I missing here?

144 Comments to

“Blogging For Dummies.”

  1. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:39 pm Notesfromthegrove Says:

    I love that you posted these rules! But the funny thing is…aren’t they mostly just common sense? I mean…the music, the bad-mouthing, the faking a dead baby…people are just, well, not very smart.

  2. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:49 pm Badass Geek Says:

    We seem like some effing smart people.

  3. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:01 pm Posts about Dooce as of June 18, 2009 » The Daily Parr Says:

    […] about Dooce as of June 18, 2009 Blogging For Dummies. – 06/18/2009 So you’ve started a blog ….now what? (compiled with a lil help […]

  4. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:19 pm avasmommy Says:

    I think this is an awesome post. I started my own blog last month. I’ve had a few folks read it, and the feedback is nice. But I’ve found writing to be cathartic. It’s made me more introspective. If nobody ever reads my posts again, that’s ok, because *I* get something of writing it.

  5. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:23 pm Kristina Says:

    I love this post, it will be my blogging bible.

    P.S. I totally stole your ghost topic for my latest post. You are an inspiration 🙂

  6. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:32 pm Creepy Mommy Says:

    This great and really, really thorough! Also, love the tag. I’m also fond of rum and Simon and Garfunkel. But mostly just Simon, Garfunkel’s got a little too much of that crazy-man-on-the-bus thing going on. Maybe it’s the hair… Ya, that’s probably it.

  7. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:35 pm Sarah Says:

    This is great advice. I’ve just started my blog a few months ago (I did have livejournal for 6 or 7 years before blogger though) and I’d been wondering about a lot of this. With livejournal you make friends through all the communities it has, where as with blogger I am starting to realize you just have to find blogs you like and comment like crazy hoping the comment or add you back. Thanks, I’m going to read over all this again later tonight. Cheers!

  8. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:37 pm kerrie Says:

    I would say…bit of advice for anyone starting out…Posts CAN be too long. Like, say for instance, if it rivals your college thesis….Edit. Chances are your readers don’t need 47 pages about how PISSED AT YOUR HUSBAND YOU ARE FOR PEEING ON THE SEAT. I’m to blame for this as well. Breaking a post into a separate days is totally fine.

  9. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:39 pm kbrients Says:

    I would have to agree with all of them! great list!

  10. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:41 pm Kristin Says:

    “Too many fucking posts?” Hmmm….Lately I’ve been averaging about 40 posts a month. I think that is good for me. However, my friend Monnie over at Rantings of a Creole Princess posts a bazillion times a day and it works for her. A lot of her stuff is simple, quick, this or that opinion stuff…and you can post that more often.

    Laughing my ASS off (I wish) about trolls. I right about abortion and get mucho bloggy love and I right about Turkey Tetrazzini and I get a troll…go figure.

  11. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:42 pm Sunny Says:

    Very well said! Blogging feels like like the popularity structure of high school, really. Some people are popular because they are awesome, and others… leave you scratching your head. And there are many brilliant people out there who don’t get the attention they deserve.

  12. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:42 pm Sunny Says:

    Oops, I meant “kinda like” not “like like.” 😀

  13. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:46 pm Jennifer Says:

    Love the list. Could have really used this years ago. I’ve been blogging for 4 years and I had an online diary thingy for about 2 years before that. I’ve always used it as a way to vent more than anything else. I would have quit a long time ago if I did it for fame and fortune. Hell, I think I got my first comment about 2 years in.

  14. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:47 pm Suzy Says:

    So glad you wrote this post! As a new blogger, it’s great to get the inside scoop.


  15. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:49 pm amy Says:

    I was so excited the first time a non-family member commented on my blog. I was floored that a person would take time out of their day to read what little-ole-me had written. It’s really cool that you’re such an open and friendly blogger. Thanks for the tips!

  16. On June 18th, 2009 at 12:51 pm Avitable Says:

    I think most of these are very appropriate. Nice job.

  17. On June 18th, 2009 at 2:16 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    I think this is all great advice. And true. But you know what? I have only had like one or two negative comments in over two years. Does this mean I’m too nice? Probably too boring.

  18. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:21 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    I’ve been writing for a little over a year, and I can say that mst of the things you said would happen have happened. I had my first troll, I alienated someone accidentally, I posted way too much sometimes, and I think I have gained a few readers. I didn’t, however, make up anything or believe that I would make a living by writing every day.

  19. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:23 pm GingerB Says:

    I have not yet had a troll. Should I feel unwanted? I must confess I do love comments, but mostly I am blogging for me. But comments make me feel all warm and fuzzy, like a G & T, which is only a bonus after I have just cathartically dumped all my mental crap on the blog and purged my head. It’s perfect! Did I mention I love blogging and the ‘osphere?

    Now, since we’ve come this far, I’d like to ask a question – do you (I mean both Becky and her readers) post links on your own blog to a big blogger’s blog entry, and if so, when? Say I am reading Girls Gone Child, and I love her post, and I want to write about it and so I do, am I supposed to link to it, to follow blog etiquette? On just my page? She often has links showing up at the end of a post that when you visit don’t mention her at all – are these people just coasting on a bigger blogger’s tail, and why does GGC let it stay up? Now if you are all laughing at me, just remember, on my blog I am very candid about the fact that I have no tech skills. Zip, zero, zilch. I couldn’t get my link on GGC if I wanted to but anyway, what are the rules of linky love?

  20. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:24 pm Says:

    lol , thanks for the tips , you left one thing out though
    when you comment on other blogs in the website spot remember to put your blog site address and remember to make sure its the right one.
    *looks guilty
    i have been posting the wrong address with my comments for a week now and only realized it last night .
    ya ta go eh ..

  21. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:28 pm daisybv2 Says:

    Thanks so much for posting this I just started a blog the advise was very useful

  22. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:29 pm DG at Diaryofamadbathroom Says:

    I really could have used this post about six months back. There is no guidebook for beginning bloggers. Nothing prepares you for the deafening silence your first posts will fall upon. If not for sheer stubbornness, I would have quit half a dozen times already. It’s great that someone cares enough to expose the uglier side of the process. Should make the journey easier for the next wave (assuming they are hip enough to read it and don’t troll-out on you).

  23. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:31 pm Katie Says:

    I love the comment about Dooce. I think each time she’s on TV somewhere, Google Adsense gets a million new members.

    My account is up to $0.04! WOO!

  24. On December 27th, 2010 at 9:32 pm Robin Hillyer Miles Says:

    who is dooce?

  25. On December 28th, 2010 at 9:45 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    She’s considered the queen of Mommy Bloggers:

  26. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:32 pm a Says:

    What?!? Do you mean that the internet does not instantly recognize my star quality the moment I post the first word of my internal dialogue??? How can that be??

    (Come on, really. You HAVE to recognize that as sarcasm!)

    Nice list – very thorough.

  27. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:34 pm Danielle Says:

    I can see the want to make a shit ton of money through blogging, it’s totally “doable” but if that’s why you start a blog, then it’ll never happen. I enjoy blogging and I enjoy the connection I get from other bloggers. If it weren’t for connecting with others, I honestly, wouldn’t be where I am today. Have fun in LA!

  28. On June 18th, 2009 at 1:57 pm Jenn Says:

    You wrote this just for me, didn’t you? Am I the dummy to which you refer? Because I already knew that….

    I can agree with every one of them. I notice that you make no reference to the F-bomb. Must bother some more than others…

  29. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:00 pm Tina Says:

    Love the list! Thanks for all the great information. I was reading some of the other comments and laughed at how similar I was when I started out. That first comment on my blog was AWESOME! I could not believe someone found my story/life interesting enough to read!

    I always enjoy your posts (usually lauging my a$$ off)!


  30. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:11 pm Anjali Says:

    This is great, and a perfect analysis of blogging.

  31. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:14 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    so my blog is unpopular because it has music?

  32. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:14 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    but if I comment like a motherfucker then my blog will become popular?

  33. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:15 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    how does a motherfucker comment?

  34. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:15 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    I can’t comment like a motherfucker because WordPress keeps telling me to slow down.

  35. On June 18th, 2009 at 2:15 pm The Mommy Says:

    I have to be honest, I only comment because I think my opinion is THAT important to people I don’t know…

    Seriously, I enjoy blogging and I think I follow most of these rules (with the possible exception of griping about my SIL but shit, I don’t care if I tick her off). I would add one for the “trolls” (which I haven’t been blessed enough to have, thank God) – if you don’t enjoy reading it, DON’T READ IT! I can’t figure out why that’s so hard! Sheesh!

    One thing I would add: It’s possible to not post often enough as well. I hate it when I find someone who I think is an entertaining writer (or simply has an entertaining life) and then they don’t post for months…or they change blogs and don’t tell their faithful stalkers, er, readers.

  36. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:15 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    I cannot become popular because WordPress keeps telling me to slow down.

  37. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:16 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    is there such a thing as over-commenting? what is it?

  38. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:16 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    what about over-questioning?

  39. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:16 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    maybe I should stop now.

  40. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:17 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    or not.

  41. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:24 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Sci-Fi, you should NEVER stop. EVER.

  42. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:34 pm Susan Says:

    Genius. Do you have all that shit on a tshirt?

  43. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:34 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Dude. I totally am printing one up. You might need a microscope to read it, but, you know.

  44. On June 18th, 2009 at 2:39 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    As always, Badass Geek and you are 100% correct. And awesome.

    You did forget the biggest one.

    Correct spelling and grammar!!! Now, an occasionally error in its/it’s is okay. But if my eyes start bleeding because of the misspelled words, horrible sentences and too many damn commas? I won’t stay and read.

    <3 for the two of you.

  45. On June 18th, 2009 at 2:57 pm Hope Says:

    After you’re done reading your own blog at a computer in a library next to the office where you work, be sure to click on Tools, Internet Options, Delete everything there is to be deleted before you leave said computer.
    ‘Nuff said about that little experience!

  46. On June 18th, 2009 at 2:58 pm Hope Says:

    oh, and also – sex sells – not that I have any recent experience with that!

  47. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:58 pm Em Says:

    You got trolled over the leash law post? Seriously? It has to be in my Top 10 Best Aunt Becky posts ever. You utilized such great imagery.

    Oh, and you forgot to mention not sucking up to “big” bloggers – it’s really just embarassing.

    Love you! 🙂

  48. On June 18th, 2009 at 3:40 pm Pamela Says:

    best advice ever. like seriously. twittering this shit right now!

  49. On June 18th, 2009 at 4:01 pm Calliope Says:

    hey foxy! I have been sucking ass at commenting over here but I pinky swear I am reading! This post is so funny and SO true.

    Here are my additions (you DID ask!)

    1) use the return/enter key- reading a blog with NO effing paragraph breaks kills me
    2) know that the stuff you wrote the first 6 months of your blog will be the BEST writing you will ever do. (at least that is how I feel when I go back and reread my loser moment for just admitting that I go back and read my own posts)
    3) Use photos or art or something…this could just be me, but I TOTALLY connect more with blogs where I can see day in the life type photos
    4) If you are a newish blog (or even an oldish one) and someone leaves you a comment that starts with, “delurking to….” be nice and write them an e-mail back and let them know they can be part of your bloggy world.

  50. On June 18th, 2009 at 4:06 pm Sandy Says:

    AWESOME POST! There is a lot of fantastic advice here and a lot of it works. You can also ask people to come to your blog and help you settle an argument about whether or not your child’s toy is a chicken or a duck (as in my latest post, lol). Thank you, by the way, for your comment!

  51. On June 18th, 2009 at 4:40 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    The music! Oh, the music! Often the volume on my computer is sky high and when I click on a page with a music player loaded, I damn near die from the fright when it fires up! I love music as much as the next person, but I like it down a notch at midnight!

    I think you have very good points here. I’d also say that it can be easy to get excited about blogging and you’re blogging all the time, or at least pretty regularly, but if you’re going to suddenly disappear, when it’s possible, give your readers a heads up. There are blogs I’ve enjoyed and commented on regularly in my nearly 3 years of blogging, and some have fallen off the earth. No warnings. Call me crazy, but from time to time, I wonder what happened to some of those folks.

    Also, do your best to acknowledge your readers. It’s summer and that coupled with some life things have gotten in my face, so I’ve been lax in the responding thing, which makes me feel guilty, but when you can, if you can, let a reader know you appreciate them coming by. When you do, thank them for not having a music player loaded on their site, too!

    I think your first comment on my blog, you asked if we could be besties, and the answer, my friend, is, was, and always will be hell yes!

  52. On June 18th, 2009 at 5:43 pm eden Says:

    Becky this is way cool. I will probably link to it at some stage, if that’s ok.
    I have a few trolls …… one troll in particular tries to tell me they know me IRL. If you ever find out how to track a blocked IP address, please let me know 🙂

    Actually … I have found the trolls to be helpful. They make me want to blog MORE, and BETTER. F*ck you, trolls. Seriously, why would you invest so much energy into dissing someone??

    You rock.

  53. On June 18th, 2009 at 4:51 pm Kendra Says:

    What great advice! Especially, I think, the “You’re not going to make a fortune doing this.” When I started my blog just a few months ago, I was initially hurt that it seemed no one in the world was reading it. After all, is there not an internet awesome-o-meter that will alert the entire world that I’ve arrived? But after that, I realized that I was really touched by every person who visited and commented. And though I don’t really know anything about blog etiquette, usually I end up visiting their blogs and commenting–not out of politeness but because, lo and behold, it turns out that most people actually have really interesting lives! (Either that or I’ve just been lucky enough not to have found the painfully boring ones.)

    What was initially a “maybe this will make me rich and famous, because I certainly deserve to be” whim has turned into a surprisingly valuable way of feeling that my voice is being heard. Thanks for the great advice!

  54. On June 18th, 2009 at 5:54 pm Parenting and Blogging « A Day In The Life. . . Says:

    […] onto this blog post from Twitter. A hilarious and must read for all bloggers (beginners and expert) Blogging for Dummies by Mommy Wants Vodka Leave a Comment No Comments Yet so far Leave a comment RSS feed for […]

  55. On June 18th, 2009 at 5:01 pm Eva Says:

    Very nicely done. I have no arguments. I do think people participate to varying degrees in the I’llcommentonyoursyoucomment on mine thing. My comments, and certainly my readership, are not directly correlated to who comments on my blog. And definitely not to who reads it, since I of course only know about the commenters.

  56. On June 18th, 2009 at 5:31 pm niobe Says:

    These are, like, just about the best tips EVAH!!! (and I mean that in all seriousness. Kudos for this post — I think every blogger should read it)

  57. On June 18th, 2009 at 5:44 pm Betts Says:

    Where were you 10 months ago when I was starting up? Oh yeh, you were here; I just hadn’t found you yet.

    I feel guilty when I don’t get to read all the post of the bloggers I follow. I worry that they’ll never visit my blog again. Yes, I’m so high school.

  58. On June 18th, 2009 at 6:02 pm Lori in Denver Says:

    Yeah, I’m confused about the Dooce thing. Tell me again when the $40K checks will start to arrive? I’ve been oh so patient.

    I’m saving your last point in my back pocket, just in case.

  59. On June 18th, 2009 at 6:10 pm Mimi Says:

    You’re sooo right! While my blog is “anonymous,” I realize most people either know who i am or will figure it out, and I’m fine with that. I agree with the comment about writing being a great stress relief, although having people read your stuff is nice too. 🙂 And are you serious about the dead baby? I assume this was done for money?

  60. On June 18th, 2009 at 6:21 pm Dora Says:

    So much in this post that I agree with completely. But this is the standout:

    “Music on blogs is almost universally hated. If you want to put it on there, it’s wise to leave the playlist on mute and allow other people to turn it on should they want.”

    LORD, YES! I often read at work and having music unexpected blare from the computer is horrid. Even worse is that I usually have the speakers on mute and have several browser windows and tabs open, then when I need to listen something I have to figure out which site has the music playing! ACK! Sometimes it’s more than one. STOP THE INSANITY!

  61. On June 18th, 2009 at 7:10 pm Meg Says:

    Yeah, I’m taking a break until I find something way more amusing to write about escept for whineing about life. I like the rules tho. It is a more confusing world the life of a blogger but it does help when you know how it all works.

    But you may want to add that once it’s up there posted for the world it’s up there forever, no deleting can make it go away.

  62. On June 18th, 2009 at 8:19 pm Daddy Files Says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but I’d add the following:

    If you don’t have a witty comment, don’t leave one. Commenting for the sake of commenting is a bad idea. “Good post” or “Very funny” simply doesn’t cut it.

  63. On June 18th, 2009 at 8:39 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    See, now I don’t mind the comments that aren’t earth shattering. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that other people are here.

  64. On June 18th, 2009 at 7:23 pm heather Says:

    I for real wish I did have tshirts with some of the stuff I’ve said written on it. That would be more awesome than you know.

  65. On June 18th, 2009 at 8:47 pm heather Says:

    You know you’ve made it when anons are swearing at you over dog shit in someone else’s yard, eh? ‘at a girl, Aunt Becky!

  66. On June 18th, 2009 at 9:46 pm Westcoast Weirdo Says:

    Well said. Even tho my WP blog is new, I’ve had an online diary for about 10yrs now & everything you said is true. And I’ve found out that when people say they’ll follow you, they don’t. Too much effort for them to get outside of their circle 😉 Doh.

  67. On June 18th, 2009 at 9:02 pm Petra aka The Wise (Young) Mommy Says:

    EXCELLENT post. It is ALL so true.

  68. On June 18th, 2009 at 9:04 pm Jenn Says:

    Ugh. My stupid google reader freaked out and I didn’t even realize you were posting! Tonight I was thinking “what the fuck happened to becky?” so I click on over and here you are and I’m 5 freaking posts behind. Just wanted you to know I still love you and I’m going to catch up eventually. I also checked through and it happened to 4 other people. Suck.

    I completely agree with pretty much everything you wrote here. Especially the music thing. I really super hate music on blogs.

  69. On June 18th, 2009 at 9:05 pm Jenn Says:

    4 other people on my list I mean. I feel compelled to clarify although I’m 99.99% sure you don’t give a crap. Haha.

  70. On June 18th, 2009 at 9:07 pm Betsy Says:

    That list is perfect. I will bookmark this post for others I know who might be thinking of starting a blog. I wish I had had this to read when I started. Thank you!

    I always read blogs with the mute on. I really hate bloggy music…more than I should share here.

  71. On June 18th, 2009 at 10:08 pm Employee No. 3699 Says:

    Great and thorough post. I usually like to read all the comments but it’s past my bedtime so I’m just going to address your first bullet point and come back tomorrow.

    I must say my blog almost hit its shelf life at six months when I got my review from Ask. I naively requested a review after only two months of blogging because I was honestly looking for constructive criticism. My ‘Meh’ rating didn’t bother me, but the lack of an actual review did. She, my reviewer, said I was a Mommy Blogger (I’m an empty nester) and went off on a rant on said mommy bloggers without saying anything pertaining to ‘my’ blog; which was the point of the review. I could have let that slide, but it was the crap I got after I called her out that had me questioning the whole blogging thing.

    I’m glad I got past it because I’ve made some great friends and connections since…and I really do enjoy it.

  72. On June 18th, 2009 at 9:08 pm swirl girl Says:

    great list –
    I broke one of these rules and it came back to haunt me…

    pay heed fellow bloggers!

  73. On June 18th, 2009 at 9:19 pm mountainmomma18 Says:

    I just recently stumbled upon a few hate blogs whose sole purpose is to hate on some other blog. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but this was a new one to me, and I guess I just don’t get it. Why would you start a blog to complain about another blog? I am missing the whackadoodle gene to understand this. Yes Dooce makes crazy money, but she also has to deal with (or probably ignore) nutjobs. i guess blogging isn’t always puppies and rainbows.

  74. On June 18th, 2009 at 10:39 pm Lola Says:

    So, you’re calling me a dummy?

  75. On June 19th, 2009 at 3:38 am Taking Heart Says:

    You are good.

  76. On June 19th, 2009 at 4:41 am Kerri Says:

    Thank you aunt Becky! (and Badassgeek of course)
    I will be commenting on every single blog from now on!!
    Also just a note about ass-kissing the famous bloggers ~ they have so many ass-kissers already, you are bound to fall through the crack(s)…
    Did you see what I did there?? Ithankyouverymuch

  77. On June 19th, 2009 at 5:12 am nicole Says:

    Having blogged to ‘the universe’ for a year before I got comments… I have a question:
    I’m still new to comments. What’s the answering etiquette? Sometimes I comment in my comments and sometimes I send direct, though I’m never sure I’m doing this quite right.

  78. On June 19th, 2009 at 6:52 am WiseGuy Says:

    There’s more politics than you can imagine in blogging. ???

    Is that so?

    Anyways that’s a nice list….very provocative and slick!

  79. On June 19th, 2009 at 6:26 am The Expatresse Says:

    I recently acquired a troll. He is so bitter and nasty . . . I spent waaaaay too much time thinking of witty responses. I finally decided just to leave his nasty-ass comments so others will see what a bitter, nasty soul he is.

    Ha! Take that!

  80. On June 19th, 2009 at 7:47 am Dot Says:

    Geez, I thought I’d never get to the end of the comments. I guess writing this post is how to get comments. 🙂 I have just two things to say.

    1. Another way to get readers is to make comments expressing a different point of view than that of a blog author and her/his readers. However, be aware that it will probably tick off the author. I did this on ZenHabits, and I gained quite a few readers, and I really did have a different point of view.

    2. I wasn’t exactly sure what “troll” was, but once I found out, I wanted to say this. Leo on ZenHabits, who is someone I admire and aspire to be like, wrote about how he handled negative messages, and I’ve found it works well. He would thank the person for writing and bringing these things to his attention. If their message was general, he would ask them to give him more specifics on exactly what made them feel his blog “sucked” or whatever, so that he could improve it and make it not suck. And he meant it.

  81. On June 19th, 2009 at 7:04 am Inna Says:

    It just took me 20 minutes to read through all the comments and the post. Was well worth the effort.
    I try to keep my spelling errors and grammatical mistakes to a minimum.
    And no music. I also like blogs with pictures, but I’m not a very good photographer so my blog has very few pictures.
    Thanks for the very detailed tips (and no, that was not sarcasm)!

  82. On June 19th, 2009 at 7:15 am Lesha Says:

    I have to say I won’t consider myself a TRUE blogger until I get my first troll. Who wants to come troll my site for me? Anyone?

    Okay, nevermind.

    Thanks for the list Aunt B, it rocked.

    @nicole regarding answering comments, I am still totally confused on this one! If they have an email, I email a reply, if they don’t I sometimes reply in my own comments, other times, I just leave my own comment on their blog, not really in a “reply” sense, just a “thanks for stopping at my blog” sense.

  83. On June 19th, 2009 at 8:05 am zelzee Says:

    My daughter blogs and pretty much warned me about some (not all) of this……thanks for the advice.

    And you are certainly not kidding when you say your feelings will get hurt!

    Great advise from a great blogger!

  84. On June 19th, 2009 at 10:29 am ryanandjoesmom Says:

    This is awesome. You should so hold a seminar, especially if drinks are involved. I would so show up for it.

    Took this advice to heart and edited my post from last night. While it felt good to type it all out, definitely not info the internets needed to hear/read.

    Hope your weekend turns around!

  85. On June 19th, 2009 at 10:59 am lady lemon Says:

    Good advice for us nooblars out there. But, nothing about memes? Wtf?

  86. On June 19th, 2009 at 11:26 am Mommy Wants Vodka » Blog Archive » Why The Chicken REALLY Crossed The Road Says:

    […] I’ve been slowly adding the awesome ideas that you all left for my last post because you are all full of The Awesome. Keep ‘em coming and I’ll get them […]

  87. On June 19th, 2009 at 11:31 am Kristine Says:

    All of this was spot on!

  88. On June 19th, 2009 at 12:46 pm Nancy Says:

    Damn, yo – I’m taking half that shit personally! Just kidding, I do’s what I wants on my blog. And will probably live to regret it, eventually.

  89. On June 19th, 2009 at 11:55 am Coco Says:

    Bwah! I love it.

    Here’s my little contribution:

    If you put a picture of a coconut crab in your sidebar, you will immediately see your blog hits skyrocket. It’s not because anyone who finds you via that picture (which somehow made it to the top of the Google Images results for coconut crabs) actually cares about what you say, because they just want to know how to avoid being attacked by coconut crabs (answer – don’t act like a coconut). Nevertheless, your falsely improved stats will make you feel like a Supah Star anyway. For about 5 minutes.

  90. On June 19th, 2009 at 12:22 pm Mwa Says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m totally taking it personally and will follow all the advice. Love it!

    Oh – one question: what would you consider to be overblogging? I’ve tried to do five posts a week, but being superovernewlyeager I’ve occasionally posted twice a day, keeping the second one short. Too much?

    Also – I agree with you that comments don’t need to be earthshattering. Just nice to get them, even if they’re just to say “I read this”. (Thanks so much for the comment. 🙂 )

  91. On June 19th, 2009 at 12:41 pm docgrumbles Says:

    I firmly believe that the number that equals “too many posts” is entirely based on the content of the posts. If you write many entertaining posts, people will bother to catch up. If you clog your blog with dull-ass crap, then people won’t bother combing through it for something worth reading.

  92. On June 19th, 2009 at 12:57 pm Dana Says:

    *gigglesnort* I missed this post while on vacation and am so glad I came back to read it! Yes! Absolutely! All of these are so spot on.

    I was a blogger who got into blogging having no clue what a blog even was. NO ONE (other than the person who dared me to start a blog) read me – OK – maybe 2 people did. I knew nothing about blogging but learned soon enough that getting more readers was the proverbial double-edged sword. I never intended to draw an audience, but it happened, and now I deal with the good and the bad of that.

    My piece of advice would be that although it is important to write for yourself, having a blog “theme”, and thinking about the audience you want to (or may accidentally) draw is critical.

    Oh! And please don’t “reinvent” yourself every time you screw up and post something to your blog that you didn’t really want to share with the world then send me an email asking me to pimp your new blog. You’ll get a “HELL NO!” Although I really enjoy sharing great blogs with my readers, it’s my personal integrity on the line and I won’t compromise that for a flaky blogger.

  93. On June 19th, 2009 at 1:00 pm Anita Says:

    I’m guilty of reading and not always commenting. It’s not because I don’t like what the person has had to say, it’s because I always feel like whatever I could say is never clever or witty enough. It’s something I’m working on.

    Great list Becky. Thanks!

  94. On June 19th, 2009 at 2:02 pm Thomas Houseman Says:

    Hey…. who won the book for daddies give-away?

  95. On June 19th, 2009 at 3:21 pm birdpress Says:

    “There is such a thing as over-sharing”

    Did you really write that? LOL

    I’m flattered that you come over to my little blog sometimes. I don’t post often and I’m probably boring to a lot of people, but I don’t aspire to much.

    My biggest pet peeves about reading blogs are ones you did mention: white text on black backgrounds, and no paragraph breaks. I just can’t read that stuff at all.

  96. On June 19th, 2009 at 5:15 pm Chris Mancini Says:

    Sarcasm doesn’t translate?! Yeah. Right. Sure. (pause) Hmmm. You may be right…

  97. On June 19th, 2009 at 6:14 pm Dana Says:

    Oh! One more!!!

    Please don’t blog in text. UR 2 hard 2 read!

  98. On June 20th, 2009 at 5:55 am Caroline Says:

    Great tips girl! Looking forward to my own blog soon and am totally gonna bookmark this advice! Making you my mentor LOL 🙂 smilinggreenmom *tweet me!

  99. On June 20th, 2009 at 10:06 am lettergirl Says:

    Nice list, and really solid advice, Becky. Especially the no sparkly stuff advice, lol.

  100. On June 20th, 2009 at 11:30 am Amanda Says:

    Sing it, Aunt Becky, sing it loud.

  101. On June 20th, 2009 at 9:51 pm Painted Maypole Says:

    ha. i wish I had read this when I started blogging. it is all very sensible and I have learned it ALL in the last 2 years. brava!

  102. On June 22nd, 2009 at 1:20 am Jamie Says:

    I am an avid blog reader, a pitiful writer. I thought about going to blogHer, but I am only interested in the party part. So, that is how I found you- the Social Luxe Lounge. I have one avid follower, but I hardly doubt my mom counts for much.

    My least favorite things about popular blogs:
    A contest to get to the next million
    Bloggers calling themselves celebrities.
    Posting a PO Box for gifts, or really any hints about wanting gifts whatsoever
    This one could get me flamed, but recipe sharing. Does anyone actually ever make them?

  103. On June 22nd, 2009 at 11:23 am Anonymous Says:

    I shared this with my readers . . . it’s very, very good!

  104. On June 22nd, 2009 at 5:14 pm magpie Says:

    this is a great post. 🙂

  105. On June 24th, 2009 at 1:46 am Henriette Jordaan Says:

    So glad I read this post. Thank you for great advise. I am VERY new to blogging.

  106. On June 25th, 2009 at 7:47 pm CLC Says:

    I took your advice and got rid of the pink! I was getting sick of it anyway!

  107. On June 30th, 2009 at 2:06 pm Roshni Says:

    these are great simple no-nonsense suggestions! About politics in blogging…wow! I never knew but as a one year blogger, I totally get what you’re saying!
    As you say, now I just keep my head down and write. That’s why I started in the first place after all!

  108. On July 2nd, 2009 at 10:37 am Merritt Says:

    Great tips, I wish I’d seen them a year ago. I’ve had my blog for about a year, and I spent that year doing various incarnations of the “mommy blog” because that’s what I thought was most popular and would work best. Problem was, it wasn’t me at all and my writing sucked ass. When I finally just wrote for me, my writing improved, as did my readership. Granted I average like 10 people a day, but they’re 10 people who for some reason keep coming back (and aren’t my mom or my husband) and I think that’s pretty kick ass.

  109. On July 16th, 2009 at 1:50 pm Kathy Scovill Says:

    Are there really bloggers that fake dead babies?

  110. On July 18th, 2009 at 5:37 pm Latest blogging news – So what is blogging? | Alex Brooks | cbtestaddedit Says:

    […] Mommy Wants Vodka » Blog Archive » Blogging For Dummies. […]

  111. On July 20th, 2009 at 10:35 am MG @ Says:

    Love this. I think it’s great advice. I’ve somehow managed to get past the one year mark, and still blogging…. going to BlogHer, even, and with that I would add this:

    BlogHer is awesome, but its fine if you aren’t going. Seriously.

  112. On September 6th, 2009 at 10:41 am Rebecca Says:

    I am so late in commenting to this post… I read it back in June and then mulled over everything you said and finally started my own blog in August. Then I wanted to make sure I was following “the rules” and had to come back and check the list.

    So, thanks for being my super-secret-you-didn’t-even-know-I-was-there mentor, Aunt Becky.

  113. On September 20th, 2009 at 12:01 am Mommy Wants Vodka » Blog Archive » Go Ask Aunt Becky Says:

    […] my not-so-inclusive-list-of-Blogging-For-Dummies-Tips Blogging is a tricky thing to quantify, because although there are a lot of “experts” […]

  114. On September 21st, 2009 at 5:44 pm Chrissy Says:

    This is really awesome. Really. Thanks for writing it!

  115. On October 5th, 2009 at 4:08 pm Michelle Says:

    You have an awesome site and thanks so much for this list!

    As a pretty new blogger (one that really only got started as the result of an unexpected lay off) I can say, that’s there’s almost nothing more therapeutic and entertaining (for me at least!) than sharing my funny, anecdotal stories online.

    These are fantastic tips. Thanks for sharing. Within the first 3 days of posting I had my first “blog hater”.. which while, I stand by my own words and shrugged it off, was an odd experience. So, I love that you have a few points on negative comments!

    Feel free to stop by and check out The Hubby Diaries

  116. On November 7th, 2009 at 12:29 am submom Says:

    I don’t know why I haven’t chance upon your blog until now. I LOVE Vodka to begin with, and judging by the number of comments, your blog is very popular. Though I have only just read a few, it deserves such attention. After I read this post, I think I know why the popularity. Well, I can’t really explain it, but I am Stumbling upon, Tweeting, favoring etc. this post. This has got to be the most honest, truthful, and helpful blogging advice I have ever seen. (And I have seen MANY because I spend a lot of my free time on Twitter…) You manage to tell it like it is in a kind way. That is a talent. Anyway, I am prone to rambling. So quickly, a simple thank you.

  117. On November 7th, 2009 at 8:32 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Why, you’re very welcome and it’s a pleasure to have met you. I will be visiting your blog as well. I’m glad the advice was worth something and helped you out. YAY! for new friends.

    (and you’re talking to the QUEEN of rambling!)

  118. On November 7th, 2009 at 2:25 pm If you keep a “life” blog, written for yourself (at least at first), you’ve got to read this… | The Absence of Alternatives Says:

    […] (at least at first), you’ve got to read this… November 7, 2009 add a comment Blogging for Dummies by Aunt Becky (she’s actually young and hot) over at Mommy Wants Vodka.  As someone who has […]

  119. On November 8th, 2009 at 6:25 pm Says:

    great post! All so very true!

  120. On November 10th, 2009 at 2:12 pm American in Norway Says:

    What a super post & great blog…I look forward to reading more from you.: )

  121. On November 18th, 2009 at 11:04 pm Q & A With Bloggess, Becky Harks « Old Dog Rehab Says:

    […] actually wrote a whole post about it. My best advice is this, though: blog for yourself, not for other […]

  122. On November 20th, 2009 at 2:26 pm Maria Says:

    OK, so I still don’t understand the Dooce thing. I heard a bunch of rumblings when the nominations for whatever award came up, googled & found the blog. I still don’t get it. Is she super successful & rich or something?

  123. On November 20th, 2009 at 11:00 pm MimiRuse Says:

    This post is just FANTASTIC. I attended a small blog conference last weekend (I_Blog), and nearly everything you said here was said there. You’re very wise. I want to be the next Dooce (minus the scowl), as does every other mommy-blogger. I know that’s not likely to happen, but it drives me to keep writing and keep commenting. I recently started getting comments, and blogrolled. It’s a good feeling.


  124. On November 23rd, 2009 at 9:28 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    She’s considered like the founder of all Mommy Blogs and people think she’s the bees knees (also, she has a lot of haters). She is crazy successful at what she’s done and she makes the rest of us look like novices.

  125. On November 20th, 2009 at 10:54 pm MimiRuse Says:

    This post is FANTASTIC. I attended a small blog conference last weekend (I_Blog), and nearly everything you said here was said there. You’re very wise. I want to be the next Dooce (minus the scowl), as does every other mommy-blogger. I know that’s not likely to happen, but it drives me to keep writing and keep commenting. I recently started getting comments, and blogrolled. It’s a good feeling.


  126. On November 23rd, 2009 at 12:29 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I probably peed myself the first time I saw myself on a blogroll. And my first non-friend comment? TOTALLY A SPAM BOT. I didn’t realize it until later, but man, it was totally redeeming until I realized it was a fake person.

  127. On November 23rd, 2009 at 2:02 am Matthew Says:

    This is very good. Wish I’d read it months and months ago.

  128. On November 23rd, 2009 at 1:30 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Aw, why thank you. It’s a post I wish I’d seen when I started blogging because it would have saved me a lot of confusion. All of those “blogging tips” I’ve ever seen the “experts” give are so pointless.

    Maybe I should republish this.

  129. On December 10th, 2009 at 9:24 am HomeValley Says:

    A huge thank you for this! I have just discovered your site today, and I think I am in love. Although what do you have against chick flicks? That aside, I adore these rules. I have been blogging for years, and I now realize I did some things just completely wrong starting out. This list is invaluable!

  130. On January 5th, 2010 at 11:13 pm Pineapple Princess Says:

    Holy smokes!
    That post was amazing!

  131. On January 8th, 2010 at 2:25 pm Dawana Says:

    This is awesome. It’s great advice for us just starting out bloggers. And you’re right- no one will be Dooce status and who wants to be? She is her and I am me. Moving on…

  132. On January 17th, 2010 at 1:57 pm Will Says:

    My Mom ( and sister ( both told me about this one – I wish I’d come here sooner! I absolutely love that post, and learned one or two of those items the hard way. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to go back now and read some more!

  133. On January 17th, 2010 at 10:20 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Aww. I’m so glad that you liked this post. Please, disregard anything you don’t like because really, the rules aren’t RULES. Plus, really, WTF do I know?

  134. On September 7th, 2010 at 3:54 pm RinnieKirk Says:

    Hey, thanks for the advice! I love how lots of people write these posts and all have a common theme. It’s pretty much don’t be a douchebag, but if you are one, own it!

  135. On September 7th, 2010 at 4:23 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Ain’t nothing wrong with BEING a douchebag if you own it, right?

  136. On November 24th, 2010 at 10:42 am Mallori Says:

    I’m a new reader to your blog! I stumbled across it a couple weeks ago, and am reading from the very beginning. A lot of successful bloggers have similar pages to this, buy yours is by far my favorite one that I’ve read! I will hopefully catch up during my Thanksgiving break…Even though you aren’t a big fan of Thanksgiving (per your Mushroom Printing site), I hope you have a fantastic holiday!

  137. On November 24th, 2010 at 11:18 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Aw, Happy Thanksgiving! You made my day!

  138. On January 3rd, 2011 at 10:42 am Campbell Says:

    Just exploring your blog and wanted to comment on this great advice. Would have been helpful to read it prior to starting blogging but better late than never, and, it’s nice to have confirmation on things that I think that I think that I know.

  139. On March 5th, 2011 at 2:51 pm Bre Says:

    Awesome post! I’ve just started reading your blog and I’m in love. You’re hilarious. And honest. Love it!

  140. On March 27th, 2011 at 10:45 am Miss M Says:

    Aunt Becky,

    Thank you for this list! I am fairly new to the blogging world and this is awesome advice.

    ~Miss M

  141. On March 27th, 2011 at 10:47 am Miss M Says:

    Aunt Becky,
    Thank you for putting together this list. I am fairly new to the blogging world and this advice is awesome!
    ~Miss M

  142. On September 21st, 2012 at 5:36 pm Nikita Punja Says:

    but how do I start a blog.

  143. On September 21st, 2012 at 5:44 pm Sambratha Shetty Says:

    HA HA :-0

  144. On January 3rd, 2013 at 3:12 pm Consultant Mama Says:

    I started blogging a few months ago and it is definitely starting to take its toll. Only think keeping me going is that I am doing it for me as a motivational tool so I will keep going! but you are right, it is a lot of work and finding time everday to do it is certainly not easy.

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