Monday, October 30, 2006

Sweatpantsmom Reveals The Secrets Of Blogging!

A friend of mine called me recently to say that she was thinking of starting a blog and wanted some advice. I told her the blogosphere was already too crowded, and if she had any 'thoughts' or 'feelings' she should either keep them to herself or just write them down in a spiral-bound notebook like everyone else. She persisted, though, and I agreed to answer a few questions mainly because I'm a supportive friend but also because she agreed to cough up a couple of bucks for a cappuccino and a scone. Here is our Q & A:

Can anyone start a blog?

Yes. In fact, that's the comment I hear most often after people have read my blog. "Oh, I see anyone can start a blog."

How much time do I need to devote to my blog?
Most of your waking hours that you aren't working, sleeping or going to the bathroom should be spent on your blog. Nobody likes a lazy blogger. In fact, before starting you should explain to friends and family members that you will no longer be available for lunches, parties or funerals. It's also a good idea to teach your children to cook and clean and to do their homework on their own because you won't want to be bothered with any of that.

How do I get people to read my blog?

I don't know.

Can I earn money by running ads on my blog?
Some people make lots of money with blog advertising. If you look on some popular sites you'll see ads by big name advertisers like Mattel and Paramount Pictures. It depends on how successful your site is - the more readers you have, the bigger advertisers you can attract. I myself am waiting for approval from some advertisers as we speak! (I'm talking to you, Hals Donuts and Nails by Fatima!)

Are blog rankings important?
Absolutely. I suspect it has something to do with being more talented and more creative, but I know for a fact that those with higher rankings are definitely better looking. My Technorati rank is something like 18,000. That puts me right on par with say, Dan Rather or Bea Arthur. In fact, that's what I'm thinking of for my new tagline: The Bea Arthur Of Blogs!

What about comments - are they important?
If you're talking about your sense of self-worth, yes. If I see that I have zero comments, I'm likely to grab a box of candy bars and crawl into bed for the rest of the day. The higher that number gets, the less I yell at my kids and the more optimistic I am for my future. Once the number of comments gets into the double digits my mood gets even sunnier and my husband knows he'll be getting lucky that night. And just as I said that I realized where all those "Anonymous" comments are coming from.

I've heard that bloggers are a narcissistic bunch. Is this true?
Absolutely untrue. But did you want to talk about other bloggers and their problems, or - Hello! Why don't you ask them out for coffee?

Should I tell anyone about my blog?
If you're planning on trashing your friends, relatives or your mailman, then no. There are those that find it offensive to be called a turd or a back-stabbing ho in a public forum. Some people are just sensitive that way.

But I find it can be an effective tool in certain social situations, like if you're trying to stop that pesky neighbor from stopping by "just to chat" or to get rid of someone at a party. Because nothing stops a conversation dead in its tracks like the words, "Let me tell you about my blog."

I'm interested in blogging and its relevance in the bigger picture. How can bloggers use their collective voices to influence political issues? In what ways can bloggers use their platform to affect social change? What are some ways that blogging influences public opinion?
No. Are you going to eat the rest of that scone?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  1. Heehee. This has finally convinced me to start a blog.

  2. i would also suggest them to wait to tell anyone they know closely about their blog. the first entries usually suck big ones and who really wants anyone they know, reading the "is anyone out there? or "i don't know what i'm going to write about" posts.

  3. OMG! That was absolutely hysterical. My sides hurt! I love the anonymous commentator, I will have to start keeping an eye out for him.

  4. LMFAO- omg, this is fucking hilarious. i heart you.

  5. here via blogmad and I'm glad that I surfed upon your blog. Nice job and humorously entertaining.

    You have a great writing style....or maybe it was just the scone?

    My Blog

  6. Omigod, woman - you slay me.

    (Just leaving a comment so you'll put down that candy bar and get out of bed.)


  7. This is so freaking great. Now I know why I feel so depressed all the time.....I only get 9 comments a post. LMAO.

    Ohh to eat some kit kats.

  8. Most excellent! I love the last one the most.

  9. Excellent post! Glad I didn't read it two months ago...

  10. Well...I'm leaving a comment in hopes that tonight is a lucky night for your husband. (Us guys have got to stick together and support one another)

  11. So THAT'S what happens when comments hit double digits...

  12. I think that this was the best, most interesting blog I've ever read. Sadly, I have no idea what some of these things are. I do not know what a blog ranking is or how I would ever discover how my blog is ranked. I'm pretty certain my blog is not ranked anywhere or I would know. I can tell you that comments definately matter and that I never have enough. I always get lots of comments about posts that are short and thoughtlessly written, and few about novels when I feel passionately about serious subjects. People tend to not like me when I am being serious. Bah Humbug.

    Also, it has never occurred to me to run adds on my blog. I had no idea you had to have companies approve this. I (and please forgive me if I'm insulting anyone because it is not a direct attack or insult on anyone at all) always thought it was some sort of act of desperation for readership that anyone was able to do in order to buy the ads. Am I wrong?

  13. "the Bea Arthur of blogs" is golden...

    Except hopefully you don't sound so masculine.

  14. I like Bea Arthur- in a nostalgic, Maud-loving kind of way.

  15. That post was gold!

    I'm on the fence about telling friends/loved ones about the blog, while a tthe beginning it's reassuring to have at least a couple of people reading the blog, it gets tiring having to defend what you write, and sometimes you find yourself censoring yourself because of your audience.

    Or a good friend finds out that you're both crushing on the same guy because she reads your blog, which is what happened to me (to be fair, she thought it was mostly funny and was only slightly annoyed because I wrote that I would never tell her if anythnig transpired between myself and le crush)

  16. Love it! Don't tell my husband about the double digit correlation though because then he'd actually start reading it and commenting and having all his friends commenting and then I'd be smiling to see more than a few comments and...oh boy!


  17. Nithing to say. Just wanted to comment. Tell your husband he owes me one.

  18. You are too funny!! I think you should write a manual on "how to start a blog", I'd totally buy it.

  19. Reminder to self: while getting wife hooked on blogging, enable anonymous comments.

  20. *LOL*
    I can't relate to any of that.


    Am I a bad liar?

  21. More importantly- did she give you the rest of the scone?

  22. Wow, I think you're the first person to capture the exact essence of blogging. This is pure gold. I'm gonna blog about it. Did I mention I have a blog too? Let me tell you about it...

  23. You are so cool and I hope to one day be as great a blogger as you!

    (Can I have the rest of that cappuchino?)

  24. in the interests of bolstering up your self esteem - here is a post! (not an interesting one, i'll grant you - but that's the kind of dullster i am) x

  25. I think blogging has reached a point where I'm sometimes embarassed to even admit that I have a blog. I'd almost rather admit that I slept with Bea Arthur.


  26. I hate that I want to tell everyone about my blog and also, no one, because's like I just said the word "myspace."

    Dammit, I'm a big girl blogger with a Wordpress blog...BLAWWWWWG. Still the same though, Myspace, Livejournal, Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad...BLOG.

    It's totally worth it to be able to call someone a backstabbing ho in public.

  27. too funny...

  28. This is awesome. Glad to see there are still bloggers out there who can laugh at themselves.

  29. "Once the number of comments gets into the double digits my mood gets even sunnier and my husband knows he'll be getting lucky that night. And just as I said that I realized where all those "Anonymous" comments are coming from."

    That? Was hilarious. And probably true.


  30. Hey, how'd you know I've already taught my girls to cook and clean so I can get in more blogging time? (no matter that they are only 19 months and 4!)


    This post cracks me up.

  31. One of the criteria of great writing and humor is to have your finger on the pulse (and brain) of the group you are describing. So much so that every single individual believes you are speaking directly to him or her.

    I'm sure my wife (onthebanksoftheriogrande) feels that way because YOU NAILED HER!!! particularly regarding comments, stats, and self-worth.

    That being said, I'm not real thrilled that you let the cat out of the bag about "Anonymous" comments. That.just.was.not.nice.

    Oh well: Plan 9 - fake blog identities!!!!!

  32. Love it!!

    I swear, just moments ago a friend asked if he should start a blog. Typical clueless male thinking he can just write and within days he'll have hoardes of readers and fans, simply from his sparkling wit and clever observations. I was like, uh, have to read them too.

    "Read them?"


  33. You have made my return to the blogosphere worthwhile. I'm cryin' here. Thanks for that!

  34. I wish I'd read your handy hints before I started blogging.

    But, hey, I know people read mine, because I am a "link whore" and know where I can be found.

  35. LOLLLLLLLL i love your answer to the last just a flat boring no. i admit Sweatpans Mom, I am that lazy blogger.

  36. Just wanted to be sure you got laid tonight. Lucky for my husband when I get more than 30 hits he's getting lucky, so even though I have no blog traffic, I still have rewards.

    Love it! I think I'm ranked in the 100,000s which likely means I'm on the same popularity scale as Yanni or some nose flute player. Either way, not good. But I'm having fun, so who cares!

  37. mrs t: Thanks alot. Now I've got the "And Then There's Maud!" song stuck in my head. (Geez, I am SO dating myself.)

    Allan: I am a loyal reader of your wife's blog, so I feel it's my duty to alert her to Plan 9 and to be on the lookout for "Commenter A," "John Doe" and the like.

    Heather: Thanks! Unfortunately I'm exhausted from blogging. (Have you heard that 'blogging' is the new 'headache'?)

  38. I love it!!! Especially the part where you talk about calling people turds and ho's LOL. I personally love trashing the slut of a secretary at my boyfriend's job. LOL.

  39. I wish somone had tol dme all this before I started. Words to live by.

  40. Marsha, I am so feeling like Jan right now. In fact, I'm going to rename my blog "The Jan of Blogs."

    You consistently crack me up. I'm still basking in the afterglow from this one.

  41. LOVE this. And with more than 40 comments, its looking like your hubby's going to get hot, wild, crazy monkey sex tonight!

  42. Wooo boy your hubby is gettin LUCKYYYYY TONIGHT!!!

  43. Thanks for the laughs tonight!

  44. You've totally encouraged me to start a blog.

  45. oh, dear god.

    nicely done. HAH! i loved that.

  46. Absolutely brilliant!

    I love this post.

    You rock!!!

  47. Blog hopping via blog explosion. I LOVED this! Too funny!

    BTW, I'm not stalking you. If your Site Meter says I've been on for hours it's because I was in the middle of reading this when I got company and didn't want to lose my spot so I left it open. Whew! Just wanted to make that clear.

  48. *snort*

    Okay, that was my coffee going right out the ol' nose. I think you owe me a cappucino and a scone, but that's if you can tear yourself away from your computer.

    Aw, hell. Bring it with you, we can blog together.

  49. Too funny.

    My SIL wanted desperately to find my blog, and did search after search, finally finding it by typing in all of my kids names plus mine. Sheesh.

  50. The tagline! The tagline! Do they make those floaty long cardigan-y thinks in grey sweats fabric? If not, I'll get right on that.

  51. Well done! Congrats on the ROFL!

  52. God I hate when people make fun of Bea Arthur ...

  53. So this is what this topic looks like well written!
    And I thought becoming a comment whore is how you get readers. Now there really is no hope for me!

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