Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: The Blog Rules

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Blog Rules


Having made it this far you can consider yourself to be part of an elite club, the cool crowd, a trend setter if you will. For you see my blog is, as of yet, undiscovered by the masses. I like to think that this is in part due to my complete ineptitude at all things IT based and in part due to a reluctance to expose myself (not like that) to criticism or ridicule. With this in mind I have looked to other, more knowledgeable, sources for advice on how to increase traffic or pique interest amongst those who have thus far not ventured to the undiscovered wilderness of the Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best website. Whilst their advice is reassuringly consistent it entirely goes against my nature... Let me explain:

1. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE!

The vast majority of successful blogger types advise the use of personal accounts on all social media platforms to pester friends, relatives and casual acquaintances to boost your traffic. After all, who would be more interested in knowing your inner most thoughts, feelings, worries and veritable failings than those closest to you? With increased traffic you draw attention to yourself from the cool kids like Google who will then direct even more traffic in your direction by ranking you higher in the pecking order, like school girls. Whilst a very sensible suggestion, I have several problems with the use of those I know. My first issue is that some of those people may feature in my parental musings in some way or will do in the future and the possibility of offending them fills me with dread. What if they feel I have misrepresented them or their poop throwing soft play enthusiast of a child? Secondly, I couldn't stand a response to be issued in person. And I do mean a response of any kind. Positive and I would have to shuffle my feet awkwardly, mumble incoherently and then run away as quickly as I could; negative and I would instantaneously erupt like a fire hydrant, mumble incoherently and run away as quickly as I could. Thirdly and finally, whilst I can almost get my head around the blood relatives and close friends reading my words it's the loose acquaintances reading it that I fear. The ones who know little of the real you but have fixed notions of who you are and your approach to life and parenting. I might be aloof, conceited or indifferent in their eyes currently but once they know, they know the real me and I can't take pretend to be anything else. It's not unlike the turning-up-naked-to-high-school dream but I have an unsightly body rash, every one has 20-20 vision and the school bell never rings. Apparently I have high school issues....

2. FIND YOUR VOICE AND STICK TO IT!

I totally understand where this advice is coming from. When certain posts are consistently proving to be more popular than others you need to give the people what they want. Know your market. Stick to what you are good at. Lots of people have made successful blogs based on this concept (all of whom I love by the by and am by no means suggesting anyone is a 'one trick' pony): Fran at "Whinge, Whinge Wine" will reliably be there to make us feel better about the times that we love our children but would also gladly shoot them out of a cannon, the Rhyming Mum and Rhyming with Wine will consistently help us laugh about our parental woes to a metronomic beat, and the Honest Mum will routinely soothe us through any life quandary with her sage advice and positive outlook.

Readers want to know what they are getting before they click through. They need to know that you are dependable and will give them what they want. Much like a stable marriage, reliability is essential for an enduring blog relationship. This I get. The only issue I have is that I am not reliably anything. Like many others, I didn't start my blog with a view to earn money by reviewing products, nor do I expect it to be serialised in a magazine or to be the launch pad for my glittering book writing career (although one can dream); I started writing to improve my mental health, deal with some difficult experiences, exercise a few of my hormone addled brain cells and provide some light relief to the somewhat relentless nature of parenthood. If I were to limit myself to having to be consistently witty, heart warming or novel I fear the blog would become something of a chore and would last as long as my brief foray into the world of knitting (3 rows of one scarf with 7 dropped stiches.)

3. SEO

I beg your pardon?
I think I just have to accept that until I am willing to out myself on social media platforms, remain consistently consistent and learn to cope with a touch of coding that my traffic will be less Spaghetti Junction and more bridal path.

On the upside though, until then I can convince myself that its lack of popularity is solely due to meagre exposure and I can tell the story about the poop throwing soft play enthusiast!

Full disclosure, I had no idea what picture to attach but who doesn't like a pretty bubble?


Do you have any handy hints for the novice blogger? All suggestions welcomed!

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