The past few months I’ve received a lot of emails, Insta DMs and in-person Qs about my blog. I’ve sorta ~blogged about it~ before, but that was, like, almost a year ago. So, here’s a refresher.
Some of the Qs I’ve been asked are as follows:
- Why and when did you start it?
- How can I start a blog? I have so many things I want to write about but I’m nervous to publish them.
- Where does your inspiration come from?
- Are you worried about employers reading your blog?
- LOL remember that time we briefly dated — you should blog about it.
- How did you get your following? What are some SEO techniques?
And here’s my favorite one that I get all of the time.
- Do your parents read your blog?
I’m going to attempt to answer these questions, but I’m sorta against a typical Q&A format because tbh, it’s not ~on brand~ with the rest of my stuff. So, per usssuual, I’m going to write about this how I write my all of my blog posts: a personal essay about yours truly.
If you’re here for SEO tips, this isn’t the place for you. Sry.
Hold tight, you’re about to see EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEAK BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS PREMIUM BLOG ABOUT IT CONTENT!!!
Let’s start off with what my desk usually looks like.
You’ll see the WordPress screen, a cup of coffee (well, 3rd cup of coffee), water, a chewed piece of gum, a pen, and a To-Do list. This is what my “desk” usually looks like (minus the chewed gum — I have manners).
I’m at my dad’s house, but the setting where I choose to write always changes. Coffee shops, my couch, the bathroom at a bar five vodka sodas deep. It depends.
What you can’t see (or hear, I guess), is the SSOTWTIHLTORFTPFD (Spotify song of the week that I have listened to on repeat for the past five days). Can anyone relate? It’s Sinking by Jeremy Zucker, in case you were wondering.
I have gotten in the habit of taking my make up off religiously every single night (only took me 24 years), except I haven’t quite mastered the art of getting ALL of my eye liner off. Here’s me in real time — my typical ~blogging look~.
Pro tip: The most successful bloggers are always guzzling coffee. This blog isn’t sponsored by Keurig, but tbh, it should be.
So now that you’ve gotten a quick peak into what my life looks like when I blog. Now to the how and why.
I don’t have any real “pro tips” for you about blogging. Truly, I don’t. There are thousands of blog posts out there that tell you about the keys to creating a a high-traffic blog and for those blogs, that’s they’re goal. More traffic.
When I write, I don’t really write for traffic. Yeah, my topics are relatable and when WordPress sends a “You’re stats are booming!” notification, I’m low-key stoked, but you’ll also notice the titles of my blog are never something like, “10 Things Why Everybody Should Drink At Least 4 Cups of Coffee A Day. I’ve Done It And You Should Too.” Lol, #trustory, but you know what I mean.
Basically, I don’t write click-bait.
There is nothing wrong with click-bait. I’m not currently sitting on a blogger high horse scoffing at other bloggers who produce this type of content. I mean, clearly. There’s currently a chewed piece of gum in my peripheral, who am I to judge?
I’m just saying, that’s not my writing, or I guess “blog” style. So like I said, if you clicked this article looking for tips on SEO or how to go viral, this isn’t the place for you.
Words are a beautiful thing and through this blog, I’m able to experiment with them in a way that is both therapeutic to me and my readers. As much as I write for you, I write for me. It keeps me sane.
I write in an emotional, provocative, stream of consciousness kind of way — as you have probably picked up on. I don’t want to get all sappy and say I ~speak from the heart~ because sometimes I don’t. I let my fingers do the talking — and sometimes it comes out shit. Hence why I have over 450 drafts.
I don’t go into blogs planning what I’m going to write. I don’t believe that inspiration can be pre-determined. For me, it just happens. I experience severe writer’s block like the rest of us and then find myself staring at cappuccino suddenly immersed in an infinite amount of topics and the words flow from my brain to my fingers effortlessly.
The most successful (and profitable) blogs usually have editorial calendars and scheduled posts. They are consistent, reliable and write in a way is “shareable.” I mean, that’s the key to going viral, right?
I didn’t build my audience from developing an editorial calendar or sticking to a certain schedule. I built it by sticking to my style — sticking to the style that I know best. My personal “brand” if you will. People come here knowing what to expect – and usually they like it.
In a way, this website is less of a blog and more of collection of short stories. It wasn’t always that way, though.
Let’s dive into the beginning.
I started this blog when I was a mere single 20-something. Titled Another Chapter in the Book, I didn’t really know what I was doing, and the stuff I wrote about is honestly laughable. Check this out. My very first blog post EVER is titled “Trying to Never Figure Out Life” published April 5, 2013. Holy wow.
I tweet way too much, use Facebook for strictly photo sharing and creeping, and Instagram pointless shit while crossing my fingers that the “likes” will get in the double digits. My iPhone battery sucks, and I also hate myself for complaining about first world problems on a daily basis. I like to take chances, make spontaneous decisions, and am always reaching for something more.
I mean, still sorta true except Twitter is dying and if I ever post a picture that doesn’t get into the double digits I’m straight up deleting my Insta out of pure embarrassment. Kidding but not really.
Then there was this point titled, “Sunshine, you ROCK.” Ugh, Beth.
Shout out to Mother Nature for rocking my socks this week. ‘Tis the season for sundresses, Sperry’s, and sunglasses. I mean, this doesn’t compare to last year, when it was 75 degrees in the middle of March, but hey, take what you can get.
Am I real?????? Can’t be. Also like, #tbt to when I would wear Sperry’s.
Anyways, like I said before, in the early stages, this blog was purely snippets of my every day thoughts. A kewl and new way to write that wasn’t in the depths of a journal page. It didn’t take much effort and I never really put much thought into what I wrote.
Oh, how times have changed.
So, how did I get here? Couldn’t tell ya. It wasn’t a revelation I had one morning where I was like haaaayyy I’m gunna tell y’all about all of my personal shit. It was like I developed a strange yet invigorating & intoxicating relationship with this thing and then got more comfortable with the types of things I shared.
This “thing” being my blog.
Behind my marble-skinned MacBook and black plastic keyboard I find peace. It gives me a high I can’t really explain. Things that don’t make sense suddenly can turn into a story that I didn’t even know was there.
For all of you that have asked, how do I start?
Watch a 2 minutes WordPress tutorial on YouTube and then write your first blog post. That’s it.
Not everything you write has to be novel-worthy. It doesn’t have to change the world. It just has to be you. Like any art form, writing takes practice. What you learn through practicing is two-fold. In one instance, you learn more about how to formulate a more compelling sentence, but in the other, you learn how be more comfortable with your mistakes.
It’s like sitting in front of an easel with nothing but a blank canvas, a paintbrush and a plethora of the finest paint and you’re like LOL, I can hardly draw a stick figure thooo???? You don’t wanna fuck up the canvas so you approach it with caution, afraid of messing up the entire thing with one stroke. The more blank canvasses you fuck up, the more comfortable you get with fucking up and then you realize that your new fuck ups aren’t as bad as your old fuck ups. Make sense?
Then suddenly, you wake up and your art is plastered all over the internet! It’s crazy!
All I’m saying is just write. Write for yourself. Develop your own style. The rest will come. Don’t be too concerned with your audience at first, because again you’re writing for yourself, remember?
I know for a fact that there are some people (hopefully not toooo many) who read what I post and roll their eyes and prob screenshot it and send it to their group chat and laugh.
Or, maybe not at all because I’m not that important lolz.
You guys also ask a lot about my “subjects.” If you don’t know what this means, basically my “subjects” is my ~long list of ex-lovers who hopefully don’t call me insane~.
I actually had one person ask me, “Do you date people so you can blog about them?”
LOL. No. Good Q though.
Like I said, I don’t go into things being like OOMMGGG THIS IS GUNNA BE A GR8 STORY. It just so happens that relationships make really good blog posts. So, then I write about it and you read them. Simple as that. Honestly, I hope one day that I find myself in a relationship that is too boring to write about because it’s so perfect.
But also not really because that’s no fun either.
I don’t usually ask people if I can write about them because then they ask questions and I don’t want them to ask questions because then it makes me nervous to write about and then story gets all censored and un-fun and I accidentally talk in a bunch of run-on sentences. Know what I mean? I never share revealing details about them, but besides a couple of guys, people actually like being the subject of my blog. Dead serious!
My last ex was angry about the blog post about him. Like, extremely angry. Pretty sure he consulted a lawyer about it too. I mean, there was not really a case there because the truth is always your biggest defense when it comes to writing but trust me, I’ve done my legal research. You should too.
Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t write with the intent to defame or publicly shame anybody — nobody should. I write stories. My stories. My truth. Are there other characters involved? Of course. That’s life, man.
At first I was so timid, so afraid of what people would think. Like, omg what if people think I’m a total psycho?!
I eventually just stopped caring. I learned to stop apologizing for what I wrote and learned that if my stories are something that turn certain people away, those people were never meant to be in my life in the first place.
Pro tip: If you want to write about dating/exes, gr8. It’s fun. But don’t make it about the other person. Don’t write for them, write for you. Speak on behalf of your feelings and your experiences. The other parties are just characters in your story. You don’t want to create a “bash your ex blog.” Nobody wins and it usually isn’t as compelling of a read as you want it to be.
I find inspiration in every day occurrences of my life; dude-induced or not. It doesn’t take a monumental experience for my brain to extrapolate a story. I can literally stare at a blank wall and turn it into a string of sentences on a page. Some call it talent, I call it overthinking — something I’m quite good at.
Does my family read my blog? Yes. Believe it or not, my blog posts are actually on my dad’s fridge. My mom’s always the first to compliment them and this Christmas, my cousin’s wife bought me a unicorn mug because of my last blog post. Check the featured image.
So, yeah, they read it — and they support it!
For a while I tried to hide it from future employers, but at this point I consider it an accomplishment. Yeah, maybe the stuff I write about isn’t super profesh but, it’s me.
And I like me.
My posts don’t follow the rules of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. In fact, I’m quite sure that if either one of them awoke from the dead and read one blog post, they would re-pass away due to grammar deficiencies. Pretty sure “lolz” and “fuckboy” aren’t in the Webster Dictionary.
They’re not meant to be grammatically perfect nor attract the most traffic. I used to care more about that stuff but then I realized if I wrote in that way, I’d lose the edge that have been developing since the early days of blogging nearly six years ago.
Pro tip: Develop your edge.
What’s an edge? Honestly, I don’t really know. My professor told me that my writing had an “edge” so I’m holding onto that compliment in the hopes that it some day makes more sense to me.
Not everybody is going to love what you write. Not everybody is going to love the character you create out of them. Some people turn into a whole chapter while some only make it out with a line or two. The beauty of personal writing is that you have complete control over what gets put on the page.
If you want to start a blog, then start a blog. Who’s stopping you?
Don’t write for others, write for yourself. You’d be surprised how many stories you can create out of a seemingly monotonous life. When you master that, your life actually starts to feel much more interesting.