Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Few Things Not To Do On Your First Post

  1. don't tell us this is your first post.

  2. mention absolutely nothing about anything you ate or drank that day; build some traffic before you reveal your food preferences, dietary idiosyncrasies, delicious meals or pending snacks.

  3. don't tell us how excited your are to try out "this blogging thing".

  4. do not reveal your pet's name or email; this also should only come after you've built some traffic for your blog.

  5. try not to to mention it's one of your New Year's resolutions - at least during the month on January.

  6. don't ask for comments. Everyone wants comments. Comments are the "tip jar" of blogging. If it was as easy as asking every blog post would end with a request for comments. If you are going to work up the nerve to ask for anything, ask for a link or a digg or an interview. Asking for comments is awkwurd.

  7. don't spell check or re-read your post for obvious typos. And yes I know it's awkward not awkwurd in tip seven, I was just trying to be a wisenheimer.

  8. don't tell us you're still figuring out what your blog will be about. Make an outline, just write some headlines, survey your friends, figure out what consistently annoys your co-workers, improvise, do anything but tell a prospective reader they will have no idea what to expect the next time they find your blog.

  9. don't write your first post until you've already written seven posts.

  10. tell us nothing about what your significant other did that day; first introduce your significant other as a recurrent character on your blog and expose every quirk and foible they have before thrilling us with how they constantly amaze or infuriate you.

  11. dont be lazy

  12. No links is bad but so is too many.

  13. don't tell us how long you've been thinking about "doing a blog". Maybe some people won't admit it but we'd all like to "do a blog". Even better I find is to have "done a blog". One day last fall I "did two blogs" but it's not something I'm ready to post about.

  14. don't tell us you don't have much to say. If you find that you have the equivalent of stage fright when you sit down to post or that you really don't have much to say then maybe you need to hire a blogging consultant.

  15. don't thank people. Every blogger appreciates other people, is grateful for the things others have given them, can't get enough of someone, has gotten unexpected support from that special person in their lives, or felt like they maybe ought to say thank you; but that can wait until your blog is done. Unless they wrote your first post. Then maybe it's OK to thank them.

  16. don't tell us there is more to come. Unless there isn't then play it up. If you can fit all your inspired lists, insightful thoughts, well crafted reviews of movies and books, spiritual abductions, arcane knowledge into one post: do it.

  17. don't use more than one exclamation point!

  18. if it is your first post on another blog platform, web site or mobile social frictionless wi-fi widget the same rules apply. Plus changing tools doesn't technically count as a first post.

  19. if it is your first post of the month, year or fortnight the same rules apply. Presumably every year will start with a first post of some sort so you should ask yourself if your readers will really benefit from bringing this fact to their attention.

  20. steer clear of a P.S. at the end of your post. This might be your second post waiting to break out.

  21. don't include when you woke up. Sleeping patterns are a major point of speculation among bloggers and many complusive blog readers will only comment if you are or are not a night owl or if you got polyphasic sleep to work for you.

  22. what's the point of a lorem ipsum dolor first post. This is like a sound check ad nauseum. If you can't get around to writing your first post or have some technical issues it might work but please delete it once you're done.

  23. try not to criticize your own first post. Let some one else do that. If no one does you can re-visit the self critical thing in future posts. Starting your blog with harsh words for yourself can only go downhill.

  24. don't ask too many questions. It might confuse your readers. Or maybe not? Have you read a really good first post that changed your life or got you to change your political affliation? How did you find this post? Am I missing some obvious things not to do on your first post? Can you tell this recommedation confuses me?

  25. don't confuse you first post with your fist post.

  26. don't tell us how much fun you're having - your job is to entertain us. If your first really expresses how much fun you're having some of your readers might get jealous or at least suspicious.

  27. do not tell us you're testing anything: your system, your software, your new cool phone or anything. Some readers are easily frightened and the word testing might make them think of animal testing or other controversial stuff. Only post if you're sure everthing is working. Otherwise some one might get hurt.

  28. don't post in more than one language without being up front about what languages you expect to be posting in the future. Por favor. Si us plau.