Here we are, the one-year anniversary of Bumblepuppies. That means it’s time for you to give me presents. Big expensive presents.
I also have a present for you. Of course, it doesn’t cost anything because I’m a little low on dough these days. Nevertheless, I think you’ll like it.
To celebrate my anniversary, I would like to present a new ten commandments for blogging. But fear not… I will not prohibit you from taking the name of Bumblepuppies in vain, for such references still count as free advertising for this blog. However, I do ask that you not worship any other blogs besides mine. (“Thou shalt not steal my content” seemed too obvious…)
1- Thou shalt not obsess over how low thy stats are today. One of my posts reached 500 views recently even though it only netted 9 the week I originally released it. You never know what people will rediscover from your archives.
2- Thou shalt not rely on shortcuts to obtain thy almighty traffic. My #1 post was just a regular post. I did not advertise it in any way beyond my social media feeds. It was not written just to get a top slot on a Weekly Challenge pingback list. I did not use illegitimate SEO tricks. And there was no explicit sexual vocabulary. Instead, I watch as it steadily lures people who actually want to read a post on that topic:
3- Blogging is a hobby. Thou shalt not treat it as thy job unless it really is thy job. It is not fun to advertise posts beyond your regular social media feeds. It is not fun to write things just to get a high-traffic slot on a pingback list. It is not fun to sit around and create SEO manipulators. It is not fun to deal with the idiots who find your blog by searching for “big breasted librarians.” However, if you happen to be a big-breasted librarian, I’d like to meet you.
4- If you inadvertently (or not so inadvertently) crop a picture to make a WordPress staffer’s husband look dead, thou shalt blame Art. He likes the attention. Thou shalt also kindly link to thy #1 commenter in thy anniversary post.
5- Thou shalt not dream of becoming Freshly Pressed. An early follower of mine landed there in his second week of blogging but the blog didn’t last much longer. A lot of people seem to get depressed when their traffic statistics soon return to normal and they throw themselves in front of a bus. (Figuratively, I hope.)
6- Thou shalt not be long winded. I have a Ph.D. and I can handle mass volumes of text. If I think your work is too long, it’s too long. Let’s not belabor the issue.
7- Thou shalt not spend excessive amounts of time on individual posts. The post I spent the most time on netted little reaction. Your muse should inspire you, not bloviate.
8- Thou shalt not always agree with the WordPress staff, for they are not defenseless children and they have a sense of humor if you play nice-ish. I had an interesting debate with the lovely and talented Krista early on about a weekly challenge topic; I ended up lampooning the challenge with a post. No challenge participants got Freshly Pressed that week but I did receive my first like from Krista on that one. (And yes, that post revisited the one I mentioned in #7… so all that work wasn’t useless after all.)
9- Honor thy mother and thy father and anyone else who can make your offline life miserable. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to honor the glorious and morally superior NSA.
10- Thou shalt pace thyself. I did 7-8 posts per week for my first few months… and going high volume early on is often recommended. However, other commitments crept in and I ended up doing 3-4 posts per month for the next 3 months. Eventually, I settled back into a comfortable schedule of 3-4 per week. For a more extreme example, I follow a very talented
idiot blogger who did 5 per day for several months before taking an extended break. The point is, you don’t have to release your posts as soon as you finish them. Save them for a rainy day.
Bonus Commandment (because we don’t go strictly by the Bible around here) – Thou shalt provide free advertising for Bumblepuppies as often as possible. Go visit my newly updated Greatest Hits page and share a few of the entries with your friends. Do unto me as you would have others do unto you. Then do unto me again and again and again.
That’s all the advice I have for you today. Thank you all for your continued presence here. I didn’t expect to have so many great people so soon. Emphasis is on “so soon” because I expected to attract a following. Not having a broad and engaged audience would insult my intelligence…
PS: WordPress thinks my anniversary is the 29th because that’s the date I created this blog account. That’s kind of like celebrating your wedding anniversary on the date you proposed to your wife instead of when you said “I do.” My first post is dated May 31 and I fully intend to honor commandment #8.