There are too many articles giving website advice that I believe to hold items that aren’t true. I find it to be very frustrating because I was once one of those people who wanted to start a website/blog, and each website I visited had almost the same list in their article(s), so I just assumed it was the “right way”. Technically, there is no “right way” to blogging. People are always going to judge what you do, but just remember that it’s your blog, not theirs. They need to respect the space.
This is kind of going to be a series kind of thing, though, because I don’t want to make this too long.
We’ll start at the beginning, though, with the Blogging Lies. The next “series” thing will be the commenting crap. But again, that’s for another time. 😉
You’re in the ‘just starting out’ place. Your blog is just a seed right now. Some seeds do better than others – some quickly, some slowly, some in the long run, some in the beginning, etc. It all depends on what you sow that seed in and what fertilizer it has, etc.
Lie #1: “Don’t use Blogspot, blah, blah, blah.”
I’ll admit that it’s a huge pain when I have to log onto my Google account just to leave a comment on someone’s blog just to avoid using my Twitter account, but Blogspot does have an option you can allow for your visitors that allows them to provide their Name and URL. It’s a nice one to have available to your readers.
Lie #2: “Blogging anonymously is pointless, and you should just ‘be yourself’.”
Before I actually really got into blogging, my Internet alias was Mandy. I still have Facebook, Xanga, MySpace, Live Journal, Blogspot and Twitter accounts with that name. There was never a last name to it; it was just “Mandy”. I had a lot of friends; a lot of people loved that my name was Mandy. I seriously felt anonymous, and it was nice. When I came out to all of those friends with my real name (remember this was like in early high school years) as “Liz”, it wasn’t so cool.
I didn’t have a domain name, though, and I didn’t know about the blogging available outside of Xanga and MySpace (I never really got into Blogspot/Live Journal enough to really use it). If you buy a domain name, make sure you also buy WhoIs protection. This is available for free with each domain name you buy from NameCheap unless they have changed it recently. Once it’s purchased, make sure you apply it to that domain ASAP so you can keep up your anonymity. 😉 Some hosts are also good about keeping your personal details private if you’re interested in being self-hosted.
Related: How to blog anonymously
Lie #3: “You need to affiliate with other people.”
Unless you want to make more work for yourself in the long run, affiliating with other people really isn’t necessary. The definition of this that too many people seem to not understand:
- to bring into close association or connection.
- to attach or unite on terms of fellowship; associate (usually followed by with in U.S. usage, by to in Brit. usage).
- to trace the descent, derivation, or origin of: to affiliate a language.
- to adopt.
- Law . to fix the paternity of, as an illegitimate child
- to associate oneself; be intimately united in action or interest.
It does not mean you have to be friends, etc., but many people you affiliate with online may require such a thing (which in the end is sort of quite difficult because they want you to link them on all pages, yada, yada, YADA). It’s solely up to you. I don’t affiliate. People ask me all of the time, and it’s always the same: No.
The meaning of “affiliates” have since changed. Now, “affiliate” relates to a relationship with a company, not a “link exchange”.
I was going to do five of these, but I’m already up to 636 words. P: I have a bad habit of rambling on and on and on and on and…
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I believe that I have to pay about a dollar a year for WHOIS protection through NameCheap, probably because that was the way it was when I first bought my domain name. Ah well, I can afford a dollar a year.
These days, blogspot is fine and perfectly functional, and not everyone wants to self-host or have a domain name. I would say that it is equivalent to wordpress.com, actually.
I would change “don’t blog anonymously” to “don’t blog anonymously with a stupid, unbelievable name”. My name was “Xeronia” when I first started. That was dumb and I regretted after one year. But I think if I had pretended that my name was Mandy, then I’d still be going along with it right now.
I think that affiliation works better for blogs that are not personal blogs. A robotics blog that I follow does affiliate with other robotics news sites, and everyone gets more traffic that way.
Point it, everyone’s got a different set of experiences and different pieces of advice work for different people. Some people might enjoy pretending that their name is “Lady_Gaga_fan_4859” for their whole lives…