19 Commandments of Blogging

Ever since I started my blog, I’ve been asked the question “How do you do it?”

How do I do what?

Well, in the first 10 weeks my blog was open (starting April 13, 2009), the Little Pink Book, has done remarkably well. In its first full month (May 2009) it hit a little over 6,000 unique visitors. Not bad for a newbie.

So, how do I do it? Well, I’ll tell you…

Social Media Flow Chart by Anne Helmond via Flickr

  • 1. Thou shall be opinionated.

If you have something to say, say it. Simple.

Your blog is your place, it doesn’t belong to anyone else but you. It’s an online public diary for your thoughts, your views and your take on the world around you.

  • 2. Thou shalt not lie.

If you have something to say, say it, but do not lie. This is the internet and as a rabid wildfire could exterminate a forest, the same can hold true for telling a falsehood that could annihilate you.

Just because daddy and mummy do not regulate your internet presence, does not mean that you should ignore the basic principles they taught you as child.

  • 3. Thou shall be creative.

Do you like pink? Use it! Are you obsessed with baseball? Throw an ode to your favourite sport on your blog. Enjoy fashion? Talk about it. Get a kick out of reading romance novels? Tell me about it.

Use what you know to communicate who you are and what you do. Remember, what you are passionate about and what you love is the first place to start.

  • 4. Thou shall have a focus.

If someone wants to read about everything going on in the world – they’ll venture over to CNN or the BBC. Be unique and have one main topic that your blog focuses on.

That is your hook.

It’s okay to step outside of these lines sometimes, but always come back to your focus.

Your focus = home.

  • 5. Thou shalt not infringe.

Copyrights are a big deal. If someone created something, cite them. Period.

If you cite and they ask you to remove their materials – do it. Period.

There are no excuses.

  • 6. Thou shall check facts.

Read something really cool and want to talk about it? Make sure it’s true first.

  • 7. Thou shall be safe.

Never disclose your home address, phone number, social security number and other private information on your blog or any internet outlet for that matter.

You never know who is reading.

This measure will keep you, your family and your associates safe.

  • 8. Thou shall be responsible for content.

You are responsible for your blog and its content. You are the one who reads the guest blogger posts before they are posted, and you are the one with the power over the ‘delete’ button.

Know it. Use it. Love it. No exceptions.

Do not be that blogger who is responsible for rumors, harassment and other not so fun things. No matter what you say, there are implications to it – good or bad.

It’s okay to talk about something in the ‘rumor mill’ but know your facts, know your sources and what exactly you are saying.

Think before you talk. Easy.

  • 9. Thou shall disclose relationships.

Has someone reached out to you about their product? Have a friend who is guest blogging for you? Disclose that.

Inform your readers about the source of the information they are reading.

An informed blogger makes an informed reader. An informed reader is a better reader. A better reader is a dedicated reader.

That’s what it’s about. Communicating who you are, what you do and your relationships. I’m a firm believer that the only way to make a relationship is to be in a healthy relationship.

WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get

  • 10. Thou shall have an open blog.

Allow readers to comment, allow readers to view other comments, reply to comments and post regularly. If you want people to communicate and share your blog – give them the means to do so. Encourage discussion. Don’t you think?

  • 11. Thou shalt not txt.

Txt lguge is 4 cel fones not 4 net. Don’t writ lik this. It’s hard to ustnd & decode.

U kno ppr English, use it. 2 B a gr8 blogger means 2 talk 2 in full stnces.

No1 will take U srisly if they can’t understand a word U have 2 say.

  • 12. Thou shall blog when necessary.

Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you need to fill it with utter nonsense.

If you have something to say, say it. If you don’t, keep your mouth shut and your fingers in your pockets.

Save the useless banter for your friends and family who love you and will endlessly listen to you no matter what you have to say.

The blogosphere is full of strangers, who, no matter how long you’ve been e-mailing, do not know you. You want to keep your blog resourceful, informative and most of all fun.

Don’t bore them with the tidbit that the traffic in Miami is worse than in a third-world country and it pisses you off because you think the urban planners are idiots who do not know how to plan ahead for a rapidly growing metropolis. Grr.

  • 13. Thou shall use and understand social media.

Read, What NOT to Tweet: 10 Ways to Commit Social Media Suicide and take its lessons to heart.

Use your search engine of choice and do your homework: Technorati, MySpace, Mashable, Digg, Delicious, Facebook and Twitter.

Learn about the difference between Blogger and Word Press. Find out what WordPress.com is versus WordPress.org.

Look for articles on SEO. Google what SEO stands for.

Read, take in and make the choices you deem best for you.

  • 14. Thou shall heed Murphy.

If something can go wrong, it will. Plan ahead, post ahead and make a schedule.

Get yourself a real pink book, or something of similar substance that will aid in keeping you organized.

  • 15. Thou shalt not widget kill.

Simple rule: If you need it, use it. If you want it, discard it.

  • 16. Thou shalt not be the rule, but rather the exception.

There will never be another Sasha Muradali. That’s what makes my blog unique. I have my own thoughts, my own views, my own friends and my own social network. That is reflected in the Little Pink Book.

Apply the same philosophy to your blog.

The cup is half-full, never half empty.

  • 17. Thou shall monetize…only if applicable.

Keep the integrity of your blog and do not advertise/review something you have not bought, tested or believe in. It’s called false advertising or what is commonly referred to as lying.

Did you know that if your blog hits over 100 unique visitors per day it qualifies for advertising?

I’m not saying advertising to make yourself rich – I’m talking just enough advertising to help your blog pay for itself, where you break even at the end of the year. If you happen to make extra cash on top of that? Then by all means…

  • 18. Thou shall share.

The Internet is a communication tool: invite guest bloggers, be a guest blogger, actively respond to comments on your posts and be social.

Remember, I am human, I come in peace…so should you!

  • 19. Thou shall have fun.

When you love something, your passion will shine through in your work. Invest time, effort and your energy (even when it’s way past your bedtime) to your blog.

It’s your blog. No one else’s. If you don’t like something, change it.

ProBlogger said it best, it’s the passion behind what you do, “much like great sex, it can’t be faked.”

*Special thanks to Arik Hanson for starting the PR Blog Awards at which the Little Pink Book was nominated. Also, thank you to Valerie Simon for mentioning the Little Pink Book in The Examiner. Also, should mention Stefan Pinto for asking me a couple questions that got me thinking and were the inspiration for this post!*

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07 ) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami (’08). Sasha loves her blog and is really glad you do too!

Best wishes, Internet-folks — Live long and Blog!

xx.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

  1. These are fantastic tips for newbie bloggers such as myself, so thanks for posting them. And congrats on the success of your blog, it’s well-deserved.

  2. Excellent work Sasha. 6k is nothing to sneeze at. I think that your use of Twitter, guest posts and a variety of other mediums has been extremely beneficial.

  3. Thank you Stuart, really appreciate it! *cough*hope to see you guest posting soon*cough* 🙂

  4. Thanks for the link Sasha! 😀 Congrats on your nomination and statistics!
    .-= Keira´s last blog ..Review: Choices Meant for Gods by Sandy Lender =-.

  5. ArticleClump says:

    Your posts are great! Please keep

  6. great work sash! ur sweat and tears paid off and you deserve all the recognition you’ve been receiving! keep it up, im proud of you!

  7. Franklin says:

    Awesome info! I'll try to keep these commandments in mind when working on my blog!

    Thanks!

  8. Franklin says:

    Awesome info! I'll try to keep these commandments in mind when working on my blog!

    Thanks!

  9. I was just looking for a nice way to create an overview about the content flow.

    thanks for the chart, just got the right ideas.

    take care,
    tobias

  10. Hey Stu, you feeling okay?

  11. Widget overkill is always a bad move. You can add a million things to your side bar when you have 30k visitors/month.

    I'd shy away from adding advertisements too early. Work on building a readership before you worry about covering the costs. Instead, focus on reducing costs. You can spend almost nothing and still maintain a professional blog.

    David, Scribnia

  12. Absolutely!

    I definitely try to heed that at much as possible with LPB.

    I used to have a lot more stuff, then I downgraded, when I wrote this post, and over time, I found myself adding more and more things.

    Now, I'm certainly a lot more conscious of my sidebars!

    Thanks for your comment, David. Smart and savvy as always 🙂

    S xx.

  13. Awesome info! Thanks for the tips.

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