So, you have just finished your degree and have been thrust into the tumult of adult life, it’s bound to be an interesting time to chronicle. Sound familiar?
It should because we all know the graduate blogger well. Any twentysomething’s Facebook newsfeed is bound to be crammed with accounts of trying to write the Great American Novel whilst living in your grandmother’s shed in Slough, or expensively photographed, equally decadent meals that would have once been enough to incite revolution in a peasant economy (#nofilter #nomnom #vivelarevolution, etc).
But as we all take to the web to share our tales of triumph and woe, there are some rules that we should remember to maintain our sanity, as well as that of our readers:
1. Do something
Anything other than sitting on your arse all day. It’s fair enough if you want some time out after finishing uni, but please don’t blog about how the most exciting thing that happened to you today was finding a new episode of Jeremy Kyle that you hadn’t seen before. Think of your poor readers, flocking to your blog for the latest juicy gossip, only to find out that you have the social life of an agoraphobic hermit.
2. Do read between the lines
Blogging brings out the voyeur in the reader. Let’s face it, most of us creep onto old classmates’ blogs for an anonymous but intimate peek into their lives. Has so-and-so finally started calling what’s-her-face his girlfriend? *Checks blog* No…Well, that’s a bit awkward. If there are little dramas or life events you don’t want the scandal vultures of your year ripping to shreds, then self-edit and keep them out of the blogosphere.
3. Don’t do selfies
Unless you’re planning on setting up your own tyrannical state, there’s really no need for an abundance of selfies on your blog. It’s fair enough if you plan to have stern yet well-lit and seductive portraits of you stare down on your enslaved populace from every wall in the country, but otherwise, put your fancy DSLR down.
4. Do relate to other people
If readers are what you want, you have to keep them interested. Personal monologues might mean a lot to you, but to others they will just be self-involved witterings. It doesn’t mean that you can’t write about things you care about, rather that you have to present them in a relatable way to your audience.
5. Don’t give up
As a reader of blogs, it’s a bit like the author just went away for an extended coffee break and completely forgot about finishing their novel when a blog dies. What if Emily Bronte had gone for a nap and never got round to finishing Wuthering Heights? We would not have the enduring tale of loveable psychos Heathcliff and Cathy, that’s for sure. We live in a very different age now, but that doesn’t mean that our lives can’t produce a little piece of literature.