Ev's Blog

Restarting my blogging career one commit at a time

I have some blogging advice for you

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Blogging is not for everyone, and yet it is for some people. Typing into a text editor and hitting the publish button isn't the hardest thing to do on the planet, but for some people the mere thought of typing into a text area can generate mountains of anxiety. I mean, what do you have to say? And will anyone read what you have to say anyway?

I can tell you, from years of blogging experience, that the Internet is a big place and it can be accessed anywhere around the world from desktop computers to tiny mobile phones. If you decided to start a blog today, I imagine if you keep at it for an entire week (with perhaps the exception of Saturday and Sunday, because you need a break) you will perhaps find a single reader by the end of the week. And if you don't, you will have probably not spent any money getting your blog going, because getting a blog going is really not all that difficult.

The challenges related to blogging are mostly self-imposed and/or cultural barriers to the craft. Most people think that blogging is something only the wealthy, talented, and venture funded are required to do. Others believe that blogging is only for those who have real opinions about the real world. And still other people believe that blogging is a sport best left to the couple of years after the y2k bug.

But I can tell you that as long as there are people with eyeballs and screens there will be people who want to read blogs.

In fact, now is the time to start blogging again, because there are so few people left in the blogosphere that you will gain readers simply because no one else is blogging anymore.

Should you choose to start a blog I have some blogging advice for you. You don't have to follow my advice, but if you do I promise that your blog will be much more successful or you will just quit blogging after two posts anyway because that is what most people do. But you are not most people, and I am not most people. Most people just read blogs, but you and I are the ones who are crazy enough to write them.

Blogs about blogging are well, blogs about blogging. Eventually everyone needs to realize that a blog should be about a topic. Perhaps you can pick a topic for your blog and stick with it, but know this! If you name your blog after your topic and then you go about changing topics within a few days then you will find that you need a new name for your blog. Yes, it's important to be clear so that the readers know what they are reading, but also sometimes not being so clear can make your blog a less intimidating place for readers to read.

If you decided to change topics maybe choosing a name for your blog that is flexible will let you more easily change topics if your interests change over time.

For example if you started a blog today called "blogging blog" and then you decide to write about coding, well you will now need to change your blog title to "coding blog". If you keep the title more esoteric like "my blog" then you will have less blog title changes to make in the future.

I don't know about you, but I have trouble writing the later it gets in the day. So much has happened, and I get tired and when I'm tired I am no good at keeping my fingers moving while I am writing my post. My best and probably brightest suggestion to you if you are going to write a blog is to wake up an hour or two earlier than you normally do and start blogging before you do anything else. All you need is coffee, and you will have the power that you need to get your blog started in the morning.

Some people don't drink coffee, but I will seriously suggest that you try drinking coffee if you also want to start blogging because there is nothing like drinking coffee to get your blog started in the morning. Or maybe you can drink water or tea or an energy drink, but over here it will be coffee that is drank in the morning while writing this blog.

Nothing will stop your blog from getting written more than checking Hacker News fourteen times before your post is written. Or the real news, which is even worse. If you turn off your Internet before you begin blogging you can always turn it back on later when you need to fill in hyperlinks or relevent content details that require research. Better yet, don't write anything that requires hyperlinks or research, then you can just keep writing and nothing will make you have to stop and check on the source documentation.

This can work surprisingly well even when you are coding. I've found that I am way more productive even as a coder with my Internet turned off, because I am forced to think about how the program actually works. I might not implement the most perfect lines of code while my Internet is off, because I can't just quick type my coding question into a search engine and get a giant thread about how to do x y and z in JavaScript back with the perfect answer.

But copy and pasting your code does not really make you a coder, and just reading someone else's blog all of the time does not make you a blogger. All of the true blogging masters write their own blogs first before reading the blogs of others, and those who do not are probably an exception and not the rule.

After four or five years of hearing about CovID shots, boosters, and other associated propaganda it is time for a change that we can believe in. Save the Internet from having more garbage published to it by just avoiding partison American politics and the poor Doctors, nurses and the rest of us who have become the victims in whatever this twenty year narrative arc will result in.

Choose a new narrative arc for your blog, because arging about whether your mask is on or off or whether we should force medication on people before Christmas is sooooooo 2019 and it is 2022 now it is time to get on with building the economy back from scratch after some politicans turned it off for no good reason.

Turning an economy on from scratch is a lot harder than writing your blog, so you are the lucky one. And you read this far into the article, you deserve a pancake.

We could argue about what text editor is the best editor forever, but what I've been using for nearly a decade is a vim session within Terminology to write. I open Vim, and then I keep writing until I am done writing. Then I save using :wq. The benefit of using a program that is specifically designed for writing text, instead of say writing into a web browser or some other type of program is that the program will auto-save your changes for you just in case you somehow forget to plug your device in and it powers off.

Also browser tabs reload and do not automatically cache the contents of a text area. Though, bogbook does! Try writing into a bogbook text area and then hit 'reload' on the page and you will be surprised to find that most of your comment is still there. That is because every bogbook text area saves a draft to IndexedDB. Kind of cool right? But I wouldn't write an entire blog post on Bogbook. It turns out that social media websites and blogging are completely different digital animals in that social media platforms are better for writing quick one-off replies and/or asking questions. Blogs are best for writing long stories early in the morning and then publishing with the hopes that at least one person will want to read all of the way to the end.

Everyone has cellular telephones these days, but I can tell you for certain that you do not type nearly as fast on your cellular telephone screen as you do on your laptop. If you do not have a laptop because you a part of the a newer and/or older generation that has decided to just throw their laptops in the ocean then I will suggest that you go out and buy one. No need to spend a lot of money on a laptop, because typing into a text area and hitting the publish button does not really require the latest and greatest technology. Perhaps find yourself an old laptop in the closet if you have a closet with a laptop in it.

Oh, but make sure that laptop has a working keyboard. I was trying to use a laptop without a working keyboard for awhile and I discovered that it was kind of annoying to have even one or two broken keys.

My latest laptop only cost around $150 USD, and can do most things that other laptops can do. Yes, it's not as slim or as cute as some people's laptops, but let's face it: most people don't even use laptops anymore anyway so even having a laptop gives you a strategic and technical advantage over most the human population.

Your blog will not write itself. I'm just saying.

Yes, the coffee is running down but I have told myself that I will make more coffee after this blog post is published. I kind of feel that if I stop writing right now that I will not return to finish this article until the day is started and once the day is started I have some fears that I will never finish the article because I will check the news and get mad about whatever the politicians said today or how the stock market is doing or whatever celebrity drama is happening, etc etc. Keep the blog going and keep your fingers moving until the post is finished. This way you can hit publish and then start the day instead of waiting all day to finish your blog post which will probably likely never happen if you do not finish the blog post right now.

If you read any of the above lines and thought they were Interesting I will encourage you to send me an email and tell me why you thought they were interesting. As I've stated before this blog is not trying to be the most brilliant blog on the planet, what it is trying to do is to be a regular blog, and a regular blog doesn't necessarily have to be the most brilliant blog. Perhaps the most brilliant blog is no blog at all, which is what most people have, and are most people brilliant? How would you know, they are not blogging.

Are you bored, broke, and want to make money on the Internet? Email me with a suggestion for what to write next. I might reply to you, but there are no absolute guarantees that my email will make it to you, so if you do not hear back maybe write some bogbook comments and send them my way.

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And if you eyes were used to read all of the words above and managed to get here to the bottom of the post then I would like to ask you the following question:

Do you want to subscribe? If so, compose and electronic mail message and send it to me at ev@evbogue.com with the words SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. I am currently writing hand-written notes for a limited time, which probably will not scale, but I hope that by writing you individually that I will generate the necessary feedback to make my blog a better place for you to read. If you have a blog, send the link to me so that I have something to read too. The Internet is a big and empty place and we need you to fill it up with text again.