How to Blog Like a Grown-Up

by Ashley on December 5, 2011 · 11 comments

Because my claim to blog fame is that I once weighed 300 pounds, it should come as no surprise that I spent the majority of my teen years making friends online. ICQ, AIM, LiveJournal, Xanga, MySpace, personal websites on envy.nu…and remember Friendster? What the hell was that, anyway? I don’t know, but I believe I had a profile.

Now that I’m 27 and have a full-time job, my Internet presence is slightly more grown up, and the blogs and websites I read are too. Or at least, they used to be. More and more I am disturbed by the posts I see on healthy living blogs that are reminiscent of the teen angst-filled Internet of yesteryear.

I get it: blogging is an outlet. Bloggers are, at their best, a supportive community. It’s cathartic to share your experience and emotions and have other people respond. But if you are spewing words into your keyboard and onto your screen and hitting publish without a second thought, well… first, it’s obvious to everyone who reads it that you don’t care, and that’s rude to your readers, and and second, it makes your blog appear to be written by a teenager. I’ve been shocked a few times to click on an “About Me” tab to find that a blogger I pictured to be about 17 is actually a 20- or 30-something adult with a job and responsibilities.

A few tips to ensure your blog reads like a blog and not, well, a MySpace profile:

  1. We’ve been over this before, but it’s worth repeating: Is your post worth the space on your blog? Is your post — whether it’s an emotional rant or a mundane almost-more-of-a-status-update-than-a-post post — something you want on your blog? Photos of you and your BFFs goofing around at Walmart/Denny’s/wherever …that is a MySpace post. That is not something for your blog.
  2. For the love of God, put some thought into whatever you’re posting. This means everything from proper grammar and spelling to the actual content. If you have just vomited 500 emotion-filled words onto WordPress, use the “Save Draft” option, take a step back, and think about it. The raw emotions that might’ve been OK as a MySpace update when you were 16 are probably not OK as a blog post. It’s not that you can’t blog about emotional topics, but it needs to be done in such a way that you sound like a sane adult, not an angst-ridden teenager.
  3. No irrelevant photos of yourself or bikini crotch shots, no matter cute/hilarious/thin/awesome you think you look. Throw it on Facebook, play with it on Instagram, but don’t pass it off as blog content. No secret Internet fatty photos, either. I’m all for posting flattering photos, but there is a difference between “flattering” and “a complete and utter lie.” Being a grown-up means being OK with your grown-up body.
  4. Knock it off with the emoticons and cutesy words.

A good blog is one that’s written maturely, and if you are an adult who lacks a firm grasp on that, you probably shouldn’t be putting information on the Internet.

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{ 11 comments }

Abby December 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Amen. I agree that from time to time I’ll post something silly and irrelevant to everyone who isn’t me–it usually involves a gnome or doing a face plant going UP the stairs–but for the most part, I try and bring some sense of intellect and maturity to the things that I post.

Lately I’ve cut WAY down on my blog reading for the simple fact that I realized I had outgrown all the cutesy shit people were passing off as blog posts. Now this isn’t mean getting on a high horse and condemning anyone else for what they post–to each their own–but I realized I have limited time, and when I do take the time to read something, I want to feel better for having read it and not annoyed as hell.

It’s up to the reader to pick and choose what they read, and I choose to follow mature, funny, witty writers that put thought into things instead of simply raw emotion or a call for attention. We all have our silly moments, but good lord, put on the big girl panties most days (or don’t, as that could make for an interesting post in and of itself.)
Abby´s last post ..Uncle June Dreams the Dream

Bethany @ More Fruit Please December 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Amen to this! Before hitting ‘Publish’ on a post, I think a blogger should do a quick sanity check and ask themselves if they would be embarrassed if their grandfather, significant other’s mother, or their boss came across the post. While a blog is a personal outlet, it’s public for the whole world to see, so care has to be given for the image that bloggers create of themselves.
Bethany @ More Fruit Please´s last post ..Thanksgiving Weekend

Rose December 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Amen. If I see more than two emoticons per post, I scream.

Lisa December 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Yes! Good one. I recently went through a cleaning and deleted blogs out of my reader that I was no longer interested in. Lots didn’t make the cut. And smiley faces are one of the pet peeves. One or two max!!!
Lisa´s last post ..Happy Days Are Here Again!

Erin December 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Completely agree! All bloggers need to follow this advice!

Asian Chick December 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm

OT but I left a comment and it didn’t appear. I think it went under the spam box. I should switch user name.
Asian Chick´s last post ..Why ED Recoverers Should Not Strive To Be HLBs + Cranberry Chocolate Chip Protein Cake

Jon-Erik Lido January 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I don’t know, I find tons of flashing ads and other over-done sidebar content to be far more distracting than the actual “content” of most blogs. I am right there with you about proper grammar and spelling, however. I bounce off of a poorly written blog in just seconds. I can only hope your post makes a difference for someone!
Jon-Erik Lido´s last post ..Another Way to Sleep Better

katy January 17, 2012 at 5:11 am

I disagree. I like to read blogs that have emotion. I think of a blog as a journal, if I wanted to read an edited, restrained article I’d check the newspaper. Let it all out bloggers, I want to see the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Rita @ Healthy Mom, Sexy Wife January 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I hate it when someone says their blog is about healthy nutrition but they continually publish things about their tasty but very unhealthy foods. Occasionally is okay but daily is ridiculous. I think people should practice what they preach!! I subscribed to this one that was about yoga and healthy eating but she constantly posted full fat cookie recipes….not my idea of healthy eating. Unsubscribed.
Rita @ Healthy Mom, Sexy Wife´s last post ..The Secret to Being Sexy

ann January 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm

WOW!

Thank you SO MUCH for this post. Wow. I am a reader (though, admittedly less so now than in the past) of healthy living blogs and MAN am I happy you wrote these words. Took the thoughts right out of my head.
While I love it when bloggers share their advice/experiences/thoughts regarding healthy living, sometimes people just go in all the wrong directions. Especially with the personal pictures! That have nothing to do with health living! Facebook that stuff, ladies!

On a similar note, while I like it when bloggers share some personal details about their lives (understandable, as bloggers inevitably open up to their readers in many ways) sometimes posts tend to be wayyy too “look at me! look at me!”, without any real content that inspires conversation or thought. It becomes, simply, a diary or a means to get attention.

Thanks for this post. Great content.

Kate February 14, 2012 at 12:10 am

Good post. I recently went through a cleaning and deleted blogs out of my reader that I was no longer interested in. Lots didn’t make the cut. And smiley faces are one of the pet peeves.
Kate´s last post ..Better Job, More Jobs

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