A blogger’s guide to living life: The 10 Commandments

By | March 5, 2014

The Indian biking industry has all of a sudden gone completely mum. There is an awkward silence in the air. I am not sure if it is the calm before the storm, or just and embarrassing time for us all, me in particular.

So anyway, I came across a linky by my dear friend and partner in stupidity Ayush Chauhan, and I thought let’s give it a roll! It’s been about a week since I have written something, so here we go again.

BloggerA blogger’s guide to living life: The 10 Commandments

I am a Hindu, not that it matters, but we don’t seem to have the perfect 10 commandments that some other religions enjoy. So I had to go to great lengths to find out an acceptable list of these rules of life. Take a look at the photo of some dude holding a huge stone like it’s a sheet of paper, that guy is one strong badass! That guy is Moses by the way, and that stone is where the 10 commandments were written, and I have a special place reserved for me in hell. Anyway, here goes.

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
  10. Thou shalt not covet

Neato isn’t it? A perfect 10, not 11 or 9 or 27, but 10.I thought it would be interesting to give a blogger’s interpretation to these commandments. I am pretty sure what you are about to read now is quite useless for non-bloggers, but I hope you get a few laughs out of it.

1. Thou shalt have no other gods except your niche

I see a lot of people, especially middle-aged ladies, who blog quite randomly. Their choice of topics range from Chicken Biryani to high-speed particle accelerators. I am not saying this is wrong, in any way, all I am saying is it is better to stick to one general area of interest.

Blogging about a very specific topic for a long time will make you an online expert for that niche. In blogging, as in life, it is better to be good at one thing rather than be a jack of all trades. This also helps immensely when applying for Google Adsense, because they can easily identify which type of ads will be relevant to your website.

It may be argued that the aforementioned middle-aged ladies don’t blog for money, they blog like teenage girls write their diary. Cool, no problems. But if you are writing articles open for public reading, I guess you want more people to read them than just you and your BFF. If you do want more people to read them, then you better sound like a frigging guru of your field, rather than a mumbling Tourette’s patient.

2. Thou shalt not put your site on a pedestal

As wrong as it may, it is really easy to imagine that the world revolves around you, or the internet revolves around your site for that matter. So many people live and die believing this. Well, it doesn’t. Even if you own the most badass, most popular blog in the universe, don’t make the mistake of worshiping it, or the blogger in yourself.

Be humble, be nice, be supportive. It is likely that your blog is popular because people find it useful. It is also likely that your site is famous because people like the way it feels, they like the interactions, your style of writing. It is very likely that your beloved site will cease to be a happy place for others if you behave like a cocksucking curmudgeon. Treat your followers as your friends, not some lowlife below you.

3. Thou shalt not vomit an article in vain

If you don’t have anything to talk about, don’t talk about it. Many a times people write an article just for the heck of it. “Oh I haven’t written something since last century, I should definitely publish an article today about how much my day sucked ass.”

First of all, you should be fairly regular. I don’t mean you need to write 7 articles a day, 4 to 5 articles a week is pretty awesome. Writing should be spontaneous, fun, and rewarding. If while typing your latest post, you feel similar to a teenage girl delivering a baby with an over-sized head, chances are something is wrong somewhere. Write only when you enjoy it, not when you need it.

4. Remember the weekend, keep it awesome

I rarely write on weekends. I am mostly buried deep under a pile of laundry during that time, so my blogs don’t even enter the picture. But even if you are not a bachelor, and you are lucky enough to have a mother or wife take care of your dirty stuff, keep the blogger you away these 2 days.

It is very hard to demarcate between passion and work. When you love something, you do it just for the fun of it. But when other people start getting involved, start cheering you up, it suddenly feels like a burden, because there is a possibility of failure. Weekend is the time to freshen your spirit, and be ready for the ass-kicking they call Monday to Friday. So chill out, sleep as much as you like, and take a hot shower. Seriously, you need that shower, now.

5. Honor thy mentors and thy friends

Most bloggers take inspiration from somewhere, there are rarely any standalone entities in the world of writing anyway. I for one am a big fan of a website called VisorDown.com. It is supposed to be a site about motorcycling news, but they make it look like it is a site about a bunch of guys rolling in mud with their motorcycles and laughing like hyenas. I check VisorDown almost daily and try to learn from them as much as I can.

But inspiration in itself won’t do it all, you also need friends. Because of its virtual nature, it is extremely easy to meet new bloggers in the world of online writing. There’s this dude Vaisakh Venugopal, who blogs infrequently about random stuff he likes. We became friends last year, and it is still going on. The point of this point is, give importance to others, especially to those who deserve it.

6. Thou shalt never kill your site

I think this is the most common mistake people make, they start their blog with much fanfare and investment, buying a fancy domain name and unlimited space, then 2 months down the line their site is nothing more than a desolate land of nothingness. Over the next few months they write erratically, posting once or twice a month, and then when the year ends they do not renew the domain or space subscription.

The trouble begins when they expect too much, they think it will take nothing more than 2 months for their page to reach Google-level traffic. When they don’t get attention, they cease to give attention too. But the biggest blunder they make is letting go of their precious site. Just stay with it, blog whenever you feel like, even once a week is fine. Don’t worry about the quantity, worry about the quality. Continue this way, and you will be surprised where you reach as the years pile on.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery against your blog

It feels so good to do things that are wrong, doesn’t it? I know people who guest post more often than they post on their own site. Why? I don’t get why. A certain amount of guest posting is considered good for your online image, but don’t be a two-timing jerk to your own blog.

Let’s say you write about 3 articles a week on your site, and guest post once a month on some other sites that are more popular than yours. This is healthy. You get some link backs, some promotion, and it feels good to be acknowledged by someone else. But if you guest post 3 times a week and write on your own site once a month, all of that is for nothing. This isn’t about selfishness or greed, it’s about logic. So stay faithful to yourself and your blog, or thou shalt be smitten by the wrath of all that is sacred and stuff.

8. Thou shalt not steal content

Do I even need to say this? Don’t ever steal someone else’s words or images. You have no idea what those guys had to go through to write that gay article about Optimus Prime blowing off Jabba the Hutt, and you have no right to take it away from them.

I recently found out that no matter what you do – give credit, link to their site, embed, write a 1000 word disclaimer, or run naked from home to work, you can be sued for using someone else’s photos. I know, sucks, right? I mean what’s a guy gonna do when he needs a hot photo of hardcore asian gangbang triple-penetration? Hire porn stars and photographers and shit? But yeah, you can’t take someone’s work. You can link to them as much as you like, but don’t say you did something you didn’t. That’s bad.

9. Thou shalt not leave shitty comments on thy neighbor’s blog

My favorite past-time nowadays is – *rolling drums* – reading stupid Youtube comments. You will be surprised how screwed up in their heads people can be. Some of these comments are pretty funny, others will take you a minute or more to understand, and then you can’t un-understand them, no matter how much you try.

The same goes for bloggers, and I am not talking about trolls now. Normal people leave insensitive, completely unnecessary, unsolicited comments on articles for no apparent reason. Hey Joe, if you had a bad day at work go punch your wife in the face another time, leave the peaceful people online alone, they didn’t do anything wrong to you. Always be nice, courteous, and a little behind the limit when commenting on someone else’s stuff. On your own site you can go completely bat shit crazy, answer everything in capitals, only write in symbols or numbers, no one cares. But don’t be hurtful to others.

10. Thou shalt not covet numbers

This is something I dearly wish I follow. I wake up every morning and check how many visitors I got last night, any new comments and the Alexa rank of my site. Does it help? Hell no! When you get 1000 visitors on the previous night, you feel good. When you got just 57, your day goes all down and shitty.

Numbers don’t matter, they don’t do anything. Wishing that your site had a higher Alexa rank than your sister’s isn’t going to get you anywhere. Don’t write for others, write for yourself. If others like your stuff they will flock over like a bunch of rabid sheep. If they don’t, too bad for them. Have fun, write crazy stuff, do crazier stuff and don’t care for others!

Wow, nearing 2000 words now. Sometimes I become like a sobbing 8-year-old girl when I am blogging, no control, just babbling about stuff like a blithering idiot. There you have it, my 10 commandments for bloggers. If you got anything to say, say it to my face, bitch. Leaving a comment below is also fine by the way.