Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Blogging Charter

Where there is community there are customs, rituals, and conventions. Nothing enforceable by law but unwritten rules nonetheless. Recently in the blogosphere the community of parent bloggers has been hit by yet another scandal of epic proportions. Not an attack on the rule-breakers in the usual mild manner of naming and shaming, boycotting and stalking (quite hard to achieve simultaneously), bitching and revenge. This time the very rules themselves were challenged.

The overwhelming  reaction was that there are no real rules and that you can do what the hell you like on your own blog - as long as you don't harm anyone else. I was left feeling somewhat bereft. No real rules? I went to a Public School for girls, I'm Jewish, I'm a teacher, I'm a Virgo for God's sake. What is my life if not a collection of rules and regulations to live by?

Luckily Michelle at Mummy from the Heart has come up with a Blogging Charter and tagged (read challenged) me, amongst others, to come up with my own. As I think it's about time someone (or someones) took charge around here, I am only happy to oblige.

The Blogging Charter - A set of rules to blog by for the individually and independently challenged

1. Blog Content - Most blogs have two purposes, to record the lives of you and your family for future enjoyment and to fulfill your dreams of being a writer for fame and profit as well as entertaining the masses. Therefore your blog must be first and foremost of interest to PR reps, literary agents and, ultimately, film producers. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Potty-mouth always seems to succeed as does a lot of sexual reference, preferably under the influence of alcohol. The most successful bloggers are those who sell their family, boss or colleagues up the river in the hope that their husband can give up his job in order to manage their multi-million pound blog empire.

2. Dedication and Frequency - Try to blog at least once a day, more if you can. The idea is to keep your blog at the top of everyone's 'latest posts' blog list. If you've nothing to say post a cute picture of your child (wipe its nose first for Gawd's sake) or a flower from your garden (if possible with one perfect dew-drop). In addition you must spend a few hours daily reading other people's blogs and leaving comments. Sooner or later they will feel it rude not to visit you and leave similarly inane remarks at the bottom of your posts. Remember - traffic is money. If you're worried about the adverse affect on your family as you neglect them in favour of your beloved laptop, keep in mind that no child ever died from too much Blue Peter and eating fish-fingers and oven chips for supper.

3. Advertising - Google Adsense will pay you tuppense ha'penny for messing up the aesthetics of your blog with irrelevent and obscure plugs that no one reads. Far more impressive is to bag real companies that your readers patronise anyway such as John Lewis, Lego and Next. If a company offers you affiliate advertising rights, this means that you advertise them for free and if someone remembers to click on the ad on your blog when they order, you get a payment - if they bother to tell you. Bottom line: a blog filled with adverts is ugly, irritates your readers and compromises your credibility as a serious writer. So what? You also have bills to pay.

4. Reviews and Freebies - Many bloggers receive freebies in the form of toys for their kids, personal gifts (cosmetics, bags, etc...), household appliances, and even holidays. In return they have to use the freebie and write about it favourably (including a disclaimer swearing that they are impartial). Why shouldn't you get these too? As soon as you have a follower on your new blog, google PR reps and directories and send every one an email begging to review anything for their clients. You can also contact companies directly. You will officially be called a Blagger. Yeah, so? Precisely. And don't worry about driving the PRs mad as they will get you back by clogging your email with offers to delight your readers by telling them all about their products - for the warm, fuzzy feeling of it all.

5. Memes and Tagging - Memes are basically blogging chain-letters which you pass on by tagging a few blogs at the end of your post. There is usually a nice badge which makes it all look terribly smart and official, and 'says' - I'm part of a whole blogging thing. It's not just me indulging my ego with journal entries online, it's a whole professional movement with conferences and awards, and stats/rankings and memes with badges. And it's terribly important to be involved otherwise you're just not blogging right. So if you like someone telling you what to write in your own blog or if you are yourself a control-freak, memes are the way to go.

6. Statistics and Ranking - Blogspot has it's own built-in stats. They bear no correlation (directly or indirectly) to the number of visitors to your blog. The 'All Time' pageviews actually go down as much as they go up. If you're bored you can sit and click on 'Home' at the top of your blog 200 times and smugly watch your stats rise. Be sure to display your all time pageviews prominently on your blog. The people who claim not care about the stats as they write only for themselves (what does that mean anyway? That I'm positively altruistic?) usually also advertise their Wikio rankings (in three different categories), Klout Score, Tots100, and any other website that will play the numbers game (expats, travel, professional dog-walking clubs, life coaching, etc...).

7. Comment Etiquette - You comment on my posts enough times and you'll shame me into commenting back. It'd be rude not to. That's the name of the game. Did I mention that traffic is money? Sometimes you do have something of  great interest to add to a particularly informative or entertaining post. Don't bother - if you know so much why waste it on a comment for someone else? Better to write your own post.

8. Publicity - Facebook for your real friends, friends of friends, and anyone else within six degrees of separation who's not savvy about newsfeed and privacy settings. This could run into the thousands. Twitter is good for reaching total strangers, befriending them (following) and infiltrating their already functioning community. With the nifty application of RT, #ff, reply, #anyandeverythingremotelyconnected, etc... you can become a minor celebrity in the blogosphere. Try to tweet a link to your posts on an hourly basis.

9. Sharing and Crediting - In publishing and academia it's called plagiarism. In primary school it was called copying. On facebook it's called sharing and, it seems, in blogging as long as you credit your source, you can nick anyone's ideas as much as you like. In fact, if you link back to their original post on the subject, they will be positively flattered and eternally grateful. All in all an essential tool for sourcing content for your blog.

10. Guest Posts Carnivals and Linkies - Think about it... group publicity for your blog. Duh! A no-brainer, it'd be rude not to.

So there you have it. The Blogging Charter. You don't have to stick to the rules and I fully appreciate that there are those who revel in anonymity, shunning any form of praise or even recognition.

I'm tagging the following people for this meme:

Clever Clogs over at the Biggest Best Blog Ever
I've never read her blog but she is the World Top Blogger with thousands of readers and, if she does it, she'll have to link back to me.

Anyone else who sees the need for a bit of decorum in the blogosphere.

This post has been featured in The Boy And Me's ShowOff ShowCase as an example of a post that did better than expected. The link will take you to other posts that surprised the author. It has also been linked to the Blogaholics Blog Party by Here Come The Girls. Again. the link will take you to other Blogaholics at various stages in their recovery programme. Thank you to both of these blogs for providing the opportunity to link.


  1. I'm commenting on my own blog because two people thought I sounded annoyed when I wrotew this. I was asked if I had been offended. Whoops. I was trying to be funny. I may have overstepped... I'm absolutely not annoyed or offended, just enjoying the blogging life and playing the game. Except that, being an expat, I don't get to review stuff. I hope I haven't hurt anyone's feelings.

  2. See, now that is gratitude for you. I create this meme give you a linkback on my valuable blog (in the Tots top 20 don't you know??)and tag you and what do you do slate me for all I stand for!

    As an expat you do have to get beyond this jealousy that you do not get things to review. If you like next time I get offered some baby food pouches, wipes, pasta or any of the other high end and valuable items then I'll post them over to you, just so you can feel like part of the community! You will then have the bug and we'll make a blagger of you yet!

    and as for Clever Clogs, I'll go and check them out and of course comment in the hope of a return visit!

    So glad this was a tongue-in-cheek post and that I had not actually offended you friend.

    Mich x

  3. Haha! Love leave me a comment or else ;-)

  4. Easily the funniest post I've read about this whole debate - nice work!
    Obviously I'd have written about my own stand on it but I'm far too busy writing reviews!

  5. Mich - LOL, touche (with little accent on the e that I don't have). And you are right of course - I'm eaten by jealously that I can't do reviews. Don;t get me started on competitions that are for UK residents only - like, all of them.

    I admit I was worried for a bit there but I don;t think I've lost any friends after all. Thanks xxx

    Faceless Food - running to reciprocate.

    Seasider - Oh, are you a Blagger too? I'm so disappointed ;)

  6. It actually IS funny. Love it. Now how do I jump through hoops for the comment system? Honestly...

  7. Phil, you have to understand that the more I make you work in order to leave your comment, the more I can be sure of your commitment to my blog ;)

  8. Love it! :D
    There, now I've commented so...oh, except you already do.. #oops

  9. Jane - shame you wasted a comment on someone who already comments on your blog. Bummer.

  10. I'm a little afraid to make a comment right now, but this did make me giggle. Don't feel pressured to comment back.


  11. Don;t be afraid Lisa - I'm glad it made you giggle as it was intended to do. Have a good week.

  12. thanks for this so informative... now how do I add a klout score, wiki listing and other such counters to my blog.. I'll be sure to say I'm not intrested in my stats when I do so tho ;) Great post... now can you tag me in it as although I never get round to doing memes that I'm taged in it does make me happy to have my link somewhere... got to get my google page rankings up abit, oh and also seems as I am commenting please come back and comment to me too ;)

  13. A great post! Thanks for the tips and sharing, love your outlook. Came visiting you via BLOW YOUR OWN BLOG-HORN! thanks for having me. I will be sure to come back and visit (just followed) and review until you feel the pain well enough to come visit and comment at my place. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  14. Sarah - I do comment on your regulalry. Bwah ha ha , it paid off ;). And yes, there is that advantage of being linked within the tag that you have to offset against the guilt of not bothering to do the meme... get over it!

    Special K - I am burdened with obligation now and will be visiting you pronto.

  15. Brilliant, funny and spot-on post. I heart you even more now my blogging friend :)

    [And you're in luck, I haven't blogged in so long that you don't even have to come and leave a reciprocal comment ;)]

  16. Am laughing and squirming at the same time...but perhaps that's the idea?

  17. OH MY GOSH! it's taken me so long to comment and you are keeping me going comment wise at the moment.
    I am so sorry I went away for the weekend when really I should have been on twitter all day and all night.
    Rachel this is brilliant - can anyone really think this something written in anger?!!
    You have it all so spot on.
    I didn't know about clicking on 'home' thought - wow. top tip! ;)

  18. Ella - But you know I will as soon as you're back xxx

    Blue Sky - I made someone squirm! That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me all week ;)

    Gemma - stop clicking on 'home' for a minute and pay attention! No more weekends away - you gotta work on your blogging.

  19. Fantastic post as usual MidlifeSinglemum. I wouldn't dream of commenting merely to publicise my own fabulous blog at

    :-P Vx

  20. Oh do you have a blog also Vegemitevix? You must tell some people about it.... ;)

    Seriously though - isn't it a bummer how blogspot doesn't let you put links into your comment?

  21. OH THIS IS BRILLIANT - I didn't know you were such a comedian

  22. Thanks Liska - yes, interestingly enough, being a clown is never something I've had to work on :)

  23. And the link to your own blog at the end was priceless.

    Literally made me laugh out loud.

    Seriously though, we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and this post makes that very possible.

    Liska xx

  24. Shh Liska - don;t tell them about the extra click at the end. Ingenious eh? Two pageviews to me for the price of one :)

  25. Brilliant!

    I have ranted about this sort of thing lately - I'm sooooo over it now.

    Please don't bill me for therapy - I need new knickers I laughed so much

  26. Bill you HonieBuk? I feel like I ought to send you new knickers - what size are you?

  27. lmfao. of course i expect you to comment on my blag now at asap (not really)

  28. Wodya mean 'not really' Mummy C? You gotta toughen up to survive in this game sister. I'll be right over.

  29. Oh thank you *cough* Size skinny arse 6 *cough* - honestly!

    Two comments - Jaysus - my klout score will be out of control now

    I'm wasting time - get back to Twitter to engage in memes flitting by in my timeline. If I unfollowed all the crap spambots and the PR links that ignore me everyday when I cry "where's my chocolate freebie" I'd have the time to read them all.

  30. Honie - rule 1: don't unfollow all the spammers as Klout counts everyone.

    Point 2: I'm only replying to your comment as it takes my comments up to 30. :) Thank you

  31. Some wonderful advice here and some that is definitely very well received. In a comical type of way of course.

    On a serious note however, I don't believe blogs should have rules, but etiquette is important and it's often something that is overlooked.

    CJ xx

  32. Actually CJ I agree with you - kindness and good manners in everything.

  33. Was going to write a witty, original comment, but since I see I'm number 33 it won't divert enough of your readers to my blog and send my stats soaring, so I'll settle for inanity and point out the obvious: that was a really brilliantly written post and I'm subscribing forthwith!

  34. Matron - LOL 3 or 33 you're welcome and I look forward to getting to know you. Btw - I will be diverted to your blog forthwith.

  35. Just wanted to say: Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    PS: And here I was, thinking you commented on my posts because you loved me, when really you were methodically laying a cunning guilt trap designed to ensure reciprocal comments... genius.

  36. Mummy's Little Monkey - Uh oh, rumbled!

  37. Having just made my first, and I am sure not the last, blogging faux pas I saw a link to your post and had to take a little look! Absolutely Brilliant. I feel much better now.

    A great read!

  38. MM - glad to be of service. Everyone is playing little games behind the blog posts so really don't worry about it :).

  39. I read this when you wrote it but it was on my phone and couldn't write a comment. Glad I've been reminded to come back and revisit it. What a funny post. I think this subject a little humour.

  40. Gosh it was very popular wasn't it?! Well done you, hope everyone took it the manner in which it was meant.

    Thanks for linking up to ShowOff ShowCase, please could you add the badge at the bottom of the post so people know where to go to read the other posts.

  41. Here come the girls - thank you for coming back. And yes I agree that a little humour was called for.

    Thr Boy and Me - It was touch and go there in the beginning and I nearly deleted it. Glad I didn't though. I have linked back to the ShowOff ShowCase. Sorry I forgot to do it initially as it was an old, already written and published post, it slipped my mind.

  42. Brilliant post, had me genuinely laughing out loud! So pleased you linked this up to SOSC so I had chance to read it x

  43. Somethingblue - I'm very grateful for SOSC for affording the opportunity for more readers on a post that has already slipped off the end of the page.

  44. Glad you linked this up! So funny. I never did this meme at the time but I loved your tongue in cheek take on it the best.

    1. I have to say that I do have a particular fondness for this post so I'm always grateful for the opportunity to give it another airing. Thank you.

  45. Haha I remember this and the 'old days' when I used to join all the linkys and stuff! and I used to be a bit envious of all the stuff people got to review being in the UK- ( especially Butlins Ambassadors I loved that place!)