I just discovered the hardest part of starting a blog: explaining to your mother how to log onto that blog. Oh wait. I forgot that she doesn’t want her name mentioned so we’ll just call her Marjorie. Let me give you a taste of what it was like trying to help Marjorie find BlogHer.
Marjorie: I tried to find your blog but it wasn’t on Blog.com.
Me: That’s because I am on BlogHer.com not Blog.com
Marjorie: No, you’re wrong. There is no BlogHer.com. Trust me. I’ve tried to find it a hundred times and it doesn’t exist. See? Listen to me: B L O G H E R dot C O M. That’s what I’m typing and it keeps coming up as…wait. Oh, here it is. Nevermind. But you aren’t Omahagal. I think you are Omahgirl…
And I really don’t think it’s the 460 mile distance separating us that is causing the problem. I think if I was in Omaha walking her through this, we’d still both have the same frustration. But I persisted because Marjorie is my biggest fan and perhaps my only reader. She is also my worst promoter. “Check out my daughter’s blog. She’s on Blog.com."
But it got me thinking: I may not be that much different from her. When I started reading about the art of blogging (because apparently there is an art to it), I discovered that blogging alone is not enough. It’s not even enough to have your own confused promoter in your corner. No. You need to be on Reddit and StumbleUpon and Digg and a whole lot of other sites I’ve never heard of. You need to find forums and chat groups. Reach out to your Google plus group of friends (I’m pretty sure I didn’t sign up for the plus version of Google). When my friends all told me “you should start a blog”, I should have shot back with, “you start one first and let me know how it goes”. When did I become Mikey from the Life cereal commercial?
It looks to me like I’m screwed. Not just because I have no inkling about how to do any of this, but also because my computer whiz (aka my 15-year-old daughter) is away at camp. Why, oh why did I send my Help Desk personnel away for the summer? Oh, I remember: the eye-rolling and money doling was taking a toll on me. But did I really have to substitute a surly teenager for a head-spinning adventure into the Blogosphere? I must be a glutton for punishment.
So to recap: I have no computer support, no clue how to self-promote and an avid fan who can’t connect to my work. I’ve also got that same fan expressing concern about me showing a photo of myself on my blog. I’m not sure who she thinks I’ll attract: Crazed lunatics? Blog stalkers? Did I mention that Marjorie watches a lot of NCIS and Criminal Minds?
I’m still on the fence about posting a photo. On the one hand, I think it can help the reader connect to the blogger, like when I start a book and then immediately flip to the back cover to see what the author looks like. On the other hand, blogging is all about sharing your most intimate self so maybe it’s okay to keep your appearance a bit of a mystery. Leave some things to the imagination.
Should I decide to show my mug to the world, I think I’ll call Marjorie first. You know, give her a heads up.
Me: Marge, I have given careful consideration to your concerns about a photo, and I agree that it’s just not worth the risk. What? You want to read my second blog posting? Yep, that’s right. It’s on Blog.com
More from entertainment