The world of online friendships is not one I ever thought I would enter. I’m kind of of that old school mindset that thinks meeting people online is slightly dodgy. More and more though I am coming round to it. For me, its all in how you go about it.
Through the last few years of blogging I have made several friends. I’ve met up wth some of them and have plans to meet others when the opportunity arises. I’m involved in a few little online communities and really enjoy the virtual meetups in the form of joining linkies or Twitter chats.
Making friends through blogging is not something I set out to do or felt the need to pursue. It is certainly not a must. You can be happy blogging away without any onlone friends.
But as in real life, friends can happen upon you. You exchange a few words, something clicks and you end up as friends without much effort or plan. That, I find, is the key to blogger friendships. You have to let it happen as it happens.
Here are my dos and don’ts of making blogger friends.
- Engage on social media and with comments on blog posts to get to know people
- Share posts, retweet and support others online, just as you do with your real life friends
- Be consistent. If you are regularly in contact with someone, don’t just abandon them. If you can’t make it to their linky or join in a chat, let them know what you are away.
- Drop a line to say hi. Like I said above, just like you do with other friends
- Tag a friend in a #widn (what I’m doing now) Instgram
- Be sincere in all you do
- Hound people. No one likes clingyness. If you have been in touch with another blogger, give them a chance to reply to you in their own time.
- Flatter people for flattery’s sake.
- Name drop
- Put up a false front. Be yourself, maybe a tad more confident, but yourself nonetheless
That is really all it takes.
I read a lot of blogs and for the most part I enjoy them. There are a couple of things that put me off though, top of the list being bad grammar and spelling. It doesn’t just put me off the blog. It kind of puts me off any sponsors they work with too, unfortunately.
I’m lucky that I had a brilliant teacher when I was nine. She made sure that the whole class knew our grammar inside out and backways. Her technique was the old-fashioned learn by heart method, but she did her best to make sure we understood what we were learning, and it has stuck with me ever since. I’m not claiming to be an expert by any means but I do have a reasonable grasp of what is right and what is wrong.
A lot of people weren’t as lucky as I was and never got a good grounding in grammr. So for those, here are a few basic tips that should help you.
- I or me? This is an easy one to sort out. We all know which to use if we are just talking about outselves but if we add in another person, is it I or me we should use? “Me and Emma went to the shop” or “Emma and I went to the shop” The answer is simple. Leave out the other person for a moment and ask yourself which sounds right. Then you’ll come to the correct conclusion. It is “I went to the shop”, not “Me went to the shop”, therefore it also “Emma and I went to the shop”. Equally, it is “She walked away from me” not “from I”, so it is also “She walked away from Emma and me”.
- Your or you’re? If you use an apostrophe (‘), it is to show that something is missing. In this case, it is the A in “are” because “you’re” means “you are”. “Your” means belonging to you. If in doubt as to which to use, ask yourself which suits the context better “you are” [you’re] or “belonging to you” [your].
- “Their” or “there”. Again, this is easily solved. “Their” means “belonging to them” and “there” means at a certain place. If you have trouble remembering which spelling is correct, try remembering “Where? There!”.
- When to use an apostrophe s (‘s). The thing to think about here is whether you are referring to the plural of something (one blog, two blogs – no apostrophe), an action (he blogs, she blogs – no apostrophe) or belonging to someone /something (the blog’s name – use an apostrophe). For example:
- One mother, two mothers – plural – no apostrophe
- She mothers him – action – no apostrophe
- My mother‘s handbag – belonging to – apostrophe
- Spelling in general – if you are unsure of how to spell something, check it. It only takes a moment but make a big different to how your readers react to your writing. One example would be pore over / pour over. Which do you use to say that you spent ages going through the Sunday papers and which do you use to describe what you did with your custard and apple tart? If you are unsure, type the phrase nto Google and you’ll soon find which is which.
I hope these tips help a little. If you have any particular grammar problems, leave me a comment and I’ll try to help you.
Like many other things in this world, blogs come in all shapes and sizes, colours and styles. But if you look at a lot of them, you notice trends, just like in any other industry.
I like to compare blogs to coffee shops. Personally, I like the small ones. The home bakery type where not everything is perfect or the most modern but where the owner is obviously involved, knows their customers, welcomes new visitors and does all their own buying. This is where I feel most at home.
But then there are the big ones. The ones that mean business. They are bang up-to-date and have all the mod cons. Their range is great, they have things you never knew existed and now you want them now too. They even have a loyaly card and would LOVE you to sign up.
But are they lacking soul?
Somehow the “Hi, how are you today?” doesn’t feel as sincere as it does in the small, homey cafe. The menu is always the same and there is a tinge of routine to it all.
But back to blogs. Clean lines and clear navigation have their benefits, there is no doubt about that. But colour, quirkiness and something a little out of the ordinary make a blog memorable.
There is no rule that says you have to appeal to the masses, so dare to be different. If you like to pack a lot into your blog, then do.