I have a weimaraner, and I have lived to tell about it! Those of you who aren’t familiar with the breed need only visit any of William Wegman’s work to recognize the sleek grey coat and dopey-eyed face. Weimaraners, albeit wild, annoying and a “handful” can teach us a great deal about the basics of being a successful blogger. My weimaraner, Linus has taught me the following blogging principles:
1. Be Enthusiastic. We all have fond memories of coming home from a long day of work, exhausted and ready to put our feet up. We open the door with a sense of exasperation only to see that happy dogface and enthusiastic tail thumping and wagging away. The thing about Linus is that he takes enthusiasm to a new level. When you come home, he doesn’t just wag and smile, he jumps on the couch, runs into the kitchen, the back again, tap dances with all four paws and smiles a big, gaping smile letting you know that he is PUMPED you are home.
We should approach our blogs with the same amount of enthusiasm. Okay, you don’t have to pee a little on the floor to let your audience know how excited you are. But if you’re not showing that you’re happy to be there, your audience won’t stay long. And that whole curmudgeon sense of humor only works for certain people, like Lewis Black, and even with him it’s waning. Be enthusiastic.
2. Be Yourself. My dog is an idiot. But he KNOWS he’s an idiot and he owns it. He’s the best idiot dog I know. He constantly hits his head on the kitchen table, slips on the living room floor and fumbles up the steps. He forgets to use his tongue when he drinks water, and tries to use his teeth, and he forgets the commands we’ve gone over again and again.
I’m not telling you to broadcast your ignorance, but if you don’t know something about your niche, field, or market you certainly shouldn’t pretend to. What’s more, if you’re lacking in an area of expertise, don’t cover it up. Embrace it, and use it to start a dialogue with your readers, or research it and discover something you never knew.
3. Be Loyal. Already I’ve established that Linus is dumb, dopey and silly. But I haven’t touched on his greatest asset. Linus is loyal. We’ve all read Marley and Me and the tales of camaraderie that occur between master and dog, but Linus’ loyalty is unsurpassed and lies in his utmost love and devotion to me and my husband. He never falters in his loyalty to us, and he never will.
Approach your blog with the same consistent loyalty. If you aren’t loyal to your blog, and only post “every sooften” your audience will view it even less. Make the commitment to blog regularly, and don’t falter in your loyalty.
If you’re contemplating starting a blog, or want to revisit your existing blog, follow these simple principles. Be enthusiastic, be yourself, and be loyal. And if you ever falter, take a step back, look up to the sky and think to yourself, “What Would Linus Do?”