Blogging can be fun, entertaining and educational. It can also be addictive and sometimes distracting. How do you balance real-life with cybertainment? What makes a blog so entertaining anyway?
D-Dawg (Denae in real life) is a long-time blogger who seems to have a few of the answers. Her blog is highly entertaining and completely random. A great mix of funny observations on life along with lots of deeply inspiring thoughts. Plus cute shots of her blogogenic family.
You never know what you are going to get when you click into D-Dawg's world...and that's what makes it so fun!
Here are Denae's thoughts on blogging with boundaries...
#1--I know you've been blogging for a long time. How and why did you get started? Did you ever think you'd have SO many readers and make so many new friends?
I started blogging almost 3 years ago. It was a cold winter’s day in Utah where I was visiting my techno-savvy brother. After a deliciously satisfying turkey dinner, he said to me, “Sit down and start a blog.” He handed me his laptop and the rest is history.
At the time I didn’t even know what a blog was and I didn’t know anyone else who blogged, so I had no idea that I would make friends, or meet new people, or have so much fun with it!
#2--What are the pros of sharing your life on a weblog? How about the cons?
I like to pretend that I am writing this blog for posterity and/or to keep a record of my family, but really, it is all for me. It is my thoughts, my place to vent, my hobby, my break from the real world, my pictures and my entertainment.
The pros are (I won’t lie) getting comments from so many fun and interesting people, getting a good laugh from commenters, hearing others’ opinions, advice and experiences, keeping a record of my daily life that I know I’ll go back and read many times, feeling supported through struggles, and hearing from random people from my life who read my blog and enjoy it-- I love that. There are so many pros!!
The cons are worrying about privacy/safety, and trying to keep up on so many great blogs. That part is hard.
#3--How do you decide what to post? Are there topics or experiences you consider off-limits? What do you think makes a good post?
Whenever there is a thought stuck in my mind for more than a day I have to write about it. I usually sit down and post something at night and whatever has been on my mind all day is what you get!
There are definitely topics that are off limits. I would tell you what they are, but I can’t talk about them because they are off-limits.
I think a good post is short and sweet with a great picture to go along with it. Also, I love lighthearted posts that make me laugh. I have definitely written my share of serious posts, and I love thought-provoking ones, too, but really my favorite are the funny ones!
#4--When you are tapping away on your keyboard, who are you writing for? Yourself? Your children? Friends? Who is your imagined audience? How does that affect what you say?
When I am typing away I am actually thinking of no one in particular. I’m just getting it out! I’m sure sometimes I write for someone else, but mostly it is just for me. It’s my therapy.
When I’ve written about my miscarriages and baby woes I’ve definitely thought of the women who have emailed me and shared their stories. So many women have reached out to me and helped me so much through this! I think about them a lot and hope that I can help someone like they’ve helped me.
#5--What are the best "techno tricks" you have discovered for making your blog more interesting?
As far as techno-tricks go, I like to keep my sidebar and blog simple so it’s easy to load. I love my label cloud and I love messing around with new headers, but that is about it! Oh wait, I also love to make blurb books. It takes a little time, but is so worth it.
#6--What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who is just starting her own blog?
For someone just starting out:
*Do not use your full first and last name as the URL.
*Find your own blog personality. Don’t copy or try to be someone else. Do what you want to do for yourself, and don’t worry about who will like it. If you like it, that’s all that matters!
*Write for yourself and let it all out. Honesty and openness helps and heals everyone involved. I often think about this quote from Gordon B. Hinckley "You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience." That’s what I think a blog should be.
#7--How often do you work on your blog? How do you balance your cyberlife with the real world?
I work on my blog usually once a day, at night when my kids are in bed. My goals are to not be on the computer when my kids are home from school, and to hang out with my husband for a while every night.
Also, I try not to blog on weekends. Let’s face it, people, there are too many blogs out there to keep up! I only read people I like. If a blog doesn’t make me feel good, I don’t read it. And I only comment sometimes. Please forgive me for not commenting on every post. I have to put my real family first, even though I love my blogging family too!
P.S. I am not perfect at my goals.But D-Dawg! That's exactly why we all love you...