What to Blog? My story about Peter

Filed in Blogging 16 comments

Fathering a son: what's more important than that?

Fathering a son: what's more important than that?

Many of my students have begun blogs, and their first questions seem to revolve around, “How do I get more readers?” and “How do I get people to comment?”

My standard answers have been these three:

* Comment on other people’s blogs

* Announce your new posts on Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, and LinkedIn

* Enable a more user-friendly comment device.

However, after reading several of their posts, I have another simple answer — but, first, a story:

My Story about Peter

Several years ago, when I was teaching beginning journalism students at Southwest Missouri State, the students’  daily chore was to write in a log. And I read them.

Big mistake: both the assignment and me spending time reading them.

When left to their own devices . . . students wrote about such earth-shattering events as breaking up with their boyfriends and flushing letters down the toilet to buying a pair of boots at the mall to the scores of basketball games in the local conference. Needless to say, I was questioning my sanity for having asked for these papers.

Until Peter, that is.

Peter wrote plays and poetry. Peter analyzed the news. Peter shared intelligent conversations he had had with friends. Peter reported on books and articles he was reading.

And his writing was so flawless that I was envious.

But I loved reading his stuff and looked forward to every entry.

I was in awe of his talent and wondered what I could offer him.

So I went to several of my colleagues to ask their opinions; one comment stood out: “Peter’s stuff is good because he writes about things that are important and interesting.”

When you blog — and you want people to read and comment — WRITE ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING.

Why write about anything else?

Next post: The rewards of listening carefully

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   2 August 2009
Tags : , , , , , , ,
Comments
Aug 2, 2009
3:12 pm

Yeah, it makes sense to me. I mean who wants to read about someone boy friend dumping them lol

Aug 6, 2009
4:33 pm
#2 Caroll Vongsouthi :

Ok, Thanks for getting me to think. I haven’t blogged in a week and my momentum is sadly starting to so down. I’ve thought about switching over to WordPress. I’m nervous to come up with the conclusion that blogging isn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, it does bring me a lot of joy to post something, so I want to continue.

But after taking your class, I really want to improve the content I’m putting out there. I began reading up on more news and finding out what my interests are. My life has been so consumed with work, school and interning that I think I may have forgotten what my interests are.

Aug 10, 2009
12:32 am
#3 Jessica Bux :

You are so right! That is exactly my struggle in opening a blog: “What if no one come to my blog?” I worry, so I don’t have a blog. Since I am not an expert writer, it is hard for me to write something interesting and important.

Aug 10, 2009
6:03 pm
#4 Jessica Lim :

This entry reminded me of when I was in high school. I had a Xanga blog account and wrote about all these earth-shattering events because I just wanted to vent to the public, but not necessarily drive traffic to my page. Needless to say, I closed that account when I entered college and never again have I written anything like that to be posted publicly.

From taking both your advertising and public relations classes, I have great inspiration from you by teaching us all aspects of social media. Unfortunately, I have yet to start a blog because I feel a little intimidated by what seems to be the endless list of rules to abide by with blogging. This includes not knowing what to write about, incorporating key words, having eye catching headlines, etc. However, I do know you would tell each and every one of us to “JUST DO IT!” Once summer session is over, I will surely take that advice.

Aug 10, 2009
10:12 pm
#5 sharisax :

Yup, Jessica, just DO IT.
🙂
And send me the link when you do.
GOOD LUCK,
Shari

Aug 11, 2009
12:32 am

Yeah, it makes sense to me. I mean who wants to read about someone boy friend dumping them lol

GOOD LUCK.

Oct 9, 2009
11:07 pm
#7 Rhonesha V :

I believe that If people want to write about their boyfriend/girlfriend dumping them or what kind of shoes they bought at the mall, they can. Some people may find that interesting.

I think it depends on how the author writes it. If I ran across a blog about a woman who was dumped by her boyfriend and it sounded like an emotional 11-year-old girl, I probably wouldn’t want to read it.

May 19, 2010
9:51 pm
#8 LaMesha Reed :

When I want people to comment about the things most important to me they don’t. But when it comes to something that might have been on tv, or something stupid that’s when they leave the most comments.It’s just what I think is important might not be to anyone else.

May 19, 2010
10:03 pm
#9 Erin :

I agree.Writing about things that interest people is very important. If its not interesting why would I read it. I might comment on how uninteresting it is though. Constructive criticism is always a good thing.

May 19, 2010
10:17 pm
#10 Lawrence Hazzard :

If you care about what you write, chances are it will show up in your content and thoughts. Your style and passion will guide you, it’s just being true to yourself.

May 19, 2010
10:25 pm
#11 Donald Belser :

Before I came back to school, the only thing I used a computer for was music. Social Media what? The text messing on a cell phone? No it’s the way of future communication. I remember asking myself the same questions about my blogs. Then I remember reading other topics from writers with at least a comment or two. But I now see blogging is writing for a community and exchanging views.

May 19, 2010
10:30 pm
#12 Jamilah Nottie :

If you want people to read what you post or write, grab their attention. if you are not interested in your own writing, what would make you think that someone else is going to read it.

May 19, 2010
10:43 pm
#13 Yesenia B. :

I agree with this article, and thanks for the great tip. It’s best to write from the heart, so it can be touch people instead of just being BS.

May 19, 2010
10:45 pm
#14 Ike Davis :

I like to read people’s blogs. They give information that you need or you might not understand. I comment on blogs to encourage them the writers to continue.

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