Elm’s “Top Tips” on How to Do That Blogging Thing

Why am I doing this?

Because I can.

A lot of people do lists on how to “EXPAND YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE WITH TEN SIMPLE STEPS! DO THESE AND YOU ARE GUARANTEED 500000 FOLLOWERS WITHIN A DAY!” (Okay, not really, and that’s kind of insulting… Whoops sorry)

No. I’m not doing that. I’m coming at it from the view of someone who, when I started, was literally TERRIFIED of the blogging world. I didn’t know where to go, how to write anything, how to TALK to people, and I couldn’t even follow any “how to be a good blogger” lists because I didn’t know they were out there, and I felt like they wouldn’t work and that I was just “fake” for trying to follow them. You know?

If you’re new at all of this, like I was a year ago and you’ve stumbled upon my strange thing I call a blog, then I hope these will help you. It’s based off my own experiences and from what I’ve seen, they work? And apparently I’m relatively okay at this all so I’ll trust myself for once. I’ve changed my style of writing over the past year, and I’ve changed a lot, and most of it was because of blogging and what I’ve gone through.

First off, when you start, you should TALK TO PEOPLE. That sounds like an obvious thing, but I wish someone had told me that because I was an unsocial moth before I started being Elm, and it took me a WHILE to pluck up the courage to comment on random people’s blogs. It’s a really good way to get people to visit your blog, especially if they’re new as well, but it’s also great as a way of making blog friends and just talking to people in general. That’s the main thing that makes me happy when blogging. So, comment on people’s blogs, like, follow, all of that standard shit, but also ENGAGE. Show you’re a person and that you respond to the posts.

On the subject of that, and it took me a few months to even realise this was a thing, but I’d suggest making a blog twitter and/or email. Emails made it so that I could talk to many more bloggers OUTSIDE the blogosphere itself, and it made and makes me extremely happy whenever I get an email on that account. And Twitter gets you in with the community too (“in with the community” what am I saying), and there are SO many bloggers on there. That doesn’t mean you should just “follow the herd” – it’s up to you.

You’ll probably wonder why, at some point, your posts don’t get many views. Firstly – it WILL happen with time, as clichΓ© as that is. Don’t stress about it too much, but just make categories for your blog to organise it, and tag your posts with the relevant things. It took me bloody ages to know WHAT those relevant things are, but just think: what’s my post about? Who am I writing it too? Who do I want to READ it? It’s all very well to say “tag your posts”, but if you don’t know what to tag them with, you’ll be confused as hell.

I can’t give you many tips on making your blog look pretty, because sight is something I heavily lack and my version of pretty is laughable. All I can say is, make your blog so that it looks good to YOU. You can take advice from people, but first and foremost, it’s YOURS. It would be like someone screaming at you to change everything about your appearance, until you don’t feel like yourself any more.

The main thing? The thing that has made blogging into a REALLY positive thing for me? BE. YOURSELF.

If you don’t get many views, keep writing. If you only have 10 followers, keep writing. Your blog is for YOU, to shout your thoughts onto or to get advice; to show your talents and talk about something you’re passionate about. Don’t fall into a pattern of constantly wanting to get more – more views, likes, comments – because at the end of the day, people visit your blog because of your content, or because you’re a lovely person. Keep that at the forefront of your mind, because that’s who you are.

You won’t want to do all of these, and if you don’t, you’re NOT a terrible blogger. Far from it – things work different for everyone, and something that works for me might not for you and that’s okay.

I know I’m not one to talk – I’m not professional, my grammar is sometimes attrocious, and I call myself arrogant on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean I can’t give advice when I think that my points are somewhat “valid”. Blogging can be like jumping from the bottom of a cliff to the top – it can feel impossible – but don’t give up on it. There are so many people who will support you and who KNOW what it’s like to get no comments on a post and feel terrible about it.

I hope this has somewhat helped – because though you will probably have heard it before, I wanted to put my spin on it. To explain WHY I think these tips are really good, even if they’re not new. They’re what I used; that, and just bumbling my way through a year of being REALLY personal on le blog.

As always, keep writing!

From Elm πŸ™‚

The Little Engine Tag

RIGHT, this tag is really overdue and I feel horribly guilty for not doing it sooner!

This is a brilliant tag, made by the one and only The Little Engine That Couldn’t who’s post can be found above.

The Rules:
1. Each answer you give to a question has to be more than two sentences long. Or at the very least, you have to make those two sentences meaningful.

2. There will be two bonus questions at the end, that the blogger gets to change to whatever they want to ask when they nominate someone else. The first six questions, however, are set in stone.

3. At the end you must nominate three to five other bloggers. Okay, so you don’t have to, but that would be nice if you could. (I want my blog name to spread on for all of eternity.)

4. You know how sometimes in quiet classrooms, they’ll be that one guy clicking his pen fifty times a second, and it’s annoying as hell to everyone else? Yeah, don’t be that guy. This doesn’t apply to this tag so much, but more to life in general.

YES okay this is cool ahh

The Questions:

1. What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
I DAMN well hate when people overuse ellipses. One is just fine – you know, you say, “I’m not feeling too good…” But if you do it on every single SENTENCE, I don’t know WHY but it just annoys me. I’M SORRY!

2. What is your favourite song at the moment?
There’s this song called I Found by Amber Run, and I absolutely love it. I found it by accident as well – all of the other songs on the suggested list on youtube that that song was on I didn’t especially like, but this one? I ADORE it, because of the harmonies, piano, lyrics and everything. Ahhh I could listen to it all day. I know it sounds quite miserable, but it’s so beautiful.

3. Who is your favourite blogger?
NO don’t make me pick. I LITERALLY can’t – but all of the bloggers I’ll nominate are my favourites. That’s the worst answer to a question I’ve ever written, in my life. ARGH!

4. What’s the nicest thing you’ve seen someone do recently?
I haven’t really been paying attention, but I think it would have to be when this girl went home a few days ago – not sure why but it was pretty serious – and people were so worried about her. It made me feel like our form was really caring, despite the people in it who scare me a little. But still, they just came together and asked if she was okay. Luckily, she was back at school today.

5. What’s something you regret doing?
I honestly don’t have regrets, as weird as that sounds, because I think that you learn from everything you do. However, I DO regret being so… Oblivious, when I was younger, and even two years ago. I look back on some of the things I did, and how I acted, and I feel so ashamed and irritated with myself because I was so incredibly immature. I really had no idea what kinds of things I was capable of, which is a shame really. Oh well.

6. If you could take only three items with you to a desert island, what would they be, and why?
Oh MAN, this one’s difficult. I’d probably take an instruction book on how to survive because I’m cool like that, and it’d be useful. But seriously, I’d take a sleeping bag so I wouldn’t have to sleep on just the ground, and also… A torch, not that it’d be much use. Didn’t think THAT one through… How WOULD a blind kid such as moi survive on a desert island anyway?

The bonus questions (which you can change in your own post)
7. What’s your least favourite animal, and why don’t you especially like it?
I’d say it’d have to be wasps – I KNOW they’re insects! Just go with it (WOW I’m such a shit question-answerer). It’s mainly because they scare me so much, they buzz, and also they sting MULTIPLE times. I got stung by one on a roller coaster when I was ten, so THAT was fun.

8. What’s one of your happiest memories, which you remember when things aren’t so good?
Probably when I met Rapunzel (my girlfriend, though she wasn’t at the time) for the first time. We hugged for so long, and we were shaking insanely. I’ll remember that one for a LONG time because I’ve NEVER felt so happy that something had gone right, because I didn’t think I would get to meet her and it was just so surreal.

AAAND I nominate:
1. L
2. Wannalei
3. Pixiecake
4. James
5. Penny

There you go! I hope you enjoy doing that tag, and go on and check out Matt (the creator)’s blog because it’s amazing!

From Elm πŸ™‚

In Which I Laugh so Much that I Nearly Cry

OH MAN.

Here’s the weekly “youtube video” from yours truly, and can I just say, I cringed so much whilst listening back that it’s PAINFUL.

The reason I laughed so much was because I stuttered insanely and sounded like a bloody moron. Also, if you’re wondering what the crash was a little over halfway through – that was a USB stick that I dropped. It shocked me so much that I just burst out laughing. See, THIS is why I despair for myself when I ever try to present something.

Listen to it here, if you Really REALLY want to hehe.

I hope you like it! Also, do you think the “videos” I make are too short, or too long? Feedback is appreciated! (She says, cringing violently).

From Elm πŸ™‚

I WAS MORTIFIED and I’m Also A Judgemental Prick

The mature post title really does astound me.

So, here we are again: yesterday, a situation happened which made me possibly the most embarrassed I’ve felt in a LONG time. Feel free to laugh, or sigh in disgust. Feels weird writing about things like this again.

I wrote in my post that I was angry that I got feelings for people too quickly, and that was PARTLY to do with the person I’m about to talk about. 5 days ago or so – no wait, SOME time around that I mean, maybe on Wednesday – I started talking to yet ANOTHER person online. I’ll use his real name: Kai.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, I just don’t… I’m not even going to get into how THAT happened, but I showed him my youtube channel, he showed me his, we both concluded we were quite good at writing songs and he asked me if I wanted to write a song with him. That transitioned into getting his number – and honestly, I don’t regret that part. I don’t exactly regret ANYTHING, really, except that I LIED to a few people about where I met Kai. I’m really sorry about that, if you’re reading this. I’m just a bit of an idiot when it comes to things like this.

We started talking (no SHIT SHERLOCK). With Kai, it would never have been a friends thing – I think it would have been a “casual romance” thing or a nothing. That’s mainly because I put (and he also put) three x’s at the end of texts – and if you know me, you know I NEVER do that. Ever. I barely ever put one x at the end of things as it is – that might not seem significant, but ahh well. It was ALWAYS a “flirting” thing, just I suppose to test myself, and to have things not so serious. WHY am I justifying this – it’s not bad.

I didn’t exactly have feelings for the guy. I was just CURIOUS about having feelings – you know? I’d get that leap in my chest whenever he texted, but it wasn’t based on anything solid, just an “Ohh, this could develop into something!” I like his lyrics and the MEANINGFUL things he writes about.

As you know, yesterday, I was having a bit of a freak out about myself, and was texting L about it. I sent him a text, telling him about the people I had possible feelings for – that included Kai.

BUT GUESS WHO I SENT IT TO? HMM, I DUNNO, MAYBE KAI. HMM…

I have never, EVER sworn so loudly in my life, or felt as freezing and horrified as I did. Luckily, he was fine with it and then asked if he could call. We hadn’t spoken on the phone before, so our first call was THEN – he was on a train and I couldn’t really hear him, but the subject of the text wasn’t really brought up.

So, that was all fine. I was just planning on, well, going with the flow and not doing anything about the not even feelings because I’m very stressed right now and adding to that would be pointless. I messaged him about an hour later, still horrifically mortified, and just casually asked what he was doing.

And he told me he was smoking a joint, and then asked if I minded. I said NO, NOT REALLY, AND ASKED IF HE SMOKED TOBACCO. HE SAID NO, but that if I hated him smoking he wouldn’t dream of smoking near me, which I suppose is decent.

But I do mind. I mind a lot, because I hate cannabis so so much. I know I shouldn’t, and I KNOW I shouldn’t judge people who smoke it – but I do. It’s quite immature because there are so many good people that smoke it. Why do people do it, at the risk of cancer and all types of physical and mental effects – it might not be as harmful as tobacco, but that doesn’t mean it’s HARMLESS.

Part of me felt disappointed, and then violently guilty. I suppose it’s a missed opportunity, as AWFUL as that is – I don’t even know. I just hate cannabis – mainly cause of Ash, but that’s a whole other story.

I didn’t tell many people. Willow, cause she knew about Kai before, and then my friend S and someone I can’t think of a name for – EHH I call her Rapunzel so let’s stick with it.

I don’t feel ashamed for talking to him. Right now, I’m just living my life, and trying my best to revise for my exams, so a relationship is not what I need. I think.

Well. I HOPE you somewhat enjoyed that story? I’m still rather embarrassed, but the main thing is, I’m not UPSET especially. Just a bit thoughtful.

Am I wrong for judging him so harshly, when he seems a nice-ish guy otherwise?

From Elm πŸ™‚

At LEAST It’s Under 10 Minutes

This is the most hectic and cringey thing you will EVER hear.

L came round to my house today and we made two recordings – one for my blog and one for his. If you haven’t checked his blog out yet, DO SO because it’s bloody awesome.

The recording’s really long – just under 10 minutes – but hopefully you find it “funny”. I haven’t listened to it yet because just NO, but you can listen to it here.

L then stole my phone, and made me run around my room trying to find it. UGH.

I’m so tired so I’m going to go to bed now, but I hope you have a wonderful day.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

MY HORRENDOUS VOICE

THIS RECORDING IS SO SO SHIT.

I can summarise it in a few words:

“I’M NOT JOKING YOU’RE FANTASTIC HAHAHA LOOK AT ME I’M PRETENTIOUS I SOUND LIKE A 10-YEAR-OLD I’M ONLY HUMAN EYYYY!”

So, enjoy. I’m sorry for how moronic I sound; I know this will put my annonymity on the line… WHOOPS?! I should just shut up and GIVE you the goddamned link.

It be here. If ya know me in real life, PLEASE don’t play it to me. Please? I just… This is a blog thing and a blog thing only.

ALSO, I wanted to mention everyone here, but I couldn’t. You’re all amazing and I hope you know that. SORRY for repeating myself.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Want to Hear My Horrendous Voice?

OKAY OKAY

I’ll put it out there. This was not my idea at all; I got inspired to do this by my wonderful friend L, who’s post can be found here.

This is L’s idea, and I thought it was AMAZING, and I got his permission to um, borrow it.

If you’ve read his post, you’ll know that he made a recording of his voice to show you guys. Which, by the way, is AWESOME AS HELL.

And the big question is: would you be interested in hearing MY voice? HAHAHA that sounds so weird what the HELL; what am I DOING?!

WOW THE ARROGANCE IS REAL

We’ve already established I’m royally SHIT at staying annonymous, but I won’t be showing my face. God knows what I’ll talk about, but if you guys want me to, I can put it up tomorrow.

And if I do, I want to make it special. I want the first time you hear my voice – or one of the times, for some of you – to be something you listen to and take something from. They’re the same words, but I’ll be speaking them. Expect a few shoutouts also, UGH I HATE THAT WORD.

So, is it a good idea?

Casually being scared as hell here.

From Elm πŸ™‚

ZZZZZZ ZZZZZ and Pretending to Do Exercise

So, a LOT happened today. Let me explain, expand, WHATEVER; I’m tired.

I branched out a lot. OH MY GOD SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!

I’m in year 11, and the year above us – sixth formers – set up what we affectionately called “The Gay Club”, or “Cweer Club” – spelt with a c because we’re cool or something. I went, along with… 8 of my friends? Or rather, 8 people from my group.

It was absolutely amazing, but it was more amazing because no teachers were there and we didn’t have to cringe whilst talking about our “coming out!” stories. I would have just walked out otherwise. It was nothing like you’d expect it to be, cause we were all just shouting and making morons of ourselves. It was great though, because I was around a LOT of my friends, and some people I didn’t know. It ended up with our friend – think I called her Swan once so let’s stick with it – SHRIEKING with laughter, then Wren and a few others changing the name of the club to ZZZZZZ ZZZZZ with different accents over each Z, so it’s pronounced “Cweer club”. No, I have no idea either.

The other thing that happened was in PE, I made a friend. Sort of. She’s what I’d term “popular”, so I’m a bit scared of her, but she, Willow and I just talked for the entire lesson. I never would have thought that she’d be just so nice, and she knows that Ash and I have issues and seemed to understand. We’re trying to get Willow a date for prom, and it was lovely to have that shared goal with someone. Remind me to talk to her again, and to do things like that more often.

I seem to be talking to more people, and it’s making me really happy. There aren’t many things I’m okay with in terms of myself, but this is one of them. I’m almost brave enough to talk to whoever I’d like – one step at a time, though.

Was your day good? S’m still reeling in shock from yesterday – HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?!

From Elm πŸ™‚

Weird Things About This Part of the Blogging World

I was going to do a “THINGS ONLY BLOGGERS UNDERSTAND!” post but I thought I might throw up if I did that, because I’d feel like I’m trying to cater to an audience, which is NOT how I roll.

Even THIS is making me question things. What’s a “part” of the blogging world?

Aren’t we all connected? Which part am I talking about? Teen bloggers, or just me, or just the people I know and what I’ve seen? THAT’s subjective, and there are plenty of teens I haven’t found yet – AHEM that sounds strange shh.

But just go with it. The “part” I’m talking about? Interpret that how you will. My head hurts and thinking about it too much makes me feel strange. After all, this is just MY take on things. And screw lists; let’s do paragraphs. I hate disorganisation oh my god

If you know the bloggers I know, you’ve seen the word blogosphere floating around. I use it, my friend L uses it, and so does a LOT of other people. But WHERE did it come from?

I used it a lot before, but I wasn’t the first. I have no idea who was, but if you think it’s you, WELL DONE because it’s a “common” word now. I’m not even sure who uses it; it just seems to be the word we use.

Also, everyone seems to know everyone else. Here, I’m just talking about the teens I know because I’m an exclusionist fuck, but here are some bloggers and I guarantee you’re going to (or you may, GOD I’m so superior-sounding) recognise them.

Luna, LyfWithEm, Ateenagediaryonline, Reine. See? There are just some common names floating around, that you know instantly. I’m talking GENERALLY here, not everyone. In award posts, I read them and often recognise the majority of names, and blogseaand it makes me wonder why.

This isn’t weird, it’s just lovely. When someone’s down, you can ALWAYS see an amazing comment from someone. We all come together to support this person, whoever they are. I LOVE that.

What other things have you noticed about the bit of the blogging world you’re in? Maybe it’s the same as mine, or maybe you’ve got an entirely different interpretation. It’s a crazy place, but it makes me happy.

HANG ON

IM 10 AWAY from 1000 STOP WHAT

Anyway, I’ll just crawl away now… Oh yeah, have you noticed that when someone makes a post flailing with happiness about the amount of followers they have, NO MATTER how many it is, people congratulate them? It’s amazing and how it should be. 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000. Same amount of congratulations for each one.

From Elm πŸ™‚