When I made my What Does the Kid Say video a few months ago, I tossed up my blog as a landing page for the video. Shockingly, the video went viral and the blog took off, but (SHHHHHH) truth be told I wasn't exactly an expert blogger. I'd written thousands of articles for Nickelodeon and other websites, but I'd never blogged before. And blogging, lemme tell ya, is a whole different animal. So I turned to veteran blogger and fellow writer in the I Just Want to Be Alone Book, Nicole Leigh Shaw of Ninjamomblog.com, to give me her best blogging tips. I mean, with a blog name like that, the chick has gotta know her stuff*, right?
*As long as “stuff” isn’t algebra.
Hi, Nicole! How long have you been blogging?
Hi, Deva! What time is it? Just kidding, I haven’t tracked my blogging life to the minute, that would be crazy. (I just track the hours, 86,658, by the way.) I started with a personal Web site in 2004 when I got pregnant with my first when we were living far from friends and family and I wanted a way to tell them what color I was planning to paint the nursery (dappled leaf). After a while I decided to take my humor public, even if that meant leaving the personal details behind, like my kids names and faces, and putting other personal details in the fore, like my sagging belly. Ninja Mom Blog was born in April of 2010. That’s about 10 years of internet narcissism and typos.
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging publicly because I wanted to become a professional writer. And to be insulted by strangers.
What’s the best piece of blogging advice you’d give a new blogger?
Don’t do it for the money. So very few bloggers actually make a lot of money from blogging. Do it, first, because you enjoy it. THEN, when you realize it’s a lot of unpaid work with very little reward, put ads on your blog and DO IT FOR THE MONEY. Which there isn’t much of, so you should really try to simplify and get back the parts of blogging you enjoy. Repeat.
No, seriously, there’s nothing wrong with making money blogging, I do, but the day that doing it for the joy of writing and entertaining people is no longer my priority, I’m logging off.
What is the worst piece of blogging advice you've ever received?
I got a lot of haters when my videos went viral. How do you handle the trolls?
Oh, man, the haters. The best way to avoid them is to never, ever, ever do good work that goes viral. That was your first mistake. IF you do find yourself in the public eye (or ire), it’s always best to ignore trolls. With no exception. Do not engage. But, if you do engage, make sure not to have any typos in your response. Nothing kills a witty zinger like typing “your probably too busy emerging from the primordial ooze to understand this . . .” A troll is going to immediately give you a lecture about the proper use of your and you’re, proving once and for all that he’s write and you are what’s wrong with America, and then you’ll have to live with trolls and grammar shaming.
When that fails, delete or ban them altogether. They are welcome to their opinions, but you aren’t obligated to hear them. You’re not a telemarketer.
Do you think your kids are going to hate you when they grow up and read all the crap you wrote about them? Are you worried about it?
I’m pretty easy on them, I think. I hope. I try not to write about their truly personal stuff and to write more about what’s a happening with me as a mother. That said, I’m saving up for their therapy bills. But, no, I don’t worry about it.
What was your biggest f-up as a blogger to date?
I’m very engaged with a lot of bloggers online, but I can’t always keep them straight. Twice I’ve managed to temporarily confuse someone with another person. Once was very public at a book signing and I’m pretty sure she’ll never let me live it down. The second was excitedly telling someone I’d linked to them in a post when I’d actually linked to someone else altogether. The moral is: never make friends online.
What was your biggest triumph?
Man, that’s a tough one. I’ve been very lucky to have some high highs. I was in two stage shows last year, Listen to Your Mother in Valparaiso, IN and That’s What She Said in Champaign, IL. I was in the first anthology put together by our fearless editor, Jen Mann, I Just Want to Pee Alone. And I'm in the follow up book, I Just Want to Be Alone. Which you know because you're in it too. I shot a teaser reel for a TV show that didn’t make it, but still. I write professionally for NickMom and other outlets who pay me to be an internet clown. I finally grew out my layers. The list goes on.
AND I GOT TO FAKE INTERVIEW DEVA DALPORTO. Check it out!
Thank you to Nicole Leigh Shaw! Fabulous lady, brilliant blogger and a chick I am thrilled to call a co-author!