Act Your Age on Your Blog!

Your blog should reflect your age. By blog I mean your whole blog: your posts, your comments (read: possible arguments with other people), your blog’s design, and the general objectives of your blog.

That’s the summary of this whole post. Of course, there will be follow-up questions to that. Like “what does acting my age mean, writing-wise?” or “what should I not be saying if my age is so and so?” So let’s be a little more specific.

Why Should I Act My Age?

It’s the same reason you want to be successful. Success—for yourself and for your blog—is best earned by keeping it real. Peppering your paragraphs with ROFLCOPTER!!!111one and :D:D:D:D while discussing the latest technology news (unless you were being sarcastic or l33t), or posing as a driving expert when you haven’t earned a license yet are two situations that have something in common: they’re very awkward to look at, readers will notice immediately and leave. It’s basic manners to be mature enough and age-smart.

I do not have anything against smilies and other types of l33tspeak. Just use them in the appropriate context.

What Has Age Got To Do With My Blog?

Not much, except that it’s part of your blogging persona. If people know you’re a sixteen year-old girl who likes gossip and all things cute. Visitors probably won’t fault you for excessive ranting, grammar and punctuation mistakes, a narrow vocabulary, logic loopholes, and yes, glittering animated GIFs on the background. But if they find out you’re actually ten years older, they’d start raising their eyebrows for two things: first, if you claimed to be a sixteen-year-old then you lied, and second, you lack maturity. Their trust has been ruined on two counts, so how are they supposed to take your blog seriously anymore?

How Should I Act My Age?

We’ve already discussed truthfulness and trust. Don’t claim to be someone you’re not, and don’t think you can get away with doing anything you want on your blog. The next step is context and a dash of manners.

Keep smilies, swear words, and other informal language out of serious pieces (news, essays, technical discussions). On the other hand, if you wish to get through to your audience as clearly and comfortably as possible, try loosening things up a bit. See what appeals to them and use that to your advantage. Make them comfortable enough to realize that “hey, this blog speaks my language” as opposed to “hey, this blog is full of big, pretentious words.” We don’t want pretentiousness. (And we go back to trust and truthfulness!)

What’s My Age Again?

I’m not really sure. But remember this: if this thirteen-year-old blogger can write without sounding too childish or too amateurish, then why can’t you?

Originally posted on May 23, 2007 @ 5:00 pm