If you’re a blogger, you have a choice: Make things better or make them worse. You can either be a constructive part of the community while achieving your goals (world domination, your very own fan club, a book deal, the need to never leave your house, etc.) OR you can be a leaky pipe in the plumbing of creativity/the person everyone feels embarrassed for and only responds to out of pity or awkward obligation. You do not want to be this person.
But Aussa, I have self-esteem issues and now I feel like everyone hates me/I kind of hate you?
Calm thyself. A true asshole would never click on a Non-Asshole Blogger Guide unless they’re just here to take screenshots and say mean things about me elsewhere on the internet (see Facebook for plenty of unflattering photos, haters). So you’re probably fine. But to be sure, just avoid doing any of the following:
1. Beg or Shame People into Reading or Promoting You
This makes top of the list because its the #1 vomit-inducing thing I see in my newsfeed/email inbox. Our goal here is for people to read our words and be like “yes, so much this” and then want to keep reading + tell their billions of friends about it. Our goal is NOT to be the person who makes people feel like shit and/or everyone avoids because you’re incapable of having a conversation without talking about how no one is tweeting about you. STOP IT.
There are people— like me— who are terrible at saying “no” to someone (unless that person is a full fledged asshole, in which case it’s a “fuck no” to them) and will give in to your antics and then go out of our way to tell you “hey no big deal :)” But guess what— we are liars. You’re annoying. Unless someone has specifically said “hey let me know when you have something for me to share online and I will share it” then STOP IT.
2. Assume What You’re Doing Is More Important Than What Everyone Else is Doing
Like many of you, I go to work every day. *knocks on wood* This is how I make American cash dollars to pay for my blogging habit. If there was a way for me to make the same amount of money without having to do anything other than whatever I felt like, don’t you think I would do it? Wouldn’t we all do it?
Then DON’T— for the love of blog, DON’T— start hitting up every single person you have interacted with online and asking them to support you “for the price of a cup of coffee every day” so you can stay home and write full time. Seriously? I’m paying for my own ridiculous life, I’m not adding yours to the list.
3. Link Drop in Facebook Groups
If you’re not on Facebook (what kind of mythical creature ARE you?) this won’t make sense to you, but if you are then you’re probably in at least fifty thousand Facebook groups, half of which are dedicated to blogging. Almost all of these groups have rules against “link dumping,” but this doesn’t stop the League of Asshole Bloggers (I just made that up and need to trademark it) from going in every single group and dropping a link. STOP IT.
This does not make it okay: “Hope it’s okay for me to leave this here *smiley*”
It especially doesn’t make it okay when I’m also in every single one of those same groups and see your gross link dumping en masse with the same “I’m pretending like I don’t know what I’m doing so that I don’t have to come to terms with my own assholeness.”
4. Be A Sore Loser When Someone Else Accomplishes Something
This has to be the least attractive feature of our humanity. When you feel the Green Eyed Monster roaring up inside of you, you have to KILL it. At the very least, if you’re going to simmer with envy and self-poison, don’t. tell. anyone. about. it. Keep that shit to yourself, otherwise we know exactly what’s going on:
“Mother of 3 goes viral for article on how she is embracing ‘Peter Pan Parenting’ and then appears on television and is awarded a book deal”
You write a blog post/tweet/facebook post that says something along the lines of:
“I don’t understand why the world pays so much attention to shallow and useless things like a Disney style of parenting. It’s not even an original idea. I’m over here writing true literature and no one wants to interview me on TV.” STOP IT.
5. Fish For Compliments
Hey, I like compliments too. I like it when one of my friends is like “heyyyy girl that dress tho” or a random person is like “I love your bag!” It’s like a little cloud descends out of heaven so I can hitch a ride and float along, tossing my hair for all the world to know that oh yes, I have great taste.
What makes compliments so magical is that another human decided, on their own, to say something nice to you. It’s unaffected and unmanufactured and full of goodness.
You know what ruins all this frothy wonder? Asking for them.
Please please please don’t write an entire blog post about how you’re ugly and then post a photo of yourself with an hour’s worth of cosmetic efforts. When people tell you “no, you’re gorgeous!” and “this is so brave,” it does not count. STOP IT.
Look, I know we’re all mentally ill to some extent and maybe this is a neurosis you want to hold onto, and that’s fine. I still do some asshole things sometimes too. But I’d like to invite you to live in a world where you just do the things you want to do and live how you want to live without trying to compel other people to behave however you want to make them behave. Just give it a try, okay? It feels a lot better than someone telling you how pretty you are.
6. Threaten to Quit Blogging So People Will Tell You Not To
For every “no, you can’t quit!” reply there is someone like me who is staring at the screen with cartoon eyes narrowed, internally screaming “THEN QUIT ALREADY!”
7. Complain Loudly About How Low Your Traffic Is/You Don’t Have a Following
Okay so this is similar to #2 except you’re not targeting and manipulating a specific person. You’re just cluttering the internets with your annoying complaints. This is like every other thing in life— you can either waste your energy on complaining about a situation, or you can change it.
Caveat: We are all allowed to have occasional bouts of self pity. Hello. BUT at a certain point you have to stop wondering why the stars don’t just align for you and go out there and work your ass off. If you ARE working your ass off and nothing is happening then maybe you need to revaluate your goals and what you’re doing to achieve them.
8. Send a Follow for Follow Request
This is a total newb mistake and we all forgive you. But if you’ve been blogging for longer than 12 seconds and still go to people’s blogs and say “Hi, I love your blog, I followed it. Follow for Follow? Mine is imanasshole.blog.com” then STOP IT.
9. Stealing Shit and Not Giving Credit
Okay there are only so many ideas in this world and everyone has a different perspective on similar topics and blah blah blah all the things people say when someone has an idea copied, BUT if you straight up take someone’s creative baby and clone it? The internet will rain fire down upon you. This is what I mean:
My idea: “I will start a new weekly feature called “Aussa’s Foibles” and give a breakdown of my top 10 stupid decisions for the week (I should actually do this) and then invite my readers to share their own.”
Your idea: “I will start a new weekly feature called “Asshole’s Foibles” and give a breakdown of my top 10 stupid decisions for the week and then invite my readers to share theirs.”
I. Will. Cut. You.
If you think what I’m doing is fun and you want to do something similar and you think your readers will like it, then just say that: “I’m stealing this amaaaaazing idea from Aussa because she is amaaaaazing.”
All is forgiven.
10. Saying “Dear Reader”
Example: “And that, Dear Reader, is why I no longer sleep with Argentinian men.”
Example: “Forgive me, Dear Reader, as I go down the rabbit hole of my soul.”
STOP! NO! THIS IS THE WORST. Okay. Okay. I’m being an asshole. Do what you want, I guess.
The peacekeeper within me feels compelled to remind you of my love for every single one of you. I hope you don’t feel like I called you an asshole. Just remember, I’m a bit of an asshole too. It’s okay. We’re on this journey together.
Want more tips on how NOT to be an asshole blogger?
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