Shakespeare on Blogging

This guest post is by Leanne of IronicMom.com.

Although Shakespeare wouldn’t have known words like Twitter, social media, and blogging, he no doubt would’ve embraced these new terms. After all, he coined an estimated 1700 words and had a lot of fun playing with language.

But what do you get when you take Shakespeare’s words out of context and apply them to blogging? You get sage advice that has—in its own way—survived more than 400 years.

Here are words from the Bard, applied to blogging.

On the length of posts

Brevity is the soul of wit.
(Hamlet)

Translation: Keep posts and paragraphs short.

On posting too infrequently

I wasted time, and now time doth waste me.
(Richard II)

Translation: Post regularly, or your blog’s energy and following will wither away.

On finding images

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.
(Hamlet)

Translation: Ensure your image is related to your content; if it’s not obvious, use a caption make the connection.

On the importance of blog design

The apparel oft proclaims the man.
(Hamlet)

Translation: Appearance is important. If you wouldn’t wear 35 accessories, don’t put that many on your blog.

On content

More matter, with less art.
(Hamlet)

Translation: Photos and images are important, but fantastic content is what keeps readers returning.

On avoiding controversial topics

Boldness be my friend!
(Cymbeline)

Translation: Don’t be overly afraid of divisive topics; they can attract and engage readers. Deal with them maturely, and invite readers to disagree.

On commenting

They do not love that do not show their love.
(Two Gentleman of Verona)

Translation: Ensure you read and comment intelligently on other people’s posts. Blogging is about building relationships, and—if you’re genuine—commenting is the best way to do so.

On dealing with hostile comments

I am not bound to please thee with my answers.
(The Merchant of Venice)

Translation: Hostile comments are rarely fun to deal with. It’s usually best to remember that you don’t have to please; instead, aim to critique the idea, rather than the person.

On being preoccupied with statistics

All that glitters is not gold.
(The Merchant of Venice)

Translation: While stats do indeed glitter, they don’t tell the whole story of a blog’s success. Check them, use them to improve your blog, but don’t let them distract you from writing and building community.

On verifying your sources

Lord, what fools these mortals be.
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Translation: Don’t immediately trust what other people have put on the Web. For example, there are several quotations from seemingly reputable sites that are attributed to Shakespeare; cross-referencing revealed the quotes aren’t all his.

On the need to proofread

What’s done can’t be undone.
(Macbeth)

Translation: Think before you hit publish; ideally, leave your post 24 hours and reread it again.

On helping other bloggers

How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.
(The Merchant of Venice)

Translation: Find someone less established to help out; this is the spirit of blogging.

Leanne’s motto is “If you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids”; you can read her attempt to survive parenting at IronicMom.com. Leanne also co-created the website, WordBitches, where she and two friends use sass to motivate each
other to write 500 words each day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *