Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Remedial Blog School: Your Questions Lovingly Answered

Welcome Back to Remedial Blog School.

If you've been following along with us from the beginning, you should by now feel Welcomed, decided on what to name your blog and URL and whether you are going to be anonymous or not, and know how to write an excellent post.

Our work is almost done!

Today, I am answering an excellent filled-with-questions email that I received from honor roll student Vicki. Vicki is a fellow Russian. And she married a Russian, apparently because she hasn't read my Do Not Marry Russians post. Although to be fair, I haven't written it yet. Anyway. Please check out Vicki's blog, I've been hesitant to leap into it because she's an economist and I was all intimidated, but then she blogged about the difference between Russian and American dating and I was hooked.

And now, let's learn along with Vicki (rhymes with Nicki!) in Remedial Blog School.

* How long after you started blogging did you start making enough money to hire a maid AND buy Nicki?

I've been blogging for approximately seven months beforeI was able to afford Nicki. It really helped that Nicki was a used cat and had lower "adoption processing fees" of about $70. The maid question is a cruel reminder that (a) I don't have a maid (b) I could never afford to hire one on my blogging income (c) Vicki is an economist.

* How did you decide what you wanted to blog about? How did you even know you wanted to blog?

I started to blog because I read Julie & Julia,which chronicles Julie Powell's journey in making all the Julia Child recipes and blogging about it, and which has since been made into a major motion picture. Sure, that's a coincidence.

I loved the idea of blogging and after rejecting the "Emeril & Marinka" rip-off blog, I settled into the "mommy blogger" by default.

* Do your parents/family (aside from Husbandrinka) know your blog exists? Do they talk shit about you at family gatherings?

Of course they talk shit about me, they have speech and they've met me.

Husbandrinka and my parents all know about the blog. Husbandrinka has no interest whatsoever in it, and has never read it. My father used to read it until the day that he told me that he didn't like it because it was superficial and I banned him from it. Every once in a while he will ask me how it's going and I'll say "great, by the way, I blogged about your circumcision, you're cool with that, right?" and he'll say, "absolutely. It was the best thing I've ever done."

I suspect my mother considers blogging one notch above heroin addiction, except less cerebral, so she's never read my blog.

* How do you decide how to describe Russian cultural/language stuff to your audience, which seems to be predominantly American (or at least non-Russian) so as to not alienate them, but also not bog down your narrative or whatevs?

I link to Wikipedia a lot and then I make stuff up. Until recently, I didn't have any Russian readers, so I could get away with it. Now I'll have to be more accurate. Thanks a lot. And I was born in Russia, so obviously I milk that as much as possible. OMG, are you saying that my narrative is bogged down with motherland crap?

* How did you find the right tone for your blog? Did being anonymous give you the right push you needed to be able to write using swear words and talk about things that you probably wouldn't have had you used your real name? Were you afraid at first that people would be turned off by your sarcasm? Or did you write mostly for yourself?

I write the way that I talk, god help me. I am sort of constantly surprised that I don't get comments whining about my tone, but I assume it's because most people are skimming the posts. Or don't understand English.

And yes, being anonymous totally gave me the boost to use "salty" language. As did the fact that I came to terms with the fact that Kraft or anything family friendly would never advertise on my blog.

* What advice would you have to a new blogger who hopes to use her writing to make a shitton of money and successfully bribe her mom to stop asking her when she would be having kids because YA STAREIU NE PO DNYAM A PO CHESAM I NEKOGDA NE UVIZHU VNUKOV? [translation provided by Marinka, for free: 'I am getting older by the hour, not by the day, and I will never see grandchildren' (expression, common to Russian mother in a futile effort to get her children to procreate. Not with each other.)]

Just give up now. You'll never make a lot of money doing this. Have some kids instead. Totally fun and tons of blog fodder. Plus the whole propagation of the species thing.

* Do you write at a designated time each day, or whenever the fuck you feel like it?

Look at you with the "fucks". Nice. I usually write in the evenings, before the kids go to bed (because who wants to waste precious time on blogging when the house is all quiet?). But also whenever the fuck I feel like it.

Ok! Thanks, Vicki for your thoughtful questions!

Next week, in Remedial Blog School: Blog Comments. The Good, the Bad and the Deleted.



Blogger Jeanne said...

Wow. I really wish this tutorial had been around when I first started. If I'd known about the advertising implications, I would never have posted "Blogging: The Musical" using vulgar showtune titles proposed by my readers.

July 21, 2009 at 6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect that Vicki is made up. Just my guess.

Though I totally appreciate 'her' question and your answer 'of course they talk shit, they have speech and have met me.'

That was just priceless and how I feel about most people who know me.

July 21, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

Great insight into a great blogartist*

Shitton? Is that trademarked? It will be now.

*I invented that one. I offer a modest per diem usage fee. Call me.

July 21, 2009 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Keyona said...

Did Vicki really as that last question or did you throw that "fuck" in there for good measure?

July 21, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I absolutely love this post - best I have ever read. I am taking copious notes so I can follow in the footsteps the the "salty" language as well as when to write (note to self: whenever the fuck I want)

Perfect! Thank you!

July 21, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Dingo said...

As a fellow blogger with a potty mouth, I love how you pepper your posts with salty language! Ha! See what I did there? I'm trying to get you your own blogging/cooking movie. You can thank me later.

July 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I love your tone, your tone is what keeps me coming back. Salt it to us.

July 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

Although a few of them occasionally poke their head into my blog, most of my family doesn't read it. I don't get it. If someone in my family had one, I would read it every day. And leave long, witty comments. Not my family. Or yours, either, it seems. What is up with that?

July 21, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

I'm not sure whether people thinking I'm made up by Marinka is a compliment because our writing styles are similar, or whether it just makes me want to go drink a bottle of Everclear because, if people think I'm Marinka, do I also have to deal with Nicki on a daily basis? Also, I did in fact ask the last question. Just cause I wanted to be a cool kid.

July 21, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

Ooh I love that Vicki commented on this so we know the questions were really real and not just made up by the fabulous not-Marinka. I think you're not getting comments on your sarcastic tone it's awesome! And we love it! And because some people might think "holy shit she's smart and could kick my butt in a second if I were to be rude to be her. Or she'd just delete my fucking comment."

July 21, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

I've been blogging for almost 2 years and I just made $1.31 from my blog. Woot!

July 21, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

If only I could still say **** around bloggyland. then all would be well.


July 21, 2009 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

If only we were all so lucky to write the way you talk. You should podcast sometime-- a whole new venture sure to be either an epic win or an epic failure. Either way, I'd be entertained.

July 21, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Hit 40 said...

Great interview!! Interesting questions/answers.

Thank you for clicking by my blog. I will click out on the technorati fav button for fun.

July 21, 2009 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger lizspin said...

What is it with husbands?

Should we be upset that they know about our blogs but don't care to even look at them?

And what would my better-half do if he knew I talked about drawing an arrow on his butt????

July 21, 2009 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Janie at Sounding Forth said...


Do you think I can be rehabilitated?

I like this post.

July 21, 2009 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Frogs in my formula said...

I hate that your use of the word Salty makes me think of Thomas the Train and his fucking friends. Damn him!

Love your blog.

July 21, 2009 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

Great post. Thank you for stopping by my blog!

July 21, 2009 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

I am reading Julie & Julia now. I wish you a similar success story, even if you stay anonymous! ;)

July 21, 2009 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Imogen Lamport said...

Mmmm, I blog to get away from my kids! If they're awake, I'm blogging.

July 22, 2009 at 4:07 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm glad to see more Russians popping up in blogland. It's a culture I must come to grips with quickly since daughter is dating The Russian.

July 23, 2009 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Just give up now. You'll never make a lot of money doing this

I make enough cash from blogging to be able to do really important things, like feed my coffee habit. Woohoo

July 24, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Mwa said...

Great questions, great answers. I've still only three real life people that I blog. Freaks me out to think my mother would read me and she totally would.

July 25, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

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