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Be a Playful Blogger

playful.pngOne of the things that first attracted me to blogging was the creative genius that I saw at work in many of the blogs going around at that time.

There was an ‘anything goes’ type attitude among bloggers who were pushing the boundaries of what could be done on a blog. Of course I look back now and much of this past creativity has become quite normal now (for example I clearly remember seeing a blogger include a short video in a post a number of years back and thinking it was cutting edge).

Another thing I loved about blogging was the humor, irreverence and fun I saw happening on blogs. Bloggers were not constrained by the editorial process, policy and standards that journalists worked with and as a result some of the content that they produced was like writing I’d not seen before (note: I’m not saying that editorial processes, policy and standards of journalism are a bad thing – but that what I saw bloggers doing was markedly different to what I saw happening in mainstream media at that time).

Blogging was an exciting genre – we were cutting new ground as a community of bloggers.

Of course this tradition of pushing boundaries and expressing ourselves creatively lives on – in fact it’s a real feature of many successful blogs.

Be a Playful Blogger

In a presentation last year on principles of successful blogging – one of the points I made that tried to get at this pushing of the boundaries and new way of writing was titled – Be Playful.

Not every successful blog is ‘playful’ but many are. Whether it be in the experimentation with new mediums, tools and ideas, or whether it be in the type of content that they produce – almost anything goes when it comes to blogging.

In fact as I look back on the most memorable posts that I’ve published on my blogs it is often the ‘playful’ ones that stick out. A few examples:

A few quick starting points for being playful

There are many ways to ‘be playful’ on a blog but a few starting points include:

  • Experiment with your voice – it is often not ‘what’ you say but ‘how’ you say it that grabs people’s attention.
  • Humor – careful use of humor can really make an impact upon readers.
  • Surprise – much of what I’m trying to get at with this post is to allow yourself to do things a little different with your blog – things that surprise your readers will make them stop in their tracks a little and take a second look at what you’re doing.
  • Fun Projects – pretty much any project that allows your readers to do something fun and interactive would fit into this category. On DPS this would include our Weekend Photography Challenges where we ask readers to submit an image on a theme each weekend or here on ProBlogger it’d include our group writing projects over the years. These projects are largely about fun, interacting with others and a little self promotion for readers.

How have you been playful on your blog?

Being playful is not something you can make a definitive list of how to do. Playful blogging comes in all shapes and sizes so I’d love to hear how you’ve done it on your blog (or how you’ve seen others do it). Please feel free to share a link below to your examples!

PS: playful blogging is also fun and can help you to get through tough patches where you feel like giving it.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. proson says:

    Darren, nope I haven’t really tried. But may be I should… :P

    Thanks though

    Proson

  2. Lina Nguyen says:

    Hi Darren

    I’ve come to your blog for the very first time tonight after listening to your interview with Brian Clark. I’m only a new blogger, which explains why I’m the only blogger in the whole blogosphere not to know you!

    Great to see you writing about being playful. I’m only beginning to discover my voice… And it’s really fun. Looking forward to going through the rest of your blogs now! I’ve got years to catch up on!

    From another Aussie,

    Lina

  3. Hem … new thing for me. It may work great so i will try more playful with my blog from now on.

  4. Karen Swim says:

    This post really hit home for me. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “rules” and the “must-do” checklists that we forget to have fun. I can honestly admit that sometimes I allow fear (yep, there it is) to hold me back from just going for it. Thanks for the great tips and reminder to be playful.

  5. Darren,
    Thanks for the awesome tips! Since I am new to blogging (but not writing) I am wondering how to reach out to fellow veteran mommy bloggers to come check out my funny blog. There seems to be blogging manners and etiquette, and I am not sure of the do’s and don’ts. Could you throw a girl a bone? Thanks so much! Elaine

  6. Archan Mehta says:

    Darren:

    Thanks for your post: it is a valuable contribution, to be sure.

    Yes, we need to bring out our sense of humor–bask in the glow.

    A smile, laughter, tears of joy: this can do wonders for our lives.

    We need to let it all hang out, hang loose, and let it pour forth.

    Our child-like personality lays dormant, hiding behind the facade of adult behavioral patterns and cultural/social conditioning.

    We need to break free of such illusions, every once in a while.
    Being playful can help us resolve personal issues and cement relationships and form alliances and friendships with strangers.

    We all know those blessed with a sense of humor very often are perceived differently too: they become the life of the party and maybe they have the potential to be social butterflies as well.

    People with a sense of humor tend to be popular too, and can be perceived as having an extrovert nature even when they do not.

    Even if you think you don’t have a sense of humor, you can cultivate it by watching old Jerry Lewis movies, reading Mad Magazine, watching Saturday Night Live, etc. There are so many ways you can develop your sense humor. I personally have been inspired by the syndicated columnist, Dave Barry. Dave cracks me up big time. And, of course, who can forget Friends, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Johnny Carson and Carol Burnette?

    Your post could not have come at a better time. We work too hard and play hardball, when what we really need to do is to slip into our pajamas and have a good belly laugh. Thanks so much.

  7. Kristin says:

    I recently did a post (God hates donuts) about a counter-protest in San Francisco. The notorious Fred Phelps and gang showed up at Twitter headquarters and were met by a number of other protesters holding nonsensical signs and shouting absurd directives, which in my opinion is the perfect way to deal with such hate mongering. I posted a pic of our family holding our own nonsensical signs. It was one of my most popular posts and was shared by a number of readers on twitter, facebook, stumble etc.

    http://kbxmas.blogspot.com/2010/02/god-hates-donuts.html

  8. First, thank you for your insightful post. I love your blog and find it extremely instructive. I like your skill of commenting (by blogging) small things that other blogger never take the time to say. I discovered it by doing a research on Google as a consequence I absolutely will come back here when I have more time.Thanks

  9. Well, I believe when the time you started to blog, there is not too much blogs around the web, so I think beating them is easy, but now, as you can see, over a million blogs are running on the net and competition is getting harder.

  10. Mike Shaw says:

    This has helped me re-evaluate the way I blog.

    I was definitely trying to hard to get relevant information on my blogs, that I didn’t thing about having some fun with it.

  11. Homespunspa says:

    Hello Fellow Bloggers,

    Here is the link to my post, Are you Hard-Boiled or Sunny-Side Up? which was my attempt at adding a little playful humour to my blog a couple of weeks ago: http://www.homespunspa.com/blog/?p=913
    I’m going to try to write more playful stuff like this in the future — thanks for the reminder, Darren.
    Maria

  12. hokya says:

    i am agree with you Darren

    blog is an informal media of speaking

    i think people will love blog that uses communicative language better than the rigid one

    :-D

  13. Glenn A says:

    One way to have some fun is to come out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Write a Q&A with yourself. Write is someone else’s voice. Use a series of odd photos to make your point. Basically, try something new and generate sparks.

  14. Great things to keep in mind! Blogs are always helpful and they should be very creative with the genious content to the page.

  15. Tishia Lee says:

    This came at the perfect time! I’ve been blogging for quite awhile now but just recently started a new blog to document my weight loss “story”. I have a goofty, fun-loving sense of humor and while healthy eating & weight loss isn’t a fun topic this just reminded that I can add my personality and make it fun!

  16. anti aging says:

    Your post has been more than helpful. I just started a blog and I’m not getting any traffic at all. Can you help me out? Thanks Dave

  17. Sometimes reverse psychology works in a little humor:
    http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/29511

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  24. Dacia Rhome says:

    Going through your site gives me a chance to recall why I enjoy reading things with so much ideas. It is nice to know that there are still serious bloggers out there that can put fun into knowledgable info. Thank you for your contributions and eagerness to share your ideas with us.

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