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6 Things “Saved By the Bell” Taught Me About Blogging

This guest post is by Chiara Mazzucco of TheIndieChicks.com.

There are hundreds of thousands of articles written on being a successful blogger and driving traffic to your website or blog .

Bleh.

You can sit down and read each one, leading you to write your first blog post in about 4 years, or you can pick the gems (on sites like ProBlogger) and choose to drive inspiration from the world around you, instead.

Let’s take popular 90s sitcom, Saved by the Bell, for example. Would it blow your mind if I told you that watching just one episode could lead you to become a better blogger? Yup.

Here are six lessons I learned from Zack and the gang.

1. Be yourself, loud and proud

Screech stood out, without shame.

While thousands of other bloggers, known and unknown, write about the same thing, the only guaranteed way you’ll stand out is if you stay true to who you are and know your voice—without shame.

Start typing, without worrying about grammar, sentence structure and keywords. Thought flow is a unique process and it needs to be respected. If you worry about what others will think, how many sentences should be in a paragraph and whether or not you’re SEO optimizing your text, you’ll never actually write what you’re thinking.

Be unique. Readers appreciate honesty and individuality. Stick out.

2. Be trendy

Lisa was oh, so stylish.

You need to be blogging about things people actually want to read about.

The first step is to find your niche. The tighter the niche, the easier being trendy will be. Write on a popular topic that people care about, from a different perspective, with your unique voice.

And don’t forget, you pick the trends you want to follow. Don’t write about politics because #election2012 is trending when you know little about the presidential candidates and your blog is focused on Irish bagpipes.

3. Be charming, confident, (and a little slick)

Let’s be honest, Zack was a charming, trouble-making stud—and he was completely irresistible.

You may not be the most confident person at a social gathering, but the beauty of blogging is that it’s done behind a computer screen (and, more recently, any type of tablet or smart phone), which means, you are able to be anyone you please.

The key is to establish yourself as an expert. You want readers to be attracted—smitten, even—and to want to know your every move.

Even if you’re blogging for business, you can portray a sense of charm and confidence that immediately sets you up to be seen, and respected, as an expert in your field.

4. Be the girl (or boy) next door

Remember Kelly and that sweet, snuggle-inducing smile of hers?

There is something to be said about the need for your readers to be comfortable in your home (blog).

Whatever you blog about, welcome your readers with open arms—even if you blog about hating your readers. It’s important you make your website easy to navigate, aesthetically appealing, and user friendly.

End your posts with a question, encouraging your readers to engage, and please, allow comments.

Deep down, we all had a thing for the girl (or boy) next door. Don’t you want your readers to have a thing for you, too?

5. Be bold, and don’t apologize for it

A.C. Slater was a bit inappropriate… and it worked.

This particular lesson has to be taken with a grain of salt. You don’t have to be sexist to make it work for you—but you do have to be bold.

In order for a post to be a success it has to solve a problem, be controversial or be generally entertaining.

You can’t entertain or trigger controversy if you’re afraid of making a statement.

So be bold. People won’t be able to resist the urge to comment.

6. Stand up for what you believe, be educated (and blog about it)

Jessie was a pain in the backside, even when she got addicted to caffeine pills. Putting her small indiscretions aside, it’s safe to say that Jessie always knew what she was fighting for, she had the knowledge to back it up and she was always vocal about what she believed in.

These are qualities, in my opinion, that are absolutely crucial to the success as a blogger and I’m grateful Jessie taught me about them.

First of all, being able to write something incredible and have it go live in front of the world without relying on a major newspaper to publish it, is truly a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

The second quality I cannot stress enough is to be educated on the topic you’re discussing. Whether you’re writing about a celebrity love affair or the complicated matters in the Middle East, make sure you have your facts straight … and convey them without spelling or grammar errors.

Apply it

Does this mean each characteristic has to be vibrant in every single blog post in order to make it a success?

Absolutely not.

Use the popular 90s sitcom to learn your strengths, your weaknesses and what you need to work on as a blogger.

You don’t have to hover over old Saved by the Bell episodes to learn anything new about blogging, either.

Look around you and be inspired. I happen to (shamelessly) love television, so I can tactfully take a CSI episode and learn that a blog post is like a murder mystery; pieces to a puzzle lead to a conclusion that solves a problem. Boom!

is CEO and Editor over at TheIndieChicks.com – an online magazine for the badass independent woman – where she devotes her time to inspiring anyone who’ll listen. She wrote a book on dating and relationships, The 9 Mirages of Love: How to Stop Chasing What Doesn’t Exist, and can be found handing out free nuggets of inspiration to new badass subscribers.

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Comments

  1. Brian says:

    hahaha, what a really original post. This in itself is a post that uses the 6 things you mention. A little late on the trend, but hey! lol!

  2. Asif Billah says:

    What blogging taught me ?
    To write big essays and paragraphs including hyperbole and similes, even from some tiny hints.

    NB : My English teacher was really impressed about me and recently i won first prize for an essay writing competition, which i don’t had any Idea about the topic “Future of India in ….. ” (Still I Don’t even know what it is….)

  3. Hi Chiara,

    Being yourself AND speaking your mind is a secret to success. Love the analogy!

    Speak your mind through your blog. Yep it’s rare. But the few who do become successful bloggers

    This is not easy. The fear of criticism wells up. You note few people stopping by to read. You might think nobody cares about your view.

    Hogwash! People care, and the more you speak your mind the more you meet up with like-minded people, people who vibe with your mindset.

    Keep at it. Be bold. Attack your posts. Be you, and speak your thoughts, and you can do REALLY well in the blogosphere.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    • Chiara says:

      Ryan, I absolutely agree. Being yourself and speaking your mind is the secret to success.. And that’s why it’s the hardest thing to do. It takes work to overcome the fear and actually have confidence in who you are and what you’re wring.

      But when you do.. man.. the reward is so worth it.

      Thank you for the comment!

  4. I like to think I tick all those boxes :)

  5. Lizzie Allshouse says:

    Chiara,

    I love this blog, it is smart and hilarious. Who ever thought Saved By The Bell could be so inspirational and deep. Please keep writing, your words are like water in a world like a desert.

    BADASS!
    Congratulations!

    Lizzie

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Lizzie.. I promise to keep at it and I’m so glad you liked my post :)

  6. Roni says:

    Bravo, Chiara!

    You never cease to amaze and astound me. Now I’m positively sure that inspiration can, indeed, be found absolutely anywhere. You were BORN to do this, baby!

    I’m so so so proud.

    Love this. LOVE you!

    • Chiara says:

      Inspiration is everywhere. You can only read the same articles so many times. It’s like going to school and reading the same course book. If you don’t apply it, it means nothing. Sometimes you have to step outside the classroom to wake up the magic within you. (Or in my case, walk toward the television and watch a rerun)

  7. Beth Hewitt says:

    HAHA,

    Genius blog title, who wouldn’t want to read this. Unless you were born in the 90′s!

    On a serious note it’s about being comfortable in our own skin, knowing who we are and let the world fall in love with us for all the right reasons.

    Great post,

    Beth :)

    • Chiara says:

      I absolutely agree, Beth! Being comfortable in your own skin is magnetic… and readers can smell bs when you’re not!

  8. Marrie says:

    Who knew an informative post about blogging could be so fun and entertaining?!?
    You are so right-inspiration is around us all the time; it’s just a matter of looking away from the computer screen long enough to see it and having the confidence to share your interpretation with the world :)
    Badass post, Chiara!

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you, Marrie! I’m glad I got informative, fun and entertaining all in one bang.

      Looking away from the computer screen is so hard to do… but just like other writers, we draw our brilliance from the world around and within us, not just what a bunch of how to’s tell us to look.

      Thank you for the kind comment! :)

  9. Vikas says:

    That was very informative.

  10. Julie says:

    I like to think that I’m a mix of all of those with stronger hints of Screech, Slater, and Kelly. Either way this was a brilliant article! It’s too true that inspiration for writing is everywhere but blogging is a different beast and finding a way to appeal to large audiences can be tricky. These tips are priceless!

    I will never watch Saved by the Bell the same way, ever again.

    Congrats, Chiara, great article!

    • Chiara says:

      Screech, Slater and Kelly.. what. a. mix! I absolutely agree, finding a way to target large audiences is one of the hardest things to do. And it’s during that battle that bloggers turn to the technicalities like keyword optimization, and lose sight of what blogging actually is: Writing! Thank you for reading (and commenting!)

  11. Great blog. I can’t comment on Saved by the Bell, but the blog is well worth reading. Thanks.

  12. Roushan says:

    Hehehe really a good one :)

  13. Great blog very helpful tips

  14. Creative old school approach to engaging blog readers. Bloggers need to follow the advice of looking at the world around them and drawing information from life, and I think this is the most powerful advice you offer. All the others intersect with this theme. Oftentimes bloggers, especially beginners emphasize the SEO and marketing so much that they miss the boat and give up. What drives and motivates over the long term is inspiration and plenty of it. When topic ideas run short or themes get old, bloggers have to tap into the pulse of the globe, and if they find the world inspiring, there are infinite possibilities. Within any focus area, topics are popping up everyday and others are waiting to be found.

    • Chiara says:

      Darin, “Tap into the pulse of the globe” is a strong, magnetic, and beautiful phrase that completely embodies everything I mean to get across. Thank you for such a well thought out response :)

  15. Chris says:

    Awesome post! You can’t write about save by the bell without mentioning Jessie’s addiction to caffeine pills. HAHA. You’re creativity is inspiration to bloggers everywhere.

  16. WeezaFish says:

    Haha loving the analogy truly inspiration can be found anywhere! I remind myself, write first – grammar SEO etc last. Just finding my voice in blogland, reading your posts always inspires and I plan to apply all I’ve learnt to a newer, more focused blog next year. Thanks Chiara!

  17. Jennifer says:

    Fantastic post! There are a lot of posts out there that cover the basic points of what a blog needs to be successful, but there aren’t many that are as witty, original and entertaining as this one. Chiara, you’re an amazing writer! Keep it up!!!