Blogging For Fun: How Not To Be A Tool On Social Media

Blogging For Fun: How Not To Be A Tool On Social Media

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Did you know that I am a nonprofit board member, wish I lived in a different time period, and taught older woman how to cheat at book club? The Uncorked Librarian has been pretty serious these days with posts focused around marketability and resources for others. In that spirit, I promise I will end with some fun blogging and IG caption ideas. However, blogging for fun seems to be a dying beast when we all want to become our own damn bosses and monetize. It is no secret, my blog is my business, but I also want to just write and enjoy.  I want to incorporate and share more about myself.

Blogging for fun seems to be a dying beast when we all want to become our own damn bosses and monetize. Check out these tips and topics for how to better connect with your audience. Click To Tweet

Are you tired of insincere IG captions and overused quotes? Try blogging for fun: 10 ways to make your Instagram captions and blog posts more sincere and engaging. #theuncorkedlibrarian #instagram #socialmediatips #blogging #bloggingtips #writing

Blogging and Social Media’ing For Fun

Instagram At Its Worst

If you follow The Uncorked Librarian on other channels, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. This past week, an IGer brought home the shallowness and just plain bullshit that IG can represent:

An account that I follow posted a gorgeous library picture with an engaging caption about their love for touring libraries abroad. I admire more meaningful travel and feel kinship there. You can bet that libraries all over the world are the first stops on my agenda next to a pub or winery.

However, this same IG account started with a brilliant quote by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman, in the world of ALA for librarians, adults, and teens, is a literature and library activist and incredible graphic novel and fiction author. He’s like the less pop culture version of John Green. In my comments to this IGer, I talked about visiting international libraries and praised the Gaiman quote. The account wrote back: Is Gaiman another library to visit?   Nope, he’s the person you just randomly quoted and credited to the quote. Are you serious right now, dude?

Don't be a tool on social media and overuse/misuse quotes. Here are 10 more personal topics to better engage your readers. #bloggingtips #instagram Click To Tweet

How To Instagram Better & Not Be A Douche

Not to preach, but I left the account a little miffed. I don’t buy into the fakeness of IG and hope others try to create a community that they want to thrive in and inspire with. I don’t use quotes without context, am sincere, and I know what I am writing. It is so easy to just cut and paste clichés, aka bullshit, along with well edited, pretty filtered pictures.

My advice is to be real. Be you. And quite frankly, be aware and educated. That’s what being a traveler, influencer, blogger, writer, and human is about, right?! I’d love to see IG get a little cleanup and change its course in the next year.

via GIPHY

What IG Is Good For

On the flip side, I do know that instagram has a meaningful community, and I have networked well within the platform. Without IG, I would have missed out on travel advice, blog mentors and friends, and guest posting for some seriously incredible travel writers.

In a ‘practice what you preach’ kind of way, I recently posted a ‘get to know me’ IG caption and ‘share your personal secrets.’ I had no idea what would transpire, and as strangers and best friends chipped in, I learned so much about the community I am working with.


For Other Blogging & SM Tips On TUL To Check Out:

How To Avoid IG Scams

How To Stay Healthy & Sane As A Blogger

Where To Promote Your Blog: Facebook Groups & Pinterest Boards


UnQuirking The Uncorked Librarian: Did Ya Know?

In the true spirit of blogging for fun and sincerity, here are five little known facts about The Uncorked Librarian as posted and expanded upon from IG:

1. I am a nonprofit board member for a literacy organization in Orlando.

The organization works with homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, alternative schools for teens that were exited out of the public school system, the FL children’s hospital, and daycares. The best: this nonprofit brings puppet shows, books, yoga classes, and all types of literacy and science experiment performances to urban families in need. One of my big projects this winter is a Central Florida-wide literacy competition for teens involving written, singing, and film submissions for prizes. Working with schools and homeschoolers, I am praying for a great turnout. The library I worked in used to run a similar event but canceled a great night over politics. The library world can be a cruel place and women do not always support other successful women.

2. Unlike the library, I went to a supportive all women’s college in MA. Yup, I am a Smithie.

Some people give these single-gender schools a lot of crap, but I met some of the strongest and most inspiring women and people alive here. My college was also a safe haven for the LGBT+ community, although they sometimes struggled with admission policies based on ‘biology.’ It was here I found my extremely loud voice. Before that, I didn’t speak. If you go through my HS report cards, my grades rocked but the comments all noted that I really needed to raise my hand. I never did.

3. I worked in the public library for five years as a one-on-one computer teacher (and Youth Service librarian).

I helped thousands of older patrons learn how to use their computers and devices. When an 80+-year-old woman high-fived me after sending her first email, I knew I was winning at life. I also taught a 70-year-old woman about cliff notes for book club. Oops.

The craziest thing is that I also became the computer guru at work. The only thing that I had going for me was that I was on the tippity top of millennial age. As an English and history double major, I certainly had no business teaching computer-related anything. My lack of knowledge allowed me to learn much more—and faster—and also made me an empathetic teacher. Wouldn’t it be great if we all tried something new and taught it?

4. I wish I lived in a different time period.

Speakeasies and old-fashioned bars in historic districts are my favorite local haunts. From Mount Dora to St. Augustine and Ocala, restaurants like The Plant Bar and The Ivy House were made for me. Can I please wear fishnets and suspenders 24/7? Do you remember Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman? Or should I just say Sully? God, take me back. While I love how we glamorize Prohibition now, I’d fucking die.

via GIPHY

5. In HS, I was in yearbook club and on the school newspaper.

There was a lot of inter-dating among us geekier types—which led to SO much drama. Plus it was high school. The only time I almost got into a physical fight in my life was in the girl’s locker room over a boy. Gym clothes went flying. Dumb, dumb, dumb, but thankfully no fists were thrown. That same boy came up to my college one day on my birthday talking about marriage.   I was a freshman and dumped him on the spot.  It was a bitch move.  He came all the way over from a different state to see me, and I put him back on the bus. Up until the age of about 26, I tended to dump anyone who talked about marriage. F’ that crap.

This is a give-and-take post.  I want to know more about you, my readers. Dish in the comments.

Ideas For Meaningful Blog Posts and Captions

OK, my secrets are out!  Are you at least a little more engaged and connected?

On the flip side of blogging for fun and cleaning up social media BS, writing about you and being you is essential to success.

Here are 10 ideas for IG captions and blog posts that anyone can implement into their niche to invoke the occasional flair of personality and humanity:

Find 10 ideas for IG captions and blog posts that anyone can implement into their niche to invoke the occasional flair of personality and humanity. Click To Tweet

1. Disclosing Your ‘Secrets’

We all want to know your hidden talents, dreams, fears, and funny stories.

2. Travel Stories

Everyone can spew out travel facts that they find on the web or snatch from a tour. Why not make travel more meaningful and share your heartfelt stories? Two of my most popular IG captions involved my little run in with John Stamos in Positano and my monkey nightmare in Uluwatu, Bali. Then there was almost getting chucked off of a cliff by donkeys in Santorini, dropping my blood on Mayan soil, and ya know, almost sinking on a Nicaraguan ferry carrying a bus.

3. Five Facts About You

This sounds so simple, but every now and again, readers want to learn more about you. Plus, your newer followers may be late to the game.  Tell them that you can devour an entire can of olives in 5 minutes, that you have a MLIS but are a rogue librarian, and that it rained like hell on your wedding day.

4. Others Who Inspire You

Guilty as charged, but we are all self-promotey these days. You have to be. Write about other accounts and bloggers who inspire you. Tag them and say why. This allows your trusted followers to find other great accounts too.  Sharing is always caring.

5. Tags With Challenges

Book bloggers are obsessed with book tags. However, you can tag people in silly questions and challenges anytime. You can make up your own or share the love of a tag you once received. Twitter is all about tagging three accounts in response to a question, shoutout, or show and tell session.  Just today, this post about who you would sit in jail with, who your lawyer would be, and who told on you was going around.  Saturday, a tweeter tagged me in a “Saturday stalker” post to share your favorite accounts that you non-creepily follow religiously.

6. Healthy Habits & Schedules

We all want to know how you travel so well or blog all night while working a full-time job. Share how you manage your time, and what your day looks like.  Only share your dumb lunch on occasion, though.  No one really cares.

via GIPHY

7. Poking Fun At Yourself & Social Media

My highest engaging posts are the ones where I make fun of IG and all of its insanity. People love to know that you are in the same boat. Bitch seshes are needed sometimes.

8. Twist A Quote

Take an inspiring quote and twist it around. Make it your own, and make people laugh.  Don’t be a twat and just drop tons of quotes like a drunk downing shots at the bar.  I once read that every time you use a cliche quote, a cat dies.  SO STOP IT!

9. Pet Talk

Duh. Stories with my pets are gold. I mean they are the freaking cutest.

10. Everyday Life

Sometimes you don’t have time for lengthy posts or captions and not everyone has time to read everything. Wish people a happy weekend, ask what they are up to, and share your latest fun or projects.  Don’t be an ass and brag, though.

Go forth and blog!

If nothing else, I hope you learned a bit more about TUL and had a few laughs. Don’t forget to share your secrets below, and let me know what types of posts and captions you like to write or read.

via GIPHY

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Blogging for fun: 10 ways to make your Instagram captions and blog posts more sincere and engaging. #theuncorkedlibrarian #instagram #socialmediatips #blogging #bloggingtips #writing

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22 Comments

  1. September 21, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    Loves this post! This is one of the hardest parts of blogging for me… but I plan to write more on health in the future! 🙂

    • Christine
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much! I am definitely looking forward to learning more about you!

  2. September 21, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    I am really miffed about the Gaiman thing, and I think that in a nutshell explains why I hate IG as a tool beyond just my personal and occasional pics. I feel like people are so fake and I’ve noticed theft as well… making me such a cynic.

    I loved learning more about you, book bestie! I want to join a non-profit board but there isn’t a literacy once in my town… I’ve been courted a lot for the food co-op board but I need for someone’s term to be up first lol.

    • Christine
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 6:05 pm

      Are you on IG, and do we follow each other? IG can be a pretty annoying and fake–you are 100% right. You just have to have the patience or desire to weed through the crap, which I do not always have. I’ve met some great bloggers, but right now, the follow to unfollow is on my last nerve. That and the GAIMAN QUOTE.

      I will hope that their term runs out quickly for you lol. It’s great to volunteer and be active in other ways. I love meeting new people and working together on events. Plus, it bring me back to my roots.

  3. September 21, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    I read this post in the middle of the night as I was suffering from insomnia. Your tips instantly helped me because I went back and revised my scheduled IG post for the morning. I thought, it’s Friday, I better wish everyone a great weekend and ask them what their doing. Christine is right! That part was totally inspired by this post. 😉

    I love this post. Such great tips, especially for someone like me that doesn’t really enjoy writing captions. I’m all about the photography and the editing. The captions are an afterthought most of the time. I’m learning not to overthink and just share what comes to mind when I look at the photo. Every photo has a story, right?

    Thank you for your tips and knowledge. You are amazing!

    • Christine
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      HAHA, YAY, and thank you!! Your IG account and captions are great. I always look forward to them. And your stories are SPOT ON!

      I am starting to wonder if your insomnia comes from all of the COFFEE?! I drank way too much coffee this weekend, and it kept me up all night. I love coffee, though. LIKE LOVE IT!!! I know you do too.

      I think my captions have to make up for my photography. LOL. I edit in less than 5 minutes, and I will probably never be a photographer or force my hubby to take classes. Hehe. Maybe I should. Hmmm…. The bad thing about writing long captions is that it takes time, and maybe 30% of IGers actually stop to read them. I’m trying to integrate them into my other social media channels lately.

      Thank you, blogging bestie xxooxxoo

      • September 25, 2018 / 2:16 pm

        So last night, I was up late again because of coffee. You hit the nail on the head with this yesterday. However, it is rare for me to have coffee after a certain time of the day. I try to stick to coffee in the mornings. If I’m desperate, then after lunch. I love coffee, but my body can’t take it as much as I love it.

        The other night, Maverick woke me up at 3am to potty and after that it took me 3 hours to get back to sleep. Most of the time my insomnia is because of interrupted sleep. I don’t care what anyone says, pets are our children. Husbands that leave to work at weird hours doesn’t help either.

        Ohh, you should check with Yanitza when she’ll be giving entry level photography classes. She does that from time to time. But I’m far from a photographer. Actually a professional photographer told me recently not to waste my money with photography classes, just ask to sit down with a photographer I love to teach me the basics for a few hundred bucks. I thought it was great advice.

        Btw, you have authentic engagement on your feed. That’s hard to accomplish. Keep doing what you’re doing, and people will just be inspired by your greatness. 🙂

        • Christine
          Author
          September 25, 2018 / 5:23 pm

          I used to drink 3-5 cups of coffee a day but have mostly narrowed it down to 1. Unless we are traveling…then I totally buy into the coffee-piazza culture and drinking it at midnight with Sicilian family members.

          If I ever have kids, I am terrified of never sleeping. My cats interrupt me enough, and I cannot gently fling a baby onto the floor. LOL. My husband has equally odd hours and is usually up by 3:30/4 AM for work. UGH, I. Can’t. Even.

          Photography classes sound great–her pics are beautiful. I love the ones that she just took of the dancers. I love learning new tricks and hobbies too.

          Thank you in regards to engagement. I try! I did just post that selfie—and got all those nice but dumb “beautiful” comments. Totally took out my usually meaningful engagement. Oh well. I kinda knew it would. Today I posted a bookstagram and it tanked LOL BUT I DON’T CARE. Well, I do, but I refuse to give up posting the occasional flaylay in my double niche. Plus, it still gives me a small bookish following that I love.

  4. September 22, 2018 / 5:09 pm

    I loved this post! Thanks for the great ideas. I actually graduated with a journalism degree, so I had to adjust a bit to the less formal methods of blog writing. I do use quotes on my insta as a method to give some consistency and cohesiveness to the feed since I have a couple sub-niches to tie together. I promise, though, that if I see a great quote and am unfamiliar with the individual who said it, I always look them up to make sure I am familiar before sharing. #tryingtonotbeatwat 😂 Thanks again!

    • Christine
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 6:11 pm

      Hey Keri,

      HAHA, thank you! I think it’s totally fine to use captions when they are unique and enhance your account/blog ; ) No worries there.

      I’m an English/History major so writing and descriptions come more naturally to me. I know that writing a lot or well isn’t everyone’s thing or talent either, but I do wish that IG was a little more…sincere.

      Have a great week!

  5. September 23, 2018 / 5:33 am

    Like most of us I love quotes but try to find at least the real author or the full quote if possible. A lot of quotes have become misconstrued over the years. For example, “blood is thicken that water”. The actual full quote is “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” which means the exact opposite. Quotes are a great starting point for captions but if we can write something more personal to give the same meaning then we do.

    • Christine
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:53 pm

      Hey Rio, I agree. I used to love quotes way more, too, but IG is definitely ruining that for me. On a platform like IG, I’d love to see more real pictures and captions, especially related to travel. Quotes can be a great starting point. There are definitely times where a quote is perfect and should be used too. I think everyone is just strapped for time. In effect, they pop in cheap quotes that they don’t really care or know anything about. It’s worse when IGers call themselves content creators because that is definitely not creating true content. I love your example: 200% right.

  6. September 23, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    I love the caption ideas haha! The time period I would love to live in myself would definitely have to be the 40s-50s. I love the hairstyles, the dresses & fashion, and the big band music!!

    • Christine
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      Me too! I think even the hair and makeup rock! You should definitely do a post about it sometime! I’d love to read that ; )

  7. September 25, 2018 / 11:10 am

    love the post! like i said on twitter, ‘well said’. i was the editor of my HS yearbook 😀

    Joy at The Joyous Living

    • Christine
      Author
      September 25, 2018 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you, Joy. HS yearbook was definitely something for me ; ) I ended up in a lot of pictures.

  8. September 25, 2018 / 3:15 pm

    Love your style! I used to be guarded about my personal life but now I’ve been sharing more about my life with my readers and you’re right, it does personalize it and make your writing more engaging for readers. I write in personal development so I think it’s especially important because otherwise readers will be like, “Why should I be reading advice from this random person?” Plus, I read a LOT of articles in my niche and the advice can get really generic unless there are stories and specific examples attached to it, and yes, some humor, too.

    • Christine
      Author
      September 25, 2018 / 5:12 pm

      Thank you, Kate!

      I feel the exact same way with my writing and what I disclose on social media. It’s a tricky line sometimes. When I first starting blogging and using platforms like IG and Twitter, I didn’t want people to discover too much about me. There are a lot of creeps out there and feeling safe and secure with my personal details is always on my mind. Hence why I set up a PO Box for my newsletter immediately. I just couldn’t use my free home address, even if people can still track me down. Totally freaks me out. I hope over time, I have learned how to disclose fun details but not give away too much personal info. I try to leave my friends and family out of my online public presence. I also never disclose when I am actually traveling and usually post on IG after the fact (I don’t care if that hurts my numbers–I want to be safe).

      I do love learning little details about bloggers and more personal stories are catching. There are so many bloggers doing what we do, we need to stand out.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  9. September 26, 2018 / 10:30 am

    Spot on. Really enjoyed this post and you are really good at making your point of view on this matter. SO FUN 🙂

    • Christine
      Author
      September 26, 2018 / 6:37 pm

      Haha, thank you! I appreciate that!

  10. September 26, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    You nailed it, once again 😉 It never ceases to amaze me how robotic some IG accounts (and some blogs, come to that) sound – it’s like they’ve forgotten how to be a human, and have morphed into some kind of “Inspiring” Content Machine. Blegh. You’ll never catch any of that bullshit from me 😉 I consider my blogging a kind of business-fun hybrid: I’ve got monetisation strategies in place, but if you told me right now that I’d never make another dollar from what I was doing, I’d keep doing it. It’s FUN for me, and I’ve “met” some incredible people (yourself included, of course) through doing it that I might never have crossed paths with otherwise.

    I effing LOVED your story about teaching a lady of mature years (yes, I can be diplomatic, now and then :P) how to cheat at book club with Cliff Notes – HA! That’s the kind of real talk that keeps me coming back to a blog. 😉 In spirit, I’ll share a handful of my own fun facts: I joined the chorus of my high-school musical because I wanted to go to their awesome parties, my now-husband and I decided to get married when we were drunk in the local and Billy Idol’s White Wedding started playing, and the same week we tied the knot I quit my well-paying full-time corporate job to write full time. 😉 Keep doing you, doll, you’re rocking it x

    • Christine
      Author
      September 28, 2018 / 2:26 pm

      I always feel uninspired by these ‘inspiring’ influencers. Like gag. Half the time they have no idea what they are saying, and they are just cutting and pasting quotes that they find online. Their pictures might be pretty, but their insides are not. You won’t catch any of that BS from me either. Part of the social media game and success should be how original and real you can be while engaging others.

      I love that you joined chorus for the parties! AHAHA!!! I didn’t know singers had awesome bashes. I’m glad that you quit your corporate job to write too. That’s awesome! Can’t wait to see where you go.

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