Am I in some kind of a time warp? Has it really been a month since my last post?
Well, that’s it. My blog is doomed—at least, that’s what conventional blogging wisdom would have you believe.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever googled how to grow your blog.
That’s not a bad thing! You’ve built a beautiful site and spend time maintaining it and creating content. It’s only natural to want to reap a little reward in the form of increased stats and subscribers.
When I first started blogging, I devoured how to blog articles like chocolate. No, I wasn’t looking to get rich quick or become a world-famous blogger. I just have a passion for writing and web design; therefore, I read about it—a lot!
However, I soon learned that most of the “essential blogging tips” floating around the internet are outdated and impractical. Following them may even hurt your blog!
The way I see it, there’s only one way to grow a blog: Your Way.
That’s why I’m not going to tell you the right way to blog. Technically, there is none! Instead, I’d like to share a list of eight blogging rules I break all the time.
1. Post Something New Daily:
Reporters may be able to keep up this demanding schedule, but I certainly can’t!
Blogging takes time, especially when you are your own photographer, graphic designer, and editor. Attempting to do all that in one day will, no doubt, lead to badly written articles or (even worse) blogger burnout😱.
It’s better to focus on creating one meaningful article a week (or whenever your schedule allows) than push yourself to meet a deadline because—well—you’re hoping for more hits.
2. Be Active On Every Social Media Channel:
Being present on every social media platform is unnecessary. It’s also exhausting. After setting up the scene, taking the photo, editing it, and thinking up a decent caption, I’m tired!
Still, social media is great for sharing and promoting your posts. The key is to not overdo it.
Pick one or two platforms that you’re comfortable with and direct your energy there. My personal favorites are Pinterest and Instagram. Those two are perfect for doll bloggers as we often prefer sharing pictures than re-tweeting quotes.
3. Use ‘X’ Amount Of Words:
Some “experts” preach that short, scannable articles are best. Others insist a post should never be less than 1500 words.
So, what is the perfect post length? Whatever you want it to be!
If you can give your audience valuable information in 300 words, go for it! But, if need more space to express your thoughts (like I usually do), don’t be afraid to publish that lengthy post.
You can’t let word count dictate your content.
4. One Niche Only:
Yes, I have a niche (dolls), but I’m not afraid to go off-topic.
Writing about the same stuff over and over again is boring for both you and your readers. You need some spice in your online life!
Having the freedom to dabble in multiple subjects keeps your creativity flowing, especially on days when you’re out of ideas. And you may never pick a niche!
Many have proven the “niche rule” is crap. They have what’s called a lifestyle blog and talk about everything from fashion to cooking, gardening, and crafting. Heck, some even write toy reviews!
Sticking with a single topic is fine. But if your blog starts feeling more like a chore than a fun activity, try changing subjects. Or go niche-less altogether!
5. Keep A Schedule:
I see this rule repeated more than any other. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great idea. But it’s totally impractical.
Not to sound overly poetic (‘cause that’s so not me), but life is like water. It ebbs and flows and changes by the minute. This makes sticking to a perfectly planned schedule difficult. And not just for me— for everyone.
Who could’ve predicted a global pandemic would disrupt our daily existence? No one! Nowadays, simple tasks like picking up groceries or grabbing a gallon of paint at Home Depot are twice as hard and take twice as long.
Unforeseen events happen all the time. That’s why your blog must be adaptable. Maybe you post weekly for a year then BOOM! Something causes you to miss a week—or even four!
Guess what? That’s totally okay!
Having responsibilities outside of blogging doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just proves no one ever knows what’s waiting around the river bend😉.
6. Treat Your Blog Like A Business:
Lots of people blog for a living. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s great!
But not everyone wants to turn their blog into a career. Some of us blog because it’s fun!
Because of that, our definition of success will look much different than someone who blogs for profit. For us, success is sharing a gallery of pretty doll pictures or craft tutorials with other 1:6 scale enthusiasts.
7. Don’t Be Offensive:
There was a time when expressing one’s opinion was a good thing–even praised. But not anymore. Whether it’s via the news or social media, we’re always being reminded to analyze what we say and do so we don’t offend anyone.
Look, I’m all for internet etiquette, but is it really possible to be authentic and please everybody? How can you write an honest review or a heartfelt post when you’re constantly censoring yourself?
Obviously, I’m not advocating hateful comments or goading people into debates. I’m just saying you shouldn’t let online peacekeepers (or the fear of them) take away your freedom of speech.
The worst thing you can do as a writer is squash your personality in an attempt to make everyone happy.
8. Only Self-Hosted Bloggers Are Relevant:
Okay, so I don’t necessarily ignore this rule since I do own my site. But I’m also not going to sit here and say you can’t have a legitimate blog unless you self-host. That’s not how I operate.
The truth is you most certainly can run an amazing blog using free platforms, like Blogger or Wordpress.com. In fact, beginners probably shouldn’t pay for hosting.
Blogging isn’t for everyone. That’s why I believe newbies ought to test the waters with a free service before handing over their hard-earned cash.
After learning the ropes and deciding whether you’re in it for the long haul, you can upgrade to a paid hosting plan with all the bells and whistles.
When you do, I highly recommend Namecheap. They are one of the few companies offering web hosting at a fair price. Even their renewal fees are affordable!
So, to wrap this up and tie it with a bow, there is no secret formula for becoming a champion blogger. There are only people’s opinions.
Trust me, following old “tips” that don’t apply to your niche is not the way to go. It only ends in frustration. Instead, give yourself leeway to color outside the lines. Sometimes that’s the only way to find the right blogging path for you.
On the flip side, it’s also not smart to abandon your blog for too long, which is why I must apologize for my month-long absence. That was not supposed to happen!
But, with the world as it is now, days where I have the energy to craft or write have been few and far between. I already struggle with migraines, and the mandatory-mask wearing has only intensified them. (Apparently, breathing your own carbon-dioxide has side-effects).
Nevertheless, I’m hopeful all this nonsense will end soon and we can get back to normal life. For me, this would include posting weekly once again😉.
Now it’s your turn!
Do you follow the rules or are you a blogging rebel? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!