Right Way, Wrong Way, Your Way

You know what they say, opinions are like noses, everybody has one. (Although there are other, more vulgar versions of that phrase that obviously I would never repeat, *cough*). When you are starting out with something with as many variables as blogging, all these opinions on what is right and wrong, what works and what doesn’t, good and bad, well it can get a bit confusing. We are probably as guilty as any of adding to this confusion, although I hope we are a help most of the time.

Thing is with blogging there isn’t any right or wrong path. There is always another way to do this right. Blogging is an art rather than a science and it depends almost as much on individual personality as it does technique. So rather than there being a “right way” there is only “your way”.

So what am I saying, why am I telling you this?

OK, it might not be a whole bunch of help me saying that you should do things your own way. Especially if you are only just starting out. But that is precisely what you should do. How you find out what “your way” turns out to be is the important bit.

A lot of the advice I read from bloggers could lead someone to think “I need to focus on this” or “that tactic worked for so and so, it must be the way forward”. I’m not saying don’t read the advice and take note of it, quite the opposite. Try everything and see what works for you. Once you have tried something test the results, check back and see if it works for you. Follow your instincts for what fits you most naturally.

Or course some really great tactics will not work for you right away, some through bad luck, others through faulty implementation, others through just plain bad advice, some things will just be wrong for you. You will have to work out which it was.

Blogging is wide open for experimentation. Saying you are a “blogger” does not precisely define what it is you do any more than saying you are a writer. Are you a diarist, a technical blogger, do you blog the news or write tutorials? Is your blog product focussed or all about sarcastic wisecracks?

Here at Performancing we try to give advice based on our own experience, what has worked for us and what has not. I know Darren at Problogger does the same. We are all learning, our experience of blogging changes daily and so do the tactics we use and the approach we employ. It’s really all we can do. Be wary, the advice you read might be just speculation, rehash of others advice or dodgy recommendations in order to sell affiliate products and there is enough bad advice out there without adding to it.

Not all tactics will work for all bloggers equally and in reality it takes a combination of tactics to be truly successful. It is rare that any one thing will work in isolation. When you find something that works for you, do not ditch all your other activities. If you hear about something you are not doing, do not worry overmuch if it looks promising just see if you can incorporate it into your strategy.

So next time you see someone telling you that the only way to success is through SEO, or social bookmarking, or free article sharing sites, or forum spamming, or any of the other multitude of tactics, do try it and see if it works for you but don’t believe you have found the “one true way” either, YOUR WAY is the only way.

5 thoughts on “Right Way, Wrong Way, Your Way

  1. Max Power (Homer): Kids, there’s three ways to do things. The right way, the wrong way, and the Max Power way!
    Bart: Isn’t that the wrong way?
    Max Power: Yeah, but faster!

  2. I’d say that whatever you do, enjoy it. Yeah, make money too, but lets be ethical (no plagarism please) – so I’d agree with Problogger. This is definitely a great topic, and it’s interesting to hear that there’s not neccessarily a ‘way’, only your ‘way’ like so many things in life

  3. I’m not sure that I’m a blogger – I just happen to use blogging software. In fact – I’m not exactly sure what the hell I am. But I certainly am doing it my own way and at times it feels like I’m swimming upstream. As a graphic artist and political satirist I have confidence in my own work but am entirely unsure of myself in the Blogshere. And while I read a lot of stuff posted on Performancing – most of the time this reading just adds to ‘the fog of war’. But upon reading this article I felt a little less nervous.
    Thanks for saying a few things that I needed to hear.

  4. Yeah I agree there are some things that I would rather not see but one persons spam is another persons valuable service. For example, aggregation sites can be especially valuable for some sectors as they save you hunting around for latest info but on the other hand they are reproducing content often without permission and definitely compete with the originator in the search engines. Right/Wrong, who is to say?

    On what is a blog, I think Nick was starting a discussion about the topic rather than making any real judgements on it, he does say “I dont have a solution to this, Im not even sure it’s actually a problem (well, not a huge one..), but think its worthy of a little discussion”

  5. Good post Chris. I’m with you on this one – it’s ALL about finding your own voice, niche, style, rhythm etc.

    Of course I wonder if there are some ‘rights and wrongs’ when it comes to some of the ethical stuff (comment spam, plagiarism etc) – but I guess outside of that anything goes.

    Having said that I wonder how this post fits with Nick’s last one. I know he was writing about junk blogs (and I don’t really take issue with aything he wrote) but sometimes I wonder where the line is between letting people find their own way and making calls about what blogs are or are not.

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