Read enough blogs about blogging in your RSS reader and sooner or later, it will become apparent that there are some cardinal rules when it comes to blogging. However, I am here to say that there are no rules when it comes to blogging. Ethics? Yes. Rules? No. Instead, rules should be looked at as suggestions. It should be known that every blogger has their own handful of suggestions to give out to newer bloggers thanks in part to individuality. But these suggestions or guidelines should not be followed at face value. Instead, use these suggestions as building blocks and mold them into techniques or follow up suggestions that you can pass on to your fellow blogger. Here are three examples showcasing what I’ve learned based off the suggestions I took to heart when I started blogging seriously.
Suggestion #1 Don’t quote other bloggers all the time. Strictly write unique content: This piece of advice is a slap in the face to the facet of blogging. Blogging is a form of communication and each individual should embrace the ability to be part of the larger conversation. Blogging is about linking to other bloggers, quoting them, expanding on another’s thoughts, etc. Although writing unique content and keeping to yourself may be fine and dandy, all you’re really doing is making yourself look like a snob who doesn’t care less about what is going on outside of their sphere.
Suggestion #2 Being mentioned by an A-List blogger is all that matters: Yeah, right. While being granted access to the A-List crew is a dream come true for some, they are only a small part of the overall world of blogging despite how big their egos might be. There is more to blogging than writing content that is aimed at these high profile bloggers. Blog for yourself and not them. If you play your cards right, you’ll develop your own A-List within your circle of friends.
Suggestion #3 Don’t mix your personal blog with your business blog: Although this sounds good in theory, I believe this is a definite rule (suggestion) you can break. If you blog using WordPress, you can create categories and in my opinion, you can use categories as separate blogs. Because WordPress is so versatile, readers can subscribe to your content on a per category basis. Also, based on my own experience, it is much easier to publish content to one blog instead of two blogs or more.
In episode 6 of Perfcast, David, Deb and myself described the various paths we had taken to reach our current status in our blogging careers. All three of us had traveled unique paths which in many ways, have been carved by us and no one else. The bottom line is, rules don’t apply to blogging. There are exceptions but there are exceptions to everything in life with most of them being expected. Everyone that is successful within the realm of blogging has created their own unique recipe for success. Instead of using everyone else’s recipe, create one of your own and add your own special ingredients.
If you know about ingredients (suggestions) to success that have been tried and true to blogging, share them in the comments. I’m also interested in learning about some of your special ingredients that have only worked for yourself.