Here’s the truth: Most bloggers are being controlled. Their articles, content, styles and brands are being dictated by the “rules” of traditional blogging.
Here’s the truth about traditional blogging: It doesn’t exist. Without the creativity, self-expression, and freedom that blogging affords, blogging itself wouldn’t exist. So answer these questions, please:
Why do people let the “rules” of blogging rule their blog?
Is it because they need validation that what they’re doing is right?
Is it because they’re afraid of making a mistake?
Or maybe they’re afraid to be different. Whatever it is, it’s hurting their image, because they’re blending in with the crowd. It’s also hurting the blogging industry, because the lack of creativity leads to lack of high-quality content.
But rules are necessary, right? Yes and no.
Some rules are necessary, such as, “Don’t spam other blogs,” and, “Don’t badmouth other bloggers.” Those are important. But there are five blogging rules that I refuse to follow. They are:
1. Keep posts short.
My posts will be as long as they have to be. Who made up this craziness about people’s short attention spans? We come online, and all of sudden we’re dumber?
That doesn’t make any sense to me. If your posts are interesting, engaging, entertaining, and/or educational, they can be 1,200 words, or more.
Check out these posts, and then read the comments. I don’t think any of my readers have short attention spans. Do you?
2. Make everyone happy.
In other words, don’t say anything to piss anybody off; agree with everybody. Those of you who have been following me know how I feel about personal branding and how taking a stand can only help your brand.
People will disagree with you, and they might be really mad at you, but if you’re trying to make everyone happy, you’ll hurt your brand in the long term because you never stood for anything.
3. Be perfect.
This is more of a belief rather than a rule. I’ve never actually seen a blogger write about how we have to be perfect in everything we do, but we still think we do.
There are people who don’t publish their podcasts and videos because they aren’t perfect. They don’t put out content regularly because they feel it can be improved, but it ends up hurting their productivity.
This belief of perfectionism will stop you from taking any action, and it’ll hold you back. Let go of it, and just be human.
4. Post every day.
This topic has been beaten to death, and with good reason. There are benefits to posting every day and benefits to posting less frequently.
But the idea of making this a blogging rule just isn’t cool. I, like many other bloggers, got burned out when I was starting out trying to do this. Yes, my blog grew, but then I stopped posting for about two weeks (not good).
It really depends on what your blogging goals are.
5. The goal is more page views.
This also depends on your blogging goals, but more and more bloggers realize that building community and getting the right people on your email list is more important than page views.
I would rather get 500 responsive email subscribers than 10,000 page views and no one signing up any day. Wouldn’t you?
A version of this article first appeared on HectorCuevas.com.