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Sunday, January 8, 2012

5 Blogging Rules to Break

I've been blogging for a little over a year now. During this time, I've taken e-courses, raided IFB's articles, and perused countless blog posts -- all full of blogging tips and tricks, rules and guidelines. After all of this, the only rule I consistently live by is be yourself. In my opinion, everything else can be thrown out the window! Wanna know why? Read on for my take on five common rules.

1) Keep a consistent posting schedule. I personally love organizing, planning and preparing in every area of my life. This includes blogging! However, I do have a life outside of it, and so do you. Never feel like you have to post every day, or even every other day, simply because it's what you think you should do! If you don't have the time or motivation, don't force yourself. It's better to post less and have more time to create a quality post! If you need to take a few days or a week off, go for it. Your readers will understand.



2) Only post perfect pictures. If I followed this rule, half my blog wouldn't exist! I wish I had a photographer boyfriend, but I don't. I also don't have a tripod or a remote right now, so taking my own outfit pictures is hard, too! I post quality photos most of the time, but if an entire photoshoot has bad lighting, I won't scrap it. Again, I believe that readers are more understanding than we think! (I personally love when bloggers post crappy pictures from their phone, webcam or disposable camera -- it reminds me that they're real people, too!)

3) Choose 2-3 things to blog about, and stop there. I'm a constantly evolving young adult, and my blog changes along with me. Currently, my main focuses are personal style and local restaurants. I also post about home decor and daily life. Once in awhile, I'll share a recipe or music with you. I even wrote about cars yesterday! As you can see, I have a lot of interests. While I don't want to bore or confuse my readers, I also want to continue being myself, and that means sharing the things I adore. It's possible to have a balance!



4) Have a super exciting layout to pull the reader in. Pretty layouts are eye candy to me, but you can have something simple and still be successful. (Ever heard of Fashion Toast?) Again, whatever you do, be yourself! Want a hot pink banner covered in unicorns? Sure. Want a plain black-and-white title? No problem. It's completely up to you! As long as the personality of your layout matches the personality of your content, you're golden. (I'll be giving mine a makeover soon!)

5) Don't get personal on your blog. Again, my blog wouldn't exist if I followed this rule. In fact, my personal posts are my most popular! I touch on tough stuff like love and life, and readers embrace it. We're all going through the same things, so why not talk about them? It's comforting for readers to know that they're not alone. I'm not saying that you have to talk about your personal life, but certainly don't be afraid to. In my experience, it's fostered a healthy community. :)

49 comments:

  1. This made me feel so much better about my just recently started blogging endeavors. reading blogging tips telling you what you have to do to maintain a perfect blog stresses me out to the max! thanks for posting this :)

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  2. love your blog! It's so nice!!! I follow you!
    Pass to my blog and if it likes you follow me too, I will be so glad :D
    kisses
    http://francescagiusti.blogspot.com/

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  3. Lets see:
    - I do post regularly
    - I don't only post perfect pictures... (although I want to be more consistent about this)
    - I post whatever I feel like posting... (which I am totally good with, but I need to reorganize my categories)
    - My layout is pretty clean, but it has some style. I feel like it really captures what I was going for...
    - I don't get too personal. Not really my style, but I often enjoy reading it from others (like you!)

    So yeah, rules are for picking and choosing.... or at least in the world of blogging.

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  4. rules are meant to be broken right?
    i dont follow all these rules but some are useful i have to say...i try to post only good quality photos but unfortunately i cant always organize my time it is so hard i have so many things to do...

    how are you dear? we havent talked for so long :(

    hope you are doing great my wishes for a happy 2012 also :)

    kisses
    caramellitsa

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  5. I think this is fantastic. So often we get roped into the rules of what we should and shouldn't do and blogging becomes a second job.

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  6. this is an amazing post dear and I agree with everything you said to hell with rules being yourself is most important and if a reader cannot understand that then they shouldn't be reading your blog!
    XX Ilana

    www.mymodernvintage.com

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  7. Have to agree with all of them. Sometimes we just stress ourselves way too much.


    xx
    Heel in Mint

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  8. Well said, some rules are just made to be broken!

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  9. I really enjoyed this post. I totally agree with needing to break some of these rules! glad you put it out there. Also, I love your pictures; they are taken while you are living your life! Our daily lives don't always have the best lighting, camera angles or that photographer boyfriend! It makes me feel more confident about posting mine:)

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  10. Um, can I get an AMEN?! LOVE! I've broken all these rules! I didn't even know they were actual rules! -Jessica

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  11. I tend to stick to the same topics, but I love that you don't always have to follow the rules when blogging.

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  12. Totally agree with you...
    I tried to keep my posts focused, but that just can't happen...
    (but I decided that my posts that deal with my city, Athens, deserved a separate blog, so I started a new one)
    Anna

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  13. I think I brake most of these rules! Great post! <3


    xx!
    Yvonnalivianna
    Yvonnalivianna.blogspot.com

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  14. This is great Steph! I tried for so long to follow the so-called "Blogging Rules" and I honestly feel like it was holding me back. I found it very frustrating and overwhelming. Now, I just do what works for me. Who says we can't make our own blogging rules? After all, blogging is a personal journey and we deserve our own creative control. XO

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  15. How very true! I like my "plain jane" looking blog, lol. I think most of my blog is a rule breaker, as I just post when I want when I can. always better to be yourself ... Great post!

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  16. I can't decide if I want a plain ol blog or something crazy, well I can't find a web designer all together, but anyway I too break all these rules completely!

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  17. I completely agree friend! Number 3 is actually something I almost caved on until I realized how unnatural it was for me. Thank u for putting this out there Steph.

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  18. such great rules! ive been trying to not follow the "consistent posting"... its a pet peeve when you just know a bloggers schedule! surprises are good ;)


    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

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  19. I love this! And I most relate to #3, I think. I thought that after a year-plus with my blog I would have its identity fairly settled, but I still start to feel like with the variety of content it's just floating in no-man's-land. Then I think it all falls together because the blog is about me but then there are the times when I feel insecure and want to hide so I don't want the blog to be about me anymore. But I'm learning to embrace my crazy moods and just go with it!

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  20. I agree with all of these, but especially #1 and #3. Too much rigidity a) takes all the fun out of it, and b) (in my opinion) tends to stifle the blogger's original voice. And without voice, what do you have?

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  21. I think the most important thing is to be true to yourself. Living close to our hearts feels right to ourselves and to those around us. You go, girl!
    xoxo,
    f

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  22. Great post. I agree with all of these. I'm uncomfortable with how focused a lot of people are on seeing their blog as a business with a brand; what happened to the days when blogging was about having a place to be creative and connect with other people like you? I tend to unfollow blogs which become too formulaic.

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  23. I love these! Especially 2 and 3. The picture one drives me crazy -- it is my blog and I want to get pictures on there the way I can. I don't have a photographer boyfriend or best friend, or even a remote. But I do have a nice phone and talent at finding nice mirrors ;) I know that I don't care seeing those kind of pics on blogs, so hopefully my readers don't.

    xx MaDonna
    MeMaDonna.com

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  24. Great post! I love when people post about more than just one thing, it's a nice refresher that we're all just people living life! Seeing less than great quality pictures is something I enjoy too because I know my own pictures are never top of the line.

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  25. love all those tips! So good to remember!

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  26. This is such a great post, I really love these rules to break, I personally break most of them exactly for the reasons you state and it's nice to know that it's acceptable and okay.
    Thanks :)

    L.
    http://goodmorningangel.blogspot.com

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  27. Excellent post! As someone who is still relatively new to blogging consistently, it was kind of refreshing and also reassuring to read this. And you are absolutely right about blogging/life = being yourself. I needed to be reminded. =]

    <3
    lindsayharmony.blogspot.com

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  28. This is awesome! Thanks

    http://thecharleygirl.com

    xxoo

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  29. I LOVVVE YOUR BLOG STEPHANIE!!! It's been a while since I last visited and I'm pleasantly surprised at how amazing the layout is!

    *& this post helped a lot. It's easy to say 'just be yourself above all else' but sometimes that's easier said than done. Keep up the good work! Really happy for you! <3

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  30. I am just in the planning stages of starting my blog. Your post is so helpful. Thanks!

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  31. i love this post!! my blog wouldn't exist if i followed these rules either!!! especially number one! people ARE SO UNDERSTANDING! they don't expect you to blog daily, and i've found it SO much more rewarding to only post really quality posts instead of feeling pressured to blog constantly. i ruined a couple blogs that way- by posting meaningless filler. such a bad call. also, i have a 35 mm camera, and NO digital camera (and no money to buy one!) so i need time to take good photos, get them developed, have money to purchase developing, etc, etc! not following that rule gives me a lot more freedom to do post things i'm really proud of when i have time! and i'm a big fan of being personal on my blog, i feel so much more connected to people when we can share an experience, good or bad. im so in love with my readers and their blogs! i think being really open was one of the best decisions i ever made on my blog- its put me in a circle with some super beautiful people! thank you so much for posting this list, its such a great post!! be yourself, that is definitely the best and maybe only blogging rule! i totally agree with you there :)
    -bee

    www.seacreaturess.blogspot.com

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  32. Hi, Stephanie! I found your blog through Little Chief Honeybee and I love it! You have so many great posts. This particular one is just what I was needing to read as a new blogger! Thanks for posting.

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  33. I really love this post. As a new blogger, I've tried to look at other blogs for inspiration and found a lot of posts about the do's and don't's. I feel like people come up with so many rules, and maybe they make for better blogs (maybe they don't) but I feel like they just suppress the blogger & their creativity!

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  34. This post is amazing I feel so much better now, I just started blogging and I have been feeling absolutely awful because my pictures are not top quality as I've wanted, but reading this I don't feel quite so bad

    www.deejayspeaks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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