Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Breaking all the blogging rules

I've never been much of a rebel, in fact I'm probably more of a goody two shoes who sticks to the rules, but when it comes to blogging it appears I'm breaking all the rules.

There are a number of blogging experts out there these days {trust me just Google, you'll find loads} and there are heaps of blogging courses, conferences, e-books, planners etc which will all give you an abundance of advice about how to become the next big blogger. I've attended conferences, bought planners and done quite a few online courses and webinars about blogging in the bid to improve my knowledge and try to be a better blogger. Sometimes I come away motivated and full of ideas, and then other times I come away disheartened.

You see it can be really overwhelming receiving loads of advice in a short period of time. Plus then I realise that no matter how much I want to implement all the ideas, I have a 2yr old at home with me 24/7 and she demands my attention about 95% of that time, so try as I might I will never be able to implement all the things {and will probably never make it big as a blogger, but that's totally ok}. Even though I'm not a big blogger, I do still have a relatively successful blog {if I do say so myself} so as much as its good practice to be super organised with blogging, it's also totally ok to not be. 
Finding Myself Young: Breaking all the blogging rules, you can still have a successful blog.


1. I don't have a specific niche


One of the most important things to have as a blogger is a niche, apparently. Because without a niche nobody will find your site and nobody will value your opinion etc, etc. You see the idea is to pick a specific interest category and become an expert in that topic then blog about it til the cows come home so the right people keep coming back to read your really informative posts. I don't doubt that would work well, especially if I was a food blogger or something, but I'm not.

I think its super hard to have a niche as a personal blogger, because in essence the only thing that all my posts have in common is me, and I'm multifaceted so my posts will naturally cover a number of topics. I write about what interests me or what's going on in my life at any point in time. Right now that involves posts about my daughter driving me crazy, cute things she says, our infertility journey the second time around and my photography challenge. If I happen to get pregnant again I will most likely write new pregnancy related posts as well. My interests are diverse and ever changing and not everyone is going to like everything about me and that's fine {thankyou to those of you who love me enough to keep coming back}.

2. I don't solve problems


Apparently before I write my posts I should ask myself if the topic is going to solve someone's problem. If it does it's good, if it doesn't apparently nobody will read it. My problem with this is that I don't know how to solve people's problems, because I'm not a psychologist. While I do occasionally write posts about my experience with traumatic situations, such as post natal depression, leaving my narcissistic husband and living life as a child of suicide; I write them so others who may be facing the same situations feel less alone. I don't write them to solve their problems. I write them to say hey I went through this shit experience and came out the other side and you most probably will too.

3. I forget to write down post ideas


I frequently come up with awesome post ideas and forget to write them down. Bad blogger. My problem is that I usually get post ideas as I'm falling asleep or when I'm in the shower, neither are the ideal time for creative genius to strike. 

4. I don't batch post


One of the most efficient ways to blog is to batch post and write a number of posts in one day. I really think the experts forgot to factor in the tiny human effect when coming up with this plan. I agree it makes total sense to knock out a bunch of posts in one sitting and then have free time for the rest of the week. I'm actually totally envious of people who manage to do it. I probably won't be one of those people until my small child goes to school. You see small children like being the centre of attention most of the day, and on top of that mine doesn't like to sleep until late at night, so the chances of me ever getting a decent block of time in which to sit down and write is pretty much zero.

5. I don't have a publishing schedule


Last year I had a publishing schedule and I published 4 blog posts per week, with certain posts scheduled for certain days. I'm not going to lie it was good having a plan of attack and knowing which posts to publish on which days, however, life caught up with me. I got burnt out and I was spending all my spare time trying to keep up with my schedule. That's when I knew it wasn't working for me and I had to cut back.

6. I don't have a dedicated area to blog


Obviously if I had a harmonious, well organised, quiet, bright and airy office in which to construct literary genius as I saw fit then my blog posts would be amazing. However, I have two major things going against me on this one, a toddler and a townhouse. The toddler ensures nothing is ever harmonious, well organised or quiet and the townhouse just means I don't have enough space for all my stuff, let alone an office. At the moment I blog on the couch with my laptop, usually late at night. It works for now.

***

Sometimes you don't have to follow all the rules the experts tell you to follow and you can still be successful doing things your own way. Most of all its important to do things in a way that works for you and works with your lifestyle or you'll burn out. 

Do you follow a set of blogging rules?

Toni x


Linking with Jess

43 comments:

  1. Oh dear, I break all these rules too. Whoops!
    I think just do whatever works for you :).

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  2. I think by sharing your story you may be solving people's problems, especially when the problem is "am I alone feeling this?"

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    1. Hopefully on some level I am or at least making them feel better about their situation.

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  3. Great post! So much advice out there about how to have a 'successful' blog...sometimes you just need to shut it all out and do your own thing

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  4. All rules are made to be broken. Me too.

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  5. I still enjoy reading your blog! Blogging rules are boring!

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  6. Thank you so much for this post....I don't follow the rules either and I'm quite happy with my blog and my very broad 'niche'.

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  7. Oh my gosh we are such rebels!! I 100% agree that with little people around a schedule (or plan of any kind) is tough, I juggle my blog, work and 4 kids (includes a toddler and 4 month old baby). It can be hectic and often don't achieve what I had planned but it gets done.....eventually! Besides having an office, no rules are followed here.

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    1. Yep I think little people really screw up any type of schedule, but they also make life fun and I'd rather have that. So jealous you have an office!

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  8. The only thing that I do out of the above is write down my ideas. I think the road to success is different for personal bloggers and the rules don't necessarily apply. I find my best content comes for me in the moment. You can't plan it a month ahead. #teamIBOT

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    1. Yes us personal bloggers don't seem to fit most of the rules to start with. I also find its really hard to plan posts ahead when they're personal ones because our lives change so much.

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  9. I don't have a niche, rarely solve a problem, don't have a planner, don't do Webinars or blogging courses and no way do I batch post. Most of my posts are 1000-1500 words! Who has the time to write a batch of those? I say screw the rules. The rules are made up; it's your blog, you can do whatever the hell you want with it :)

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    1. Yep 1000-1500 words is meant to be a big no no! Yet so many people read your blog lol. I say do whatever you want as well.

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  10. I'm exactly the same. All these points relate to me as well. I do what I do and just hope someone reads it xx

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  11. I'm breaking the rules with you!
    I don't have any desire to be the next top blogger. I'm happy doing what I'm doing and not stressing myself about it.
    As for solving problems, yes that helps, but people also read blogs for personal stories and that's just as valid.

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    1. I think I actually read more blogs for personal stories than I have ever read to solve any problems ;)

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  12. I don't follow any of those rules either! Never have and I'm doing alright after almost 7 years. I'm never gonna be rich or famous thanks to my blog and that's more than ok with me! Great post, Toni!

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    1. If you're still going after 7yrs then you're obviously doing something right!

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  13. Toni, totally hearing you! I don't do anything I ought to. I have no interest in the cult of ProBlogger, I don't do courses. I barely bother with social media. I recently unsubscribed from most Facebook blogging threads because it was all just driving me nuts! (Wow that's a huge relief too.)
    I have six kids, I just did my back and I am not having a healthy year so just publishing what I can when I can. I am sure no-one's even noticed! ProBlogger I ain't nor will be. Blogging satisfies me and that's all that matters.

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  14. It took the whole first year of blogging for me to realise the rules people wrote about were bullshit. For every person who does x there is someone doing the opposite so I started ignoring rules and doing whatever felt right to me. Keep going you rebel xxx

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    1. Yea I don't think there will ever be a set of rules that fit every blogger and some of us are perfectly happy not being famous {although if I got famous by accident that would be great}.

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  15. I break all of those rules too. I used to follow a schedule and I'd batch write but I burned out quickly. It really took the shine off blogging for me. One thing I tell people who seem to be stuck on the idea of needing a niche is that people come for your voice, write it and they will come. I think that you're achieving number two more than you give yourself credit for too. Helping people to feel less alone is solving a problem. Feeling less alone can give people that push they need to get help, or cut themselves some slack.

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    1. Yes for me half the fun of it is the spontaneity and connecting with other people, having it too scheduled and planned made it really boring. I hope I'm making some people feel less alone because that's the whole reason why I chose to share those stories in the first place.

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  16. Love this! I'm glad i'm not the only wrong who doesn't write my blog post ideas out most of the time! ;) Great read! {xx} Sammy @ Www.bargainbaglady.com

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    1. So many times I forget to write them down. Half the time I've written most of the post in my head before I go to sleep and then when I wake up can't remember half of it!

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  17. Best thing about being a blogger is that you are your own boss and you set the rules! I guess the advice come from those who have plugged away at it for years and possibly earns an income from what they love - which in an ideal world is like hitting the jackpot xx

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    1. Oh yes the advice definitely comes from people who are making a heap of money from doing it. I love being able to decide when and what I do on my blog, I don't think I could ever turn it into a proper business and see it that way because then it wouldn't be fun anymore.

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  18. Sometimes all the rules are just too much input! It can totally distract me from actually writing. Great reminder! Visiting from One Mother Hen link up :)

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    1. Yes they definitely distract me from just writing. Too much over thinking.

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  19. I tend to go at my own pace. I did post a lot, but it did get a bit much. Life has to come first, and then I blog about it! By the look of this I am a massive rule breaker!

    I do have a small blogging space, but I rarely get a look in because there is usually a kid watching Youtube or playing games on the computer! Bring on bed time and I love my days when they are both at school or kindy! Not that I get much done lol.

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    1. I'm trying to convert our spare room into some sort of office/playroom, but in reality if she's in there I probably still won't get much writing done. Everything usually gets done after bed time or when she's eating.

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  20. I don't follow any rules either and often find myself scratching my head and wondering why I continue and bother... I read a lot of those courses and tips and feel like I follow so many of them and yet am not really sure why my blog hasn't 'taken off'..... I think I could stop blogging tomorrow and not really be missed...

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    1. But those who do read would miss you.

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  21. I'm not one for those rules either. I just blog because I want to and if it make the 50+ followers I have happy (if they read it) then that is fine, if it doesn't who cares, if tomorrow I post something that goes viral and I hit the big time awesome, if that never happens I'm cool with it. I definitely blog on the fly, any ideas are forgotten. I'm not sure I have a niche either, just me a photos and maybe a touch of travel blogging in there. My office is the loungeroom chair or kitchen table, doesn't matter, same room, next to each other. I don't care if I am a hopeless blogger in terms of the rules, I don't care if I don't have all that awesome bloggy stuff on my blog and something that is beautiful and trendy. I do it for me and if anyone wants to come for the ride they have to realise they are in this car with me and I am the driver. Ooooh that was a good one! Great advice, do things your own way.

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