This site contains affiliate links. Please see Policies for more information.
My dear friend Corie is here today! I met Corie in one of Jon Acuff’s groups last year and we hit it off like old friends. What I love most about Corie is that she is genuine–no surprises, just kindness. She recently wrote a book called The Simplicity Project and blogs over at Corie Clark.com–you’ll want to check both of those out :)
Remember the day you got the idea of starting a blog? The day you felt a fire deep inside your bones and thought to yourself, Yes! The world needs to know this! Do you still feel that when you sit down to blog? Or are you trying to fit into a carefully drawn out picture created by someone you have never even met?
There are several unspoken rules bloggers follow that, unfortunately, have become very spoken and loud over the years. Rules about how often you should post, what social media outlets you should use, what you should write about and more. Who made up these rules anyways? Who says your post needs to be a certain number of words? Who says you should avoid controversy or even stir it up for that matter? Who says you need ads, email campaigns, SEO, and giveaways to boot? Who says?
Don’t sell out.
I see so many bloggers change what they’re actually blogging about in order to make a buck. If you’re going to turn your blog into a form of revenue, at least stick to the theme of your blog. Don’t change who you are because someone else found some catchy way of making quick money. It may or may not work for you and if it doesn’t you might lose readers in the process.
Is consistency really key?
Some of my favorite bloggers are the most sporadic. They’re not coming up with content for the sake of coming up with content. Sometimes they post once per month and others ten times. No consistency whatsoever. Do I care? No! I read the blog because I love it, not because they’re fitting into my perfectly planned schedule. If your goal is increasing traffic then by all means, post consistently. But if your goal is sharing your heart then don’t put out poor content for the sake of getting it out there.
Build it and they will come.
Sure, it might take a little longer. But if you build the blog YOU want, readers will come and you won’t sell your soul in the meantime. Ok, maybe you won’t sell your soul either way but at least you’ll still find joy in what you’re doing. Let your audience be formed around who YOU are. Don’t change yourself to meet an audience. If you want to expand your audience find a way to meet the ones that don’t quite fit your demographic and blend them into who you are and what you offer.
Blog what you want.
When you blog what you’re passionate about, you’ll be more honest and real with your audience which is exactly what they want. Whatever the idea is that you had on the day you said to yourself, I should start a blog. THAT is probably what you should be writing about. It’s ok to change over time but it should only be out of your own desires and the person you’re personally becoming.
Share on your terms.
We have endless forms of social media at our fingertips. This is a great way to get our content out into the world. If we shared on every single one and tried to maintain conversations on each one, we wouldn’t have time to do anything else. Instead of trying to get yourself on every single outlet, focus on the ones that you enjoy. If you’re on Facebook, share on Facebook. If you hate Google+, then stay away. Build community and create conversations in the places you like to be.
YOU be the boss of you!
It’s time to take your blog back. Own it. Make it the blog you’ve always wanted it to be. Let go of the expectations you’ve given yourself that you may not even want to live up to. Break the rules, keep them, it really doesn’t matter. At the end of the day you need to blog for the reason YOU want to blog. Not for anyone else. Take a moment to think about why you blog, how you’re currently blogging, and what you need to do to create the blog that YOU want.
Did you love this recipe?
Make sure to comment below so we can chat about it! Or follow on your favorite social network for even more family recipes.
My struggle is that I feel if I’m not hyper-engaged on social media, my blog and future book won’t be successful.
I know the struggle Mike! It’s a tough balance. But I do feel like people will come if you are the real deal, which I know you are :)
Agree. I sometimes feel that my writing can be a bit too edgy and real but it’s the only way that I can truly communicate. Will I eventually chase away any brands because I can be sassy and opinionated?
I say stay true to yourself. And I know plenty of sassy bloggers who still have brand relationships so I don’t think that you need to worry about that. If the brand is going to be too picky about you then you may not want to work with them anyways ;)
This is just what I needed to read today! I am starting a new blog but I’ve been delaying it because I feel so much pressure to do it just right.
Lindsay, I’m so glad you found this helpful. You will be much happier blogging the way you want to in the end. It’s great to get advice and tips but weave them into what you want your blog to be. Don’t change for someone else.
I’m stuck on my stats. I feel depressed if I don’t see a lot of people liking or viewing my posts.
I will press with my story because I have to remember WHY I’m writing this. This is the story of my life and I’m writing it for my children. That is the end goal!!
Thank you for this post!! I will break the rules!!
Go Steve! Don’t look at your stats. Blog for you. If your sole purpose of blogging is to sell and make money, then by all means, watch that stuff. But sometimes that’s just not the right reason to blog. :)
Steve, I can relate to this. It helped me to remember that even if I reached one person, that one person has the potential to share my content or a post and that can have a domino or spider web effect reaching people in their network.
SO true! Love this!
“Build it and they will come.” – This exactly what I’m holding on to. Slow and steady. Write, write, write. Post when I feel it should be, and slowly build an audience.
Defy the status quo and the rules! Love it! If you stay true to who you are and what your voice is then you have a successful blog and yes, people will find it. I love the reminders here Corie. Great post. I’ve been posting consistently once a week but that’s more to keep me on track writing. I know some say to post 3-5 times a week but if I was to follow that rule I would post a lot of garbage. I could never post that often and provide good quality content.
So many good points and I’m glad you shared each one of them. Sometimes I get so caught up in the worry of whether I’m “doing it right” or if I’m keeping up with blogger so and so…
The moment I do that, I’ve lost sight of why I decided to blog and write in the first place.
Thanks for the encouragement today.
wow…I really needed this!
I’ve been struggling recently with all of the overwhelming blogging advice I’ve been seeing. Email campaigns intimidate me, and I can get so fixated on the numbers (or lack thereof) that I can feel the joy of just writing being snatched away. I worry that I’ll never get published if I don’t have a large enough following. Thank you for the reminder to breathe, to be patient, and to just be me!
This was such a good post. I’ve been blogging for years and stopped about 7 months ago for personal reasons. I am diving back in with gusto and remembering why I first started. This was a good reminder for me to not be so concerned with blogging every day, but making the content I do post valuable to my readers (and to me).
I used to try and do it like everyone else but I tried longer form posts on Sundays and that works so great for me. It pays to stray from the norm a bit :)
In my opinion, those aren’t breaking the rules, those are the rules!
I love this, thank you. I recently attended my first blog conference and it really messed me up with all the rules:(. I just want to write, my way!
I agree with all of these, especially blogging what you want. There’s so many rules in this game of blogging politics. I decided when I first started my blog that I was going to play by my OWN rules and noone else’s. If you don’t blog what you want, your readers will notice that your content is forced.
Love this post and every point is right on! I’m a newer blogger yet (started in February of this year), and I’ve realized that I need to focus on what I want to get out of my blog. And by doing that and having fun with it, then the readers and relationships will come along with it. And it’s working great so far!
A big obstacle I’ve had to overcome was the ‘post daily’ mentality. I started out by blogging every day, but then got really burned out doing this. I’m a mom with three kids and one of them is doing school at home this year. My family has to come first, followed closely by blogging and then housework/laundry is a distant third lol!
And yeah-I don’t do social media besides my blog. I don’t have any desire to have a twitter account/fb page etc. so I don’t! I know that makes me the odd one out, but I’m doing this my own way and that’s ok :)
Thanks for stopping by! You’re on the right path – do what is best for you and your blog, and you’ll avoid burnout!
Thanks for the Words of Encouragement! I’m moving my blog to a more professional place ( I’m getting serious) this is just what I needed to be reminded of. There are so many experts out there to guide me in the “right direction”. Thanks for reminding me my mind & passion is the Right Direction.
I like the idea of doing things for yourself. That’s basically the entire premise of my blog but recently, I decided to blog 3 times a week instead of 5 (as there’s a baby on the way) but already I can see my traffic is falling.
I think you have to be prepared to make these kinds of sacrifices in order to really “do things your way” and sadly, a drop in traffic is going to happen.
Thanks for the article.