Every blog that talks about blogging has some arbitrary list of “rules” that need to be followed. Some people act as if they’re safety regulations, like, if you don’t include an image with every post you will die or failure to optimize your content for SEO jeopardizes your immortal soul1. It’s a known fact, apparently, that poor font choices are carcinogenic. The assumption is that your goals are their goals, so they share what’s worked for them. Which would be fine, it if were couched that way. Most present it as universal truth, which, I get it, you’re trying to establish your authority so people will follow you, advertise with you, hire you, whatever. So sure, I’ll post my 10 rules for blogging, in direct violation of Rule #3.
It’s not exactly an inspiring list, but it’s also not entirely serious. I’ve already laid out my blogging plans for 2019, and weighed the pros and cons of it. Telling other people how to do it isn’t my wheelhouse. There are probably a handful of ways that you can do it wrong, but an infinite ways to do it right.
My 10 Rules for Blogging
- Give yourself time to rethink whether you want to post that.
- Try to sound like a human being.
- Don’t just write about what everyone else is writing about.
- Let go of any expectations that you can make money at this.
- When you find a voice that works, stick to it.
- Moisturize. That’s not blog-specific, just good life advice.
- Work at being interesting, even when you feel boring.
- Write whatever you want, no one actually cares about rules.
- Maybe learn how to spell and punctuate, if not actually write.
- Never follow advice presented in list form.
I’m just going through a period of intense ennui about consumer-versus-creative mindsets. Taco Bell is popular, but that doesn’t make it good. You can give the audience what they want, but it’s not creatively fulfilling to crank out more-of-same. When you break the mold you get innovation, and the audience might decide it likes the new thing. But you’ll never know unless you’re willing to try something different.
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