Breaking These 9 Blogging Rules Will Make You Unstoppable


The internet is littered with so-called “blogging rules”. A quick scroll down my Twitter feed, I’m bombarded with posts telling me the “right” way to do everything from pitching to brands to designing my logo.

  • How To Craft The Perfect Media Kit
  • 10 Time Management Lessons You Need To Learn
  • Triple You Blog Traffic In Three Simple Steps
  • 5 Do’s and Don’ts For Your Blog Layout

Don’t get me wrong – these posts have their place, and can be very helpful. (I’ve even written my own on how to get the most out of linky parties). But they can also put a lot of pressure on bloggers by implying that breaking the rules will doom their blog to failure.

This is simply NOT TRUE!

Here is a list of 9 blogging rules that I choose to break.

9 Blogging Rules That I Choose To Break

1. Be available 24/7

Okay I get it – the internet never sleeps! You could be emailed, tweeted, pinned any time of the day or night. But you really don’t need to be contactable all the time.

I am, first and foremost, a mum.

When my kids are at home, I leave my phone in the kitchen. It’s out of reach so I’m not distracted by it. But it’s easily accessible so I can have a quick glance when I’m in the room to see if there’s anything urgent I need to respond to.

I also have a complete blogging break at the weekend. That is family time.

Generally speaking, you won’t lose a pitch simply by taking a few hours to respond.

2. Post every day

There are lots of blogging challenges that encourage you to post every day. I appreciate that the discipline is good for honing your skills and great for SEO, but, unless you’re a pro, it’s really not necessary.

Yes you need to post regularly, but 2 or 3 times per week is perfectly sufficient to keep Google noticing you.

3. Be on every social media channel

There are so many social media platforms out there, and we’re encouraged to be on them all. But I reckon quality is better than quantity.

It’s not just about having a presence there – you need to be engaged. You can’t influence people if you’re just a name that churns out links to your blog. Conversation is key.

(Having said that, I’ve just signed up to Instagram, so if you could pop over & follow me, I would be most grateful – @lucyathomeblog – because it’s tough starting out on a new platform. Eek!)

4. Use personal photographs

I can totally see how photographs of yourself and your children can help to endear your blog to your readers but… I prefer to remain anonymous. I write about personal topics and deep feelings, so I’d rather my next door neighbour or the mums at school didn’t know it was me.

Online Photos Camera Photograph

The way that people bang on about it, you’d would think it was a cardinal sin not to put a mugshot in your bio!

However, I’ve now been blogging a year, with no photos of my face or my children’s faces, and guess what?! It hasn’t been a problem and my blog is thriving.

5. Vlog

Vlogging is the way forward. Urrgh! But I don’t want to vlog. Plus it’s pretty hard to vlog if you want to remain anonymous! Haha. I know that vlogging is the new thing, but my passion is writing, not TV presenting.

However, books weren’t wiped out by TV, so I don’t think vlogging will extinguish blogging either.

6. Plan

This is one of those blogging rules that is always making the rounds. As a super organised person, you’d think this would be right up my street!

But actually it cramps my creativity!

I hate writing to a brief. I much prefer to write about what’s on my mind at the moment, rather than what I thought I should write about when I wrote the publishing plan 4 weeks ago.

When you have contracts to fulfil, that’s different. I did have a brief plan at the beginning of the year when I had a number of interlinked deadlines to meet. But other than that, I’m a free spirit! Haha.

7. Make money

Eeek! I fall into this trap all the time; I value my blog based on how much money it’s made.

budget party cheap coins pennies

The internet is swamped by posts telling us how to make money and how to appeal to brands. Don’t get me wrong – they’re really helpful (and I definitely appreciate the money!) BUT blogging is not just a money-making machine.

I also blog because:

  • I enjoy it
  • it’s my little space
  • I like connecting with others
  • I have something to say
  • I like being creative

Making money is a happy by-product of my hobby, not one of the blogging rules.

8. Don’t compare yourself to others

Actually, I compare myself to other bloggers all the time. It’s what you do with that information that counts!

Being envious of others or down on yourself won’t help you. But analysing WHY someone is doing better than you or WHY their blog is more successful can make you up your game and show you how to improve.

9. Have a goal

Yes I’m sure this one works for lots of people – goals give direction and motivation. But I’m a terrible perfectionist. When I set goals, I can’t rest until I’ve fulfilled them.

I worry about what I still need to do to achieve my goal and become overly fixated on the end result.

Instead, I choose to keep plodding along, putting one foot in front of the other, and enjoying the journey.

 

Conclusion

So those are the 9 blogging rules that I choose to break. I’m not telling you to break them too, but what I am saying is this:

Do what works for you!

Most of us are not pro bloggers. Many of us have other responsibilities; children, jobs, homes, hobbies, commitments. Blogging is just one aspect of our lives, and it’s one that can easily swallow up far more time than it needs to.

Blogging rules are a great starting point, but you don’t need to be a slave to your blog. Draw your own boundaries and take the control back. Blogging is a long game, and you need to pace yourself. A bit of pressure and structure is good, but you don’t want to burn out before you make it.

I am sure that the key to blogging is enjoying what you do. And that, my friends, will make you unstoppable!

 

Now over to you – are there any blogging rules that you ignore or bend? Do you plan out your blog and your time or do you take things as they come? I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below 

Lucy At Home
Rhyming with Wine
Dear Bear and Beany

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68 Comments

Add yours
  1. 2
    The DADventurer (Dave)

    Very refreshing post to read – I always say that there are no rules to blogging, you do what you want and how you want. I think too many people think that you need to follow a set formula to become ‘successful’. You don’t at all and your points above show that.

  2. 4
    Heather Keet

    I fight really hard to not let the almighty dollar dictate what I write about. I refuse to publish posts just for the sake of publishing something daily. Love the rules you break, I also break them! #BlogCrush

  3. 6
    Pamela lorimer

    I totally agree! Some of these posts are helpfuo but most do nohing but leave you feeling a bit deflated and defeated if you are unable to meet the demands. Im a blogger..but im a mum of two working 48hours a week with a husband. Blogging is not definitely a hobby for me and im good with that! I love wriitng (agree aboit Vlogging eesh!) . Great post and I respect the fact you are keeping yourself annonymous #PoCoLo

    • 7
      Lucy At Home

      I love reading blogging tips posts because it’s good to learn from other people’s experiences but, as you say, sometimes it just seems so achievable. I reckon you find what works for you and stick with it

  4. 10
    Siobhan

    Some great perspective here for a newbie like me – don’t get caught up in deadlines and pressure to post all the time, don’t feel the need to be checking everything 24/7 – it’s so easy to fall into that trap! Best to keep it fun! #BlogCrush

    • 11
      Lucy At Home

      It’s easier said than done but I think taking the time to work out where your boundaries are is a good idea, and then try to stick to them. Thanks for commenting, Siobhan

  5. 12
    Mother freckle

    Absolutely refreshing to read. I am a complete newbie to the blogging world, and although there are plenty out there I chose to do it my way… making plenty of mistakes along the way! Love your blog! #blogcrush

  6. 14
    The Fat Girl

    I think my lovely husband would be very happy if i was dedicated to making my hobby blog earn me money. But i really am just doing it for myself! I have always liked writing, whether or not i’m actually any good at it! Thanks for these tips they really do reassure me that i am on the right track and theres nothing wrong with doing it for myself =) #blogcrush

  7. 18
    Angela Watling (Life, Motherhood and Everything)

    It’s like you read my mind Lucy, thank-you so much for this post! I have been through real ups and downs with this over the last 12 months. I’ve come to many similar conclusions over that time. I post twice a week and join linkys most days but only when I’m not overwhelmed with something else. One of my favourite weekend linkys hasn’t run for a while and to be honest I have enjoyed taking a weekend break like you do.

    Also as I said on twitter…vlogging is a NO!!!

    #BlogCrush

    • 19
      Lucy At Home

      I’m similar to you – I have linkies that I try to join regularly, but if I’m snowed under with work, I just give them a miss that week. Otherwise blogging becomes a duty and a chore rather than something I do for fun

  8. 20
    Nicole - Tales from Mamaville

    A refreshing insight into blogging; lovely post. Of course it all depends on whether your blog is your business or just your hobby (though I think the two eventually merge into one another), but you are so right, the bottom line is to ENJOY it. That’s why you started blogging in the first place!
    I agree with you on points 3 and 4 – engagement is key when on social media, not just a presence. And I too choose to be semi-anonymous (at least as far as pictures of my son are concerned). But that’s a personal choice, I believe.
    #BlogCrush

  9. 23
    Paula from Her Life Is Love

    Hey Lucy, I also don’t want to use personal photographs of my daughter. The only way she is visible in images is if her face is not a full front photo where you can definitely tell what she looks like. I just don’t feel comfortable at this point in revealing her face, although I don’t mind sharing mine! #blogcrush

  10. 24
    Wendy

    Love this post Lucy!! I have been blogging 2 years now and have often fallen into the trap of trying to play by the rules. Whenever I try and do things how other people tell me to do it it doesn’t take long for me to lose motivation, I definitely think just doing things your own way is the way forward.xx #blogcrush

  11. 25
    Tracey Bowden

    Yes just this! I blog as a hobby and whilst it’s good I’m getting great opps from it, I also know when to switch off. I would rather not post anything than something for the sake of it. I hate that people think there are rules to follow like this you need a niche thing. I don’t have a niche, I have words on a page and n=most of the time they literally make no sense. I haven’t linked to #blogcrush this week but I would most definitely say this is the best post I’ve read this week x

    • 26
      Lucy At Home

      Aaaw Tracey, this is such a lovely thing to say – I am now wearing a huge grin across my face!

      I think it’s important to be able to switch off from the blogging when you need to, and take the opportunities that you want to, rather than because you feel you need to to tick the right boxes. Thank you for your lovely comment

  12. 27
    Susie - This Is Me Now

    Ah I loved this. Do you know what I kind of wish I’d started out anonymous because sometimes I want to write something but I’m scared of what either a)my mum thinks or b) what my Facebook friends might think. And I agree about not needing to post every day. I honestly can’t see how people do that without being pro and having their kids in childcare. And yes it’s not all about he money. I’ve barely made anything but then I feel shit for it like it’s an indication that my blog is crap. And yes first and foremost I am a mum. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that. I like your way of leaving your phone in the kitchen-I think I need to try that as I hate being distracted by notifications. Xx #BlogCrush

    • 28
      Lucy At Home

      I keep thinking that I need to “come out” and stop the anonymity because blogging takes up so much of my time and I’m worried that people are going to be getting frustrated with me for always saying I’m busy, when they have no idea why. But I’m also terrified that once I’ve done it, there’s no turning back! Eeek!

  13. 29
    MommyandRory

    This is a really great post. It’s easy to get caught up in the does and don’ts of blogging but what works for one blogger isn’t necessarily going to work for another. Everyone has their own style, personal commitments and goals #BlogCrush

  14. 30
    Surrey mama

    This is a great post and I totally agree sometimes in any form of job or walk of life you have to follow your instincts or what you feel is right for you to do – not what everyone says you should do. #blogcrush

  15. 31
    Rhyming with Wine

    Ooh you rebel Lucy! 😉 I’m with you on most of these to be honest. I’ve never blogged more than 3 x a week and generally only one of those will be a new rhyme. I don’t put many personal photos on. I don’t do Pinterest. I’ve barely earned a penny and that’s fine by me. It’s my blog and my hobby so I need to make it work to suit me and my life and family commitments. Here’s to tearing up the rule book! Thanks for hosting #blogcrush x

  16. 33
    Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness

    I can relate to so many of these and think this post is so refreshing! No. 1 needs to be broken otherwise I would go made and no. 9 is true too – I sometimes do think my blogging is a bit ‘aimless’ but then I have so many aims in my professional life and this is a hobby after all so I don’t think it matters! Thanks for being the voice of reason. #blogcrush xx

  17. 34
    Helena

    What a great thought provoking post you’ve got here. I have all good intentions of writing posts in advance and linking up asap but I’m no morning person. #BlogCrush

  18. 35
    Helen @Talking_Mums

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I felt like I was missing out / not doing asa well I I could be by not posting every day or being available always. I’m a mum and that comes first, I enjoy blogging but it needs to fit around my life and not the other way around x
    #DreamTeam

  19. 37
    Squirmy Popple

    This is great! I often think of myself as a ‘bad’ blogger because I don’t do most of the things you’re supposed to do – post to a schedule (I manage once or twice a week, never on the same day), be on social media constantly (I can’t be arsed – though I recently joined Instagram too!), and vlog (like you, I have no interest in being an on-screen personality). I’m not trying to make a career out of this, so I just do things my own way, and accept the smallish following that comes along with that. #DreamTeam

  20. 39
    Nige

    Loving this post I so agree with so much of your post most important thing to do is what you want it’s your blog. And not worry about other people, I don’t I just carry on regardless I guess that’s me being rebellious lol great read #dreamteam

    • 40
      Lucy At Home

      Nothing wrong with a bit of rebellion. The way I see it – everyone is different, everyone’s circumstances are different, everyone’s goals are different… so why should we expect everyone’s blogs to follow the same set of rules?! You have to do what’s right for you and feel confident about it. Thanks for commenting, Nige

  21. 44
    Tubbs

    Such great advice 🙂 There’s so much emphasis on numbers, working with brands so you can make enough money to go pro but sometimes it distracts us from what got us into blogging in the first place. The desire to share a story or meet new people or …

    • 45
      Lucy At Home

      Yes this is so true. When it all gets on top of me, hubby always reminds me of the reasons that I started blogging and you’re right – it wasn’t about money, it was about sharing and having a space of my own

  22. 47
    Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    Blogging is such a personal thing and there are so many ways to go about it. What works for one person isn’t going to work for another. Personally, I’m not prepared to work all hours of every day on my blog – I started it as a way to capture my family, I don’t intend to lose out on family time so that I can work on the blog. I think it’s all about knowing what you want from your blog and discarding the advice that you know isn’t going to work for you – I know I don’t follow a lot of these! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • 48
      Lucy At Home

      That’s a great way to keep the perspective – why have a family-focusssed blog that means you miss out on your family?! I’m going to remember this. Thanks for commenting, Katy.

  23. 50
    Laura - dear bear and beany

    Rules were made to be broken! What I love about blogging is that there isn’t actually any rules there are other peoples ways of doing things. But they are not the law! Everyone can do there own thing, it’s there blog! I do what I want to do and I don’t listen to others. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  24. 52
    Chloe

    Hi, great post and very refreshing to read. I agree with your points for me personally it’s all about balance and it fitting blogging into how it suits your lifestyle #sharingthebloglove

  25. 53
    Jaki

    Yes, yes, yes! To all of these! Great post that will hopefully set some blogger’s minds at ease. It can be really intimidating when you’re relatively new to the blogging world. #Sharingthebloglove

  26. 56
    Kate

    This is such a great post. I totally agree, you have to do things so that they fit with you, your life and what you like. As you say, there are so many ‘rules’ about blogging which actually take away the reasons you are doing it in the first place. #SharingtheBlogLove

  27. 58
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    I think you’ve summed it all up perfectly in “do what works for you.” Not being present 24/7 is an important one for me – I don’t reply to emails instantly and it bugs me when people chase me up multiple times on a weekend. I love my blog but being a mum is my first priority and weekend time with my family is important to me. I get most of my blogmin done when the children are asleep or at school/preschool. Vlogging is definitely not for me either – I prefer the written word too. I don’t watch much TV and vlogs rarely grab me. That said, lots of people love vlogs. There is plenty of room for all of us – the blogosphere is a big place. Doing what works for you helps to keep blogging enjoyable – and surely that is it the biggest reason we all do it in the first place. #sharingthebloglove

  28. 60
    Mummy Snowy Owl

    I agree with so many of these! So many people tell me to vlog my craft ideas but I HATE the sound of my voice! Plus I do lots of crafts in my dressing gown or trackies!!
    #sharingthebloglove

  29. 62
    Jade - Raw Childhood

    This was such a refreshing blog to read! I am a perfectionist too and thats one of the reasons why it takes me so long to write a blog post, especially if my creativity is on a downer that week! Love this post #sharingthebloglove

    • 63
      Lucy At Home

      Oh I definitely have to be in the mood to write or I don’t get anywhere. Sometimes I can write several posts in an evening, and sometimes I can’t write anything for a week!

  30. 64
    Alana - Burnished Chaos

    Great post and something I really needed to hear right now. I slowed things down last month to spend more time with family and my stats almost halved. I was starting to worry about it and have joined far too many linkies again this week and now I’m missing my carefree evenings with the family. I need to stop worrying about the numbers are just do what works for me so that I can continue to spend time with family which is the most important thing anyway. #SharingtheBlogLove

  31. 66
    Tooting Mama

    Thank you for some sensible rules! I can’t post everyday and if I did I’d be posting rubbish. Like you I don’t post my kids’ faces and I baulk a the thought of vlogging. I enjoy the writing and the creative process – that’s what excites me about blogging! #sharingthebloglove

  32. 67
    Sian

    Great post! The funny thing is you read one expert blogger say one thing and the next piece of advice contradicts that! It’s always interesting to hear about how others organise their blogs or pitch for brand work etc but that’s not mean to say that it’s a formula that will work for you. I’m a sporadic blogger and do my own thing because that is all I can do! #SharingTheBlogLove

  33. 68
    mudpie fridays

    I could do with taking note on pretty much all these points. I am constantly comparing and it makes me feel rubbish about my blog! I can’t help myself and I always judge success by earnings or tots. I need to find a way to chill out about the whole thing. Will try to take note of these points! #Sharingthebloglove x

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