12.23.2010

How to Break the Conventional Rules of Blogging

There are a lot of blogs out there about how to blog successfully. The more I read them, the more I see that I am doing a stupendous job of breaking all the rules. I am also certain that the phrase "blogging successfully" is relative. I'm like James Dean on his motorcycle. A renegade. A rebel without a cause. Make that...a blogger without a niche. Here are the top ten ways you can join me out here on the fringe.

1) Don't post every day. Or even every 2-3 days. Posting constantly is the number one cardinal rule, according to the experts. You owe it to your readers, they say. But instead, just get something up there once a week or so. Maybe. I promise that no one will cry themselves to sleep if you don't.

2) Don't worry about a facebook page for your blog. Why does my blog need its own facebook page? I have a facebook page because I have a face. I post links to my blog there. If my blog had a facebook page too, that would be like wearing pantyhose with sandals. Facebook pages for blogs are very much en vogue, so many of you are now vehemently disagreeing. But I'm sure that only about 3 of my facebook friends would "like" my facebooked blog, and that would be emotionally crippling for me. So let's move on.

3) Make sure to neglect the rest of the blogging community. Conventional wisdom dictates that as a blogger, you should be reading about 87,362 blogs and commenting on all of them to increase traffic to your own blog. Who has time to do that? Read some when you can, but by all means, do not drown in a sea of endless blogs. Your family will thank you.

4) Use a standard blogger template, even while beautiful and slick-looking designs abound all around you. Blogger is kind of like the family sedan that gets you from point A to point B. It's not fancy, but it does the job. Having design envy accomplishes nothing. Just use what you've got and make the best of it.

5) Don't have your own domain name. Because "dot blogspot dot com" is fun to say.

6) Always write posts that are too long. This one is my personal favorite. I do it all the time. If you stick with me when I go over 250 words, I love you.

7) Don't appeal to a specific demographic. Just be all over the map. Commercial sponsors really like that. No target at all. Old people, young people, male, female, whatever. Pitch it like this: "Hey, you could reach the ENTIRE world by advertising on my blog! Forget about that one segment that you are hung up on!"

8) Make sure that your readers have no idea what to expect by visiting your blog. The whole "your readers have to trust you" line is a little touchy-feely. So make your blog be like a box of chocolates, as Forrest would say. You never know what you're gonna get. Something crunchy? Chewy? Spiritual? Funny? Yuck? A mouse-click is a roll of the dice.

9) If you had to choose between one reader and 50 "followers" who come once and never come back, always pick the one reader. They are a lot more real than the numbers are.

10) Above all, just write. Write whatever you want, whatever you're thinking about, whether somebody is reading or not. If they are, fine. If they're not, too bad. Write because it's fun. Because you have something to say. Because it might make a difference for someone out there.

That's how to be a blogging renegade. And this is the perfect moment for me to jump on my motorcycle, rev the engine, and ride into the sunset.

Until next time,

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