This summer has given me a lot of time to really think about blogging, to try out new things and figure out what works. This time last year, I never anticipated that I would become as hooked on blogging as I am now. I’m constantly pushing myself to think outside the box, consequently getting as far away from the “rules” as possible.
Unless you’ve had your head under a rock, you’ll have noticed that there’s been a major trend in ‘advice’ style posts. I put this down to a shift in the blogosphere that has been coming for a while now. In the year that I’ve been blogging, I’ve noticed a lot of changes. To put it simply, we’re beginning to realise our blogs are something to be branded and can actually take us somewhere. Everyone is looking for ways to up their blogging game; be it through huge collaborations with brands, their photography or changing up their content.
Creating content which is shareable and useful to your readers is becoming wildly popular. As much as I love a good blog tips post, sometimes I think we can over absorb and pay too much attention to these “rules”, whether spoken or unspoken. So here are the ones I’ve learnt to ignore…
STICKING TO A NICHE
Time and time again I hear bloggers telling other bloggers to stick to a “niche”. For me personally, niche has always been one of those ‘WTF’ useless words that just don’t do anything for me at all. Sticking to a niche, I feel, stints creativity, imagination and restricts any room for growth or reinvention. I think it’s really important and exciting to be constantly reinventing yourself through your content. I love blogs which incorporate beauty, lifestyle, food, fashion and even opinionated, personal posts which let me get to know what the blogger really thinks and feels. Obviously, this isn’t true for everyone; some people know how to find their niche and really nail it. If it works for you and inspires you, keep at it. But don’t feel as though you have to stick to a “niche” in order for your blog to be successful.
FOLLOWING BLOG TRENDS
I think of blog trends a lot like fashion trends; we all follow them in some way, what makes them interesting is the spin we put on them. I always pay attention to what’s trending in the blogosphere, whether I choose to respond to it or not. I don’t see anything wrong with looking to others for inspiration but this does not mean you should rip people off and be a carbon copy. It’s too easy to click on the Bloglovin’ popular page, see a post has done well and create your own watered down version of it. But your readers will be quick to notice – and what’s the fun in that? If you notice a trend in blogging – why not think of how you can bring something new to the table by putting your own unique spin on it?
WRITING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
One of the best pieces of blog advice I’ve heard is “write the blog you would want to read”. The reason most people give for why they started blogging was because they wanted their own space to share their thoughts. With this shift towards branding and business, it’s easy to lose sight of that and to become overly focused on creating the content you expect will do well. As selfish as it might sound, I write the content that I would want to read. Personally, this is the way I stay authentic to myself and passionate about what I’m writing. Have you ever felt that sense of disappointment when you think you’ve done a post that will go down well, for it to not have the reaction you’d anticipated? I’ve realised that this only happens when I don’t write with myself in mind and overestimate what others would want to read rather than what I want to write. So although we all take our audience into account, ask yourself who you’re writing for next time you pen a post. If the answer isn’t for yourself, it might be worth thinking about.
POST AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
I’ve learnt that when it comes to blogging, it’s quality over quantity, every time. My goal is to post three times a week and given that I’m a full time student, this already stretches my time time and can quickly become a pressure when I have more important things to do. I tried blogging every day and although my traffic and interaction soared, I quickly burnt myself out, got into a serious blogging rut and didn’t blog for a week because of it. Totally counterproductive, right?! Don’t feel guilty, or down on yourself, if you don’t post every day. For most bloggers this is just not feasible and it’s far better to create something high quality once a week than put out daily blogs that you’re not 100% proud of.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with any of these? What are the “rules” of blogging that you ignore, or follow?