As bloggers, we constantly see advice about what we’re suppose to do. I’ve even given advice myself on the rules bloggers need to follow, but you know what? There are some things, that aren’t absolute musts. No matter what anyone else tells you. So, here are eight things that you really don’t have to do!
Blog every day
Some people will tell you that you have to blog everyday to have a successful blog. And it’s true, you’ll have more visitors on the days you post new content than on the days you don’t.
But let’s be real, not all of us can churn out a blog post a day. At least, not quality blog posts.
I wanted to be one of the post-a-day bloggers. I really did. But I can’t do it. I work 48 hours a week on top of running this blog. And all the pressure I was putting on myself to try to post that much was taking all the fun out of blogging.
So, I accepted the fact that I’m three-times-a-week blogger. Maybe you’re an everyday blogger? Or a once-a-week blogger?
You know what? There isn’t one right path when it comes to a posting schedule! We are all different. We have different life schedules, and different abilities when it comes to writing. So, find what schedule works for you, and forget what everyone else says about how many times you need to post a week.
Write long posts
A few years ago the conventional blogging wisdom was to keep your posts at about 500 words. Anything longer than that and you would lose your audience. Now, everyone says that your posts should be 1500 to 2000 words. Quality over Quantity. The quality part is definitely good advice!
But the quantity? That’s up to the individual. If there is a post idea that you’re just dying to write, but all you have to say on the subject is 300 to 500 words, write it! Don’t feel that your post is lacking in value because of the word count.
If you want to write posts that are 500 words, do it! If you want to write posts that are 2000 words, do it. What matters is that you’re putting your best effort out there. Word count doesn’t define that.
Make money from your blog
Everywhere you look there is someone telling you how to make money from your blog. And everyone is making thousands of dollars a month from their blogs! There’s nothing wrong with that, but not everyone looks at their blog as a business.
Some of us blog because we love to write. Or have a love of books we want to share. Or clothes. Or crafts. Some people are looking for a connection with others going through the same life phase as they are.
There’s nothing wrong with turning your blog into a business, but there’s also nothing wrong if you don’t want to do that.
Have a Facebook page
…or any social media account that you hate.
We’re told that we need Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. That we need to be on Periscope or You Tube. These are all must have social media accounts if you want to have a successful blog.
But what if you hate Facebook? Or Pinterest? Will not having those accounts kill your chances at a successful blog?
I don’t think so. It might mean that it will take a little longer to build your following if you don’t participate in certain social media circles, but it won’t kill your blog.
I like Instagram, but I’m not a photographer and I have no desire in learning to be one. I want to post pictures of my real life, not the curated ones that get so many followers. That’s not me. So, even though I see all this advice telling me how important it is to build a following on Instagram, I’m ignoring it.
And if there’s a social media account that you hate, feel free to do the same thing.
Spend a ton of money on courses or equipment
Everyone is selling something right now. And there’s this pressure to buy all the courses! To buy a DSLR! To get everything that everyone else has so that your blog won’t be left behind!
I feel this pressure a lot. But I’m learning that all those things aren’t necessary. I definitely think it’s ok to spend money on your blog, but I’m being picky about where I spend my hard earned money. And you should be too.
Follow back or return every comment
I do answer every comment on my blog, but I don’t expect a blogger who gets 50 or more comments a day to be able to do that. They would never be doing anything else!
So, if you get a ton of comments, don’t pressure yourself to answer everyone of them, especially if they’re a simple “great post” comment. Instead, concentrate on answering the comments that ask questions or tell a more personal story. Also, if you’re getting several comments from the same blogger, give them a visit. Those that are visiting your blog regularly deserve a shout out!
Also, don’t feel pressure to follow everyone back on your social media accounts. So many people follow just to get a follow back, and then they will immediately unfollow you to increase their numbers. I only follow back those that I feel are trying to make a genuine connection. If this means I lose a few followers, I’m OK with that.
Have a niche
I’ve written about this a lot, so I won’t say much more here, except that everyone is different and you have to find what is right for you. For myself and my blog, I don’t think a niche is important. And I agree with a comment Sammie made on one of my posts – “You are your own niche.”
Be a photographer
Like, I mentioned above I’m not a photographer, and I have no interest in it. I do agree that visuals are important for blogs, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be the one taking the pictures. There are so many great free stock photo sites out there, that if you don’t want to take pictures for your blog, you don’t have to.
Also, there are alternatives to photographs. I love Creative Market! They offer so many beautiful illustrations, which can give your blog a unique look.
So, if you don’t want to learn photography, just know that there are other options for the visuals of your blog.
What I hope you take away most from this post is that what works for one blogger might not work for you and that’s Ok. Be patient! You will find what is right for you and your blog! And most importantly remember – It’s your blog! So, do what you want!
What are your thoughts? Are there any blogging rules that you break? Do you disagree with the ones I say it’s OK to break? Let me know in the comments!