Join our Facebook Community

3 Blogging Rules You Should Break

Posted By Guest Blogger 14th of March 2012 Writing Content 0 Comments

This guest post is by Anish Majumdar of DashAmerican.com.

The most valuable piece of writing advice I ever got was from an editor at a print magazine after I’d handed in the first draft of an article. I’d spent hours poring over old issues to “get the tone right” and had fought my natural style every step of the way. The end result? A returned draft shot through with corrections and a one-line response: “Write from the inside and trust that we’ll get it.”

As a ProBlogger reader, you probably already know how rare it is to come across a site devoted to blogging that actually offers something besides the same old “rules” recycled in various forms. You know them: keep pieces short. Use bullets. Link to other articles, etc.

While it’s comforting, especially when you’re starting out, to find something—anything—to model posts after, it’s critical to understand that a reader will forgive a strong voice almost anything and a weak voice almost nothing.

Are the rules you’re following helping or hindering your voice? Here are the three biggest blogging “rules” I’ve broken … and the unexpected results I’ve enjoyed.

1. Make posts scannable

There’s a line of thinking behind blogging advice posts that insist pieces must be kept short and stuffed full of typographical tricks like boldfacing and bullets that assumes a typical reader has Attention Deficit Disorder. If you don’t hustle to offer value and get your point across at a glance, they’ll simply move on.

There is another way.

I was recently in the midst of writing a deeply personal account of growing up with a family member suffering from schizophrenia and realized there was no way to make the post scannable. The paragraphs were long. Themes wove in and out of each other without clear sections. And inserting bullets would wreck the overall flow. Anticipating a post that would sink without a trace, I hit “Publish” … and got the strongest reader response of any piece I’d ever written—as well as a Facebook recommendation from an influential literary magazine editor.

I challenge you to, in the words of Jim Carroll, “hustle like a cheetah instead of a chimp.” Don’t worry about gaining a reader’s interest. Don’t waste time with tricks we’ve all seen a thousand times before. Instead, write in a way that gets your heart racing—and locks in a reader from the first sentence.

2. Stay on topic

A blog that’s stuck in a rut is like a relationship where you do nothing but the same routine day in and day out: eventually, things will fall apart. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying you shouldn’t hold true to the underlying theme of your blog. You should. But endlessly recycling the same types of posts under the rationale of “that’s what my readers want” is not only shortsighted, it’s just plain wrong.

Sure, you may be receiving a steady stream of visitors now. But are they sticking around? Are they engaging in a satisfying way? Or are they dropping in to quickly scan the latest post or two and flitting off? Experimentation, planned for and consistent, is the lifeblood of blogging success, and can open up new vistas of personal expression.

I use the following strategy to keep things fresh: every third post has to be new. Not an idea based on an existing post. Not something I’ve pulled out of the “evergreen idea bag” which I assume every blogger has for those days when inspiration doesn’t come.

I’m talking about trying something you’re not sure you can pull off.

For me, that’s meant writing posts on current events, conducting interviews with people I admire, and opening the door to guest posts. Some of these gambits have worked. Others haven’t. But here’s the amazing thing: regardless of how far I stretch, the true fans, those who get it always stick around.

Dare to tinker with your formula. Your readers will respect you for it.

3. Be an authority

In the 10+ years that I’ve been earning a living writing, I’ve spent more time feeling insecure than an authority. I’ve pitched stories that haven’t gotten published. I’ve started projects that have stalled. There have been days when I’ve hated every word I’d committed to paper, and others where I’ve expected to make a huge impact … and haven’t. This comes with the territory, and yet we often feel the need to hide it, as if readers will flee at the first sign of vulnerability.

When I first started expressing my perceived shortcomings and fears on my blog, I felt hideously exposed. There went any claims to being an out-of-the-gate success. But what I received in return were readers who responded to who I was as a human being. They felt invested in my journey because it mirrored their own: what more can you ask more?

Which blogging “rules” have you broken? Let me know in the comments!

Anish Majumdar is the creator of DashAmerican.com, a blog devoted to the cross-cultural experience. If you’re interested in real-life stories detailing epiphanies, embarrassments, and all stops in between, please stop by!

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
Comments
  1. “I’ve expected to make a huge impact … and haven’t.” I think we’ve all been there on that one. You’re writing a great post or at least you think it is and you think this should move some heads and when it’s published it doesn’t seem to go anywhere!
    Interesting read, I think the biggest for me is, “Make posts scannable”, I think I just tend to write when I get in the moment and forget about others having to read it!

  2. Hi Anish, you bring new perspective to me. Thanks for an excellent post.

  3. Well, I personally always go along with the following line:

    “There are rules, they are proven to work by the most, not everybody. Which is why don’t forget about your inner voice, when you feel something isn’t right even if rules say it is, this is time to break them”

    I am not saying this concept is perfect, but at least it saves me from a lot of troubles. :)

  4. I think post any factual issue and polite manner should be inserted in blogging rules.

  5. Thank you for the article Anish. I often find #2 on this list difficult to do, but for individual posts rather than the blog as a whole. I often find myself going off on a tangent and telling stories about my past (trying to engage the reader) – I believe I do so in my latest article: http://myhealthyweightlossjourney.com/2012/03/12/what-is-the-best-exercise-for-weight-loss/

    I try to stay on topic, but sometimes it’s difficult to do so. Especially in the post I listed above. I try to address the ‘what’s the best exercise for weight loss?’ question and attempt to get across the notion that the best form of exercise is what’s best for you, but I’m not sure I got that point across all that well.

    Do you have any tips or methods I can utilise to keep on topic within posts?

    • Kris, I enjoyed reading the “best exercise for weight loss” piece. The personal details about your journey really stood out. One thing I’d recommend is drilling down to find a really specific topic to write about. Perhaps an issue you’ve faced (or are currently facing) that’s giving you trouble. Maybe an accomplishment that you’re really proud of. The tighter the focus (and the more passionately you want to get it out there) the easier it’ll be to stay on topic. Thanks for reading and keep up the good work!

  6. Most of the rules I break come from those who want to make money. They throw out regurgitated content and rehash old ideas.

    If I can’t do better than that, I don’t do anything.

  7. Greetings Anish,

    This was a really interesting post. The beauty of life is that it offers us the ability to experiment. Throughout the journey we eventually release our authentic selves. Following rules set by others allows us to remain robots. The best blogs I’ve enjoyed and some of the authors I’ve interviewed were about everyday life. Sometimes life under occupation or war. These are real stories. The art of storytelling. I break the rules in blogging just like in real life. Those who set the rules, after all, are usually the ones who have the most to gain by keeping others in a box. Time to get out the box!

  8. Hi Anish, Darren,

    Since I started blogging 10 years ago, I’ve read about almost as many “blogging rules” as I’ve met bloggers, and I think I’ve broken most of them numerous time.

    Staying on topic and being an authority are 2 rules that are very easy to break because your blog evolve, and you sometimes want to express your mind on a totally different topic. I think the most important there is that your usual readership MUST understand the topic you’re dealing with, or they will get lost and leave. Don’t talk about quantic physics on a blog about cooking. That’s a rule no one should break.

    The other one is: never complain about yourself, that’s not what your readers are expecting from you, unless you own an emo blog, that’s it.

    Cheers.

    • Darn it, you stole my idea for an emo blog filled completely with my complaints! Frederic, I think you’re completely right when it comes to making sure that, whether you’re experimenting or not, readers UNDERSTAND what it is you’re talking about and don’t feel confused. Obviously I’m not one for slavishly following rules, but if there’s one I try to follow at all times it’s: give a reader something of value.

  9. Anish, it’s nice to read from someone who has been in the trenches. After ten years of writing for a living, I’d say you qualify! I hesitate to say that rules are made to be broken, but truth is we become jaded at seeing the same thing repeated over and over again.

    In fact, if someone ensures that every post is scannable, chances are I will only scan their posts instead of taking the time to read them. But maybe that’s because they have spent more time on the technique (formatting) instead of the substance (content).

    I think the hardest thing is to keep things fresh. It seems that every time I do a Google search I end up with a list of sites that are rehashing the same shallow content :(

    • Stephen, I couldn’t agree more. Seeing the same types of content rehashed endlessly isn’t just an issue online, but in print journalism as well. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve opened up a men’s magazine with an eye towards contributing and seeing the same 5 types of stories about how to pick up chicks, how to make a great cocktail, etc. On the one hand, I get it: people have a tendency to replicate what works (believe me, I’ve written my fair share of these pieces). But writers are creative beings at their core, and taking chances is the only way to push things forward. i appreciate your taking the time to read my post.

  10. A nice article to help you create a better blog.

  11. I find myself getting off topic sometimes when I am writing posts and have to reel it back in. But my readers seem to enjoy me going off topic because it cna bring in a point that they may not have seen otherwise. Great post, Anish.

    • Thanks Dwayne. One of the most exciting (and frustrating) parts of blogging is the trial-and-error aspect of it all. Sometimes the posts that I’m absolutely sure are going to take off DON’T, whereas at other times the one you’re uncertain about surpasses all expectations. Finding a way to somehow get comfortable with uncertainty is the big challenge (and one I’m definitely still trying to figure out). Thanks for reading!

  12. Yes, that is a useful guide that help us create a better blog, thanks so much.

  13. Nice timing of this post. I just did one where I shared I was “technically challenged” and wondered if that was okay. I know I like when someone shares their “humanness with us.”

    • Lisa, as someone who routinely shouts at his Mac for not working right I don’t think you’re alone in being “technically challenged”!

  14. Great tips Anish! I think #2 is a big one … mainly because I find myself very turned off by blogs that seem to be rehashing and relinking to previous posts rather than bringing something new to the table.

  15. I totally understand some of those points, but perhaps the one about the insecurity the most. I am just beginning on this process and it just seems hard to get things pitched just right or to be able to get any clients to be able to invest! Its definitely a good learning experience though.

    • Mike, take heart in the fact that in many ways, you can’t lose. Expressing yourself, however imperfectly, will almost always result in some degree of connection with people who share your view of the world. I’m definitely in a similar boat when it comes to getting visitors to invest in what my site’s about- sometimes it works, other times not so much. But even connecting with 1 person in a genuine way counts as success.

  16. Anish

    my brother I do not agree with rule number 3. be an authority, this is exactly what every blogger should strive to be in their niche market for whatever topic they are blogging about.

    you need to be an authority, you should be an authority,

  17. Anish

    my brother I do not agree with rule number 3. be an authority, this is exactly what every blogger should strive to be in their niche market for whatever topic they are blogging about.

  18. I don’t know you, but I think you’ve been in my head. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been struggling with lately.

    The nature of my blog is to be long-winded at times. I volunteer around the community and then report on my experience. Because I want readers to feel like they are right by my side, I am VERY detailed with what to expect. Sometimes these posts can be 1200+ words long – but those are the posts that get the most response.

    I do feel the need to be “off topic” every once in a while. Otherwise I’d only blog once a week after a volunteer outing.

    An authority? Impossible. I am learning and then reporting about what I learn. The purpose of my blog is about me NOT being an authority.

    After reading ALL of the blogging advise out there, I was starting to doubt myself. Thanks for proving that its okay to “break the rules.”

    • The thing about writing, as it is with all art forms, is that there really AREN’T any real hard-and-fast rules. What strikes a chord with one of your readers? And, once you’ve made a connection, is it something that you can repeat in future posts or was it a one-time-only thing? Relying on your instinct is the best way to move forward in these situations and that sounds like what you’ve been doing with the “Nature of a Servant” blog. Personally, I love the level of detail in your posts- it immediately pulls you in.

  19. I do NOT disagree with rule number 3. I believe the vulnerability can help others achieve results at the same level in a social atmosphere. They do not feel thrashed around with things beyond their knowledge level and feel comfortable inputting their ideas or questions when the author is also showing vulnerabilities.
    If you are an authority then by all means portray yourself as one. When you come to a struggle then talk about it and let your readers feel helpful. Everyone likes to feel needed.
    I feel the comments made on a vulnerable post could also be beneficial when the author is considering a person’s responses as a qualification to write guest posts. Someone showing themselves as having knowledge in a particular area could be great for such a post and may not have been considered if not given the opportunity to present themselves.
    I have created posts showing my vulnerability and deleted them for fear of not seeming an authority on the subject making my overall blog looks bad. I wish I had considered these thoughts in advance.
    Great post Anish! Inspiring and helpful to me.

  20. Great advice! I think your #3 speaks to being authentic and relatable.

  21. Hi Anish,

    Writing from the heart despite all search engines and alogrithms is the way to keep your readers coming back. I like your post.

    • Thanks Dragan! In my experience I’ve found that the posts that really make an impact with readers are almost always the ones that feel a little too exposed…a little risky. It’s the posts I publish feeling overconfident and completely assured of success that tend to sink away without a trace…ah well, live and learn! Thanks for reading.

  22. I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half and I’m still reluctant to label myself as an ‘authority’ but that’s because I see so many who promote themselves as experts and have little of substance to say other than to pitch readers on buying something from them or joining their list (so they can pitch them on buying something). I am much more inclined to extend my trust to someone who is willing to say ‘I’m still learning’ than the self-proclaimed authority.

    • I agree, Marquita. The Internet definitely has more than its fair share of self-proclaimed experts offering dubious advice.

      Btw, I had a chance to check out your site and really responded to this line in your latest post:

      “The joy and fulfillment you get out of life is in direct proportion to the passion you put into it.”

      It sounds like a cliche, but I can’t think of a better credo to base a life around than this.

  23. And, I would add another rule for a Blogger not to break: don’t get carried away with all the ‘gadgets and things’ that blogging platforms (eg. WordPress, Blogger) allow one to add: they slow down the process for readers and tend to get in the way of the content. Just because you can add a ‘rotating content’ plugin, does not mean that you should. Focus more on simple gadgets that pull in your content from multiple sources to your blog. But, a well written blog post with good tips.

    • Great addition, Tumbleweed! Trying to navigate an overly complicated site is quickly becoming a pet peeve of mine. I’d say, if it doesn’t support recent content and allow for dead-simple navigation, chuck it. Thanks for reading!

  24. Good stuff as usual. I constantly break number 2. I seem to always find myself off topic. In fact sometimes when i make a mind map before my post i find that in order to explain my point the right way I MUST get off topic! Sometimes we get so stuck in rules it becomes hard to break them!

    • Chris, I’ve been in this position while writing and will definitely be there in the future. Our brains seem to be hardwired to repeat a particular pattern. Unfortunately, that’s not always the best way to go about building a blog.

  25. I totally agree Anish! I usually find that when I start writing, I just start gushing out with the passion of the point I’m trying to make. Lately I’ve been trying to go back afterwards and shorten it up, break it up into sections, make it scannable, etc., which I find very difficult. I haven’t seen any difference in readership/open/click rates for the extra work.

    For me it’s much easier to write from the heart, and the best compliments and feedback I’ve received have been from the longer “paragraph” style posts. So I I’ll take your advice and not worry too much about how it “should” be done.

    Thanks for the great post and keep breaking the rules! :-)

    • Thanks Jane! The best part of writing from the heart is that, regardless of how it’s received by your readers, there’s a level of satisfaction there that comes from expressing yourself in a truthful and unadorned/unedited way. When it works, I think it’s because readers can feel that there’s a real person behind the words trying to communicate with them (as opposed to a salesman delivering a message).

  26. I think with all of these rules the trick is to follow them when they’re appropriate. If you can easily make a post scannable then do it! If you can easily stay on topic and engage your reader then go ahead, and if you can become an authority then well done.

    However these rules are worth breaking from time to time – if a blogger ‘interrupts” the usual flow of content to tell me something about him/herself then I really appreciate that, or telling me about things that aren’t necessarily 100% related – it’s all part of building a relationship. Plus if you follow all the rules all the time readers are going to get bored because you will be (somewhat) predictable ;)

    • I love how you say “it’s all part of building a relationship”- That sentence alone may define blogging in a way. The practices of blogging should be extracted from this.

    • Very much agree with Slavko’s comment. If you look at blogging as “building a relationship” then you can allow yourself the same kind of license as you might when developing a relationship in-person: going off-topic sometimes, sharing something personal, admitting a mistake, etc. I think if you use your intuition and consistently provide something of value, then doing these types of things can only help deepen that connection between you and your readers.

  27. I was kind of skeptical when i broke the rule #2. I always debated of whether or not i should remove all those contents that had nothing to do with my theme. The reason for that is, i started losing subscriber’s after i posted some of the content was not related. But I’m more relieved now.

  28. “Staying on topic” is one of the rule that I break often, I like to share other things that come into my mind which I thought worth sharing.

    Thanks for sharing the simple rules on breaking the rules! ;-)

    Cheers!

  29. Hi Anish,

    Confidence is felt through the paper, or laptop. On a deeper level.

    I see poorly written posts with 100 plus comments. I see people who have some talent, and make millions. I see confidence, and feel it, so I know why successes are successes. Believe in you is not some platitude, it’s the difference between success and failure. Do what successes do: believe in self, write from the heart and release attachments to your creations.

    Let go and grow. I publish after 1 edit. I write from how I feel, and I usually feel confident. I am killing the fear of criticism with each post. I uploaded some 800 youtube videos. I simply shot, forgot the edit, and published. Didn’t care about looking perfect. Didn’t care overall. I believed in my message, and shared it. Same deal with my blog. I posted, and let it be.

    The fear of criticism kills creativity and slams your confidence. Kill it. Publish. Write. Ship. Get your stuff out there, and you will gain a confidence which is almost superhuman. Keep shipping and good things happen.

    Thanks Anish!

    Ryan

    • Ryan, one thing I frequently tell would-be writers is stop with the hand-wringing and JUST WRITE. All the planning and expert tips in the world won’t help if you’re not producing the words. Thanks for taking the time to offer your take!

  30. Great post Darren. Will definitely make sure I break these 3 rules on all my posts.

  31. Your advice, “…write in a way that gets your heart racing—and locks in a reader from the first sentence” resonate with me. Though list post, link post, and all of the trick routines a blogger can pull out of his magic hat are good things, but they become fake without the burning passion that get us into writing/blogging in the first place. Following your heart, such a simple concept, but often forgotten in the world of so much chatters around the blogosphere. Thanks for the reminder.

  32. I’ve broken the rule of doing keyword research prior to writing. I’ve done this because it is a topic I’m passionate about and don’t care if it is a popular search keyword…

    Interestingly enough…these posts have driven the most amount of comments.

    In my “about me” post, I was as real as I could get and I think my readers got the human element and I never imagined so many would write a comment on an “about me” page…go figure! :)

    Cheers!

    • Isn’t it funny what strikes a chord with readers (and what doesn’t)? I’ve also done what you have when it comes to certain deeply personal stories and avoided doing the keyword research before publishing. Somehow, though, these seem to be the ones that have the greatest reach.

  33. That was a great post Anish……but one thing that I think was left out is that if you are a great writer, you can break all the rules, and if you write poorly, following all the rules in the world won’t help you. I assume you are in the former category which is why you have been able to break the rules and still be successful.

    • Brian, I HOPE I fall into the latter category! I remember reading a “how-to” book on writing back in my teens that recommended writing 500K words and doing a self-evaluation of yourself as a writer, followed by one at the 1M-word mark, etc. Crude as it sounds, there’s truth to this advice. Writing, regularly and often, will improve your ability regardless of talent.

  34. Nischala says: 03/14/2012 at 4:41 pm

    Great post! I think there are so many blogging tips, tricks available online that many times they tend o be an overdose. Your post is refreshingly original! I think the most important MANTRA is be honest to yourself, be honest to your readers, be honest in your blogs – And Creativity, Diversity and Stretching your Boundaries is so important in your own journey as a blogger… Nischala

  35. Hi Anish,

    Thanks for a very interesting post. It’s always good to bend the rules a little.

  36. …”For me, that’s meant writing posts on current events, conducting interviews with people I admire, and opening the door to guest posts. Some of these gambits have worked. Others haven’t. But here’s the amazing thing: regardless of how far I stretch, the true fans, those who get it always stick around.
    Dare to tinker with your formula. Your readers will respect you for it.”

    This just changed my opinion on how I’m going to develop my blog.

    …”They felt invested in my journey because it mirrored their own: what more can you ask more?”

    And this- isn’t that one of the main purposes of blogging?

    Great post. It makes us think about the common practices that we’re seeing around us. Experiment and innovate- That what makes a difference. That’s how Darren made it, that’s how many others are finding their way. Great reminder that sometimes we should just forget the “rules” and technicalities and go more deeply than that.

    • Thanks for reading Slavko! I’m very glad you responded to it. And it’s true that in many ways Darren embodies these principles.

  37. I think that your readers need to know what you’re talking about. However, I can understand where you’re coming from when you say, you don’t have to be an authority.

    We don’t know everything. We’re all learning, and sometimes when your readers can relate to your journey in learning the very thing they want to achieve, they’re more likely to respond positively to you because you inspire them to keep going.

    • Anne, I think there’s a place for both authorities and non-authorities. Sometimes, all you want is someone who has answers. Other times, particularly when you’re dealing with issues that can’t be easily solved, it’s comforting to simply come across a fellow struggler. Thanks for reading!

  38. Breaking the rules : I like it..on my own blog i do a mix and match f stories as I cannot myself write on the same beat every day..thus i write on diff topics and present a variety..this even breaks the clutter in my mind.

  39. Hi Anish, great post thanks, a big yes to that, rules are there to be broken if they are not working for you. it is so easy for people to write re hashed garbage and post it. I fortunately am not afraid to go a little against the grain.

    I wrote an article with no keywords, bullet points or usual guff (I do do normal blogging stuff at times) and this post appeared on page 2 in Google for a search term I never anticipated resulting in traffic. The post had very little to do with that search term lol and had 25,700,000 pages of competition.

    not bad for a non blogging standard article.:)

    Andi Leeman

    • Nice job Andi! I love hearing about these strange “breakout” experiences that happen with posts sometimes. Kinda reminds you of the crazy, chaotic marketplace of information that’s being added and shifted about daily. While I’m sure we’d all like things to go according to plan, it’s the excitement of unexpected outcomes like this that definitely keeps things interesting for me. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Nice post Anish. I think you’re absolutely right that more bloggers should challenge the “rules” of blogging. Which rules you break depends on your audience and personal style in my view, but doing things differently can really help you stand out as an authentic voice – and make you happier in your writing.

  41. Anish, do you have any suggestions on how to get people to interview its easy to say do diffrent things but its a lot harder find the people willing to help out. Also these tips really seem good for a blog that is already well established that you are trying to keep fresh not really for a new blog, because when you are new your readers i feel really have a short span and unless you can catch them quick they wont stay. just some thoughts overall pritty insightful.

    • Drew, getting interviews from high-profile subjects is something I’ve dealt with frequently over the years, particularly when I’m writing an article for a print magazine. I always try to make a GENUINE CONNECTION with the person first, one completely devoid of asking him or her for anything. You have to remember that high-profile individuals are CONSTANTLY getting asked for things: their time, their money, their influence, etc. Their radar for this type of thing is pretty finely honed. Therefore, go the completely opposite route. Reach out to them as a FAN first, really communicate your passion for what they do, and, once you’ve got a little dialogue going on, bring up the subject of how much you’d like to interview them.

  42. Thanks for This Helpful and Interesting Post..Now a days Blogging is a Great Place to Share Your knowledge with Other…its helping all people about right way of Blogging..

  43. Anish,

    A definite thanks to this post. Often I need to remind myself that it’s okay to break the rules, in particular the first point you discuss. At the thought of needing to keep my posts easy to scan, I’m sure I’ve deprived myself to some degree of making a ‘better’ or more thorough and comprehensive post. Sometimes I have thought ‘screw it’ and written what I want regardless of length. After all, it’s important to write what you love, what interests you and in return your readers will appreciate your honesty and keep coming back.
    I don’t necessarily worry about going off topic because my blog is not a niche blog, so to speak. I write about my interests, so I never feel restricted. =)

    • Elissa, glad you enjoyed it! So much of the criteria we use when judging the worth of a post is personal.
      Beyond reader response, there’s always going to be those posts that you love simply for having expressed something truly. I definitely have more than a few of these types of posts, “oddballs” if you will that I love despite the fact that it didn’t really resonate with readers. It resonated with me, and as a blogger it’s important to remember that sometimes that’s enough.

  44. Well, I always play by the rules, but always break any single one of them. Is this a contradiction? Yes, of course. But, maybe the problem is that I am beginning to blog for real. Thanks for your great post.

  45. Rules are helpful until you figure out what you are doing. Then I think you should go with your instincts. It took me a while to figure out what everyone else is doing is not necessarily what I should be doing.

    Love your site, I always learn something. Thank you.

    • Heather, I definitely agree. When you’re starting out it’s important to get a lay of the land. But increasingly, you have to balance out the analytical side of things with the intuition. There has to be an element of risk there, a sense of uncertainty…I don’t know of any other way to create something that surprises you.

      Thanks for reading!

  46. Thanks for the encouragement! I try most consistently for #1, but haven’t tried much of #2. Thanks for the nudge.

  47. Your post resonated with me. It is hard to remember what you intended when you started blogging and from when it became a business. You start looking for the right formula to pull and keep readers which will many times go against your true purpose.. Sometime going back to your true and human purpose proves to be the most impactful for you and your reader. Thanks for sharing, Susan

    • Susan, balancing out the analytical side of blogging with intuition is something I definitely try to keep in mind. Constantly following the latest trends when it comes to attracting readers doesn’t lend itself to great work. In my experience, I’ve found that passion and being courageous in terms of taking risks can pay off big-time, largely because a lot of the time readers don’t KNOW what they want. They want to be shown.

  48. I kind of agree on one hand about the whole “staying ontopic” thing because sometimes doing that gets you to have a bland article and you should be able to go offtopic a little bit. Having said that, nobody wants to read a blog that is random and has absolutely random points in it when they are looking for a specific thing. Now, like I said, from time to time it is refreshing to go a tad offtopic, especially in a longer article, but I dont think it should be a habit. I don’t know if I agree that its a rule that you should break.

    Everything else looks good though. Nice article.

  49. I agree that we shouldn’t get in a rut with our blogging. Sometimes I write a piece just because I feel like it. Something or someone moved me. Also, I think there’s been research to show that longer posts tend to pull better than short posts. I do have one caveat about not using subheads and bullet points to make a post easier to read. If it’s all text, then I would keep it on the short side. When I see blocks of type filling a page I tend to tune out before I even know the subject. You’ve got to grab the reader first, so you need to be careful she isn’t scared off.

  50. Thanks for highlighting the above 3 points.Im a culprit of point 2 as many a times i deviate from my topic and find it hard to complete an article within the shortest time possible

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…

Close
Open