Hey ya’ll! I’m Tamara and I blog at Traveling With T (mainly about books, but other things creep on the page from time to time!) I’m so excited to be hanging out at Book Bloggers International today! Enough about me, though, and let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the post- Onward to Blogging Rules-Smchules!
In my real life, I’m a bit of rule follower. I try not to speed down the Interstate (note: I try not to- but sometimes that Camry feels the need for speed!), I wait 30 minutes after I eat before I get in the pool, I rarely jay-walk. So, I’m not afraid of rules. I actually like rules. However, when it comes to blogging, I have been all about breaking the rules.
Let me elaborate further: When I started Traveling With T, I didn’t have this big soul-searching thought about “What do I want from my blog?” I knew what I wanted: I wanted a piece of the internet, a place where I could talk about the things that interested me. I had a vision of some sorts, but nothing concrete. That is rule 1 I broke. In the beginning, I had an idea of running 2 blogs- one Traveling With T- that would have a hodge-podge of topics- book signings, local events, a bit of travel, etc. The other, a yet to be named blog, was going to be strictly books. But, the more I began blogging, the more I realized that I didn’t want to run 2 blogs- I wanted to talk about books at Traveling With T. So, I do. Majority of Traveling With T is about books. Other things creep on there for my discussion, but if I had to break a ratio down- I’d say Traveling With T is 95% books.
My main area where I break rules with my blog is post count per day. At first, I was a terrible blogger. I didn’t have a schedule. I wasn’t motivated. I was about to quit with the blogging when some things started changing- I felt inspired. I wanted to blog, I began seeking out content, interacting with folks and having a good time. I was still such a blogging newbie, though. I didn’t realize I could schedule my posts (seriously, happy dances happened when I figured out that gem!) I was SEO-what? I could link- link the heck out of stuff, but all that bloggy talk was like Charlie Brown’s teacher “wah-wah-wah” to me. Then, last summer, things began to change. I had found some bloggy folks I liked and was learning a bit of the behind the scenes to blogging. I was getting more views, people were sharing my posts. And this when I began to realize, breaking bloggy rules was working for me. I was marching to a beat of my own drum. I was having fun, I was learning new things and incorporating them into my bloggy routine- but I was not worrying about the rules-schmules of blogging.
I’ve taken some heat from not following the rules. I’ve had people not like it. I’ve also had people love it- to like the variety in my posts. When I started breaking the rules, I found that was when I was most excited about blogging. At some point, in the time you blog, you are going to have decide things that work for you. Because blogging, at times, can be a solitary hobby (or job if you are making money from this.) This is when you have to go with your gut.
Today, I’m still a rule breaker (not a rebel with a cause rule breaker, more just a blogging cheerleader type person who still thinks that bottom line- blogging should be fun. If not, why bother?) Some days, there are 2 posts in the same day (there have been known to be 3). I don’t do it all the time, every day- but I do a couple of times a week. I also post daily (or at least 6 days a week). I find that, for me, having something up on the blog everyday makes me feel more productive and it gives my readers something to check out.
I read all the advice- the tips on how to make your blog a success. The whole: Do this. Post at this time. Use these keywords. Work the heck outta social media. No, wait; take a break from social media. No, no, use social media- but only on days that end in a drink with a blogger wanting to pull their hair out. (Ok, seriously, I may jest about the last thing- but really- sometimes, after I read all these things- that is how I feel.)
My advice to you as you blog- find out what works for you. Blogging 1x a day may be your sweet spot. 2-3 times a week might work. Just remember- it’s your blog. Do what works for you and don’t be afraid to chart your own course. Just think of yourself as the Christopher Columbus of the blogging world or maybe the blogging world as the final frontier and you are Captain John Luke Picard. Go forth, bloggers, go forth! Or, in other words- #keepcalmandblogon.
Thanks, Tamara, for sharing with us today! Be sure to visit Tamara's Blog and to leave a comment or question!