Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blogging Rules-Schmules with Tamara of Traveling with T

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!

Blogging Rules-Schmules
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!

14 comments :

  1. YES! Way to be a rebel, T. Sometimes reading all the things I "should" be doing is contradictory or just plain annoying. Like you, I'm a total rule follower in real life, so I get a little thrill when I knowingly flout a blogging "rule." If my book review ends up being mostly weird movie references, SO BE IT!

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    1. Thank you! :) :) Rules in real life = fine. Rules in blogging = giving me a headache. I think we should just be having fun with blogging and not trying to worry about having the "perfect cookie-cutter" blog or being the "perfect blogger". Because, it's too much. It takes away the fun. #RuleBreakersUnite!

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  2. I couldn't agree more. Do what works for you, I say.

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes I think if I had to do it all over again, I might do my blogging different (especially when I feel frustrated about some things). BUT, when I start thinking of all that I learned- I wouldn't trade that for anything.

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  3. Yeah!!! Break all the rules! :-) I hate rules. Dance to the beat of your very own drum I say.

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    1. Yes! Breaking the rules... BEST FEELING EVER.

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  4. I'm really curious what you got flack for and why?!? Since when did a creative outlet come in a box?!? I completely agree with you. Do your thing, your way, because as long as you are having fun, you will keep blogging on!! :)

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    1. Oh Tif,

      A lot was about my posts per day. I was told it was too busy, and that bloggers only posted 1x a day. And it was strongly suggested that I might check out other, more established bloggers for how they do things and emulate those blogs. Here's the thing: I read tons of blogs and while I think each and everyone is fab in their own way- I'm not looking to be a carbon copy of a more established blog. I want to be known for me and I want to have fun blogging- not being worried about the "right" way to blog. Or the rules to follow.
      There are 5 million blogs and more than a million ways to blog- and I think if you miss out on the fun part of blogging- then you are missing out on the best part.

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    2. Wow! I follow a number of blogs who post more than once a day! I completely agree with you ... be you and do what you want, and your audience will follow. Good for you!!

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  5. Love this! I'm not much of a blog rule follower either. Probably why I have 13 blogs and haven't burnt out yet. :) It's so true that it has to stay fun, or it feels a chore. Who really likes chores? Not me.

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    1. Exactly! Blogging MUST stay fun. You may go through slumps, but if it's constantly a worrying about the rules- then it's no fun. And your blog will suffer. This is something you've got to LOVE, to be able to put yourself, your ideas, thoughts out there in the internet world!

      13 blogs?! Wow! I'm still toying with the idea of another blog, but not sure!

      Chores = I loathe chores.

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  6. Great post! No point in doing it if you hate what you're doing!

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    1. Thanks April!

      So. Darn. True. Blogging, for me, has opened up a creative outlet. It's let me find people to talk books with. It's exposed me to books that I may not have heard of before. I've enjoyed it so much! And hope to keep on enjoying it!

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  7. I wanted to comment when this first was published, but just didn't get to it. But I'll comment now...

    I'm definitely with you. Do what you want. It's your blog. I've always been a rule breaker when it comes to MY blog. After all, it's MY blog. :)

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