When it comes to social media marketing (and all forms of marketing for that matter), I’ve never been a big fan of rules. People are always trying to tell you what you should do and how you should do it, but as the old saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
Surely, you’ve heard at least a few of these blogging rules, and you might even struggle to abide by them. Now, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay–and in some cases, a good idea–to break these 5 blogging rules.
Rule #1: You have to post every day
Some people will try to convince you that if you don’t post every day you run the risk of becoming irrelevant. They also say that posting every day drives more traffic, increases reader engagement, and helps you build a more popular blog.
Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of posting just for the sake of posting. Rather than posting every day, I only post when I have something to say. Blogging every day just because you “have to” leads to a lot of filler content.
In short, it’s all about quantity vs. quality for me, and quality wins every time.
Rule #2: Your blog should be focused on a very narrow topic
Look, you need to have a main subject that you cover on your blog. I’m not disputing that. But if you force yourself into only writing about a specific tiny niche, you could paint yourself into a corner and limit your blog’s chance for growth and progress.
Blogging is a long journey, and over time, you’ll start to learn new things and develop new interests that you want to write about. Don’t put strict boundaries on your blog, otherwise your efforts will become stifled over time.
Rule #3: Blog posts should be neither too short nor too long
Post length has always been a hot topic of debate. Some people say that posts need to be short and sweet because readers have a short attention span. Others say that if posts are too short, they can’t rank well in the search engines or they can’t deliver enough useful information. And almost everyone tries to say that long posts just don’t work online.
I say, don’t worry about the length of your posts. If you’re truly delivering great, engaging content, people will read it—whether it’s 200 words or 2,000 words. I’ve had short posts on my blog go popular, and I’ve had long posts on my blog go popular.
Say what you need to say in as many words as it takes to say it.
Rule #4: Traffic is the best measure of success
Too many bloggers are obsessed with traffic and page views. If you’re selling ads, I get that. Advertisers want to know how many people are coming to your website. But to me, that’s a poor measure of a blog’s success.
I’m more concerned with:
- Quality of traffic
- Length of time readers spend on the site
- Reader engagement (comments, ReTweets, etc.)
It’s all about engaging the right readers.
Rule #5: Avoid Self-Promotion
A lot of “social media gurus” will tell you that you can’t mix blogging and self-promotion. I disagree. While you don’t want to be constantly beating your readers over the head with ads and sales pitches, there’s nothing wrong with tasteful self-promotion. Having a call to action at the bottom of your posts with a good offer or linking to your sales pages within posts whenever it makes sense to do so can be effective and non-intrusive when done properly.
What are some other blogging rules you’ve broken?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html