Jan 15, 2015

4 Blogging "Rules" I'd Prefer to Stay Broken

I'm a rebel.  Always have been.

When someone gives me advice, my first reaction is to say, "No!" with all the self-empowering force of a 2-year old who has just learned the word, and then throw that advice out the window.

Now that I'm all grown up and (somewhat) mature, I've learned to ignore my first reaction and actually consider the thing people are telling me.  Is it actually useful?  Do I want to do it?  Are they right?  Typically, I'll try it out and then decide for myself if it's worth doing.

In the case of blogging, I've accepted, and even sought out, more advice than I can possibly remember at the moment.  But there are a few things that I soundly reject and I'll tell you why.

Blog Advice That's Not For Me

1. Every Post Must Have Pictures

Ain't nobody got time for that!  Honestly, though, I did this for a while, and it was awesome, and pretty, and I got more hits than I have since.  But it's a lot of work and takes this from a fun hobby to a chore.  I don't want it to be a chore.  So now I only add pictures if I want to.
 

2. Full Posts Should Be Displayed on the Main Page

Some people think it's easier, because they don't have to click through to read the whole post.  I think it's a pain, because I'd rather choose which posts to read and just browse the titles and first couple paragraphs.  When you've got one post that's 10 pages of pictures, it makes it hard for me to find the other posts.  So I present my blog in the way I prefer to read.  Besides, how many people actually visit my homepage?  Don't we all use Bloglovin' to get there in the first place?
 

3. Reduce Your Archive Size

Usually by eliminating dropdowns.  I understand the logic: it takes up less space, yada yada, but I need to be able to find stuff.  Maybe your other readers don't go back through old posts and maybe I'm the weirdo, but sometimes I decide to write a post similar to someone else's and I want to find their post to give credit.  If your archive isn't easy to use, the likelihood of you getting your due credit is much reduced.  I keep my archive in the standard format to make things easy for me (Yep - I use it all the time when I want to reference my own old posts) and my readers.
 

4. Avoid Paragraphs at All Costs

I like to read, so why wouldn't other people?  Maybe you do, maybe you don't.  If you don't, I'm not sure how or why you've gotten this far through the post.  But I don't think any of us should feel bad about writing in paragraphs when it's our natural style and it's what we prefer to read on other blogs.

Bonus: Blog Advice I'd Like to See Used More

Search Box!

Why don't people have these?  You know that thing I said about digging through your old posts?  If your archive is not user friendly or I don't remember what month it was, I can just use the search tool to find it.  Give yourself some credit - your old stuff is pretty good and chances are I will probably want to look at some of it again one day.
I guess the general theme here is: I want to blog the way I'd want to read it.  I'm not going to try to please everyone else if the end result is then something I personally wouldn't want to read.  Hopefully everyone else is doing the same thing.
 
For the most part, I'm happy to live and let live, but it always gives me just a tiny jolt of irritation when someone says, "You CAN'T..."  Uh, yeah.  I can.  Watch me.

What advice do you refuse to follow?  What advice do you wish everyone else would?


Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design

14 comments:

  1. I don't always have pictures. When I finally get around to hitting publish today it may or may not have pictures. As of right now no pictures. But I'm with you, this is my hobby I do it for fun. If I wanted it to be a job I'd handle it differently. I have no clue if I have a search box. I should because I love search boxes....now I'll have to go look.

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  2. I don't like to follow the rules either. Paragraphs make me happy darnit!

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  3. I hate the photo rule, such a pain. I love search bars! I have one. I think everyone should. I try to make it easy with the categories up top, but I know people use the search too. Heck I've used it myself, finding an old post to link to.

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  4. I have pictures because I like them. Not because there's a rule.

    Search is crucial to me. I use it on my own blog all the time.

    Probably the only rule I do follow is not to use someone's idea without linking back to them.

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    1. That's funny. I use the search on my own blog all the time too :)

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  5. I hate "blogging rules" because it's my blog, I do what I want! lol

    The only rule I think there should be is to respond back to people who take the time to comment on your blog! Otherwise it's rude! So many rude people out there these days...

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  6. 1. Pictures. I agree that putting a picture at the top makes a post more enticing. I also love pictures and playing on Photoshop with fonts, so it's not a chore for me.
    2. I actually get annoyed when I have to click through to read, but I can see your point. It is annoying to have to scroll, scroll, scroll sometimes if a post is really long.
    3. YES AMEN. I absolutely go back and look through archives, and here's what I think: if you aren't going to have the full archive available, what on earth is the point of only having an archive of each month? Who is going to click on that? Answer: no one. Either have the full thing (yay!) or nothing at all.
    4. I'm not sure what you mean by this one. Are you saying you like long paragraphs? What are you considering a paragraph?
    5. I do like the "search" function and use it often.

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    1. I realize I phrase my #1 incorrectly. When I say "I agree," I mean I agree with this rule. Not that I agree with you, because you don't agree with it :)

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  7. Blog articles must be SEO friendly is a blog rule I've always broken. :P
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts rebel Jenn. :)

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    1. Oh, I don't even worry about that. Most of them are on topics that I can't imagine being terribly helpful to anyone anyway, so I'm always surprised when I get readers via Google search (although it was nice during the broken ankle saga - a few other people who had also recently broken something contacted me and we were able to commiserate, so I guess there's that).

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  8. I don't understand why some people hate the "read more" option on the home page. I've had people say "I hate it"... WHY!? What is it doing to you that makes you hate it so much!? How hard is it to click on the read more to finish reading the whole post!? You have to click on the title anyway to get to the comment box ...so I just don't get it. And like you said, most people come from Bloglovin I think. If a new visitor doesn't stay on my blog because I used a "read more" at the bottom of my post... Well....bye!!! Lol idk what to say, you can't please everyone. I think more people should use "read more" tags... Some blogs have so many photos that their home page takes forever to load.

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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    1. Yes! What's so hard about it? And especially what you said about needing to click over to comment, so what difference does it make?!

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  9. I actually get annoyed when I have to click through to read, but I can see your point.

    www.ourbusinessladder.com

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    1. Actually, this is interesting, since Jessica makes the point that you have to click on the post anyway to get to the comments. So do you find it annoying because you read a bunch of one blog's posts all at once? (I know with how I do it - following everyone's feed through Bloglovin' - the format of the posts on the home page is pretty much irrelevant, because I just read the newest one and I get there straight from Bloglovin' anyway. So I'm curious to see how other people read blogs.)

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