On August 2008 I started this blog. I didn’t have a clear idea what I wanted it to become, nor did I know how to reach out to others. Since then I’ve come up with rules/mission statements that have helped me keep my blogging time focused and meaningful. Now, everyone’s rules will not be the same, but as you read through mine, I challenge you to think of your own and to stand by them. It will help you from either a) being sucked in too much or b) so overwhelmed you quit.
1. Never spend more time blogging than you do talking to your significant other.
My family comes first. End of story. Specifically, I’ve noticed the more I date my husband, the stronger our relationship becomes. (We’ve been married for 11 years and yeah, I’m just now figuring that out.) Steve and I occasionally need to lavish undivided attention on each other and I don’t want blogging to take that time away.
2. Make every post have a clear purpose.
It may be that a post will only resonate with one person (even if that person is me), but I need to focus the post on the one message for the one who needs it.
3. Keep posts short.
At first I had a real problem with long-winded posts. (Get it? Winded Words?! So pun-ny!) Now I’ve seen the light and when it comes to blogging, less is more. Keep it focused, to the point, and others will be more apt to read it.
4. Participate in the blogging community with the goal of giving back.
Nothing about blogging brings me more joy than helping others. I post my email right up front so that readers know they can contact me anytime they wish. Then there are always the giveaways—(keep your eyes open for my 200th post giveaway, coming very soon)!
5. Writing comes before blogging.
If I let this outlet take the place of the stories in my head then the blog has failed me. I’m a writer reaching out to others interested in writing and reading. If I’m not writing then I’m no longer a writer—I’m a fraud who posts about the writing I’m not really doing.
6. A casual voice brings a friendly atmosphere.
One of the reasons I love LiLa and Elana Johnson’s blogs is because their friendly voices come out in their posts and you feel like you’re just a bunch of girls hanging at a party. I try to find my own brand of casual and convey it here. (At least I hope!)
7. Be yourself and be true to yourself.
At first I tried to make this blog funny, but sometimes my humor can come across as pretentious so I have to be careful. I love to laugh, but I’m not always so good at transferring the funny to paper. Now I simply post what is on my mind, what I’m about, and what I have a passion for. I write my essence here. If nothing else, my readers know my voice is authentic. (Along with this, I have to remind myself not everyone is going to come back again and again just like not everyone is going to become my BFF. We seek out those we resonate with and in some blogs that commonality is not as strong as in others. Besides, real life gets busy.)
So that’s it. The seven rules I repeat when blogging, the rules that keep me here for the long haul.
Q4U: Do YOU have any blogging rules of your own you’d like to share?
Next post: My 7 rules of writing time.