This is a guest post by Jane Smith. Share your Blogging Story by following our guest blogging guidelines.
Although it may seem like a fun endeavor initially, blogging should never be taken lightly. Whenever you register a blog domain, in an odd way you are making an unspoken commitment: You’re making a commitment to yourself that you will actively nurture your blog, and you’re making a commitment to your followers that you will provide them with intriguing, relevant content. Sounds like a lot of responsibility, right? Well, that’s because it is.
When I first started blogging 10 years ago, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. My very first blog didn’t even have an angle or genre attached to it. Most of the time I was just blogging about my teenage emotions, and we all know how horribly that goes. My second blog – a cooking one – was a little more adventurous, but it was completely devoid of any engaging photography or eye-catching design. Can you imagine a food blog without any imagery? Neither could my zero followers. By my third blog, I had learned a lesson or two on how to successfully manage my blogging endeavors.
Now I’m no expert, but I’ve learned through the years that there are certain unspoken expectations that come along with the act of blogging. For those of you who are new to the blogging world or need to brush up on some skills, here are four commandments of blogging that you should always strive to follow.
Thou Shall Not Treat My Blog like a Diary
Though it is tempting to do so, do not use your blog as a place to express your emotions and feelings. Remember, your blog is a blog – not a diary. Unless you are some amazingly influential movie star, nobody except your family and best friends really value what you think and feel. It may seem rather harsh to put it that way, but it’s absolutely true. Try and focus your posts on things that are of relevance to your audience. Even if you are running something like a personal food blog, try to keep it focused on the food, not about you eating the food. Furthermore, things like heartbreaks, arguments with friends, and political rants are best kept to yourself and not shared with an audience.
Thou Shall Not Plagiarize
Perhaps you’re blogging on an interesting topic and want to track down a great image? That’s all well and good, but never “borrow” or steal somebody else’s work. I didn’t really understand this concept when I first started blogging, but I learned quite quickly. One day a local newspaper ran an image online that I saw and used on my blog without a proper credit. Imagine my shock when someone contacted me and “politely” asked me to take it down. Plagiarizing is just a nice way of saying stealing, so do yourself a favor and take your own pictures and write you own blog posts. There is no excuse for being unoriginal.
Thou Shall Not Abandon My Blog
We all have days when we would rather take a nap than write a blog post. Hey, I’ve been there. Yet when you start a blog, you are making a commitment to keep it running like a well-oiled machine, so try and establish a steady schedule of posting days and keep up with it. If you find yourself unable to keep things going, try and write shorter posts or invite people to guest post on your blog. Whatever you do, do not let your blog fall off the map because if the author of a blog seems bored with their content, can you imagine how readers will feel?
Thou Shall be Creative
Alright, enough with all the don’ts of blogging! Remember, the point of blogging is to have fun and be creative. Whenever you find yourself stumped on content, always do your best to come up with something unexpected. In fact, the best blogs out there are ones that deliver something different and unique every day. Try and conjure up a list of topics you would like to talk about and then start writing about them. Before you know it, you’ll have a list of followers waiting in eager anticipation to see what you do next.
It takes several years to master all the intricacies and nuances of blogging; so while you’re working on getting the hang of it, make sure to always follow these four commandments.