What Blogging Rules Should You Break or Follow?

  March 8, 2022 blogging tips 🕑 3 minutes read

Pedasi, Panama

 

Being a pro blogger involves breaking rules and honoring rules.

 

Being a pro involves sticking to fundamentals but being flexible in applying these ideals.

 

Experience is the #1 tool in your rule arsenal. Blogging experience appeals to your intuition. The intuition tells you what rules to break and what rules to follow. For example, I break publishing rules common to most bloggers because my experience appeals to my gut hunch in that regard. But I follow specific blogging rules too commonly held by the masses because my experience goads me to do so.

 

Experience teaches you what to let go and what to hold, for blogging is an experience to learn from spanning years of your life. I break ample rules. But I honor rules too. Why? Experience told me that list building, SEO-optimizing and a more traditional blogging path did not suit me and my readers. Experience told me that I loved guest posting, genuine blog commenting and networking. I honored these blogging rules. I followed these fundamentals. I let go rules like driving Google traffic and building a huge email list.

 

A while back, one of my good blogging friends reached out to me. He is likely reading 🙂 He asked if I was ready to accept his guest post. I informed him I closed guest posting months ago. He reminded me we agreed to do a guest post exchange but simply moved on from his request, aka, our agreement. He released on it. Oh shoot; I totally forgot we agreed to exchange guest posts because we agreed quite a few months ago. I replied letting him know I would accept his guest post, thanking him for reminding me of our agreement.

 

I broke my rule for permanently closing guest posting for a good friend I trust. But I never would break a blogging rule or policy for a stranger because I do not know strangers enough to trust these individuals.. What is their agenda? What is their motive?

 

A while back, a stranger reached out to me. He promised to do a link exchange; this would be the first and last link exchange I ever did. Lesson learned. He offered to place my guest post on Market Watch –  to get an eBook link on a DA 92 blog – to place his guest post on Blogging From Paradise. Brilliant. I took that trade.

 

He published my guest post. I published his guest post. But a few months later when I clicked my guest post link on Market Watch, he or Market Watch removed my guest post. I did not take the removal personally but deleted his guest post on BFP immediately because I cannot promote someone I do not know and trust. I cherish the lesson he taught me; only break rules or policies for trusted bloggers. I never did a link exchange prior. I will never do a link exchange again. My blog has since moved in a different direction.

 

Bloggers who I bonded with and did business with sometimes pitched me advertising opportunities at my old, cheaper rates. I honored the cheap rates until realizing:

 

  • the value of my blog
  • the value of my brand
  • the fact I ran a serious blogging business; not a charity

 

Even though I befriended the bloggers and did prior business with the bloggers I rose rates for them and everyone across the board. I never break pricing policies for anyone because I suffered horribly basing my blogging business on individual budgets, the poverty consciousness of clients determining my pricing. I had to sit with fears in my mind vibing with the fears in client minds to see how we co-created my struggles.

 

Lesson learned. I remain firm with a few rules but break many rules. I never change some policies but do change other policies. My intimately personal experiences offer me an intuitive guide I honor diligently

 

Ditto for you.

 

Experience is the ideal blogging teacher.

 

  1. Stuart Danker says:
    at 6:06 pm

    Oh yeah, the ‘tried and true’ practices like including a pop-up to gather emails never really worked for me. And the stuff I’ve learned from work, such as ALWAYS GETTING LEADS never really sat well with me. If they like it, they’d follow, and honestly, I’d be happier with that smaller, more engaged audience, than with a ton of uncaring readers.

    And about rule breaking, yeah, we should always stick to our guns, and use the most important tool of all—our gut. Thanks for this post, Ryan!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:27 pm

      Ditto for both here, Stuart. Building a list and scrambling after leads never resonated with me. Doing what feels fun to me and what most helps my readers has always been the best move. Thanks my friend 🙂

  2. ellegracedeveson says:
    at 4:23 am

    This is a really interesting post. I’d never really thought of blogging having rules but I defiantly think after reading your post today that I’m someone who sticks to the rules with the occasional breaking of them depending on the circumstances. Thank you for sharing this with us Ryan, it was a great read Xo

    Elle

  3. Mary Jones says:
    at 6:48 am

    Ryan, I admire you, and thanks for sharing your experiences. It helps newbies like me to be careful about what to do and what not to do.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:28 am

      Marty thanks a bunch.

  4. Moss Clement says:
    at 9:40 am

    Hi Ryan,

    Rules must be broken to survive in the competitive blogging arena, and some rules must be honored. When we (bloggers) use or apply the rules correctly, they offer a sense of predictability and consistency, promoting a healthy blogging environment.
    Moreover, honoring rules enables us to guide our actions toward desired blogging objectives. So, you need to know what rules to break or observe to meet your ultimate goal of becoming a bogging success.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:28 am

      Finding that proper mix between honoring and breaking is key Moss. Trusting our gut leads us in the right direction.

  5. Donna Merrill says:
    at 3:55 pm

    Hi Ryan

    As you point out, some rules really define your business.

    You just can’t break those.

    I’ve done it, and have learned from that experiece.

    I have been an intuitive consultant for many years, and got into a thing where I started going way overtime in my sessions without charging extra.

    I ultimately realized it was destroying my business and I had to start getting much more strict about it.

    Same for you with adhering to advertising rates.

    I get it!

    Every blogger needs to stick to the rules that really define their business model.

    -Donna

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:46 pm

      I have learned similar lessons Donna. Some rules cannot be broken or things get dicey, or, we hold ourselves back.

  6. Sarah says:
    at 4:05 pm

    I think I spent too much time following ‘the rules’ on my blog. My email list, created through offering freebies and a pop-up, got so large that I now have a regular chore of removing emails from it, just to limit the cost. Thanks for reminding us that it is okay to let some things go.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:11 pm

      Most definitely Sarah. Letting some things go allows us to move forward.