Blogging Rules I Broke in 2016 (And I’m Ok With!)

There are a lot of unspoken blog rules that are just fine to break!

Ah blogging – there is this whole network of fun, community and content. There is SO much variety out there and love getting a chance to share my opinions.

There are unspoken “rules” that, as a blogger, you feel pressured to keep up with on a regular basis. If you aren’t sticking to these “rules” you might feel like a failing blogger.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m proud to break these rules. Not even sorry.

1. You must be active on every social media platform // I’m looking at you, Twitter. I figured out in 2016 that I just don’t have the bandwith to even try to be active on all the various platforms. It just wasn’t realistic. So I chose to focus my time on my favorites (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) and just casually cruise/use the others.

Biggest example is Pinterest! I love Pinterest for personal use! So I just continue to use it that way. I like to pin fellow blogger friends’ content, and occasionally pin my own. But for the most part, it’s personal. And I’m ok with that!

2. Successful bloggers make money //  True, making money would be just fine! I wouldn’t turn down a chance to receive something for free or make a little extra cash! BUT don’t let that desire to make money sacrifice your value as a blogger. If you become known as the person that always talks about sponsored products, no one will listen if you truly love something! Stick to talking about brands and products you truly love and would spend your own money on. And it’s a bonus if you get some cash for it! And if you’re not making a dime from blogging (like me) that’s totally fine!! You can still be a successful blogger without making money.

3. Blogging daily is essential // I do believe that consistently posting is crucial to have consistent readers and followers. People will stop visiting your blog if you aren’t posting (*cough cough* me in 2016 *cough cough*). BUT you shouldn’t feel pressured to post daily or even every week day. You may experience burn out and then swing the other direction (like me). This year I was ok with posting a few times a week, and keeping up on Facebook and Instagram. I was content with not daily posting. And you should be too!

4. Content about your personal life is kind of boring // I see bloggers apologizing for doing a post about life lately, or just a “chatty blog” or video… but who cares! It’s your blog – blog about what you want to talk about. I love sharing what we’re up to around here. True, you don’t get a lot of new visitors clicking through to posts on “what we did this weekend”, but your regular readers who like you for you want to hear about it!

5. Track those numbers and compare yourself to other bloggers // Like #4, I care more about keeping up with regular, return readers than trying to hit a viral post and sky rocket my numbers. If I only have 10 people who regularly read and comment on my blog, that works for me! Don’t get stuck looking at someone else’s blog or social media account and being frustrated that you seem “small”. What’s important is the community you’re building in your slice of the internet. You want people to stick around because of you and your voice!

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

There is ONE blogging rule I broke a lot in 2016 that I’m not ok with. And if you’re a new blogger, learn from my mistake.

I fell behind on visiting and commenting on other blogs.

This is a TOP PRIORITY blog rule you must always follow. The best thing about blogging and the blogging community is just that – community. If you don’t visit fellow bloggers, see what they’re up to, comment and share, then what’s the point? Friendships and collaborations get built on community with fellow bloggers. I shouldn’t have neglected this. And I need to get better in 2017.

What “rules” have you broken? Anything you want to improve on?

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    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      It TOTALLY gets to be too much. I can’t keep up with all the changes in the few platforms I’m active on too. Like if they change an algorithm or something… meh. Too much detail for me! HAHA!

  1. Whitney Jordan says:

    Great list!! I love that you mentioned all of these things. I’m not a fan of twitter and tend to use Pinterest for my own uses, too. I have unfollowed bloggers who’ve been bombarding me with sponsored posts and would much prefer to hear about the products they REALLY love. I really loved your point about blogging what you love to blog about, connecting with others and making sure that you do what you need to do to keep blogging FUN. So many good reminders to kick off the new year 🙂

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Thank you! I’m all about making some moolah, but it’s not a priority for me. But yes!! Blogging should be all about what you love, not what you feel pressured to blog about!

  2. Catherine Short says:

    I LOVE this. I don’t like that I have become lazy about responding to comments. I was too focused on creating content when really I should have spent that time responding to my readers.

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      I know – it’s so important to create the community part… it’s definitely one thing I want to do better this year. (Although a new baby is a great excuse)

  3. Jenn says:

    Yes!! I love blogging, but I just fail at making the time to connect with other readers. I am going to be MUCH better at that this year. Love your post!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Put all the other pressures of blogging to the side and just focus on visiting/commenting! A MUCH better use of time – creating community is the most important. And the MOST fun 🙂

  4. Rachel G says:

    #4 is big for me because I think personal content is really what makes blogs compelling and interesting–you get to know a person! And that’s what makes commenting and engaging so crucial–you miss out on a lot if you don’t have the community!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      I SO agree!! I think community and personal content is what makes blogging the coolest thing ever. So glad you stopped by!!

  5. Shelly Janac says:

    Love Katie! These are all great points. I’m totally not witty enough to be on Twitter…I need more characters. 🙂 Focusing on growing one social media outlet at a time to me is really more beneficial. Plus, you are so right, being able to connect with regular readers and build relationships is the kicker here and I can’t keep up across all platforms. Thanks for sharing! You had a busy 2016 and personally I’m impressed with how active you still were with a new baby!

  6. Beth Newman says:

    Love your honesty in this post, especially on that last one. We’ve all been there girl. My biggest rule I break os tracking my traffic. I just dont. Im doing me, all I can and that has to be enough.

  7. Chelsea says:

    Yes, yes, yes!! I need to improve on consistency for sure. I struggle with having content some weeks and I just give up. Trying to work on that for this year!!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Sometimes I’m too consumed with my week to take the time to blog. But I tell myself that I’m just living life. Which is OK!! But you and me both – we’ll work on consistency. Teamwork!

  8. Whitney says:

    Loved this post! I am guilty of #4, more recently than in general. I guess I feel like those posts are easier to write than the ones with “original content,” but who am I kidding? Everyone loves a good peek into someone else’s life! 🙂 I have almost totally given up on Twitter except that my blog auto tweets when I post. I’ve never seen any real benefit from it! Give me all the Instagram pictures and Snapchat filters!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Oh I’m a nosy girl, so the personal posts are the BEST!! I’m the same on Twitter. I’m lucky if I go in once a week (mainly just to eliminate that pesky number of notifications alert). IG all the way!

  9. Mackensey says:

    Love this. I remember it taking me awhile to really figure out the ‘community’ part of blogging, and now it is one of my favorites. I always feel strange even saying it, but I truly have connected with some ladies who I consider friends, and I can turn to for advice or just to vent!
    I also think quality is more important than quantity. I have realized posting M-F just isn’t feasible for me, but 3 quality posts a week is!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Oh totally! Never met some of these blogging friends but I have no problem calling them friends 🙂 And agree quality over quantity is a more attainable goal to drive towards. Thanks for stopping by!

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