Because we are such a wealth of blogging knowledge (again, due to falling down, getting up and brushing ourselves off), we’d like to pass along a few blogging commandments we live by. Feel free to use these 6 lessons in your own blogging practices:
1. Thou shall always be honest. Being a blogger means being open, honest and most of all, transparent. If you try to lie or pull the wool over your readers’ eyes, they will know, and they will call you out on it. If you’re working with a brand or advertiser, you need to tell your audience – that goes for native advertising, contests and reviews. But just because you get something for free, it doesn’t mean you have to sell your soul to write a review for something you wouldn’t personally buy. Everything that you write will reflect you and your brand – do you really want to be seen as a sell-out or a liar?
2. Thou shall always be open. Although you don’t have to tell your audience every miniscule detail about your life, your connection with them will be deeper if you’re willing to get personal. It shows that you can be vulnerable and can talk about it. That being said, you don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty details of every emotion that arose during a certain experience – it should be a glimpse into what you feel.
3. Thou shall not please all people all of the time. We’ve all tried this, and it always ends un-tacular. Don’t let negative comments get you down – it’s water off a duck’s back. There will be people who leave a nasty comment on your blog that has little to do with what you’re saying or will think that you’re the devil for even having your opinion. You can ignore it, thank them for their time, or leave rational argument that goes over your main points. Don’t get into a long, dragged out back-and-forth – it’ll take up too much of your time.
4. Thou will be true to thine own self. Don’t do the same stuff that everyone else is doing. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and creative spin to what you have to offer. You don’t need to dump your blog’s main focus or message just to jump on the trend bandwagon. Don’t follow the crowd – be unique and grow your niche with loyal followers who get what you’re saying.
5. Thou shall be part of a community. One of the great things about blogging is that it brings you together with the same passions – this is your community. You connect, you share stories and experience, you can ask for advice or help. Using your blog and social media outlets, you can build an invaluable community that supports and understands each other.
6. Thou will always have something new to learn. It never stops. Even with a decade in blogging under our belts, there’s something to learn in this medium. You can take courses, follow new blogs, watch a YouTube video – the options for learning are endless. There’s no room to get stuck in a rut when it comes to blogging. If you’re comfortable for too long, you’re in danger of missing out on how to better yourself and your business.
These are just a few of the more important lessons we’ve learned throughout our blogging career, and we hope that you’ll take them to heart and learn from our mistakes and successes.