Thursday, March 10, 2011

ON BLOGGING ~ Who Do These Blog Police Think They Are?...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

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Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

A few weeks ago, in our confessional about long-windedness, new blogger Desiree of Driftwood Ramblings left a comment wondering why some people force rules on you. That she had been "informed" without solicitation about what she should or shouldn't be doing to make her blog a hit. She wondered who exactly these blog police were and where they got the nerve.

I don't know, Desiree. I truly don't. For there aren't rules. There are pet peeves. There are things that work better than others for some people. But there is no Right or Wrong way to blog. First of all, that is because the reasons you blog versus the reasons another person blogs are likely vastly different. Knowing WHY you blog pretty much sets the approach of how you blog.

Second of all, what works for me might not work for you. We all have different personalities. Advance post plotting might be great for someone with a leaning towards order and planning. This would be far too restrictive for the mind that thrives on spontaneity.

I love to learn and to share. That's why I create Blog Tip posts on alternating Fridays. But I don't go around telling people they should do everything I know how to do. I just put the information out there in case someone else is interested or in need. You can't force things on people. Especially people like me. I instantly become defensive when someone tells me I NEED to do it THIS way. They might as well call me a big dummy. Doesn't go over too well.

If you are new to blogging, or haven't given your blog a real look in a while, I always recommend having a relative stranger (in or outside of the blogospere) take a look at your site and provide their reactions to what they find. Not criticism. Just one blogger's personal opinion. It can reinforce some things you've thought were good and can also point out some things from a different point of view. Good information to have and do with what you want - or don't want - to do.

That's the kind of exercise that is helpful to a blogger. Not a guide. Just guidance. When asked for. Don't be the blog police. Just be a blogger.

Have you ever received unwanted blogging advice? How did you respond? When you want advice, are you comfortable in asking?


Matty said...

Molly, your second and third paragraphs sums it all up very nicely.

We are all different. And that's what makes each blog unique in it's own way. Just last night I was reading a "successful" blog with more followers than you can imagine, and the articles are entirely about how to make YOUR blog better. Every single post was about what YOU should do to increase traffic on YOUR blog. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking, "this is what worked for you, but it isn't for everyone".

And yes, I had someone give me unsolicited advice on my photo blog, telling me to take down or at least move my blog song video. I ignored them.

I can remember reading articles by bloggers who list their "rules of blogging". It's always by someone with a "successful" blog with a go-zillion followers. I read through the comments and one after another apologized for violating the "rules" of that blogger. I was so mad, that I left a comment telling her that she had her high and mighty nose up in the air, and who the H does she think she is that just because she has thousands of followers that she gets to lay down the law of blogging.

Great article Molly.

kaye said...

great article--I know having DS take a look at things and your own input helped me to figure things out. I'm pretty comfortable right now. I've never had anyone give me advice in a comment though unless I ask for it. I was maintaining a separate book blog that saw very little traffic--so after seeking advice I dropped it and merged it with my main blog. People are generally very polite and helpful when you ask for help.

Julie said...

I always feel like I learn something from your posts. Thanks!

Susan said...

In the end, you have to be true to yourself, because if blogging becomes formulaic and you feel like you have to follow certain rules, then it's no longer fun.

You know I've tried scheduled weekly themes, and they were fun for a while and then I got bored with them, or I just want to do them occasionally when inspiration strikes. I guess I'm not a good blogger in that respect, but I don't really care. I don't want to have a blog that has hundreds of followers and commenters. I guess that's fine if you're a blogger who never responds to comments, but that's not me. I have to respond individually as a thank you for being there for me.

I've actually been pleasantly surprised by my little group who has hung in there with me, especially through my absences. They don't seem to mind that I consistently break the rules of blogging, and if they do, they're too nice to tell me. :)

Forgetfulone said...

I so agree! There is no right/wrong. It's your blog! You decide what you want to do, and that depends on your personalities and your purpose for blogging. I just do my own thing.

Sun Singer said...

Blog police, now there's a frightening thought. Nice post.

Lin said...

You are so right when you say that what works for some doesn't work for others.

Time (or lack of it) online is a major factor for me lately. While I can take a few minutes to whip up a post, I can't spend hours online reading my blog roll anymore. My body was being affected by the sedentary lifestyle and I had to scale back a ton. While I feel guilty about that, I just know I can't anymore. That said, there are lots of bloggers out there that put me to shame with their dedication to reading and commenting--even on my blog. It makes me feel guilty, but I can't do it.

Good post today!

Kathleen said...

I've never been given unsolicited advice...luckily! But I've been really grateful for the tips you've written about on your blog. I didn't even know I could back up my blog and that would have been a disaster if something had happened and I didn't have it backed up!