I have spent quite a bit of time over the past few months discussing blogging as I hashed out my ideas on certain trends in book blogging. These have included readathons, giveaways, blog hops, rules, reasons to start blogging, followers, comments, overdoing guest blogging, and blog tours. Now, these are just my thoughts on these topics. If there is one thing about blogging that will get me fired up is the idea that there are rules to blogging. Honestly, in my opinion, there are no rules.
Yes, there will always be someone who states that you should do X, Y, and Z in order to maximize your visitors or become a top blogger. To that, I say poppycock. Blogging is intensely personal, and what works for one may not, and often does not, work for someone else. How you run your blog, what you do to promote it, and what you hope to get out of it are uniquely yours. If you feel like a certain meme or event is draining, do not do it; conversely, if you adore music and want it playing on your blog, go for it. Who cares what other people think? At the end of the day, a majority of us are blogging as a hobby or to improve our writing. While we dream about one day quitting our day jobs and becoming full-time writers, this will remain a dream for 95 percent of us. This is okay! However, it makes the idea of your blog as an extension of your personality even more important.
Let me let you in on a little secret – those bloggers who burn out, take an extended blogging break or quit altogether have not figured out that there are no rules. These are the ones who feel compelled to participate in certain memes or weekly events even though they do not like them. These are the ones who feel that they have to post something every day, even if they do not feel like it. Someone somewhere has told them that in order to be considered a successful blogger, they have to do this. I am here to tell you this is not the case.
Do not write if you have nothing to say. Do not force yourself to participate in something in which you do not see any benefit or if it makes you uncomfortable to do so. No one is going to banish you from the Internet for staying silent for a few days or for not participating in Monday’s “What Are You Reading” meme. In my opinion, those blogs that I favor and consider the best, are those that pave their own ways and follow their own formats. They write when they have something to share, are quiet when they do not. Their words are more powerful as a result, and they never, ever apologize for their silence. It is a hobby that they continue to enjoy because they have learned to ignore the “experts” and do things their own way.
So newbies, do not feel ashamed or overwhelmed! Do what feels comfortable for you. Enjoy blogging. It is fun and can be incredibly worthwhile. I guarantee that your blog will evolve and grow as you figure out your style, and this growth is as exciting for your audience as it is for you.