I’m not a huge rule-breaker. But when it comes to style, I’m comfortable enough to take a few risks.
Not matching your purse and shoes? Check. Overloading on accessories? Check. Mixing brown and black? Check!
See, rules are just guidelines. They’re there for a reason but once you feel comfortable and confident that you know what you’re doing, they can be bent a bit. Case in point, these 5 blogging rules. With a little guidance, these “rules” can totally be broken. If anything, they’re rules that are a bit misunderstood–they’re meant to be broken!
5 Blogging Rules Meant to be Broken
Every Single Blog Post Must Be Insanely Epic
Damn, that’s a lot of pressure! This has been going around the web a lot recently and while it’s mostly true I will say this: it’s totally OK to give yourself permission to sprinkle in some posts that are not 1,500 words long with infographics, video content, interviews, content upgrades, etc. Here’s why:
It’s a lot of pressure and very difficult to maintain a writing schedule when the expectation is so high.
Am I suggesting you create and publish junk? No. But when you’re drafting your editorial calendar, go ahead and sprinkle in a quicker-to-compose blog post in the month like a roundup post (here’s an example), a Q&A with a featured expert or a guest post. The key is to consistently create content that’s valuable to your reader. And guess what? Not every reader, every single week, has the time and energy to digest epic blog posts. You shouldn’t be sitting there looking at your plan and dreading drafting the upcoming post.
You Should Live and Die By Your Editorial Calendar
One of the biggest fears people have about creating an editorial calendar is that they’ll then have this rigid thing they have to stick to which leaves no room for spontaneity. Well, that’s just not so! Yes, you should create an editorial calendar (read more on how to do so here) so that you’re never stuck for ideas the day a post is due and so that you’ve got something aligned with your marketing calendars and goals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from time to time.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post on blogging during times of crisis because there had been a number of horrible shootings and terrorist attacks that week. It was something that was currently happening and weighing heavy on my heart so I just went with it. Was it on the schedule? Nope! But it was an important convo to have and the right time for me to deviate.
You might also like: What goes in your editorial calendar
You Can’t Repeat Blog Topics
Something a lot of business owners forget is that not everyone has read and followed each and every blog post since the beginning (sorry!). So can you reuse content? Absolutely! I don’t mean recycle the exact same thing, but you can reframe an idea into a new post again and again.
A post on How to Pack for that Summer Vacation could also become…
- How to Pack for Spring Break
- How to Pack for a Weekend Getaway
- How to Pack for a Cruise
and reuse a lot of the same ideas from the original post.
Blogging as Much as You Can is Best
Sometimes my friends, less is more. And if you’re sacrificing quality in favor of quantity, this is one of those situations where it’s best to back off. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and only commit to blogging however many days you can handle. Consistency means more here than frequency, so if the minimum you can devote is one post a week, so be it!
Choose SEO Over Sass When it Comes to Headlines
When it comes to blog titles, an SEO-friendly title is your best bet to target those keywords and bring in new traffic. But does that mean you can’t have titles with sass? Nope. Is one better than the other? That depends on your standpoint and your brand. While an SEO-friendly title is great for search, if you’ve got a brand whose personality is witty, your audience may appreciate something with a little more sass. Example:
- How to Style a Summer Scarf (SEO super hero!)
- How to Style a Summer Scarf Like the Fashion Goddess You Are (Pass the sass, please!)
This is an internal decision you’ll make, and by all means you can do some titles a bit more SEO-friendly and some with more sass. But don’t think you can’t inject a little fun and humor into your headlines if you want–those get plenty of clicks, too!
Bottom line, blog rules are great but if you’re ready, you can break a few and will be just fine!