The Rules Of Blogging

Typewriter

The Rules of Blogging are ever so simple- write with passion and share your heart. Open yourself up to others and to the possibilities that exist to connect. Bare your soul and share your dreams. Let the echoes of the past be drowned out by the whispers of the future and shine a light upon your soul.

At least this is how I write now and how I have written. This blog was born based upon a whim and had it not been for life it would have been set aside rather quickly. But things happened and I discovered that I desperately needed this place. The blog is where I rekindled my love for writing and rediscovered certain truths about who I am and what it is that I want out of my life.

It is not an exaggeration to say that I have shared some of my greatest victories and lowest points within it. Seven years of blogging about forty-two years of living should cover a broad spectrum. It should shine a light on some of the darker spots of my heart and the bright lights of my soul. There are simple stories about what being a dad means to me. Silly and thoughtful memories of things that my children have done are contained within these walls. It is a chronicle of thoughts, feelings and ideas. The history of my heart is documented in places.

Some of you will read this and wonder when I am going to provide you with the rules for blogging. You’ll wonder if somewhere within this post I’ll provide you with the key tips, tools and resources for becoming a top blogger. You’ll look for advice on how to build your blog and potentially monetize it. And when it isn’t laid out in a neat little outline you’ll point and click your way to the next stop on your cybertravels.  But if you hang on just a moment longer I’ll answer some of those questions and give you some advice.

I don’t believe that there is one way to blog. I believe that there are many ways. I believe in building your community around you. Be open. Be honest and be authentic. Engage, interact and engage some more with your readers. Some people will tell you that you must write for your readers but I’ll tell you that I don’t believe that it is always successful to do so. If you don’t love this you won’t last.

Some bloggers will tell you that comments are like currency and that if you don’t get many you aren’t doing it right. I’ll tell you that it shouldn’t matter. Some will look at my blog and suggest that I say this because I don’t generate that many comments per post. I’ll respond by saying that if you post with the same frequency that I do you cut down on the number of comments. Most people don’t keep up and consequently some posts are read by fewer readers.

But I don’t write for you- I write for me. And I work on building my community around me. My regular readers are solid and committed. They show up time and time again. If I issue a call to action they respond. And those of you who read me consistently know that true power in social media is derived from whether people respond to your call to action.

Some people suggest that you find a niche and try to become number one in it. I don’t have one set niche. I am a dad blogger who writes about parenting, news, politics, religion and business. I am an executive who shares business tips on sales/marketing/PR and social media. I am a guy who writes fiction and hopes to one day write a book. I am a tortured soul who is content in his contradictions and a work in progress. I am a thinker who works on living his dreams and not dreaming his life. That is why I ask questions like Do You Know What Makes You Happy?

It is not unusual for me to read my posts and cringe. I rarely edit them. After seven years of this I have found my voice and discovered that I get more out of this when I just write. Because when I provide the raw material that is when I find the truth that sometimes hides beneath the surface. That is when I find the secrets that I hide from myself and that is part of why I write. This is one giant journey and I am here to learn.

There is far more to say and not enough time within which to say it. I have two guest posts to write and a ton of work to do. Not to mention that there are things going on outside of this cyber refuge that I cannot ignore or put off. I have wanted to take on some of these challenges much sooner than now but life prevented me from doing so. But now, those roadblocks are gone and it is time to don my armor and ride off into battle. If you’ll forgive the melodrama it is kind of exciting to know that the dogs of war have finally been unleashed and now I can go after them. I am not good at sitting around waiting for things to happen- action is preferable.

Read this carefully as I am only semi inclined to keep it.

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Comments

  1. Excellent advice Jack. There are many technical and design features that we need to incorporate in our blogs and endless advice about how to make them work but your words get right to the heart of the matter.

    It doesn’t matter how slick and shiny the blog may be, if the person behind the blog doesn’t allow their personality to shine through then it is unlikely to ever succeed. Your opening paragraph sums this up beautifully and should be required reading for all bloggers, aspiring, old and new.

    Tony

    • @Top10er:disqus The best blogs are those that display their humanity. Without that there is no distinction and no passion. You can’t start a fire without a spark, or so sings Springsteen. I tend to agree with him.

      Thank you for joining us here, the community helps to make this blog into something more than words.

  2. Excellent advice Jack. There are many technical and design features that we need to incorporate in our blogs and endless advice about how to make them work but your words get right to the heart of the matter.

    It doesn’t matter how slick and shiny the blog may be, if the person behind the blog doesn’t allow their personality to shine through then it is unlikely to ever succeed. Your opening paragraph sums this up beautifully and should be required reading for all bloggers, aspiring, old and new.

    Tony

    • @Top10er:disqus The best blogs are those that display their humanity. Without that there is no distinction and no passion. You can’t start a fire without a spark, or so sings Springsteen. I tend to agree with him.

      Thank you for joining us here, the community helps to make this blog into something more than words.

  3. VictoriaKP says

    Love it! I had a friend who was horrified when I started a blog and didn’t want to attract a particular niche. I write what I care about. Usually it’s mom stuff–but it can also be theatre, culture or health and nutrition.

    • @VictoriaKP:disqus Writing what you care about is smart. I really don’t understand people who ignore that and try to focus on particular topics because they think that they will be more successful that way.;

  4. Anonymous says

    Love it! I had a friend who was horrified when I started a blog and didn’t want to attract a particular niche. I write what I care about. Usually it’s mom stuff–but it can also be theatre, culture or health and nutrition.

    • @VictoriaKP:disqus Writing what you care about is smart. I really don’t understand people who ignore that and try to focus on particular topics because they think that they will be more successful that way.;

  5. Karen Bice says

    I think I can relate to looking at my own writing and cringing. That’s probably one reason I still haven’t launched my blog. I’m a WIP. 🙂 Great post, Jack, and I enjoy reading your posts.

    • @KBice:disqus Just write and let the words fall where they may. I am happiest when I write with reckless abandon. People can read or not read- it doesn’t really matter. I just like letting the passion flow.

  6. Karen Bice says

    I think I can relate to looking at my own writing and cringing. That’s probably one reason I still haven’t launched my blog. I’m a WIP. 🙂 Great post, Jack, and I enjoy reading your posts.

    • @KBice:disqus Just write and let the words fall where they may. I am happiest when I write with reckless abandon. People can read or not read- it doesn’t really matter. I just like letting the passion flow.

  7. Hello, Jack… I clicked over here from the red dress site.  I like what you have to say and the way you say it, so I’ll be back often.  It’s nice to find such an articulate, honest male voice in the blogosphere.  

  8. Hello, Jack… I clicked over here from the red dress site.  I like what you have to say and the way you say it, so I’ll be back often.  It’s nice to find such an articulate, honest male voice in the blogosphere.  

  9. Seattledad says

    What about ‘There’s no crying in Blogging’.  I didn’t see that anywhere in your post.

    • @ff82f50cbbf6bbfa1e32ec116f491472:disqus If you write it they will come but only if there are no tears- there is no crying in blogging. 😉 Thank you for the reminder- I need help, always and more than I admit. 😉

  10. Seattledad says

    What about ‘There’s no crying in Blogging’.  I didn’t see that anywhere in your post.

    • @ff82f50cbbf6bbfa1e32ec116f491472:disqus If you write it they will come but only if there are no tears- there is no crying in blogging. 😉 Thank you for the reminder- I need help, always and more than I admit. 😉

    • @ff82f50cbbf6bbfa1e32ec116f491472:disqus If you write it they will come but only if there are no tears- there is no crying in blogging. 😉 Thank you for the reminder- I need help, always and more than I admit. 😉

  11. What a great message. One I need to remind myself of sometimes. I find a joy in writing that is nearly unmatched by anything else in my life. Whether other people, strangers and friends, read what I write and like it is beside the point. It brings me joy and that’s all that matters.

    Visiting from TRDC. 

    • @02fc43c14dceba950455c4df321734fd:disqus Hi Katie- writing is something that is joyful for me. When the words flow it just makes me smile and provides a certain sense of fulfillment that I don’t get elsewhere.

  12. What a great message. One I need to remind myself of sometimes. I find a joy in writing that is nearly unmatched by anything else in my life. Whether other people, strangers and friends, read what I write and like it is beside the point. It brings me joy and that’s all that matters.

    Visiting from TRDC. 

    • @02fc43c14dceba950455c4df321734fd:disqus Hi Katie- writing is something that is joyful for me. When the words flow it just makes me smile and provides a certain sense of fulfillment that I don’t get elsewhere.

    • @02fc43c14dceba950455c4df321734fd:disqus Hi Katie- writing is something that is joyful for me. When the words flow it just makes me smile and provides a certain sense of fulfillment that I don’t get elsewhere.

  13. I love the line–comments are like currency. It is perfect because if you REALLY think about it–currency is disgusting. It is dirty and easily shredded. It is what we can DO with currency that makes us feel good. So, you are correct. I can write and release and walk away and treat my family better because I feel better. And, then I will check back and only one person will have commented. And then I ALLOW myself to feel badly.
    Thanks for the encouragement. Have a great weekend.

    • @twitter-17433567:disqus I hadn’t thought about currency that way, but it makes a lot of sense to me.Write, release and walk- I like that.

  14. I love the line–comments are like currency. It is perfect because if you REALLY think about it–currency is disgusting. It is dirty and easily shredded. It is what we can DO with currency that makes us feel good. So, you are correct. I can write and release and walk away and treat my family better because I feel better. And, then I will check back and only one person will have commented. And then I ALLOW myself to feel badly.
    Thanks for the encouragement. Have a great weekend.

    • @twitter-17433567:disqus I hadn’t thought about currency that way, but it makes a lot of sense to me.Write, release and walk- I like that.

    • @twitter-17433567:disqus I hadn’t thought about currency that way, but it makes a lot of sense to me.Write, release and walk- I like that.

  15. Bravo! Please keep the post up so that I can refer to it often. I also write for me but I also write for my kids so that they will know me and the stories that are theirs as well. It is very nice to meet you and now follow you.

    • @1cbd9f76438a1d71e3127f1a00cab055:disqus Nice to meet you too. The blog is a great way to chronicle the lives of our children and to give them something that describes and displays something more about us. Looking forward to learning more about you.

  16. Bravo! Please keep the post up so that I can refer to it often. I also write for me but I also write for my kids so that they will know me and the stories that are theirs as well. It is very nice to meet you and now follow you.

    • @1cbd9f76438a1d71e3127f1a00cab055:disqus Nice to meet you too. The blog is a great way to chronicle the lives of our children and to give them something that describes and displays something more about us. Looking forward to learning more about you.

    • @1cbd9f76438a1d71e3127f1a00cab055:disqus Nice to meet you too. The blog is a great way to chronicle the lives of our children and to give them something that describes and displays something more about us. Looking forward to learning more about you.

  17. I must admit that the frequency which you post is almost intimidating.  I do read and comment when I can.  I am like you in that I have a multitude of things I write about which seems to break rule number one about blogging.  But I’m okay with that.  It’s the nature of my blog.  Slowly I am building my voice.  I am short on time these days and I will write when I can about what I feel like.  That is what makes it authenticate and that’s what makes it good for me.  

    • @mecreaves:disqus I only wish that the speed with which I can post translated into dollars. Blogging is easy for me, but part of that is because I don’t over think it. I just write and I think that you do too.

      Multiple topics make it more interesting to me.

  18. I must admit that the frequency which you post is almost intimidating.  I do read and comment when I can.  I am like you in that I have a multitude of things I write about which seems to break rule number one about blogging.  But I’m okay with that.  It’s the nature of my blog.  Slowly I am building my voice.  I am short on time these days and I will write when I can about what I feel like.  That is what makes it authenticate and that’s what makes it good for me.  

    • @mecreaves:disqus I only wish that the speed with which I can post translated into dollars. Blogging is easy for me, but part of that is because I don’t over think it. I just write and I think that you do too.

      Multiple topics make it more interesting to me.

  19. Elena Sonnino says

    Here here!  Fantastic perspective on what is important about the process! 

  20. Here here!  Fantastic perspective on what is important about the process! 

  21. Well I definitely agree with you Jack.  I write for me as well.  Sure I want people to read my poss so I attract the people who enjoy my writing style and the different topics I share.  So I agree, stay true to yourself and I hope to have seven years until my belt as well.  Bravo to you my friend.

    Adrienne

  22. Well I definitely agree with you Jack.  I write for me as well.  Sure I want people to read my poss so I attract the people who enjoy my writing style and the different topics I share.  So I agree, stay true to yourself and I hope to have seven years until my belt as well.  Bravo to you my friend.

    Adrienne

  23. Jack, I really enjoy reading your posts. I love how you see this blog as your:cyber refuge!The first sort of “Blog” I saw was on that old TV show Duggie Howser MD.I remember thinking at the time that it was so cool that he could sort out his thoughts that way. You seem to do the same thing!
    Carry on Jack! You’re doing a great job!
    Lori

    • @twitter-228904159:disqus Hi Lori. It really is my personal Fortress of Sollitude. When we put our thoughts down on “paper” it makes some things very clear. One of those “things” is that although we think we are logical we often are not.
      Off to your blog to see what is new there.

  24. Jack, I really enjoy reading your posts. I love how you see this blog as your:cyber refuge!The first sort of “Blog” I saw was on that old TV show Duggie Howser MD.I remember thinking at the time that it was so cool that he could sort out his thoughts that way. You seem to do the same thing!
    Carry on Jack! You’re doing a great job!
    Lori

    • @twitter-228904159:disqus Hi Lori. It really is my personal Fortress of Sollitude. When we put our thoughts down on “paper” it makes some things very clear. One of those “things” is that although we think we are logical we often are not.
      Off to your blog to see what is new there.

  25. Like you, I don’t write for an audience. My blog topics are wide and varied on purpose because I never know when I’ll wake up and want to write about a specific topic. I just want to build a story of who I am, and hopefully help some people.

    • @marianneworley:disqus “I just want to build a story of who I am, and hopefully help some people.”

      That really resonates with me. It is simple but it says quite a bit. I like it.

  26. Like you, I don’t write for an audience. My blog topics are wide and varied on purpose because I never know when I’ll wake up and want to write about a specific topic. I just want to build a story of who I am, and hopefully help some people.

    • @marianneworley:disqus “I just want to build a story of who I am, and hopefully help some people.”

      That really resonates with me. It is simple but it says quite a bit. I like it.

  27. excellent! excellent post! i broke out of that niche mentality recently. I kept trying to fit into one niche, the mom blogger niche, but though i’m a mom and a blogger, i don’t always write about my kids and i certainly don’t have any parenting tips. my blog is where i empty my head about my life, network with people who can relate and hopefully help my readers/fellow bloggers by sharing what i know. 

    • @vsplace:disqus Passion should dictate what you write about. That fire in the belly is the engine that drives the car and turns the ordinary into extraordinary.

  28. excellent! excellent post! i broke out of that niche mentality recently. I kept trying to fit into one niche, the mom blogger niche, but though i’m a mom and a blogger, i don’t always write about my kids and i certainly don’t have any parenting tips. my blog is where i empty my head about my life, network with people who can relate and hopefully help my readers/fellow bloggers by sharing what i know. 

    • @vsplace:disqus Passion should dictate what you write about. That fire in the belly is the engine that drives the car and turns the ordinary into extraordinary.

    • @vsplace:disqus Passion should dictate what you write about. That fire in the belly is the engine that drives the car and turns the ordinary into extraordinary.

  29. excellent! excellent post! i broke out of that niche mentality recently. I kept trying to fit into one niche, the mom blogger niche, but though i’m a mom and a blogger, i don’t always write about my kids and i certainly don’t have any parenting tips. my blog is where i empty my head about my life, network with people who can relate and hopefully help my readers/fellow bloggers by sharing what i know. 

  30. Fear not, writing like this will get you comments-galore, in time.

  31. Harley51256 says

    But I don’t write for you- I write for me. And I work on building my community around me.

    Best sentence ever. As it should be. Thank you.

    • @baff753fea9a472d300198bfffac35fb:disqus I am a big believer in letting passion and desire fuel our words, which is part of why I keep writing about it. But it just makes so much sense to me.

  32. Harley51256 says

    But I don’t write for you- I write for me. And I work on building my community around me.

    Best sentence ever. As it should be. Thank you.

    • @baff753fea9a472d300198bfffac35fb:disqus I am a big believer in letting passion and desire fuel our words, which is part of why I keep writing about it. But it just makes so much sense to me.

  33. Hey Jack,
    There is something about blogging for 7 years that affords a certain freedom. It allows for the finding of the voice. Some best-selling authors may say they haven’t found theirs yet. 

    • @5b16e971c07d0f5411bbcdeba17d2511:disqus You are correct about that. I have found my voice and watched it evolve a little bit over time. Blogging has been such a gift to me. I think that I have been quite fortunate to find it.

  34. Hey Jack,
    There is something about blogging for 7 years that affords a certain freedom. It allows for the finding of the voice. Some best-selling authors may say they haven’t found theirs yet. 

    • @5b16e971c07d0f5411bbcdeba17d2511:disqus You are correct about that. I have found my voice and watched it evolve a little bit over time. Blogging has been such a gift to me. I think that I have been quite fortunate to find it.

    • @5b16e971c07d0f5411bbcdeba17d2511:disqus You are correct about that. I have found my voice and watched it evolve a little bit over time. Blogging has been such a gift to me. I think that I have been quite fortunate to find it.

  35. I thought the first rule of blogging is that we don’t blog about blogging.
    No?

  36. I thought the first rule of blogging is that we don’t blog about blogging.
    No?

  37. Looking forward to seeing Ajax in the thick. That’s where he shines and stands above lesser men.

  38. Looking forward to seeing Ajax in the thick. That’s where he shines and stands above lesser men.

  39. Kristin Alexander says

    I love everything about this post and am so glad it wasn’t another dreaded “listicle.” I live by the same set of rules you do when it comes to blogging. I write for me, but for my faithful readers who choose to come along for the ride, I do it in a way that I hope and feel is interesting and engaging and makes them feel invested in reading. It’s all part of fostering that sense of community. 
    But my number one rule? Is that there are no rules. 

  40. I love everything about this post and am so glad it wasn’t another dreaded “listicle.” I live by the same set of rules you do when it comes to blogging. I write for me, but for my faithful readers who choose to come along for the ride, I do it in a way that I hope and feel is interesting and engaging and makes them feel invested in reading. It’s all part of fostering that sense of community. 
    But my number one rule? Is that there are no rules. 

  41. Rutimizrachi says

    When I saw this title on Twitter, I was expecting to comment: “Wow.  I’m breaking all of those rules, or at least a good 47 of them!”

    You are right, my friend.  Like any good job done well, it starts with the passion.  Followed closely by authenticity.  There are so many readers out there; and they are so very different!  Thank G-d, our audience is no more monolithic than are we.  And the audience of self can sometimes be enough.

    Think of all the money we’ve saved on therapy as earned income!  Time for a party!

    • @3259353352a15d6132f354a9f8e7d285:disqus Rules are made to be broken or so I have lived my life. Authenticity in a personal blog is critical to me- it makes all the difference.

  42. Rutimizrachi says

    When I saw this title on Twitter, I was expecting to comment: “Wow.  I’m breaking all of those rules, or at least a good 47 of them!”

    You are right, my friend.  Like any good job done well, it starts with the passion.  Followed closely by authenticity.  There are so many readers out there; and they are so very different!  Thank G-d, our audience is no more monolithic than are we.  And the audience of self can sometimes be enough.

    Think of all the money we’ve saved on therapy as earned income!  Time for a party!

    • @3259353352a15d6132f354a9f8e7d285:disqus Rules are made to be broken or so I have lived my life. Authenticity in a personal blog is critical to me- it makes all the difference.

  43. Your non-rules are probably the best blogging rules I’ve read.

  44. Anonymous says

    Your non-rules are probably the best blogging rules I’ve read.

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