In fact, it's been kind of awesome to watch my voice grow from "the girl wet behind the ears with one year of marriage under her belt and a husband on the road" to "a wine-dependent mom of two under two," and I've truly been blessed by the blogging community to connect with so many amazing readers over the last three plus years.
By no means does any of this make me a blogging expert. As a matter of fact, I don't personally know any blogging experts. Aren't we all flying by the seat of our pants and sharing our own story?
I do believe that alone entitles you to make your own rules and do with them what you will. Follow them, break them, change them, etc.
However, I will say that there is one cardinal rule to follow when blogging. And that rule, my friends, is something I'm sure many of your mothers have told you time and time again.
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
I've become a bit disheartened lately with some of the "Rules of Blogging" posts floating around. I will admit, some "rules" are very funny. Many, however, read like personal digs.
Who wants to sit down and read a post and constantly be second guessing themselves, "Are they talking about me?" "I do those things.. I've written those posts before." "But I like link-ups!"
The truth is, whatever your niche, your readers read you because they enjoy the heart you put into your posts. If that happens to be a compilation of pretty Pinterest pins and quotes? So be it.
If your thing is link-ups galore? There is clearly a market out there for you.
I host a fair amount of giveaways. Due to schedules and time constraints, some months are giveaway heavy and others may not have any giveaways at all. Regardless, I enjoy trying new products and sharing those with you that I truly believe I can stand behind. Have I lost followers over it? You bet your tush, I have. Do I try my hardest to balance giveaways with personal content? Of course. But not everyone sees it that way.
The truth is, I've learned to not let it bother me. It's the nature of blogging.
Do you think some of the same single/newlyweds read my blog now that I'm a mom of two? Of course not! Who wants to hear about the Toddler Wildebeest all day? And mom-i-forms? And mom-friends? And mom-etition? And any other word I can preface with "mom-?"
You don't have to read every single blog that comes across your computer screen. It took me a while to truly understand this but it's true. Why do you think I refer to my readers as "Loyals?"
I don't have much else to say other than make your own rules. Feel free to follow them one day and change them. Go on and break them, if you so wish.
But don't forget..
Blog for you. Share your story and above all else? Be authentic and accountable.