From Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris:
I started this blog on March 13th, 2009. It was Friday the 13th. Obviously I have a need to tempt fate.
I knew pretty much nothing about blogging. I simply wanted a place to put the unpublished columns I had written for Inkwell Newswatch, a Canadian writers’ zine that stopped publication in January 2009.
It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t know how.
I settled on putting up weekly posts on Sunday at 10 AM. I can’t remember why. Maybe I pictured my fellow writers relaxing with a cup of coffee on Sunday mornings and surfing the writing blogs the way I did.
Later I read that “the rules” of blogging say that Sunday is the worst day to post to a blog.
But this blog has never followed the rules. And that’s probably the most important thing I’ve learned over the years: blogging has no rules; make your own.
The blog got a big “oomph” when Ruth Harris joined me in 2011. Her vast expertise in the publishing world — both as a Big 5 editor and a bestselling author — brought a whole lot more polish and knowledge to the blog. And I think she’s been as happy to break “the rules” as I have
Here are my own rules of blogging. I posted some of these on my 10th blogiversary. Not much about blogging has changed since then, except that blogging has lost its luster, and a lot of authors prefer to interact on social media.
But I think a blog still provides a writer with the best web presence. And nobody will put you in Blogging Jail if you break some unwritten rule.
1) Question Authority
“The rules” will come and go. So will gimmicks and tricks for SEO, ROI, SERP, and LMNOP . The only thing that stays the same is the value of good content.
When I started out, “the rules” said a blogpost should be 300 words long and you should blog at least twice a day. Yeah. How many successful authors do you know who do that?
We were also told that an author blog should follow the same rules as a blog about make-up tips for teens or how to make decorative pillows out of dryer lint.
And we were supposed to run advertising all over the site. I remember reading that the #1 failure of new bloggers was “failure to monetize.” (I had to look up the word “monetize.”)
How many successful author blogs are peppered with irrelevant advertising these days?
Also, you needed a niche. You could only blog about jelly doughnuts or training your cat to use the toilet. Otherwise, readers would get confused.
Rule-makers are always underestimating readers. I slowly found out an author can blog about anything. Authors blog to attract readers who will like our books. So we can write about anything those people would like to read about.
We simply have to make sure that what we say is honest, well-written, and helpful.