Breaking the Rules of Good Blogging?

For the love of beer

The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, you would be trying to talk me into paying, again.

“I think you should pay for our drinks today.”

“Of course you do, you’re cheap.”

“No, it’s not that, I have some advice for you. Some things that will make your blog better.”

“Really? Since when did you become an expert?”

“I haven’t, but I read someone else’s that listed some rules for successful blogs, and I think you’re breaking them.”

“Dan? Breaking the rules? That doesn’t sound like him. He’s pretty dependable. For instance, I’m guessing he’s going to have a Yuengling, now that we have it in bottles.”

“Oooh, that sounds good, Cheryl.”

“I’ll even pour it in a frosted glass.”

“You’re sweet.”

“What about you? You’re not so predictable.”

“Oh, I think he’s having wine today, Cheryl. We haven’t decided who’s paying yet, so I don’t think he’s going for Bourbon.”

“Wrong, my young friend. I will have a glass of Woodford Reserve, on the rocks.”

“I’m surprised, you usually only have that when I’m buying. Which, I’m not.”

“You haven’t heard my advice yet.”

“I don’t think I’m interested.”

“We’ll see. Let’s start with the basics, do you self-host your blog?”

“Do you even know what that means?”

“No, but apparently, you should self-host. I checked. Several people say so.”

“I don’t self-host, it’s a pain. Also, a lot of the self-hosted blogs I follow, are slow to load. The speed depends on the hosting company.”

“So, why don’t you spend some money and hook up with a fast provider?”

“You have to manage plug-ins, upgrades, security…it’s too much bother for not much benefit. What else you got?”

“Well, I hesitate to bring up the next one.”

“Why?”

“I know you’re breaking it, but I’m not sure I want you to stop. They say you should post every day.”

“Not gonna happen.”

“Phew. I mean why not?”

“Because if he spends too much time tending to that blog, he won’t have time to come here. Here’s your beer, and here’s that Bourbon.”

“Cheryl’s right. I don’t have time to post every day. Besides, I’ve mentioned this before, neither my editor nor my readers want me to post every day.”

“I understand. But, this next one seems important, and it also seems like you ignore it.”

“Oh my, it’s a wonder I have any followers at all. What now?”

“Several places say you should establish a niche, and then cater to your audience. You don’t do that.”

“You’re right, I don’t. Unless you consider ‘random’ a niche.”

“Random can’t be a niche.”

Today’s Specials

“Hang on. Cheryl, what are the specials today?”

“Calamari & Baby Shrimp, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Pesto Chicken Pasta and Black Bean soup.”

“See, random.”

“Look, suppose someone stumbles onto your blog on a day when you’ve managed to write something funny. They decide to come back, and you’re preaching about women’s rights or something. How are they going to feel?”

“I like to think that, if I tell a good story, they’ll stick with me.”

“You don’t want to focus on one thing and grow that?”

“No. Been there. Done that.”

“When?”

“I had two technical blogs before starting No Facilities. Writing about the same thing gets old.”

“Um, you know what else gets old?”

“Uh oh, Cheryl, have we been neglecting you?”

“You’ve been neglecting your drinks, and the menu. Lately, you guys sit and yack like you’re in the park watching the birds.”

“I think we’re ready for another round.”

“There are several other rules, if you’re interested.”

“I know, and I’m not. I’m not going to force keywords into my posts. I’m not going to start a newsletter. I’m not going to add pop-ups and auto-play videos that are selling insurance. I’ll take my chances with (hopefully) interesting stories.”

“So, does that mean you aren’t paying today?”

“Not only that, I’m going to order some wings.”

Now, about those birds in the park…

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Blogging, If having a beer, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

110 Responses to Breaking the Rules of Good Blogging?

  1. Mike Powell says:

    I think that I violate most of the same rules, Dan. As for me, I chuckle every time I read your postings. My favorite moment today was this little interchange:

    “Several places say you should establish a niche, and then cater to your audience. You don’t do that.”

    “You’re right, I don’t. Unless you consider ‘random’ a niche.”

    I like the idea of thinking or random as a niche (and I don’t want to even think about how you might choose to pronounce “niche”–that could be the subject of a whole posting.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Mike. The rules seem to turn something I enjoy into work. Who needs more work? I’m glad when someone finds something to laugh or smile about. I enjoy your blog, but most of the time, I feel like I’m on your morning walk with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m breaking those rules so hard, they’re shattered into tiny pieces. Meh. If you’re not doing it for the fun of it – and rules are the biggest fun killers – what’s the point? Keep doing what you’re doing, Dan. The discerning among us think it’s great.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks. I don’t know why people feel compelled to create rules in the first place. I read these and I was just shaking my head. “I break all of these?” Oh well. It’s like you said. I’m doing it for the fun of it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely sentiment and images of birds. Those rules, pffff, I tend to not even open articles that list them, but even when I do and read them swiftly across, there is so little that could be useful for my blog. All in favour of random! And just in time too: tomorrow is Slovenian St. Gregory’s Day when birds get married, or so they say, so I’m going to post some as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Dina says:

    :-) :-) :-) We are breaking the rules all the time, Dan. And it’s fine with us.
    Wishing you a great weekend. x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. bikerchick57 says:

    I’m breaking the rules as well, Dan. No self-host, no blogging every day (I do have a life, you know) and…well…Melange. The hodgepodge has served me well so far and I can’t complain about the number of followers, readers and friends I’ve gained here. I agree with Heather that you have to do this for fun or it’s no fun.

    PS: I broke my own rules by posting this morning. I’ll be in blogging jail by noon.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Mary. I’ll send you some bonus points if you need to make bail. We’ll have you out in time for a beer. The randomness was one of the first things that attracted me to your blog. Well, it helped that Star Trek, cats and football were part of the mix, but you know…

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I guess we’re rebels. :) I’m breaking the rules too.

    I love the birds! Especially the little Sparrow who was crowned King for the day. Loved his wreath of grass and fluff. :)

    Liked by 4 people

  7. loisajay says:

    ‘Random’–my favorite kind of niche. I love rule-breakers–they have all the fun! Keep posting on your random, not self-hosted blog, Dan! It’s the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. marianallen says:

    Yuengling is the best! Oh, man, that menu — and you settled for wings? Every time? Send me some mac and cheese and lobster, ‘kay?

    I’ve accidentally complied with some of these rules, but break others. I hope I don’t shock anyone here with my language, but I say phooey on rules! Phooey! There: I said it and I’m glad.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    Forget the rules, Dan. Stick with what works, and your blog works. It’s great. Simple, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I enjoyed reading the post a lot. I am not an intentional rule breaker. 😀 You can say that I miss some of the rules. 😀 Sorry, I use too many smiley faces.

    I am quite new to the blogging world. I love this world of diversity and differences in opinions. I love your random niche. I am glad that my day today started with your post. Good morning and have a happy Spring weekend. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Stay the course, Dan. I hate the pop-ups and newsletter thingys. Yours is pure enjoyment. By the way, I love the prices on that menu. Where is that place?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks John. I’m not a big fan of rules in general, especially ones wrapped around what should be fun. sounds like Little League.

      Tunxis Grill is about three miles from our house. Not only are the prices good, but the appetizer portions are large enough to be a meal and the entrees always are big enough for me to get full and take a healthy lunch to work. I’ve seen new people order and appetizer and an entree and end up taking part of both away in a bag.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Almost Iowa says:

    “Self-hosting” is another term for hosting the world of hackers, trolls and purveyors of…….

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ugh… I hate blogging rules. I doubt that I follow any. Here’s to the weekend! Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. If we followed rules, we’d be employed by someone earning a wage and towing the line. We’re not employed, we’re blogging about whatever peaks our interest in our various areas of life, and that’s why readers stay tuned. I know when I see a post from you that there will be some dry humor interspersed, and I look forward to it. And, I can look forward to your posts because you don’t post every day or several times a day. There are some talented writers out there, but I just can’t read a person’s thoughts three and four times a day. No one is that interesting, and I find it overwhelming. So, keep up the good work three or four times a week, and this northern neighbor and blogging friend will keep tuned in. Have a good weekend and stay warm. Frigid up here today. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks so much, Judy. I’m in a comfortable groove right now. I may post a little less as spring and summer approach because there is much work to be done. It is do cold today, and the wind is nasty. Maddie cried for a walk but it was one of the fastest and shortest ever.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Rule-breakers rule! That’s my mantra, and I’m sticking with it!
    Happy to be part of your audience, Dan. Don’t ever change.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Wendy Brydge says:

    Amen, Dan! I wholeheartedly support the idea that “random” can be its own niche. Specialty blogs are just fine, but I enjoy my blog being an extension of me as a whole person. Creative writing should always be primarily for one person — YOU. If you’re not interested in what you’re writing about, then it’s not going to be your best work. So if you’re not a bonafide “expert” in any one thing, then go ahead and branch out into all the things you like. I for one have never liked the idea of changing who you are or tweaking what you do just to be more popular. Sure I’d like to see better numbers on the blog, but as far as I’m concerned, if someone doesn’t like me (or what I write/paint/blog/tweet about), then I don’t really want them around anyway! I’d rather a handful of people who legitimately enjoy my cyber company than a trillion others who wouldn’t even notice if I disappeared tomorrow. I write for ME, and if somebody else can get something out of it too, great, please help yourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. John Holton says:

    You had me at “mac & cheese.”

    Write whatever the hell you want. Like you said, if people like you, they’ll stick with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I enjoy whatever you come up with, Dan, so thanks for breaking the “rules.” I’m also not interested in self-hosting, despite some of the things that bug me about WP at various time. I like your random-ness, which isn’t all that random once we know how your blogging goes. You have SOCS (or whatever), Thursday Door, If we were having a beer…see what I mean? :-) As long as people enjoy the blog, “just do it.”

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Janet. You’ve discerned a pattern in my randomness – oh no :)

      The self-hosting just seems like a lot of work. I’m not sure what the benefits are. More space I suppose, but I’m sure if I run out of space, WP will sell/rent me more.

      Like

      • They will. Because I now do so many photos, I started to run to run out of space and rather than start another blog, I added on. It was about $20 a year, I think, a bargain for the enjoyment I get from it.

        Now that your pattern of randomness has been outed, will you become more random? :-)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          I might. I have gotten into a M-W-Th-Sat routine, and I might not be able to keep up with four days during the spring and summer. Between work and work around the house, something might have to give. Saturdays and Mondays are in jeopardy when I start taking long weekends to work on projects at home.

          Then again, I could use fewer words, switch to ‘Wordless Wednesday’ or just pay better attention to the One-Liner part of One-Liner Wednesday. That would be a change for me :)

          Like

  19. I’m glad someone else is breaking the rules.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. GP Cox says:

    Hey – I didn’t even know that blogging had rules and now there’s a book?!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Yes, there’s a book! I guess that just means there was a chance to make some money. The last thing we need is a gazillion blogs that all look and sound alike. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Continue blogging as you have been for years…please!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. joey says:

    Nice photos of your local critters :)
    I am glad you break the rules. The rules are clearly for people who want to monetize. All the best blogs are the ones where you don’t know what you’re going to read. I don’t read anything in a niche format. All my favorite blogs cover various subjects, because interesting people have assorted interests, dur. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks! I follow a few niche bloggers, but they are so very good at handling the subjects they work with that it’s worth it to follow. Even they break some of these rules. I think what shows up most often in the blogs I follow is passion – you can’t wrap rules around passion.

      Like

  22. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Doing the “happy dance”. Yeah! No rules! And you blog whatever your little Heart tells you. But you must continue Thursday Doors which I have a feeling you will. Too many of us LOVE those posts. I really like variety and I do my best over my place to do the same. And to post every day? You must be joking! I do have a life ya know as do you. Good grief! Peeps who don’t blog do not have a clue how challenging it can be at times and something called WORK. Yep, that word. Yes it is fun but sometimes …. between life and blogging the head spins. I give you so much credit for keeping on track on the days you do blog. Lately I’m not even able to do that one! I applaud what you are doing over here. And for the gallery …. I got the biggest kick that you are naming birds. I have a Mr. and Mrs. Ducky who come into our yard every year …. does that count? LOL <3

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Nice post and photos. Hey, I think I am the blog that posts funny stuff and then starts sounding off about women’s rights…..Hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. No self-hosting here either. I am moving my actual art website to Square-whatever, but keeping my blogging at WP. I’d do the whole thing at WP but there is no selling platform here. If I had to write every day I would not post nearly as much… pictures I am doing and so that is easier… Fun is key!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Joanne Sisco says:

    My opinion? For what it’s worth? … those blogging rules are stupid. Whoever decided those rules make a success blog is an idiot.

    … continue as you were …

    Liked by 2 people

  26. John Hric says:

    The only rule is make your own rules. Well done Dan !

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I couldn’t imagine blogging every day. I’m patting myself on the back if I post more than once a week. And I find the blogs I enjoy more (the ones that are most engaging like yours) usually follow a similar 5-7 day schedule. Our monthly visits won’t be as high, but that’s not my goal and I’m glad its not your either. And being unidimensional? Not a chance. Not enough Beer and whiskey in the world to wash that thought down.

    Besides, there are times I have far more fun reading and commenting than I do ranting in my little corner of the blogiverse.

    Cheers Dan for doin’ it right!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Gabe. I’m glad you’re following me on this random journey. When I had technical blogs, I always tried to start with a story. I found that I liked telling the stories more than researching the technologies.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Glynis Jolly says:

    Dan, those rules are for people who are trying to create an income using their blogs. Even then, it all depends on the product or service the person wants to promote. Promoting a computer product would probably take a post every day, yet something like a book you have written may only take one post per week, especially if you have an author’s page.

    As for self-hosting, I have tried it. The closest I would come to it again is to have my own domain here at WordPress and let them handle the stuff behind the scenes. You, on the other hand, may be able to handle it because you are in the thick of computers every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Even if you’re trying to make money, I think Rule #1 should be “have good content.” I think (I’ve written about this before) Rule #2 should be “don’t make your blog hard to read.” A lot of the pop-ups for ‘sign up for my email; or ‘get my newsletter’ and even many of the keywords that are often obviously placed, distract from the ability to read the page.

      I manage a self-hosted site for our company, and the only benefit is the relative tons of storage and the ability to run Javascript. The extra effort you have to put into managing pluggins, keeping up with upgrades and handling security is just not worth it,

      I have my own domain. I pay for the premium package, which gives me enough storage for the foreseeable future, and WP’s platform, quirky as it gets at times, is pretty fast.

      Thanks for the comment :)

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Not being much of a rule follower myself….love your blog and for the love of Pete…who has time to blog daily…..I was chuckling all the way through….I have read those successful blog rules and without realizing the blogs I enjoy the most don’t follow them…they tend to be real and interesting!! Keep at Dan…love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I am a rule follower. All these photos of birds are a joy to see. Birds are fortunate, they get to fly pretty much wherever they want to. Great post, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. jesh stg says:

    I wholeheartedly agree! No key words, pop-ups,and I violate the “artworks” most time when I post once a week:):) It’s because I have a LIFE -haha. But I do believe in genuine (not fake) kindness. So, I thank you for your kind comment on my blog a day ago, when everything started going wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Was reading a post about posting the other day stating bloggers have to do this-and-that-and-the-other-thing to make their posts more desirable and grow their audience. Whatever. Bloggers should do whatever makes them happy first and foremost. Period. Like you obviously do Dan. Glad I found your blog. Great passion and content.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Peter Nena says:

    Thanks for those lovely photos Dan. I’m always fascinated by how squirrels eat. Sitting down and holding the food with their hands. So awesome.
    And birds are just beautiful. Even their eggs. I think birds are Nature’s favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Pingback: Dan | D.Katie Powell Art

  35. sharukhbamboat says:

    Well, I am the most recent victim and I can say self-hosting can drive you crazy. I mean I bought the hosting in December last week. Started working on it in January, it didn’t worked out. So, I started looking for a web developer. Met her personally, had discussions, searched for days for the right theme, then came the content transfer from my earlier blog to the new site with the old comments and all that. It was a nightmare, Dan. I, then made some changes to the site and it just went corrupt, ruined everything for a day. I had to call in the developer and make things right again and now it is the end of March and I haven’t come up with a single new post. So I worked on my site development for a quarter and I still have plenty of work to do. However, I have decided to post regularly from April and work on the modification side-by-side. The reason I went self-hosting is because I want to turn it into a business, I hope I can achieve my goal. I certainly don’t have the networking skills, but when people like you put your trust in me and my talent I get the courage to move forward and take a leap of faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I deal with this on our company web site. We’ve been up for almost 2 years on it, and the editing tools we used have disappeared. The site looks fine, but until it’s resolved, we can’t edit any page, unless we recreate it from scratch. Some of the pages use widgets that are only available from the editor, so we can’t touch them, because we can’t recreate them.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Hey, the important thing is that the blog works, as yours does. I’m not quite random, although I do have a bunch of categories, one of which is essentially random reflections. I can’t write about the same thing all the time, either.

    And I can’t post every day. I did it for a month and a half when I kicked off, and it exhausted me.

    Liked by 1 person

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