The advent of blogging has given an entire generation of would-be poets, anarchists, authors, and politicians a chance to voice their opinions about the world in which they find themselves. And while this is undoubtedly a step up from the snobbish elitism of the past ear of literature, some people really do just lose the plot. As the famous saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”, and whether you think it comes from Spider Man or the annuls of political greatness, the fact is that bloggers need to be governed by a set of rules. Not for the sake of their readers, but more for their own sake.
This article will take a brief look at the rules that bloggers often seem oblivious too, whether it be in a business or personal setting.
The business blogger
Blogging for business is a bit of a two edged sword. Firstly, there are a lot of positives – you have someone supervising your work, you have time to develop a distinct voice, and you earn a regular salary. However, the pitfalls are quite intense. Too many people get aspirations of greatness and forget that they are writing for a business. The thing to remember is that you are using your words as a sales and marketing tool, and not to express personal vendettas. So the first rule is keep to topic, and always keep your posts professional.
The second big problem is that writers do not take criticism well. When you blog for money, you need to bring money in, and the company or person you represent has a strategy in place on how best to use your work to enlarge profit. So rule number two is develop a thick skin. People will critique you, and maybe dismiss entire posts. Persevere and don’t take it too personally – business is an impersonal and savage arena.
The last rule is that you must remember this is your job. Most professional bloggers start off working for themselves, and have an annoying a tendency to keep bad habits. If you have deadlines, keyword saturation tasks or certain layout guidelines, stick to them. This is not the place to become a prima donna.
The personal blogger
Creating rules for personal expression seems awfully close to censorship, but if you intend to create a popular blog and not a teenage rant, there are some pieces of advice that you should pay attention to.
Firstly, consider your target audience. Your Barbie blog is not a political platform, and if you write about horror films, a review of Titanic (as horrific as you may feel it is) is not appropriate. Your expression is limited by your intended readership, and even though these limits are not fixed, they should be a voice in the back of your mind.
The other golden rule is do not start fights that you cannot win. Take on your government, thinkers you clash with etc, but only if you can defend yourself.