The Blogging Rules That I’ve Stopped Caring About (And The Ones I Still Use)

A man in hooded mask with a cigarette. Superimposed text reads: Going gangsta on this blogging thing

I like writing about writing, and blogging is just an extension of that. But then I reread posts like this and I cringe at how I think I pass as an authority of any capacity to write that.

That doesn’t change the fact that I’m still going to write this post about blogging, though.

Through my time spent on WordPress, I’ve come to learn that some things are more effective than others when it comes to growth. Which is why I’m presenting you with my data and it’s up to you what you want to do with it.

Let’s start with pictures.

1. Pics aren’t miraculous

In the article above, I highlighted the importance of including at least four images with your posts. Well, WordPress has changed the way things look on the Reader, so that point is now moot.

I now choose between one, four, or more images for the best preview ratio. Using two or three images results in a weird crop, which could ruin your preview, especially if you superimpose text into your pics.

But you know what else I’ve learned? That images don’t matter as much as I thought they would.

I’ve experimented with all sorts of image counts for the past year (even imageless posts), and when it comes to reader engagement, I’ve not realised any significant difference.

Of course, I still try to have the reader’s comfort in mind, and I try to ensure aesthetic pleasantry, but the typical image guidelines don’t actually make or break a blogger’s success.

Want more proof? Check out Mark Manson, Ryan Holiday, or Seth Godin’s blogs. They seem to be doing fine without pics.

2. SEO you think you can blog

Most bloggers speak of SEO as if it’s a magical technique that guarantees a ranking on Google. Then they vaguely go over the list of requirements in the Yoast plug-in and call it an ‘SEO tips’ article.

But getting to Google’s front page isn’t as straightforward as checking off the boxes every time you write a post. There’s also the quality of your content and the backlinks required as social proof (not for people, but for the almighty algorithm).

I’ve optimised content for established websites, and I’ve done the same for my blog, and I can say that the posts that make it to the front page are the ones with useful information—not the ones I ‘optimised’ to the tee.

Also, it’s much easier to rank when you have an authoritative website versus a small-timer blog (like mine).

So worry about content quality first before optimising. And do check how much organic traffic a blog is getting before you take them up on their advice. You can use tools like for that.

3. The power of words compels you!

You can tell who’s still in the power-words era through the shoehorned adjectives that don’t belong in their titles. Some examples include 10 Exhilarating Ways To Boil Water or Astounding Reasons To Fold Your Clothes. ‘Kickstart’ seemed to be a popular choice during the New Year too.

The downside to power words is that the more people use them, the less power they have. And what remains will be a graveyard of cheesy titles, just as clickbait once was.

These days, every time I spot a ‘powerful’ title, I get a disingenuous vibe right off the bat. Don’t go scrolling through my archives though. Because I was once a power-word believer too.

4. Branding is for the big guns

You don’t need the perfect blog name from the get-go. You don’t need to niche down. You don’t need ten posts ready before you start posting. You don’t need anything.

The best bloggers I see here on WordPress didn’t draft a seven-page business plan before registering an account. They just started posting, and they continued posting while garnering a follower or two each time. That’s all there is to it.

Unless, of course, you’re a famous personality. In that case, you’d thrive on any platform regardless.

When it comes to branding, feel free to change things as you go. The blogging police won’t blast your door off its hinges just because you decide to write outside your niche.

Also, getting a Business plan (or not) isn’t going to affect your growth. Neither will the extra plug-ins.

5. Forget about earning money (at least directly)

You know what I’ve noticed? It’s that the blogs teaching you how to make money blogging are the exact ones that look like they don’t earn a dime.

I’m always on the lookout for bloggers who earn a liveable wage so I can learn from them, but I’ve yet to find one besides the established personalities that get most of their income off more lucrative platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

When it comes to just words (so posts like this that weren’t commissioned), I’ve only been able to earn a couple hundred bucks through Medium and through selling stories to anthologies.

However, I have been given new opportunities thanks to the existence of this site, since it also serves as my portfolio. A couple examples would be when a hotel chain approached me to write their marketing copy, and when a game company asked me to build a sci-fi world for their upcoming title.

On the whole though, if you tasked me with earning a living from my blog alone, I’d tell you that I’d be better off working at McDonald’s.

The principles I still abide by

Some things never change though, and I still believe in certain practices that have been instrumental in my growth here on WordPress. These are the efforts innate to this platform that I find worthy of my time.

i. Be social

Picture this: You’re in Rome. What do you do? I think you know the answer to that one.

WordPress is driven by interactions. So you’ll have to do as the WordPressians do and go chat with a blogger or two. That’s what all the big bloggers do, at least.

What, you thought that blogging only involved writing?

Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re just blogging for creative expression. You can do whatever you want in that case.

ii. Mind your looks

Now I know what you’re thinking: I just told you that images don’t matter. So why am I asking you to care about aesthetics?

Because having a presentable page shows that you know what you’re doing. Because it wouldn’t do to have a blog that looks like my old Geocities website. Because your design choices can make a reader feel welcome—or terribly uncomfortable.

It’s not so much about adding images than it is about narrowing your column width. Or adding tons of whitespace. Or removing clutter.

Apple does this really well, both on their product pages and their blog (or Newsroom, as they call it). Head on to their website for more inspiration.

iii. Show off a little

I’m going to share a piece of advice that I picked up during my days as a hairdresser.

“People attract people.”

That’s what my old boss said when he requested that customers be seated by the window instead of at the back. This was to give an illusion of a busy salon, even if there were only two customers in our 16-seater space.

It was my boss’s version of ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’.

It’s the same with blogging. Social proof is currency. So highlight the companies you’ve worked with. Add testimonials. Interact with your commenters.

The busier your blog looks, the busier it’ll get. People attract people. At least more than a quiet blog will.

iv. Reveal yourself

I know it’s tempting to niche down and create an anonymous account like Cool Crypto or Mad Mummy, but it’s so easy to get lost in the faceless sea that is the internet if you don’t add a bit of personality to your blog.

You don’t even need to take this advice literally by showing your face either. There are tons of anonymous bloggers who inject a good dose of them-ness into their websites, and it’s not hard to feel like there’s an actual (trustable) human behind their words.

Examples of this would be: JYP, Hetty, and Renard Moreau, among many others.

v. Always bring value

Don’t try to game the system by playing the tagging game, focusing on SEO, or serial-liking posts on the Reader.

The goal is always to appeal to the end user. If you don’t know where to start, then think about how you’d feel if you read your own post. Would you be bored? Angry for having wasted your time? Thrilled? Amused?

Know what tickles your fancy and strive to make that happen for others. Once you have that part down, you’ll have little else to worry about.

If you ever feel lost, just ask yourself: “How can I better the life of anyone who reads this?”

My own bar is set pretty low. It’s to make you snort out your nose at least once. Or to spit your coffee if you’re mid-sip.

This is it… for now

I don’t know what’ll happen a year from now. AI could totally take over the blogosphere, or we could all end up writing for our robot overlords instead. Who knows?

But for now, I feel like I’ve planted a flag on a good hill when it comes to blogging. Let’s check back in a couple of years to see if that changes.

In the meantime, perhaps you could share your dos and don’ts you’ve learned from your own blogging experience?

There’s one rule you don’t want to break. And that’s to sign up to the newsletter if you enjoyed the post. You’ll also get a free guide on how to grow your WordPress audience, so don’t miss out!

111 thoughts on “The Blogging Rules That I’ve Stopped Caring About (And The Ones I Still Use)

  1. I started my blog 8 years ago, it took off like a rocket, then died because life got in the way. I’m back at it, trying to wrap my head around JetPack and how on earth you get your posts read in the first place. Reading your post has helped me integrate myself a few more centimetres back into the blogosphere. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s always an honour to receive comments like yours. I really do hope you get back into the groove! To be honest, I still opt for the web version of the blog on my phone (if I ever blog from my phone). Have put off downloading JetPack for the longest time, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Conflict of Conscience: a Blogger's Journey - Rimarcs.

    • Yeah, I stated out with Blogspot too. I’m grateful I found WordPress, because the difference is night and day. I mean, there is a reason for Blogspot’s downfall after all, right? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  3. Great blogging rules to follow. One of mine that comes immediately to mind is being consistent. Whenever newbie writers/bloggers ask me for advice this is what I say. Just be consistent. I write at least 4 posts a month. Sometimes more but rarely less. I know I can handle this load and don’t feel stressed out. Also, I don’t blog if I don’t have something really important to say. I want people to read and walk away learning something of value. . . Otherwise I keep quiet.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Writing 2,000+ word posts is one I’ve stopped focusing on. If it’s worth 2,000 words, then so be it. I’ll write 2,000 words. But sometimes 250 words can say just as much if not more. I look at it this way: one of my favorite book collections is from Thich Nhat Hanh (How to Sit, How to Walk, etc.). Some of the short essays are less than 100 words and every one of those words has power in its simplicity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve gleaned some wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh here or there because he’s so widely quoted. I should check out his books someday. But yeah, when it comes to word count, anything goes, really. The search engine prefers long-form content, but if it resonates with the readers, then that’s all that matters, amirite? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


    • Yup. We have very strong intuitions about what we should do creatively, and it does us well to listen to that voice. It’s awesome that you know what you want. That’s already way ahead of the many bloggers out there. Keep on keeping on!


  5. Hi Stuart, I’ve come across your post by browsing the discover in the discover tab. I really enjoy blogging since I get sharing my perspectives on life. I’ve never been social on here so here it goes. Please check out my poetry! Thank you for the informative article on improving our writing by just writing, not by messing around with the SEO stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great that you decided to try socialising. I hope this will be the first of many more visitations to other blogs. And thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, as well as being part of the community!


  6. I get inspired anytime I read your blogs. I always look forward to them. Thank you!!
    I like pictures, I feel they’ve a way of speaking to people so I’ll be keeping the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great as ever Stuart, and I mean that as much for this one, as for last year’s post as well. What was true then, was true then. Now is another time. Things evolve. I always love how you take up authority role, but also are a bit self-cynical. A good combination of personality traits. I come to learn and to laugh. I read it just before my coffee though, so no sips were spilled. Sorry 😐.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is such a great comment, Robin. You sure do know how to make a writer happy. Definitely would love to not be seen as authoritative, but I’ve worked in different industries before, and I have to say, people weirdly pay more attention to me in writing than they ever have in all my past careers combined. Maybe this is ikigai, eh?

      Thanks again for the lovely support!


  8. This was quite an insightful read. The idea that people attract people is so fascinating because I’ve never thought about that before and it makes so much sense. I think the best part about blogging for me has definitely been meeting like-minded people and talking to them. Thanks for the great advice, as always!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Over here in Malaysia, we have fad restaurants that have queues all the way around the building. Sometimes I wonder how much of that popularity is due to actual quality products, and how much is because of the queue itself, lol. And thank you for visiting as always!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A great and relatable post, Stuart. You were spot-on when you said:

    “They just started posting, and they continued posting while garnering a follower or two each time. That’s all there is to it.”

    Slow and steady wins the race. Maybe not the race to blog fame and fortune, but to growing your blog.

    As for paying attention to aesthetics, I always appreciate some advice I got early on from another bloggers. She requested that I make my blog easier to navigate with drop-down menus and categories. I was (and still am) a technophobe, but I dove in and learned how to do it and I’m so glad I did. Now, WP followers will rarely see these categories and dropdown menus since the WP Reader takes them right to my most recent post, but anyone stumbling across my blog on the Internet will find it easy to access different things [and I get to show off (as you suggested) the breadth of what I’ve written] with ease. Not to mention, I’m much less afraid of WP tech now that I’ve struggled through it.

    On the other hand, SEO? What’s SEO? haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, I’ve often had to employ SEO knowledge at my previous workplaces, and I still don’t know what’s up, so I’m with you there.

      I wouldn’t take you for a technophobe when I visit your page, that’s for sure. With all the pics and the layouts you use? You’re easier more adept at post design than I am.

      But yeah, it’s a worthy element to be aware of, since user experience shouldn’t be neglected in this day and age.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts as always!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This was a very well written post. Well put together and carefully thought out. I find that I share some of the same plights as you… not earning much of anything from the blog. But still continuing to persevere despite that reality.

    One thing I haven’t embraced yet is the possibility. Since you’ve made income from it (and countless others), it makes me think that one day I can earn income from it as well.

    Thanks a lot for this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You should definitely give the Medium thing a try! You can basically copy-paste your posts from the blog into Medium, so you don’t lose anything.

      My suggestion would be to post to publications though (such as Writer’s Cooperative or any other pubs that are relevant to your niche), instead of just putting it up yourself. They allow you to reach a wider audience, and the more people read, the more money you stand to get.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had learned that technique, it’s almost like re-syndication through medium. Isn’t that like duplicate content though? Wouldn’t medium benefit more from original content versus content posted on your blog first, then on your medium portfolio?

        I just want to be sure before I do something I probably shouldn’t LOL.


  11. Powerful and mind blowing blog post my friend Stuart. I always love the way you write your sub topics and headlines like that such as “SEO you think you can blog” it is just awesome to read your posts and I don’t mind sparing 30 minutes of my time reading your posts🔥🔥🔥

    Also, I have to say that in regards to blogging there are rules that I don’t give a damn about because they take the fun out of blogging and as a Blogger with a personal blog fun is also part of the package , I mean you can’t write and be serious all the time, include images, funny posts and stories within the blog post, that in my experience grabs the readers to read your blogs. As you said that the Best Bloggers are not those who follow SEO plugins and follow the rules to the Tee but they are those who just start and they write what comes to their minds first by using Spontaneous Writing.

    Lastly, Renard’s World displays great blogging advice , check his blog

    Cheers Stuart🍷🍾

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol yep, I do visit Renard’s blog, which is why I mentioned him here as well. Great site, isn’t it?

      I totally appreciate you spending your time reading, because 30 minutes is a huge investment for anything, so do know that I’m super grateful! And based on your feedback, I shall continue putting effort into thinking up catchy subheadings :D

      Yeah, in the end, blogging is what we make out of it. Some of us need pics, others don’t, and most importantly, we’ll need to focus on why we do what we do.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s a habit from my magazine days where we had to chunk entire sections under one heading and weren’t bound by SEO so we could name them however we wanted, lol. Have always enjoy punning up the headings. Glad you enjoy it!


  12. Totally agree with the whole picture concept. I only add pictures to my monthly roundup blogs. Very rarely do I add them to my other posts and it really does make no difference to the readability or popularity of a post. Love the rest of your advice too, Stuart!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Stuart,
    Thanks so much for sharing these pointers. Blogging is a way to de-stress but it gets stressful when I have trouble saving what I have just typed and I end up having to spend more time getting it right…. However it certainly gives me a lift whenever I garner another follower or two. Truly appreciate when you leave a comment on my blog. Cheers :)

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s what I’ve realised too, that comments aren’t just for networking, but to also put forth a certain energy into the blogosphere. I may not be able to offer much as a person, but it’s great to know that my comments can make people’s day, just as yours made mine!


    • Hi Lifan, so true! Whenever WordPress app just stops working, it’s a hassle to navigate through and hope for autosave. Or worse, when there are many versions of a single draft from working on laptop and phone!


      • Hi Karan Yes it is annoying when that happens especially when you badly want to be efficient and you end up spending more time than you intend to. Sometimes when you rewrite, it might be or might not be a better version. I have now taken to copy and save on a document in case the changes cannot be saved on WordPress site

        Liked by 1 person

    • Interestingly enough, people often can rank without even optimising, as long as the posts meet other criteria (which only Google knows of). So I say as long as you keep on writing from the heart, there’s no saying you can’t rank on the first page!


  14. Such an interesting read! I loved reading your thoughts about these “blogging rules” and I have to say that I completely agree with you! I’m also quite weary of “power words” as some of them seem very clickbait-y. But I agree with you that how a blogger presents itself is really key: you want to make your virtual guests feel welcome on your space! In travel blogs though I’d say that pictures are more important (in the right quantity and paired with interesting information), as they will instantly retain (or not) the attention of the reader!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yeah. I can’t imagine travel blogs without pics. It’s almost like a ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ kinda thing. Some niches do require more pics. Fashion is another example. That was great of you to bring up an important point.

      Maybe power words needed to be part of the zeitgeist, and is a natural evolution point just like clickbait once was. I personally have never grown out of the listicle phase though, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Not sure my comment posted, so I am trying again – I appreciate the shout-out! And as always, I appreciate the way you go back and reflect, admit that you’ve changed (which makes sense, the world of blogging has also changed).
    Just a heads up, I received a bunch of spammy comments from websites trying to link to my post who seemed to have translated your post into multiple languages. I just thought you might want to be aware…

    Liked by 2 people

    • That spam thing is interesting, but I’m not sure I get it. Have the spammers already translated your posts, and then send you links of it?

      Anyhoo, your first comment apparently didn’t come through, so I’m glad you retried! And yeah, WordPress is so much different than it was just one year ago, interestingly enough. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  16. Revealing yourself and being social will always help one break many commonly held rules and still thrive. This is why your blog is great Stuart. You write unlike any bloggers I follow and you are incredibly social. Your blog comments on Blogging From Paradise pull me back here; being social draws people to your blog, especially when you are social on their blog. Keep up the great blogging work my friend.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Love your thoughts on this. The social aspect is one of WordPress’s strengths, and I’m simply using what it has to offer. I wouldn’t know what to do if I were to go self-hosted, because then I won’t have the Reader, where most of my interactions begin, lol.

      Likewise, you’ve turned into a friend, albeit one from across the world, thanks to these great comments that you leave here, so thank you too!


  17. My two favorites from your list of dos are to be social and reveal yourself. (Those two go hand in hand.) I want my blog to be approachable, and that’s what I look for in others. That’s one of the reasons I choose blogs like yours. When I get a vibe of “this is someone I’d like to hang with,” those usually are the ones with tons of comments and friendly interaction. When people have the courage to show some of their vulnerabilities and insecurities, it makes them more human and approachable.

    As you say, a little showing off is fine (How else do we get noticed?), but the blogs that have me cringing are those that do nothing but sing their own praises.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww, I really appreciate coming across as someone you’d like to hang out with, Pete! And I have no doubt that’d happen were we geographically closer. Someday.

      And I believe we should always play to a platform’s strengths. If I were on Instagram, I’d do employ hashtag strategies instead of focusing so much on comments. WordPress is where there are more thoughtful comments like yours.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful message!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m a total failure when it comes to SEO keyword algorithms, so I’m glad my blog is just for fun. :D I like your point about revealing yourself best. The blogs that I’m most drawn to are ones where I feel like I get to know the person a little bit, and I feel like the bloggers who are my most frequent visitors know me a little bit, too. Being part of a community is a main reason I’m here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup! But even the anonymous bloggers can make me feel like an actual human is behind the words. It just requires a bit of vulnerability. The truly anonymous ones with generic stories that could belong to anyone is where I begin to lose trust, especially on WordPress.

      I say don’t worry about SEO. Because my post that brings in like 600 clicks wasn’t optimised at all and it still ranks, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I seriously needed a laugh, so thanks for giving me this with this line: “… the blogs teaching you how to make money blogging are the exact ones that look like they don’t earn a dime.” 😂

    I am a hobby blogger and have no intentions of ranking on Google or making money to quit my day job. Your blog post is a good reminder of why I decided to keep it that way from day one 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, and I say that with the best intentions too, because I am on the lookout on different ways I can monetise my words, especially through the blog. Because I wish to learn!

      But besides being an established authority on a subject (we’re talking Ryan Holiday level here), I haven’t met someone who makes money purely through blogging.

      Thanks as always for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I always enjoy reading your posts. I fall into the creative blog writing category and have no aspirations to have a huge following. Thank goodness because I would be doomed to disappointment. There was no coffee snorting this time but you did make me chuckle. Especially the button at the end. And being a skeptical boomer, I didn’t click on it. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, I’ll wear you down slowly. One day I’ll get you to click the button!

      I started off my blogging journey by only wanting a creative outlet too. I don’t know how that turned into writing as a performance rather than self-expression. But I guess just like everything else in life, our blogs will evolve along with us.

      Who knows, perhaps you’ll be someone who games the algorithm in the future? Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. “10 Exhilarating Ways To Boil Water” That one made me smile! I played with using power words in my titles but I felt they just seemed really fake. Above all else, I try to be genuine.

    And I’m always skeptical of people who have been blogging 5 minutes selling blogging courses or guides on how to grow your blog and make money. Really? What make them an authority? And, how much money are they actually making?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup! I thought power words made sense when I first came across the term. Then I realised how phoney all the titles sounded when more and more people used them. Now I imagine it’s how customers would feel if they realised that someone was using ‘NLP’ techniques on them to make a sale.

      Anyhoo, I’m sure there are great authorities on blogging and earning a living from it. Have yet to personally meet someone on WordPress that does that though.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I was glad I put my cuppa down before I got to the end, Stuart. Lots of great advice here as always. I didn’t know the information about images but just muddle through hoping the image on a post may hook someone. Here’s a question in relation to SEO. I write my post content on Microsoft Word and use the editor function to tighten the post. Sometimes, when I transfer the content into WordPress Block editor the content scores much lower on the Yoast SEO rating. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Yoast plug-in is basically a calculator, and if you’re confident that you’re following the guidelines, then whatever figure Yoast shows shouldn’t matter. This relates to the tiny little details like adding ‘s’ to the end of the word and having Yoast deduct points for that. Google will be able to know it’s the plural form of the same word.

      But if you didn’t optimise for SEO while drafting in Word, and then you’re getting low scores in Yoast, then yeah, you should spend time optimising.

      I hope I understood the question correctly though!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is useful to know, Stuart. Thank you. I think what you are suggesting is trying to find a balance. I will have a look at optimising. Thanks again for the advice.


  23. Thanks, Stuart! Your posts always inform, inspire and provide a chuckle or two. Your honesty about your journey and the bumps and lessons are so helpful. I love this as a goal…motivation: “Know what tickles your fancy and strive to make that happen for others.” Thanks much! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Love this post and your approach to blogging! Clearly you have been able to crush it over the years so it is nice to see a new perspective.

    I do disagree with the comment on being anon. Being faceless has allowed me to keep my privacy in a world that loves to cancel those that have differing opinions. Last thing I want to do is say something and then find out someone is calling/reaching out to my family or day job to try to ruin me. It happens way too often to be comfortable with.

    I do not necessarily care if people know my name, I care more if they know what I work on and how my perspective can impact people in a positive way. Whether I am writing about fitness, spirituality, or personal finance (those last two will be sites I create down the road) I want to leave people better off :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yeah, I actually do condone anonymous writing, as long as there’s a recognisable personality. Like the examples mentioned, those anonymous bloggers do a great job at maintaining an audience while not divulging who they really are. It’s the ‘generic’ part that we don’t want to fall into when taking the anon route.

      And thanks so much as always for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. “The best bloggers I see here on WordPress didn’t draft a seven-page business plan before registering an account. They just started posting, and they continued posting while garnering a follower or two each time. That’s all there is to it.”

    That is me. Though I did had some posts ready to go when I started out, because I was not certain I would be able to keep up with writing on the fly. To be honest, writing posts in advance has helped me out a lot in my blogging journey.

    As for SEO, I gave it a try when I was new to this thing, but I quickly abandoned it. shoehorning the keywords didn’t felt write to me, it felt unnatural and forced, and I felt my writing skills will suffer as a result. So I stopped focusing on it, and just focused on the content.

    When it comes to images, I only include a cover image. Trying to find any more images than that is very hard, and will take away my writing time, so I don’t bother including those in the middle of the articles. My technical blog doesn’t have any images at all, though it mostly has to do with me being unable to find good images for my posts there, and their problematic interface to handle images. I would have loved to include the crab, which is the official logo of Rust for my Rust related posts.

    Ultimately, I think what brings in the readers or viewers if you’re on the YouTube, is the reputation. And it takes years to build that, and there is no shortcut for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Finding images for me is already tedious enough, what with the formatting and captioning and all that. I can’t imagine how it’ll be for you without sight.

      And spot on about reputation. Sometimes I think that’s what separates good book sales from bad book sales, or good courses from bad ones—the personality behind it. And you can get away with so much more if you have a solid brand to stand on.

      Thanks so much for sharing pieces of your journey, Tanish!


  26. If there’s one thing I love about your posts, besides their obvious useful content, is your headings. The ‘SEO you think you can blog’ gave me a good chuckle.

    My wife and I swear by Yoast and Ubersuggest. We also use all the Google WordPress plugins that supposedly guarantee priority inclusion, though these claims are unproven and use fuzzy logic at best.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Lol, I do like me some punny subheadings, so I’m glad you appreciate that. I used to spend tons of time thinking up lines like these to sneak into the newspapers. My favourite was when I interviewed a Kendo practitioner, and the title was ‘A Ken-do attitude’.

      Thanks so much for your lovely words!

      Liked by 3 people

  27. Thanks Stuart!
    I’ve been using a blog site to experiment for the past nine months. I learned that I’ve been writing about two distinctly different activities/subjects that need two different environments. My memoir is too intense to be housed on a playful hobby-ish site, so I’ve given it is own home with less pictures and my voice in terms of writing memoir. Feels less like performing for some reason and that’s a good thing.
    I’m still experimenting, but at least the tones for both are fitting.
    Experimenting to see what works on a site should always be considered and it takes some of the pressure off. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, I always admire people who are willing to experiment and find out the answers for themselves. I myself take that approach to blogging, and it’s a much better way to find out what works uniquely for you, instead of relying on hearsay posts.

      Keep on experimenting, and do share any lessons you learn along the way :)

      Liked by 1 person

  28. As always, gems of good advice all around. And reading this gives me some assurance that maybe, just maybe, I’m checking some of the boxes you identified in my own approach to my blog. And (at least for now) hoping to stick with what I know or openly acknowledging what I don’t. Thanks Stu for the reminder that we should always stay true to our voice and offer value to our readers. I hope I never forget! Just to make sure, I best add this post of yours to the growing list of your posts I’ve bookmarked over the years! You’re my blogging hero bro; I hope you know that by now!!

    Liked by 5 people

    • It’s always about the readers! Gotta admit I’m pretty self-indulgent sometimes though :P

      Am honoured that I’d ever be part of your bookmark list. You surely do know how to make my day every time you drop by, Kelvin!

      Liked by 2 people

  29. I did get into blogging to earn tons. Don’t laugh. I thought it was possible. Now I am slowly just enjoying blogging and interacting with the blogging community. Slowly is the keyword. I haven’t completely given up my delusions of striking gold 😄

    Thank you, Stuart, for helping me keep it real.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Lol, that’s the dream though, isn’t it? I still hope that someday I’d be making bank just through this blog.

      I love your focus on slow growth. That’s how I take my fitness and writing too. Not on someone else’s pace, but by what’s sustainable for me. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 3 people

  30. Stuart, dashing your readers hopes and dreams (LOL). Good to know that 4 pictures don’t matter anymore. Unfortunately, I need pictures so I’ll continue. Words, they are ultimately the most important. I read somewhere that SEO negatively scores a blog when the posts are less than 500 – that a concern for you. “Click me I’ll make it worth your while.” Ok you have my attention, haven’t clicked – yet!

    Liked by 6 people

    • As a fountain pen fan, I wouldn’t want your posts any other way. Pics or bust! Lol, I’ll get you to click that button—someday!

      p.s. I just got a Majohn A1 in the mail, and I gotta say, I am now very interested in getting Pilot Vanishing Points. I guess piracy has its plus points after all!

      Liked by 3 people

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