PinocchioPhoto: Flickr User jepoirrier

The biggest lie ever told by bloggers* is that they write for no one but themselves.

If bloggers wanted to write for themselves, they would keep a diary. Or an anonymous open journal. They wouldn’t sell advertising, or promote their blog on social media. They wouldn’t check their analytics or encourage people to comment on their posts.

But most bloggers will admit that they write for audience. Because if not for an audience of readers, what would blogging be for? That being said, as both a reader and a blogger, I have a few complaints to file with the blogging community. It appears that somewhere along the line, a whole lot  us (speaking as a blogger now, stay with me here) lost sight of why we do what we do – myself included.

Sometimes at the end of a blog browsing session, I feel like I’ve looked at the exact same blog 17 times in a row and it makes me want to bang my head against my keyboard. Then I usually scold myself for wasting that hour of my life that I will never get back but somehow wind up feeling inadequate about my blog anyway. It’s exhausting. In fact, I have so many thoughts on this genre of bloggers, I could write a thesis paper on the matter – or at least a very compelling article for a popular women’s magazine (Glamour, on the 1/453486 chance that you’re reading, I’d be happy to discuss this further at your convenience).

But this isn’t a rant. It’s a call to action. Maybe I’m a little biased but I don’t believe that anyone can be a blogger. Of course anyone can start a blog but do write often, regularly, and well, takes work. Hard work. Whoever tells you its easy is lying through their teeth (the second biggest lie told?). What I do believe is that anyone who adds content to the internet but especially bloggers, has a responsibility to contribute original content that has value. Content that reflects real life. That does what its supposed to do, whether that be inspire, entertain, educate, or solicit debate.

Here’s a list of blogging ‘Don’ts’ that if followed, could make the blogosphere a better place for all of us.

1. Regurgitate content.
2. Pull handfuls of photos from the internet and call it a post.
3. Make things sound or appear easy when they’re not.
4. Spend hours taking hundreds of photos to make everything you touch look perfect.
5. Publish fluff for the purpose of remaining consistent or relevant.
6. Spend more time on other people’s blogs than you do working on your own.
7. Try to imitate other bloggers. We like you just the way you are.
8. Be afraid to share real things about yourself.
9. Promote things you don’t believe in for compensation. (You’d think that would be a big DUH but nope).

*Note: for the purpose of this post, I’m referring to lifestyle, fashion, mommy, or likewise topic bloggers, although the general message applies to all.