Here, Hold My Beer – Watch Me Break Blogging Rules I Created!

After I posted “31 Ways NOT to Use Your Blog,” many of you goaded me, egged me on, encouraged me in my mischievous plan to write a series of posts wherein I break blogging rules I created as a tongue in cheek response to Microsoft’s proposal for “31 Ways to Use Your Blog” over a decade ago. How could I resist temptation like that? As with any form of writing, you can break the rules – and often should – provided you’re doing it very deliberately, with your eyes wide open, and provided you’re aware of the potential consequences.

Here’s a nice, bookmarkable, automagically updating post with links to all my rule-breaking blog posts:

I hope you enjoy them, and I hope that my breaking them doesn’t get me banned from the International Brotherhood of Bloggers or disowned by my family!


What does the phrase, “rules are meant to be broken” mean to you? Do you agree or disagree? Would you qualify that with “always,” or “sometimes,” or “never”?

What “rules” have you read (and taken to heart) when it comes to blogging?

What blogging “rules” have you read, here or elsewhere, that you think are utter bunk?

Talk to me in the comments, below!


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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7 thoughts on “Here, Hold My Beer – Watch Me Break Blogging Rules I Created!”

  1. Lol, wow, you are really going for it! Yeah I can’t break all the blog rules because I’d run out of stuff to say.

    I think some rules are meant to be broken. Some are out of date, or may not apply, or are biased, etc. That’s my two cents.

    1. Feel free to throw a challenge my way! This is actually turning out to be a fun writing prompt. A couple of the “rules” were pretty tongue in cheek, but the ones like “blogging about coworkers” are pretty serious and harder to break if you’re not STUPID… 😉

  2. Being back in the job-search market again I’ve noticed that these types of questions are asked literally in job applications. “Rules are meant to be broken.” How strongly do you agree or disagree with that statement. On the one hand we’ve been told numerous times in the big corporation (I used to work for), “We want people to take action and ask questions later”…. which is a code for break rules and processes. But yet I wonder if some people think that if you agree that rules are meant to be broken you’re willing to do unethical things.

    1. I think that’s exactly the sort of answer they’re looking for, Todd – one that demonstrates and understanding of WHEN it’s appropriate to break the rules.

      Amateur writers can be spotted miles away – they’re the ones who think their precious ideas are so IMPORTANT, so ORIGINAL, so F***ING AWESOMELY AMAZING that not only can they break all the conventional rules of good writing, grammar, spelling, and punctuation (because, duh, that’s what EDITORS are for!) but also that the rules don’t even apply to them in their brilliance, and if you don’t GET IT, then you’re an inferior slug who is not part of their target audience anyway! (I’ve been told this by more than a few, while trying to help them with some editorial suggestions. This is why I rarely bother unless I know that the author is competent and sincere and has a thick skin – because it’s an emotional time-suck and not worth the effort. I should be jotting down my own insightful flashes of occasional brilliance, instead. 😉

      Good writers know that breaking certain rules on purpose can be effective. Sentence fragments are how people TALK; they are completely appropriate in dialogue. They can also be effective in narrative pacing. But you also have to understand the rules before you can break them purposefully.

      Same thing in business – you don’t go indiscriminately breaking rules. You never, ever, ever break some of them – those legal and ethical rules that reflect well on the brand in the world, for example. Others, the “because it’s the way we’ve always done things” rules – those are the ones meant to be broken. But not JUST to break them, right? Just because we’ve ALWAYS walked right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot doesn’t mean it’s somehow better or cooler to hop down the hall on one foot all day. It’s hardly an IMPROVEMENT in how we’ve always done it.

      So I think your answer to the interview question definitely needs to reflect that – are you an “ends always justify the means” kind of person who would be scary to corporate counsel, coworkers, and even the most seasoned manager? Are you into process improvement and managing the change so you can get fast buy in from the people who are affected by it? Are you original and innovative without being merely strange and different for strange-and-different’s sake?

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