One of the great challenges of web design today is that everyone is doing the same thing. Conventional wisdom post style, layout, social media engagement – rules the day, but it also means that every site seems to run together. Playing by the rules could be holding your site back.

That’s not to say that you should eschew the things we know make a site work, but it’s time to break free of the mold a bit. Here’s how to walk the line between conventions and high impact site design.

It’s Not All Volume

Social media is closely tied to success as a blogger, but you have to be careful. These sites can quickly become a trap. Many bloggers spend all their time loitering on Facebook, checking their follower count, and simply wasting time, rather than improving their site. While your page should absolutely be connected to major social media platforms, you needn’t check in more than once or twice a day, depending on site volume.

Instead of obsessing over social media and trying to grow your follower count, work on building a more enthusiastic following. Just like a musician who focuses on the number of fans they have rather than the loyalty of those fans, a blogger who thinks only about the number of followers they have is likely to fall off the radar rather quickly. You need to have fervent fans, not just people with a passing interest in your work.

Be Natural

Many bloggers present themselves as very scripted. The blogs all share a certain tone, onsite videos are very stiff and formal, and the whole site follows a non-descript template. Make some room on your blog for little personal touches. For example, if you’re making an onsite video, there are two different routes you can go. One option is to script everything, speak slowly, and listen for any errors or tics then tape it over or edit the video to perfection. You’ll have a crisp video but it won’t have any personality.

The other option is to allow for some leeway in your communication and really connect with your audience. It’s also a way of getting inside your readers’ heads do they really want to listen to a robot or do they want to see someone on screen they can relate to?

Over-Posting Versus Inconsistency

Finally, if we had to boil down the overused conventional wisdom of the blogging world, the worst offender might be the constant insistence that writers fill their blogs with posts, valuing the amount of content over the quality of that content. While at one point volume might have been at the heart of SEO, that’s no longer the case.

On the other hand, you also need to be consistent with the frequency of your posting. If you only post once a week, try to do it on the same day. Much like your favorite news columns, people like to know what to look forward to. It’s a matter of balance producing enough content to keep people engaged, but not so much that readers are overwhelmed and most of it is repetitive or lacking in value.

Conventional wisdom isn’t all bad it brought successful sites this far but striking a balance between the rules and originality is the key. Your site should be unique, marked by your personality and brand. The rules don’t know your style; that comes down to you.