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Gene Autry was the iconic cowboy and one of the most famous cowboy performers of his day.  But besides being a notorious singer he was also a man of character and he wrote what has come to be known as Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code.  There are 10 points in this code, but there are several of them that can be applied to bloggers, so let’s see what everyone with a blog can learn from the Cowboy Code.

He must never go back on his word

We as bloggers will often promise our readers many things.  We promise we will write more.  We promise we will have more contests.  We even promise to write people back when they contact us, but many times we fail.  A blogger would do well to remember not to go back on his word, but to deliver exactly what he has promised.  This will make for more loyal subscribers, and the more readers trust you the more pull you will have with them, and they will probably even buy more from you.  When you have earned a reader’s trust, however, it’s important not to ever break it.

He must help people in distress

The purpose of your blog should not just be to make money.  Your blog should have answers to questions people have on your particular topic.  You should be there to help them solve their problems or come up with rational solutions.  This also means you should reply to those emails from readers needing help.  Yes, it’s extra work, but it’s well worth it in the end.  Find topics to write on that help address those people in distress and give them common sense solutions that work.

He must be a good worker

Some people get into blogging because they want to do next to nothing to generate some passive income.  But the truth of the matter is that blogging is hard work, and if you are going to have a successful blog it is going to take some late nights and long hours of writing, studying, and tweaking.  No blog has ever become a huge success by accident, so study your niche and apply yourself to being the best you can be in it.

He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas

I see this all too often in blogs that I come across.  The writer just goes off on a tangent that can be very offensive to certain groups of people.  You never want to alienate certain readers of your blog just because you have a certain opinion.  Yes, it can be good for traffic to stir up some controversy, but do it in a tasteful way that will not turn people away to never return.

He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws

Some bloggers think that they are the kings of their own universe.  I guess not having a real boss can lead to thinking you have no rules to abide by, but you still live in a nation of laws.  It’s not worth risking having your site shut down by the FCC.  Know the laws of doing business online and also know the terms of service for everything you are promoting.  Google has quite a lengthy read on guidelines that you will want to look over as well, but always make sure you are above board with everything you are doing on your blog.

Bloggers can learn a lot from Gene Autry’s Cowyboy Code, and for many it’s time to cowboy-up and make a few changes.

Greg Schmidt writes about cowboy and cowgirl boots and knows all about living up to the Cowboy Code of honor.