Most if not all blogs i had encounter set trends, talks about whats hip, whats new. They had the most followers. Not to mention the most who spam as well. For whatever reason I am not so sure, perhaps work, or they are earning through their blogs.
For someone who is stating something different it is difficult to gain readers or reach out without breaching spamming,phishing etc. But it is a personal fulfillment. Nothing more nothing less. Since blogging if i remember is a creative writing that tackles general stuff but hinting a personal opinion towards it. Some, made it like an online diary. If people follows it and read it that is suppose to be a bonus. Quality over quantity.
I guess just do your thing and if people likes what they read they would keep coming back to your blog.
Nothing wrong with that, like I said if you are earning through your blog you gotta do what you gotta do. To each their own. :) Besides there are possible solutions to accommodate both, make another blog if you want to do your own thing and the other ,.well.. for the money i guess.
I'd personally like to think I'm not a herd follower, as I'm trying to do something with my blog that I really haven't seen, which is be more or less nicheless. On top of just writing a blog about anything, I throw in Poetry on Friday, and a Serial Web Fiction on Saturday. I like the idea that people can come to my site and read about a variety of subjects, that may interest them, after being lured to my site by something else they've seen.
I definitely set trends with the way I blog, from the first time I wrote a post, i had few followers, my writings were naive. I have grown with the followers with time but never let go the true writer in me. I am attracting a lot of new readers each day & people who appreciate me in one way or the other. I get complements that my style is unique & straight-from the heart which most of the bloggers have forgotten some where down the line. I recently hosted a word-based game, which was a fairly new idea & the response was commendable, actually when I do something new its my heart that says "Go On, don't stay restricted" & i get a nice new response every time. Don't If I am lucky this time but I really thing that every thing needs conviction & every thing else follows:) I have seen bad times (0 readers) & now I have some thing much better, so over & all I am happy. That's what is important :)
Follow the herd? Set trends? Are these the only options? I'm certainly not interested in setting trends, although I do have at least one feature on my blog that I've not seen anywhere else. As for copying what everyone else is doing: I can't see the point of that. Blogging should be a personal statement by the individual blogger.