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5 Blogging DON’Ts That P*ss Me Off

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I’m proud of myself. I went the entire three-day weekend without blogging. But I did spend some time doing what I normally avoid, and that’s reading other people’s blogs. Without pointing fingers, there were several consistencies that I came across that really got under my skin. Here are my top five. You are invited to share you “Blogging Don’ts” in the comments section below.

DON’T Link to Wikipedia. While the majority of information found in Wikipedia is accurate, the mere fact that anyone can change information on the fly, makes it risky to cite as a source. Plus, in my view, it’s the “easy” way out. A good blogger should go a step further and try to get one step closer to defining a word, phrase or place. Not only does it show effort that makes me want to read more of the blogger’s work, but it usually leads to a more interesting experience.

DON’T Use Large Images. At least not ones that take away from the readability of an article. If an image pushes content below the fold or causes the wrap around text to break too frequently, consider moving to a smaller image size or adjusting your blog template.

DON’T Underestimate “About Us.”
Many readers stumble upon your blog blindly; that means they are reading your work without a clue of who you are or what you are about. Take the time to explain the tone of your blog and why they should be reading your work. When I run CrazyEgg heatmaps on my site, I find that ‘About Us” is the second-most-clicked page.

DON’T Forget External Links. In my case, I was a “writer” before I was a “blogger.” That means I will occasionally overlook adding external links into my blog posts. But adding links is a critical part of blogging success – so make it part of the job. After all, everyone loves reciprocity, right?

DON’T Be Scared to Voice Your Opinion. When writing a blog post or leaving a blog comment, the more polarizing your statement is, the greater potential you have to get people to click over to your site or come back for more. I sometimes think of shock jock Howard Stern. He has said before that more “haters” listen to him than fans because they want to hear what he’ll say next.

So what gets your goat?

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Comments

  1. Andrew @ Blogging Guide ) says: 6/1/2010

    Videos that automatically start!

    That makes me head straight for the ‘close’ button.

    Andrew

    Reply

    • Marcie Hill ) says: 6/4/2010

      Andrew, I feel you. That’s with music, too. How utterly annoying!

      Reply

  2. Rob O. ) says: 6/1/2010

    Don’t forget to check for grammatical errors! Nothing makes a blog seem more juvenile than blatant grammar errors, typos, and clumsy word usage. Peppering your posts with ‘wordy’ words like “whilest” or “learnt” isn’t going to impress me – it’s going to make me want to run!

    Reply

  3. Christoph ) says: 6/1/2010

    Point #3 is very true. Especially when I write more than a “nice work” I like to address the author by name. Quite impossible when there is no impress or about the author on the blog.

    Reply

  4. Tim Trice ) says: 6/1/2010

    Agreed on the first two comments as well as most of your points except the Wikipedia issue. I run a hurricane website and I most always link to Wikipedia when discussing foreign locations that most people aren’t familiar with. This is in part due to the detail of the location (usually) provided, i.e., elevation, population, etc. This is also due to the fact though Wikipedia has stumbled with credibility, it still is highly regarded as an accurate source. I’d much prefer to link there than to Jo-Blo’s site who I don’t know who may just be using current events to drive traffic and, therefore, inject viruses and what-not.

    Reply

  5. Ray Scott ) says: 6/1/2010

    I’m with Tim on his view of using Wikipedia. While I wouldn’t suggest using it to link to information on your niche topic, it is a widely respected and accurate source of information that is heavily monitored for inaccuracies. Plus it is going to be around long after Joe Soaps little site. I use it like Tim, to link to places of interest that happen to be part of my blog post on where I took a particular photograph.

    Reply

  6. Pavel says: 6/1/2010

    I just hate blog posts without proper formatting (yep, number ordered lists included). I think every blogger (publisher) should spend a while thinking about readability of their articles and ask others what they are thinking about it.
    I agree with all Your points, but Wikipedia can be used in some cases, some time You just want to refer to the philosophy behind the context and count the reader will dive into the topic and search some more information in the Internet.

    Reply

  7. Dave ) says: 6/1/2010

    Hah! My big don’t that really pisses me off is web sites that post
    Top 10 themes
    to 15 ecommerce plugins
    top 5 SEO tips
    or anything similar, but surprisingly I liked your post… at least you thought about what you posted and didn’t just copy off of other web sites :)

    Reply

  8. Rinish ) says: 6/1/2010

    Andrew,
    your last point about Howard is something that I also use when I’m debating no how honest I want to be. Howard made his living off of not being afraid to say what is on his mind or to give his real, uncut and uncensored opinion on things.

    In fact, when I first began writing I was exactly that way and found myself getting more visits and more replies to my blog(s). However, because I own an online business that works with other businesses I found myself toning and censoring myself because I worried current or potential customers who think otherwise. But I think I may have been over thinking that piece because I never got a complaint but seemed to lose people sending me emails and commenting. Eh? I think I just answered my own “question”.

    Rinish

    Reply

    • Marcie Hill ) says: 6/4/2010

      Ok, I’m going to have to be like Howard and Rinish. I am getting more bold in sharing my thoughts, but I still find myself censoring. I want to discuss issues of race from a historical perspective and have yet to begin out of fear. I’m not going to be hostile or anything, but facts are facts, and certain discussion need to take place in my opinion. And if people have enough nerve to throw racial slurs (or whatever the term is today), I should have enough nerve to discuss the origins of such madness.

      Thanks for this. You have given me the courage to complete the piece I’ve been hesitant to post for the past two weeks.

      Reply

  9. John Paul ) says: 6/4/2010

    thanks for the blog. I have just begun my blog and find it challenging. I have definite goals and have found that “themes” keep me on track . haven.t read enough blogs to notice negatives but i see what you mean,
    pls ck out my blog & let me know what you think. I would appreciate the feedback.

    Reply

  10. Tom ) says: 6/7/2010

    As a new and definitely neophyte blogger, it is always refreshing and a good learning method to read blog posts of those who are already successful here.

    I am learning a lot out of your ideas and tips here. Thanks a lot.

    Reply

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