12 Worst Blogging Mistakes

 

by AR Huelsenbeck

 

I read a lot of blogs. I follow nearly 300, and I check out new blogs all the time. If you follow me or you’ve left a comment on ARHtistic License or you’ve tweeted something that interested me, I’ve probably taken a look at your blog.

There are thousands of great blogs out there. And, sadly, there are thousands of terrible blogs out there.

How do you know if your blog is one of the bad ones? Here are some signs.

 

 1. Pop-ups. I hate it if I’ve just started reading a post on your blog and a pop-up blocks my view. If it asks me to sign up for your blog, I dismiss it. How do I know I want to sign up for your blog if I haven’t even read a post yet? Please have a sign-up option prominently (and permanently) located on your blog. If I can only sign up without reading your blog, I never will.

 2. Old school look. Honestly, there’s no excuse for the 1990s-retro-look websites. So many platforms will allow you to set up a good-looking blog for free that there is no reason to keep a dorky-looking one. Start new.

 3. Tiny text, or text that doesn’t show up against the background. Some of us have old eyes. If I can’t read your blog, I won’t come back to it.

 4. Poor grammar and spelling. Please learn the basics. You can get a free version of Grammarly to help you.

 5. No illustrations. Beautify your blog and drum up the interest factor with pictures. There are lots of sources for free images you can use on your blog.

 6. Long, unbroken paragraphs. Nothing looks so formidable as a huge expanse of words. Throw in a little white space. Try to limit paragraphs to no more than five sentences.

 7. Posts that have no point. If you’re just writing your daily to-do list, you really don’t need to release it into the blogosphere. Write something an audience would love to read. Content is king.

 8. Your articles are sales pitches for your affiliates. I get it—blogging is time-consuming. It’s nice to earn some money at it. But if you’re not giving me meaningful content (see #7), I’m not going to read your blog.

 9. No sharing buttons. Sometimes I like an article so much I wish all my friends could read it. If I can’t just hit a button, but I actually have to open my social media and cut and paste a link, I’m way too lazy. You lose.

 10. No “like” buttons. I’d love to let you know I enjoyed your article, or at least show you I visited, but sometimes I’m too lazy to write a comment. I wish I could just click my approval.

 11. Your newsletter is a never-ending sales pitch. If I like your blog and sign up for your newsletter, I expect to see content like what you post on your blog, except better, more personal, and with incentives, like an occasional giveaway or contest. If issue after issue just urges me to buy your book or sign up for your online class, I will cancel my subscription.

 12. No way to contact you. If I love your blog, I might want to ask permission to use one of your pieces as a guest post or offer my help with something. If you don’t have a contact form or a blog email account, you might miss a chance to network. I’ll have to connect with a different blogger instead.

 

So, there you have it—my blogger pet peeves. If you recognize your blog above, it’s not too hard to improve it. Your readers will thank you—and you may attract some more!

Are there any other big blogging mistakes that I’ve missed? Share in the comments below.

 

 

Guest post contributed by ARHuelsenbeck. Former elementary general music teacher ARHuelsenbeck blogs about the arts and the creative process at ARHtistic License. She is currently writing a YA mystical fantasy and a Bible study guide, and submitting a poetry chapbook, with mystery and MG drafts waiting in the wings. You can see some of her artwork, photography, and quilts on Instagram.

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55 thoughts on “12 Worst Blogging Mistakes”

  1. All good tips. I am wondering about Grammarly. I started to load that recently and began reading the fine print which stated that they would have access to my entire phone and banking records and …I don’t know what else as I immediately got the heck out of Dodge. Sorry for the cliche but it scared the sugar out of me. Oops. Another one. I think I must have seen it on Facebook. I’m assuming it’s not supposed to be like that. Can you shed light on this?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Here’s their privacy policy: https://www.grammarly.com/privacy-policy. I looked at it to see what they access. They do collect info about whatever devices you use it on, and whatever credit card you pay it with (I only use the free version). If you sign in using a social media identity, they can see your account. They also can collect every document they check, particularly if you upload it onto their website. I can see why it would give you pause. There is potential for risk.
      While I can’t guarantee bad people won’t get your info by hacking Grammarly, it’s one of those risks I’m taking for now.
      I’ve put off getting a smartphone because I see it as a security risk. (Also because I’m too old and stupid to use one!)

      Like

  2. I think no.10 is my pet peeve. I’m not so good at writing comments, so I often hit a ‘like’ button instead. Yes, it’s a bit of a cop out but it’s better than nothing. Thanks for this. I’m relieved that I haven’t transgressed on these, but I doubtless have on many others … 😉

    Liked by 4 people

      1. It’s particularly when I’m reading creative writing or poetry. I may have some thoughts, but I hesitate to put them out there. Sometimes it’s the effort to make them into something coherent, other times it’s wondering how the author will take what I have to say.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. You nailed it — and then some! Love blogging, reading blogs and trip over the very same things that you cited — and am now keeping a close eye on myself to make sure that I don’t make those same off-putting mistakes!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Thanks for the tips. It’s hard to hit all these points and blog frequently. After the time I take coming up with a topic plus writing plus focusing on quality plus graphics plus editing plus seo, I don’t get the momentum to post again for another week or more How do you post so often keep up with these? Is it practice?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most of the suggestions above, like eliminating pop-ups and adding like and share buttons, you only have to do once. If you don’t have your grammar and spelling down, that’s going to be a continuous priority. The rest of the suggestions you can just implement one at a time. Prioritize, and do the most important ones first.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 10. No “like” buttons. I’d love to let you know I enjoyed your article, or at least show you I visited, but sometimes I’m too lazy to write a comment. I wish I could just click my approval.

    I turned mine off a long time ago because I was sick of seeing the same “like spammers” liking everything I posted often within moments of it going live when it was impossible for them to have read my 1200 word post in that time. I’m guessing many people feel the same.

    https://sweattearsanddigitalink.com/2012/07/10/like-spamming/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! I didn’t even know that was a thing. Thanks for linking the article. There are people who “like” nearly everything I post. I just assumed they were my biggest fans. (Some of them I know personally.)
      There are also bloggers whose posts I read and like daily. I’m not spamming–if they wrote something I object to, I wouldn’t press like. Even if the post is not my favorite or not their best work, though, I’ll “like” to let them know I was there, as an encouragement.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Of course 🙂 That’s what it is supposed to be used for. Unfortunately, there are too many people abusing the function believing if they like thousands of articles every day they’ll get to leach off the traffic from those sites without putting in any effort of their own.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. #1, 3, 6 7 and 11!

    While it is certainly nice to know about things for sale that I might be interested in, I don’t decide to read a blog so I can buy something. I read a blog to be entertained and/or informed, which also covers the problem of pointless posts about people, places and events that mean nothing to me.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I never would have thought that connection blogs with social media mattered so much to readers. As one who isn’t too involved or interested with the social media sphere apart from facebook, I would never guess people liked to share blog posts there! Thanks for the new perspective and the wonderful advice!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Do you remember the incredibly generic look the internet had when it was first starting out? Very small fonts, no graphics or very small graphics, low-budget appearance. Here is an example (to be fair, this guy is credited with putting up the very first blog ever, so think of this as an historic example): http://www.links.net/vita/.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is SO good. I see so many of these issues on supposed professional sites. Horrible sign-ins to comment. Some times, you sign in and still cannot comment *cough*Writer’s Digest*cough* or worst of all sins: Discus. I’ll be consulting this post when I finally pull the trigger on my own blog. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Excellent post, all good points! I couldn’t agree more. My other pet peeve is taking six paragraphs to say something that only needed six sentences.

    Like

  10. Oh wow! This is great. I hope to use these tips to improve my blog. Thank you for helping. This means a lot and it’s actually very kind of you to point the mistakes out as it would make other’s blog better than they were before, thank you, once again.❤️

    Like

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