How Not to Blog

Anyone these days — from the young kid to the old-timer — can be a blogger. Everyone wants to be an award-winning machine of exquisite content creation who will be the envy of his or her peers, but there’s a lot of noise out there in the blogosphere and it’s tough to stand out in the crowd.

If you want to focus on being a good blogger and write posts that people want to care about, you must first look at what not to do when composing a blog post. I believe that once you know what not to do, you can avoid these content-crushing steps and just focus on doing the opposite.

When reading what not to do, consider how often you see these mistakes being made — and learn from them. I like to think that I’ve improved the quality of my own blogging by recognizing these common missteps when made by others and working hard to avoid them. Granted, blog posts are varied by type and content, so I’ll try to make these as generalized as I can so that not only tech bloggers can benefit from this advice, but bloggers from every field.

Present opinions as though they are facts.

One of the biggest problems many bloggers have is that they simply don’t know anything about the subject they’re writing about. Rather than doing anything approaching solid research (that’s hard work!) to back up their assertions, they’ll just fill up their posts with any old nonsense and half-baked opinions to meet their word quota and move on to the next batch of misinformation to feed their (probably very small) readership.

But making it clear that you’re just presenting opinions as though they are facts — especially on a regular basis — will hurt your credibility and diminish whatever readership you might have accumulated. Accuracy counts, and people will notice when you’re just making things up to fill empty blog space!

If you’re writing publicly about someone in your private life, don’t get their permission first.

What’s not to love about having your dirty laundry aired for all the world to see?

Blog something that anybody else could have written, devoid of personal voice.

Parrots belong in jungles and on the shoulders of pirates.

Don’t disclose business relationships.

If you’re getting paid to say something nice about a product, why bother letting your readership know anything about this arrangement?

Don’t be interested in what you’re writing about.

Yawn.

Don’t make a point or have a reason to write in the first place.

Words are just there to fill up all that pretty white space on your blog, right? Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aenean scelerisque condimentum viverra. Donec sit amet velit metus, vel blandit orci. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices.

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  • http://bra.ms Will Bramlett

    Well, I’m the definition of a bad blogger..

  • cole kruper

    Then I Guess I’m a Good Blogger

  • cole kruper

    Then I Guess I’m a Good Blogger

  • http://kosso.co.uk kosso

    and don’t write unnecessarily long blog posts.

    like this one 

    :P 

  • http://kosso.co.uk kosso

    and don’t write unnecessarily long blog posts.

    like this one 

    :P 

  • http://twitter.com/lhamil64 Lee

    I think the only one I really know I do is posting irregularly. I usually just post on my blog when I actually have something to post about, which isn’t regularly.

  • http://theannoyinglife.com/ Kevin Martin

    Thanks for writing this post Craighton. Now I have something to add to my blogging forte. 

  • AEparker

    I really appreciate this post! I’m new to blogging…
    Thanks!

  • Ccityblogger

    Bad bloggers use ugly templates with hideous colors and distracting backgrounds. You can never go wrong with plain old black type on a white background.

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree!  I ended up doing some informal research on the subject of what readers like to see when they go to a website and I found that the majority of people, especially the middle-to-older adults (30-50), won’t even bother reading something if it isn’t black print on white background.  Also, there seems to be a lot of complaints about eye strain and headaches caused by reading white (or another color) print on black backgrounds.

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree!  I ended up doing some informal research on the subject of what readers like to see when they go to a website and I found that the majority of people, especially the middle-to-older adults (30-50), won’t even bother reading something if it isn’t black print on white background.  Also, there seems to be a lot of complaints about eye strain and headaches caused by reading white (or another color) print on black backgrounds.

  • Gramp

    don’t like your popups

  • http://www.edgartownnews.blogspot.com Sara Piazza

    I’m starting to go a little nuts from all the terribly written blogs that include bad spelling and grammar, especially the constant misuse of the word it’s. If you’re going to write, at least brush up on a few basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules.

  • http://www.reasny.com/ Reasny

    Content creation is an ever changing thing but this post is definitely one to consider for anyone blogging rookie or veteran.

  • K My Mc75

    I’m a bad blogger lmao

  • Rajesh Menon

    Write bad content – your ticket to be a unsuccessful blogger

  • Pete F

    As hard as I try sometimes I am quilty of one or two of these things.

  • Cameron Ryan

    A good article but you forgot a key thing about blogging: Don’t blog about YOUR LIFE. Blog about a topic you know about. People don’t care what coffee you drank this morning (unless your Chris Pirillo). So, write about a topic you know about. Niche.