Great blogs are captivating, ever-changing, ever-evolving works that continually feed their visitors with wonderful content. They reach into the hearts and minds of their audience – whether it is excellent content that educates or witty material that makes people laugh.
There is, however, the other side of the blogging tracks, so to speak. The vast darkness of cyberspace that is littered with half-done, boring, terrible content.
Don’t let this be you.
This article will explore the top 5 most annoying blog habits to help you know what NO’T to do when writing a blog article.
1. Directing traffic to an empty blog.
You see one post that talks about how excited they are to start their new blog.
And then nothing for a year.
There is another post that apologize for not writing in a while.
And then nothing.
Everyone has been guilty of this at some point, but here is the thing. Do not promote an empty blog.
If you haven’t written in a while, that can be ok – if you already have a lot of good content in your blog.
You can tell people you are going offline for awhile and you will be back. Or you can simply come back and give people an update before resuming regular updates.
If you don’t have enough content, say at least 20 posts, don’t direct people to your blog. You will look bad and annoy your readers.
2. Delivering mediocre content.
Another blog no-no is filling a blog with mediocre posts.
To be clear, blogging is something that can be perfected over time, so your first posts may not be Shakespeare.
If you are a beginner, there is nothing wrong with putting up posts and learning as you go.
Your content should continue to improve. If you have sat down, done your research, tap into your target audience and continue to educate yourself on improving your game, then your posts should naturally get better.
If not, consider hiring someone who can help you write better.
Or if you are a natural on video, do video posts, and hire someone to write for you.
Improving your art will eventually drown out your lesser works. Your visitors will appreciate it.
3. Using tired wording and clichés.
I have to admit, I have worked very hard to ban the words “stuff” and “thing” from my writing. I started using the thesaurus before I was able to take off the training wheels and create synonyms on my own.
Precise language will keep your readers on track. Ambiguous words are like coloring outside the lines – you have the same picture, but a messier, unappealing version of it.
Tired phrasing will give your article a bland overtone that will make it forgettable.
Creative language, metaphors, punchy phrases, etc. go a long way to keeping your readers interested.
Make sure you are continuously critiquing your own writing style.
4. Large, unbroken blocks of text
Think of text as a wall – the higher the wall, the harder it is for the message to get through to people.
People’s attention are being tugged in a thousand different directions, help them stay with you by chopping up chunks of text into bite-sized nuggets.
Break up that text with headers, bullet points, numbers, bold, images and links.
Give your readers lots of visual texture. Make your posts rich and engaging.
5. Ignoring the basics of grammar and spelling.
Many publications have such high standards for grammar, you need a Master’s in English to qualify. Blogging has opened doors for people with less-than-perfect grammar to become published.
I believe that basic grammar should be in blogs. You can get away with a lot of grammar errors in video, but written language demands higher grammatical standards. Still, you don’t have to be a grammar expert to be a blogger.
Good spelling is taken for granted, until you misspell something. Everything has spell check, so it leaves your reader wondering why you ignored the prompts to correct your spelling. Incidentally, bad spelling makes you look less intelligent.
My one big pet peeve is bad punctuation. Every time I read a run-on paragraph, I die a little inside.
Here is an example:
A woman without her man is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
Not only can punctuation change the entire meaning of a sentence, it breaks up your text so that you can absorb the information.
Run-on sentences are like those big blocks of uninterrupted text we talked about in Number Four.
In social media and texting, people get lazy or busy and leave out punctuation. In your blog post, leaving out punctuation is terrible. Don’t do it.
Writing is a complex skill that not everyone can master, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a good blogger. You can be a great blogger. If you avoid these five blogger annoyances, you will be heading in the right direction to being a good blogger and be able to write content that your readers will want to read.