Let us help you improve your search engine rankings,capture
traffic, monetize, and make your blog look awesome!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Building Your Blog 104 - Things To Avoid In Blogs

There are thousands of help articles out there telling you what to do when building your blog, but what about the things you should avoid?  You can do everything the net tells you to do and your blog can still fail if you push readers away by doing some less than savory things.  Let's go over some of these things now so you can have a heads up and a head start on what to avoid.

1) Avoid Plagiarism.  

This is the big one.  No one appreciates copied or stolen content.  Aside from chasing your readers away and damaging your online reputation, you run the risk of getting your blog shut down, or getting into legal trouble.  It's best to avoid copying from books, other print items, or anything online.  The rule of thumb is simple: if it's not yours, don't use it.  If you want to quote somebody or someone's work, make sure to give them the credit, and even a link back since it is their work you're quoting on your site.

2) Avoid Grammar and Spelling Mistakes.  

Even the blogger post editor comes with a spell checker built right into it.  Use this to your advantage, because no one will stick around to read your work if it's riddled with mistakes.  Also get a friend to read your work aloud to you, or read it out loud to yourself a couple of times to be sure sentences are structured well and sound correct.  Writers have been using this trick for years, because you can hear mistakes out loud when sometimes your eyes will pass over them while reading to yourself.  Also, don't forget to use correct punctuation, or you risk annoying and thus losing any readers you have.

3) Avoid Massive Changes Too Often.  

In the first couple days of getting your blog up you should have settled on a theme (template) for it.  Once you've chosen, stick with it, and don't change it too often.  I have one blog I've run for six years now, and I've changed the template exactly twice, and that was only because the blog had grown beyond what the template was made for.  Readers will get annoyed to come back and continually find that your blog has changed and things have been moved around.  It's like grocery stores... don't you hate it when you get used to where everything is and then you come in to find out they've moved everything for no reason at all?

4) Avoid Excessive Use Of Unnecessary Widgets.  

This is one lesson we can take away from minimalistic blogs: Sometimes less really is better.  I hate trying to look at blogs that are just an eyesore because their pages are filled with widgets left and right that are totally unnecessary.  Too many things in the sidebars like music players, clocks, visitor maps, and excessive advertising, draw attention away from the posts and other important information.

5) Avoid Asking Visitors To Visit Your Sponsors.

Adsense policy is that you cannot ask visitors to visit your sponsors or click on your ads in any way.  Many other advertising agencies have a similar policy.  Be sure to read all policies when monetizing your ads so that you don't get dinged or get your advertising account deleted.

6) Avoid Having Too Many Topics.

This may sound strange considering that we say to think of every topic in your niche and blog about it, but in this case we're talking about unrelated topics.  If you're blogging about dogs, then don't start adding things to your blog about other pets like cats or hamsters.  Make separate blogs for those things if you need to and stick to your main topic and it's sub topics.

7) Avoid Infrequent Updates.

If you're solely blogging for pleasure, and aren't planning on making much money or getting any visitors, then feel free to put up one post a month, let it sit for months on end, and then post again.  Otherwise, you should really set up a schedule for yourself and plan on making at minimum one post a week.  Many of the big blogs make one post a day, and sometimes make many posts a day.  If you are going on vacation or are planning on being away from the computer for a while, write your posts ahead of time and schedule them to post daily while you're away.  This gives the illusion to your readers that you are indeed still there and writing for them on a daily basis.

It's ok to post once a week, but try to put the posts up on the same day.  This way your readers know when to come back for new material instead of having to check back each day and be disappointed to find nothing new.

8) Avoid Being A Troll.
Nobody really wants to hear you rant and rave, especially without evidence.  It's like losing your temper in a room full of people you don't really know, who may not understand.  You can easily ruin your online reputation by doing this in a post or in a reply to a commenter.  Remember, your commenters are your readers.  Always try to keep your cool, even if you feel like telling them to leap off a bridge.  You will earn the respect of other readers for not losing your temper, and by handling the situation in a cool, collected manner.  Remember, if you're right, then what do you have to worry about someone else being a troll on your blog?

By simply thinking your blog out, and avoiding these key mistakes along the way, you can help to ensure yourself that your readers will be happy, and make them want to come back time and again.  For more things you should avoid while blogging, check out our post HERE about what to avoid while micro-blogging.


#3 is my #1. I was following a blog and she changed the color scheme and all fonts once a week. One reader finally commented "This isn't Myspace. Save your change-ups for that!" She stuck with a nice multi-color theme from then on.
Great list!

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More