30 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Blog

This is the last new post of the month of September, and the only one I didn’t write within 3 days of making the decision that I was going to do it. I wanted the last post to be, well, kind of epic, which means it took some deep thought on what I wanted to write.

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I’m thinking that 30 mistakes people are making with their blogs is a nice followup to a post I did back in March on 31 mistakes people make blogging and in social media. In that post, which ended up being 4,600+ words, I wrote 15 things about blogging, and I’m not guaranteeing that I won’t touch upon any of those recommendations on this one. I’m not even going to guarantee that this post won’t end up being that long… but I hope not. πŸ™‚

These are in no particular order except for the last one. I tried keeping themes together as much as possible, but I’m not lying when I say that my eyes started to cross as I was putting the list together. By the way, when I talk about images below, you’ll understand why I’m using the images I’m using on this post. Doing the best I can; let’s get started.

1. Not writing enough content

Very rarely is a paragraph a blog post. Neither are two or three. The only time that seems to work out is if you’re breaking news that no one else has and you get that post out quickly. That happened for me back in ’08 or ’09 and it took off… then six months later I had to make it private because it had no meaning at that point.

Even though there are a lot of big time bloggers saying that posts should be around 3K words these days, I’m going to call that a bunch of rubbish. While a lot of those posts do very well, blogging is about message more than length.

In other words, if you believe you can explain a concept you’re writing about in 200 words or less, go ahead and do it; just don’t do it often if you want the search engines to take you seriously. If you don’t care… you do you Boo!

2. Not writing regularly

I know a few people who write every single day. I know some people who write one post every 3 months. I also know some people who only write when they feel the urge to write… even if that’s less than once a year.

Understanding that it’s your blog and that you can do anything you want with it is one thing; trying to figure out why you have a blog that you don’t feel like contributing to is another.

No one builds up an audience if writing is sporadic and sparse. Someone who visited your blog 3 months ago is probably going to write you off if you don’t have something at least once a month… and that post better be epic.

3. Not enough white space

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Writing online is much different than writing in books. The biggest complaint I’ve seen from people who read blogs is that there’s too much text in a paragraph for their tastes way too often.

At first I didn’t get that because when I went to school, I was taught that your paragraph should contain everything your first line states it should be, no matter how long it is. Then I started visiting a lot of blogs and I got it.

For whatever reason too much text in a small space, especially on mobile, is hard to process. Thus, it’s better if you can make your paragraphs shorter and make your thoughts a bit more concise.

4. Every paragraph is one line

There are times when having a one-line paragraph makes sense. If you have a long sentence then it looks good having it be the only line in a paragraph. If you’re setting something up, a one-line paragraph is a nice way to do it.

From my perspective however, having every single thing on your site being one line is irritating. It makes me think that the writer couldn’t keep a cohesive thought together for longer than a sentence, especially when those sentences are short.

If you have sentences that seem to go 3 lines, go for it. If you have one line 10 times in a row… please, please, don’t do it!

5. Not putting your social media information in your share buttons

This is mainly a Twitter gripe for me, but if it’s happening for Twitter then it’s probably happening with the rest of your share buttons.

I share a lot of content, and at least half of what I’m sharing comes from blogs. It’s amazing how many share buttons I click on where there’s no Twitter handle attached to it.

If I’m on a blog where I know the person, it’s not that big a deal. However, a lot of articles I share either came from seeing a post on Twitter that someone else has shared or finding it on Flipboard. This means that, if I want to give attribution to the person whose blog it is, I have to go searching for it.

The other reason you want to have your Twitter handle on there is so you can see who’s sharing your content. When people share, they usually post your title, the link and your Twitter handle. If it’s there, you get a notification telling you it was shared; that’s pretty cool. Without it, you have no idea how well your articles are doing or who’s possibly sharing your stuff. You miss out on a lot of engagement possibilities by not having your handle in there.

6. Not having your social media accounts listed on your blog

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You know what else I see? People have these share buttons with every single social media possibility showing… but don’t have accounts on those sites.

At the same time, I notice that a lot of people don’t have a way for others to subscribe or at least go look at what they might be putting on their other social media accounts (since I consider blogging part of social media).

Look over to the right of this blog. You see my Instagram link, my YouTube, my Flipboard and my Facebook business accounts. I want people to check those things out and possibly subscribe. I have my Google Plus link on my left sidebar; I need to think about moving that. If you’re trying to grow an audience, you need to share the places you can be found with those folks who visit your blog.

7. Not responding to comments… even if you respond on day one

I’ve gotten into the habit of not leaving comments on blogs where the owners don’t respond to comments. A lot of those blogs I refuse to even read anymore, even if I think they’re pretty good, because it feels like they’re taking visitors for granted.

Something else I’ve seen are blog owners who only respond to those comments that show up on day one. I’m sure they feel confident in saying “hey, I responded to some comments”, but in my eyes it shows that the writer wrote something and has already moved on to the next thing. If you’re writing a story blog then cool. If you’re writing content with the intention that it’s going to be evergreen, you need to treat your visitors better.

8. Moderating comments for too long a period

I hate comment moderation. On my blogs, if your comment is being moderated it’s either because my GASP plugin thinks your comment is spam, or because you’re commenting from Chrome (I still haven’t figured that one out; it’s bugging me lol). This means that the majority of comments flow through properly, so I don’t have to do anything with them.

People who moderate comments on purpose are either worried about spam (number one reason) or the type of content someone’s comment might contain that they’re worried about. I get it; if that’s your comfort level then go for it, but I can tell you that unless you’re really big on social media and getting hundreds of comments you’re putting too much work into it.

How do I know this? Because it seems like there’s way too many blogs that moderate comments where the owner takes close to a week or even longer to make those comments live. Wow, that a great way of making people feel a part of your community… NOT!

There’s so many more ways of protecting your site from spam or the types of comments you don’t want to see, either using a plugin or going into your Admin panel (if you’re using WordPress software) and changing a few settings. You should probably be using a lot of those things for security anyway. In any case, it’ll take a load off you and be more friendly for your visitors.

9. Too much profanity

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As someone who’s never uttered a profane word in his life (lots of witnesses to that lol), I can say this isn’t a problem I have. I recognize that for some people there’s a time for using profanity to express themselves and I don’t have a problem with that. Heck, it’s in too many movies I like for me to be prudish about it. πŸ™‚

Yet… when I see it written on a blog, where it sometimes feels like every paragraph is littered with it… I often leave without continuing to read it. I always think subject matter should be the determiner for language.

For instance, I was reading a Cracked article about Dolemite (aka, Rudy Ray Moore, for those of you who don’t know who he is) and his first movie. The movie… well, back in the 70’s it was considered an X-rated movie (not like today’s XXX movies, just to be clear). This means it had a lot of sex and violence… and every other word was foul.

Reading an article with a lot of cursing in it fit because it took on the tone of the movie it was reviewing (trust me, worst movie ever lol). However, if the article was on puppies and kittens and babies not getting along… come on, who wouldn’t agree with me that it would feel out of place?

10. Not moderating for bad language, attacks, trolls etc

When I talk about the need to moderate comments, I mean you should be looking at the comments that show up on your blog to see if they’re addressing the content. If they’re not, it’s probably spam and you should remove it. If there’s a lot of bad language and your audience isn’t meant to be quite that adult, you should remove it. If you see one person personally attacking someone else on your blog, you should remove it.

Why? Unless you’re an online newspaper (y’all know those comments are the worst thing right?), I’m assuming your intention is to draw the audience you want to interact with and have your blog be a safe harbor for anyone who wants to talk to you. Debating the merits of the last presidential debate (don’t even!) while staying civil, if that’s the topic you wrote on, is one thing; having it devolve into petty arguments with no substance and someone being potentially threatened… no one wants to deal with that. If you don’t moderate it your visitors will… by leaving and never coming back.

11. Too many ads/javascript

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post here talking about my experience with blocking javascript on my browser and how I’m enjoying the peace.

The thing is, I now get to decide which blogs or websites I’m going to allow to intrude on my peace of mind with their incessant popups for subscriptions or sales pitches. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, and if you see me comment on your blog, you can bet that I’ve determined your blog isn’t irritating me and that I feel fine allowing whatever bit of javascript you have on your blog (which actually includes many people’s share buttons and CommentLuv).

On some blogs though… as I mentioned in that post, some blogs and websites end up not showing me any content whatsoever. If that’s you, it means you have way too much javascript going on. Y’all do know that come the new year Google’s going to be penalizing sites for that right? It’s already irritating, but now Google’s going to lay the smack down on you because… it’s not mobile friendly.

Too many sites have popups that won’t show the X on some mobile phones so people can close them. Google’s going to take care of those of us who hate that… I might change my javascript policy once that goes into effect… although I’m sure it’ll be a long time before I’ll even think about doing so.

12. Popups!

Did I mention popups? I hate popups with a passion! I’ve even told people how to block your newsletter popups; I’m not ashamed!

I’ve always made a clarification that my biggest gripe is having those suckers show up before I’ve even had a chance to see if your content is worth my time. Nowadays some of you are using the trick of dropping your site down almost to what’s known as the “above the fold content” to make us scroll down to see your content. Frankly, I don’t think anyone’s worth that much time and effort to see if you have anything worthwhile to say.

If everyone’s popup was nearer the bottom of a post, I could get behind that. Since that’s not the majority, not even close… well, you know what’s coming…

13. Too much selling/ads

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I’m not against people trying to make money by any means. I do think that some people will go to the extreme in trying to sell products though.

Look at my left sidebar for a minute. Yes, there’s a lot of stuff over there. Three of those things are books I’ve written; one is a webinar I created. One of those things is actually a free download. The only “real” product that doesn’t belong to me is the Mailwasher thing. On the right side, the only product thing I have is a link to take you to a Fitbit page on one of my other websites.

What’s not there? Any javascript for any products! Nothing pops out at anyone. with my blog posts, it’s rare that I even put a link in an article to something I’ve recommended, and often it’s a book (check out next week’s post here, as I have a minor rant about that…).

Some people sell, sell, and sell some more within every post. I think it’s a put-off because it becomes more of a commercial than an actual blog. Then again, it might explain why some of those folks make more money online than I do; personal preference (like popups). I’ll just ask you to think about it from the perspective of a reader/visitor, even yourself, to see if that’s the kind of content you want to be constantly absorbing.

14. Having more guest posts than your own content

Having guest posts on your blog is an intriguing strategy. When I was taking them on my finance blog it was one of the highest ranked online. That’s because I was able to consistently have at least 2 articles a week on it, sometimes 3, and it allowed me to only have to write once every couple of weeks.

The problem? Well, it wasn’t a blog like this. Many of the articles I accepted on that site I knew nothing about… I even got paid for some of them. However, I got very few comments, very few returning visitors, thus little engagement.

In essence, what I eventually felt one of the problems was (there were many problems) that there wasn’t anyone coming to the blog to see what I had to say. Why would they; I mean, no one really knew when I was going to write any of the articles there. If anyone was coming to see what I had to say or wondered what Mitchell was going to write about next… I didn’t have a clue about it.

I’m seeing more blogs lately, blogs I used to visit a lot, where there’s almost never an article from the person who owns the blog. Frankly, I’ve stopped visiting almost all of those blogs because you never know who’s writing the content. There are a couple I still visit because it turns out that sometimes I know the person who’s writing the guest post; I’m nothing if not loyal. If I visit and don’t know the person… I’m outta there!

I think if people like having guest posts it will definitely help get their sites ranked better; it might even help them make more money. What gets lost is the personal touch. On my finance blog, I was initially making sure the ratio was 50-50; a guest post, one from me, a guest post, one from me… that faltered when I started traveling a lot for business; instead of writing, now I was editing all the time… and the thrill was gone.

If you’re going to accept guest posts, you also need to remember why people started coming to your blog in the first place. As I said, I’m loyal… but only to people I know. I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way.

15. Making it too hard to comment on your blog

I hate funky blog commenting systems (Disqus, Livefyre, etc…). I hate captcha. I hate having to create an account or log in to leave a comment on a blog. So I won’t do it; never have, never will.

I have a setting on my blog that makes you write at least 10 words to leave a comment. I ask you to use your name, first and/or last if you wish, but a third name will reject you. You’re also going to get a notification if you don’t have an avatar, but your comment will still go through.

You need to have some standards on your blog, and a commenting policy should be a part of it (look above the comment window & you’ll see mine). If you ask me, those are pretty simple rules to follow; the only one that trips some people up is the one about the avatar, but I tell people all the time how easy it is to get one and why it’s important.

Making people prove who they are in other ways, having funky commenting systems… way harder than my way. Still, once again it’s a personal choice.

16. Not verifying that people know you’ve responded to their comments

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This post is being written on Tuesday. In the last 3 days I’ve left comments on 11 blogs. To date, I’ve only received notice from one of those blogs that I got a response back (thanks Rummuser). On two of the blogs I know I got a response because I remembered I’d left a comment and went back to look. The other 8… no idea. That means I have no idea whether my comment will be responded to or not; isn’t that a shame?

This one is a relatively easy fix, which I wrote about in an article asking people if they knew if their visitors were getting responses back showing you responded to them. I’m not going to go through the process again but you should check out the article, and then check out your blog.

17. Not fully answering questions/fleshing out your meaning you or others posed as your topic

First, let me thank all those people who try to help others; you’re fully appreciated. One of the things I also do is try to help people when I can.

With that said, one of my biggest gripes on many of the sites that do offer tips is that their information is incomplete. I’ve been having major frustrations trying to find the answers to a lot of questions I have regarding some of the recommendations to increase the mobile speed of my websites. The problem I have is that no one gives you complete information, so I keep having to bounce around from site to site, picking up something here and there; that’s quite irksome.

Is it possible those posts will be a bit long? Absolutely! Can they also be short? Yup, that works also. Still, it’s always better to tell everything about a process you’re sharing, whether it’s a tutorial or you telling someone how you do things, like I did when I was talking about how I schedule posts to show up on Twitter last year, even though I now use Tweeten, which follows the same exact process. You become a more valuable resource when your visitors know you’re not leaving out potentially valuable information they may need.

18. Not linking to other articles you’ve written on your blog

Something I covered in my article giving 55 blogging tips and ideas was this concept of internal linking. That’s what I just did; I linked to another article I wrote on this blog that I believe will be helpful to you readers and helps the search engines know what I believe is related content; they like that. πŸ™‚

Thus, its beneficial to at least 3 sources; you, your visitors and search engines. This is a SEO practice many people forget to employ. Some people use a related posts plugin that lists some articles at the end of the article. That’s nice… I guess. lol You’ll get more benefit if you take a little bit of time to go through your archives and post something you know is pertinent instead of trusting it to something else.

19. Not giving attribution or linking to other articles when you bust on their topic

A good recommendation for finding things to talk about is to visit other blogs and websites. If you find inspiration, not only is it good to write about it but it helps your cause and theirs if you’ll link back to them… and if it’s a blog let them know you’ve done it.

You may have read about the topic of “influencer marketing”. I’m not a big proponent of that, but I am a proponent of sharing and giving attribution to people who help me in some way, whether they know it or not. It’s about networking, courtesy and fairness… along with being smart. πŸ™‚

20. Not editing your articles

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Creative Commons License Brian Turner via Compfight

I’m the last person to be one of the grammar police because I know I learned some lessons that others learned differently when it comes to grammar. Regardless of that fact, there are some universal rules that all of us should think about following for readability.

The same goes for misspellings, incorrect usage of words, typos, etc. Look, all of us make mistakes and all of us miss things; that’s human nature. But if you wrote 400 words and 50 of them don’t make any sense, or are misspelled… credibility goes out the window.

I believe all browsers now have some sort of spell checker that highlights words in red that shows you when you’re spelled something wrong; or at least it thinks you have. Isn’t it worth the effort to verify that? For most of us all it takes is a right-click on the word and the proper spelling will come up. If it doesn’t, it either means that’s not a word or it’s not so common a word that you’ll want to add it to the dictionary, or tell your program to allow it for the day… or just ignore the red line entirely. At least you’ll have done something.

21. Stupid commenting systems

Y’all know that having those commenting systems limits the number of comments you get; I’m not the only one who’s mentioned that over all these years. I already talked about the spam thing; think about it if you’re not someone who’s getting at least 20 comments on every single post you write. One of the blessings of not having javascript on my browser is that, since all those comment systems are heavy on it, comment areas don’t even show up, which tells me I wouldn’t have commented on it anyway; works for me! πŸ™‚

22. Making people subscribe to comments when they already have

I’ve complained about this one often enough. If I’ve already clicked the button after leaving my comment telling you I want to see responses to my comment, please, PLEASE, turn off the autoresponder that sends me a stupid email asking me to confirm it. Really? REALLY?!?!? Y’all know I’m not going to do it, and if I’m not, I know I’m not the only one. It’s so irritating

23. Not checking to see if everything’s working from time to time

Some of you know about my three weeks of a mobile speed quest for all my blogs and websites. I did a lot of testing on all my sites, trying to make sure everything I did still left the blogs working properly.

I ended up removing some plugins I’d had for a long time because, for one reason or another, they no longer worked. Even with that, just last week I learned that another tweak I’d made left 3 of my blogs without the ability to comment. I didn’t know it until Arlee Bird send me an email informing me of the problem. It was related to an older plugin that I’d meant to remove and had forgotten about. Once it was removed, everything was back to normal.

One of the things we don’t do often enough is keep up with our plugins. This is an older blog, and it turns out there were a lot of old plugins I was still using here that I’d also added to some of my other blogs that had never been updated for one reason or another. Some of those conflicted with mobile speed; some of them conflicted with a couple newer plugins I wanted to use to increase mobile speed.

One in particular, Akismet, turned out to not be working for, what, years, because they had gone to a paid model and I never knew it because WordPress had added it years ago, it kept updating, but I’d never seen anything come through saying they’d changed things on me. I’m throwing this out there because I’m betting most of you who might think you’re using it might not be.

24. Not checking dead links on your blog

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You know what? It turns out that search engines will penalize your site if you have too many dead links on them. They don’t have to be links that you’ve shut down on your own; often it’s links that you’re included in your content or, believe it or not, dead links from people who’ve commented on your blog.

I go back and forth on this one but at this juncture I’m back in its corner… with some reservations. There’s a plugin called Broken Link Checker that can help you find all the broken links on your blog… even if some of them turn out not to actually be broken. What you need to do is activate it every once in a while, let it do its thing, eliminate or fix those links, then deactivate it. Otherwise, it’ll slow down your blog and potentially cause some issues with your other plugins, which was an issue I was having a few years ago.

If you’re running CommentLuv Premium, there’s also a CommentLuv Link Checker you should think about running every so often, since Broken Link Checker won’t remove those particular links.

By the way, a sidebar; Andy Bailey, the guy who developed CommentLuv Premium and the original, is physically unable to update the plugin any longer. If you have a problem and write a ticket, you’ll get an email telling you that and giving you some tips on what might be wrong. That’s the best you’re going to get from now on, but those tips turn out to be pretty good. I have a belief that this plugin won’t ever be updated again; that’s not as important as wishing the best for Andy, who’s a great guy.

25. Not promoting your blog in other places

This is the only issue I’m talking about that takes you directly off your blog. It’s also something I had to learn that I’ve now gotten way better about.

Your blog isn’t Field Of Dreams. Just because you write it doesn’t mean they’ll come, whoever “they’ll” is supposed to be. You need to market it, share it, publicize it… that’s pretty much it. Share buttons are nice, but if no one’s coming to your blog then no one’s going to be sharing any of it.

There’s all types of social media sites to share your content on. There’s all types of ways to get it done. You can automate or you can share when you’re ready. It doesn’t matter how you do it (well, it does, but it’s not as important as making sure you share), just figure it out and start doing it.

26. Not having images in your content

If you haven’t gotten the message that having an image within your blog post is a good idea you’re either new to the game or just don’t care. lol I don’t know the science behind it but visitors are drawn to images, and if it’s in your content they’ll give it a look. The new question is what to do if you can’t find images that match what you’re writing about; I addressed it by saying it’s more important to have an image than what it actually is, and I gave some examples of why I believe it.

27. Not checking your mobile speed

I just learned in August that when Google was talking about mobile friendly sites they were actually talking about mobile speed friendly sites. I went on a quest, which I wrote about in 3 posts in August, to correct that issue with my blogs and websites.

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Creative Commons License Kirill Kniazev via Compfight

Since that time I’ve been looking at the links of a lot of blogs I visit, curious to see how many other people have taken a look at it. I have to say it’s shocking what I’ve been seeing; some of y’all are not only in trouble but you’re going to be in a lot more trouble come January, when Google is going to make that another ranking point along with the javascript thing. If you take a look at the article I just linked to, there’s a link on it that’ll take you to a page where you can check your mobile speed and a few other things. If you see your site is getting killed and you’re on WordPress… well, I have 3 articles you can look at that might help you out. πŸ˜‰

28. Not being original

You know what? Being original doesn’t only mean you have to write about something that no one else has ever written about. What it means is being creative enough so that if you end up writing about something someone else has already touched upon, or something you’ve mentioned previously, you’re able to write about it in a different way so that it comes across as being unique.

I bashed someone on a post about writing something different because all she did was copy what others had written about and wrote almost word for word what I’d seen lots of time before. I was so aggravated that I refused to even link to the blog. lol

If you want to write like everyone else be unique… like everyone else! πŸ™‚

29. Sharing too much of your private business

As much as I work on convincing people that I’m an open book I’m really not. There’s lots of things you don’t know about me because, frankly, it’s none of your business. πŸ™‚ Something else I’ve done is protect the privacy of my wife as much as possible. Out of over 1,700 posts, I’ve mentioned her name 10 times over the years; that’s it.

When you bring people into your private circle like that, it should be a privilege for just a few people. Telling too much allows people to use it against you when they’re angry, make you feel bad for something you were hoping would show how honest you are, and once it’s out there you not only can’t control it but it never goes away… people like me will always know how to find that information if you try to take it down.

Be honest and upfront with your readers… but always hold back the most intimate stuff, especially where it concerns your family.

30. Not being yourself

Whew, it’s taken a while to get here hasn’t it? I hope it’s been worth the journey; at over 5,000 words if you’ve made it this far I want to thank you and commend you on your stamina.

This is my last and final point, and I’m not going to beat it into the ground. People hate phonies. If you’re phony you might think you’re getting away with something but you’re not. Unfortunately, it’s hard for most people to be something they’re not.

If you’re not rich, don’t write as if you are because people will see through it. Don’t give out false information to make yourself look more impressive; don’t tell lies about others. If you’re actually a jerk… well, try to learn not to be a jerk because people don’t like jerks any better than phonies. lol

I own up to a lot of things on this blog and my other blogs. I’m not rich. I sometimes have anger issues. I’m diabetic. I’m starting to feel really old, even though I walk almost 20K steps a day and my wife says I still act like a 12-year old (what is it wives have against 12-year olds anyway?).

I will always be authentic and talk in my own voice. I’ve been doing it too long to change now. I’ll also always be honest and open… but you’re not going to know everything about it… ever!

If you can live with that, then I can live with it from you. If I can live with it, others can live with it. Be yourself; it’s so much easier than being anyone else.

That’s it; that’s all I’ve got. I hope you liked this, I hope you’ve learned some things, I hope you comment whether you liked what I had to say or not. Please share this post; I don’t ask that often enough. I love you all (okay, no I don’t, but that’s what entertainers are supposed to say lol)! πŸ˜‰

(PS – This post turns out to be just under 5,800 words; sorry for that lol)
 

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59 comments on “30 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Blog

  • Wives don’t have anything against 12 year-olds; they have something against adults acting like they’re 12. LOL

    I think you’ve covered a lot of ground here. Thankfully, most of these mistakes are easy to avoid or correct. The hardest is staying on top of the technology (#21 through #24). It is was killed me.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    Reply
    • Thanks for answering that one for me Mitch; Then again, my mother used to say that to me when I was 12 lol The only one I find myself having to try to address is all those broken links from affiliate programs and such that I used over the early years; what a mess that is!

      Reply
  • Nothing that I’ll disagree with in your very comprehensive list. I think I’ve been pretty good about covering bases on most of these. I’m consistent in my posting, but I’ve tried to keep my post shorter–I still fail on this much of the time I think.

    Very helpful information well worth sharing. Easy to do on your site.

    Arlee Bird

    Reply
    • I know what you mean about shorter posts Arlee. I certainly didn’t start out trying to write such a lengthy post… it just kind of ended up that way. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty good with all of these as well, but I really need to know when to stop tinkering with stuff.

      Reply
  • Ugh, I hate having to sign up or sign in to comment and I’m not going to do it unless I truly adore you. And who posts with no pictures these days? That is NOT okay.

    Oh, I have to check those dead links on my site so I won’t get penalized. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
  • Rasheed Hooda says:

    My oh my, how do you do it? I get a headache if I get to 1500 words. Lol

    Anyway, great post as usual.I got a couple gems out of it. Now I gotta go back read the other articles. But more importantly, I gotta get my blog up again.

    Reply
    • Thanks Rasheed! lol WYou’re doing all that walking right now but once you’re done I’m sure you’ll have lots to write about. Actually, you might be able to compile a lot of what you’ve posted on FB and put it into blog form.

      Reply
  • I also hate when you sign up with your social site and they still ask you for your name and email address. What was the point?

    Also, there are quite a few free image sites available now, beyond creative commons. The only bad thing, though, you do see them on other sites you visit.

    Reply
    • I’d probably hate that if I was going to try signing up on any site with my social sites. lol I don’t mind the image thing as much because it’s not often I remember if I’ve seen an image or not unless it’s personal. At least it’s an image, right?

      Reply
  • One last thing. I hate those one sentence paragraphs, too. That makes reading the article much longer, which kinda sucks for a good read. I often miss good stuff because I move on something else.

    Reply
  • Hey Mitch, I’m pretty sure I haven’t broken any of the rules, except for maybe proof reading my posts, but then I have you to do that lol

    Then some may say I have too many ads,but there usually in the sidebars.

    Reply
    • Yeah… hey! I should be making you pay me to do that lol You’ve actually reduced the number of ads you had previously and, after working on the mobile friendly thing, changed up some of the rest. At least you killed that one popup you had for a short time; whew! lol

      Reply
  • I had a popup? Actually, I think I remember trialling one on my GiftB Blog. Funny thing is I don’t remember deleting it. Must have done it whilst being in a daze or something, πŸ˜€

    Reply
  • Akaahan Terungwa says:

    Hi Mitch,

    You pretty nailed it: too many mistakes in the blogosphere!

    Personally, I recently published my ’75 Blogging Mistakes You Should Avoid’ (on Kindle) and I pretty much touched most of the points you explained here, especially the first 12. This goes to show how sound advice is the same everywhere and constant.

    The sad bit? People still don’t take advice, neither do they learn when corrected πŸ™‚

    Do make the day great!

    Always,
    Akaahan Terungwa

    P.S.

    Keeping your private life private is key – and golden.Thanks for the kind reminder.

    Reply
    • Glad to do it Akaahan. Course, now I have to ask you why, instead of promoting that article & linking to the website it’s on you linked to what you did, which I deleted because it violated my comment policy by having a subdomain link? I’d have loved to read it, but since I don’t allow links in comments now I’ll never even know where to find it.

      Reply
  • Hi Mitch,

    My apologies: what I liked to the URL field of the comment space was my most recent entry, right on the root domain and not some silly sub-domain. Until now, I never knew it violated your terms (though I have read them again and again πŸ™‚ )

    As for the work in question, its an eBook actually, not a post.

    I wonder: would you deem it okay if I link to it directly in the comment box?

    As always,
    Akaahan Terungwa

    Reply
    • First, by subdomain I mean linking to an article off the website; since I have CommentLuv, which does it for you if you put a link to your blog, it’s not necessary, which is why I remove it.

      Second, I went to take a look at the site you link to above, and noticed when I clicked on “blog” it took me to that other site of yours with a totally different domain name; that I didn’t expect.

      Third, any comment that has a full link in it will go automatically to the spam filter. However, if you post a link but remove the “http:/www” part, it won’t leave the link clickable but the comment field will allow it. I did search through your blog above & couldn’t find the article you mentioned previously; do you have that on a different blog?

      Reply
  • Ugh!!! I hate those mistakes, that was the common mistakes bloggers might have. Sometimes you’ve to try to develop some writing routine and create a checklist for a set of your tasks. Blogging is not easy, it requires a time and a bunch of efforts. Thanks for sharing, at least I’ve learned something from this too.

    Reply
  • Mitch,

    I respect your decisions – though I have serious problems understanding exactly what you mean here:

    1. A sub domain is part of the root domain and not some offshoot arrangement. For instance, mitch.imjustsharingdotcom is a subdomain of the root. However, the link in question was a simple blog post and not a subdomain πŸ™‚

    2. Yes, that’s my style. Blog and freelance writing website different πŸ™‚

    3. No. The work is an eBook like I have hitherto explained. Take a look here: amazon(dot)com/START-BLOG-MAKE-MONEY-BLOGGING-ebook/dp/B01GZDXYTO

    Enjoy the day.

    Always,
    Akaahan Terungwa

    Reply
    • We’re talking two different things. In general you’re correct. For the GASP plug-in, a subdomain is any extra page link after the original link. That’s because many spammers use that technique, so I have its usage blocked on this blog.

      Reply
  • I agree with Rasheed,

    It becomes very hard to reach about 1500 words.

    But Mitch you are really great. You are always writing with more number of words.

    Give me some tips Mitch.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Aravinth, there are 63 articles on this blog on writing, 482 on blogging, and a tab to the right that says “categories”. All the tips you’ll ever need are contained already within those articles… including this one, if you noticed. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Hmm… wonder what the word count on this comment is? πŸ™‚

    1. People are evil: If you write short posts, they’ll complain and say that you should be writing long-form posts; if you write long posts, they’ll complain and whine, “tl;dr” and tell you your posts should be about 300 words. You’ll never please everybody. Better advice: Your post should be just as long as it needs to be.

    2. You lookin’ at me? You’re lookin’ at me, aren’t you? I’ve already explained this one at jahangiri.us/2013/mission-possible-resurrect-the-zombie-blog/ (bet you thought I’d never learn that trick, didn’t you?) C’mon over and lend a hand – before it becomes an infestation of zombies.

    This, though, is also a great reason to subscribe by mail to new posts; you don’t have to keep fruitlessly returning to a blog that’s not been updated, waiting for the blogger’s inspiration to strike.

    3. HOW is this different from writing books? Non-fiction books have headings, white space, illustrations, tables, and lists for a reason. Non-fiction books have chapters and paragraphs – those indents at the beginnings of paragraphs are also there for the same reason – to give readers’ eyes and brains a little break and some visual transition from one idea to the next.

    4. The Yoast plug-in has a readability checker that looks for sentences and paragraphs that are too long or too short and suggests changes. I highly recommend it. I don’t recommend slavishly following EVERY one of its suggestions if they don’t seem helpful, but every blogger would do well to at least run the checker, take a closer look at what Yoast thinks are trouble spots, and make a conscious decision to do or not do something about them.

    5. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…nonchalantly wanders off to check.

    6. I’ve got this.

    7. If you’re not going to respond, there are plug-ins that allow you to do readers the courtesy of closing off further discussion. It’s better than letting them waste their time and energy – or worse, letting them think you’ve died or something.

    8. Seems kind of insulting, doesn’t it? Ironically, I often fall afoul of your bouncer, here, but at least I know why – and I know YOU – and you always have a word with him and he lets me pass, eventually. I think it’s precious how many “little” bloggers – the ones, like me, who have maybe 20 legit readers in a day – think anyone even has time to bother to spam them to death. (I can tell when my Alexa ranking’s gone up to a respectable spot – there’s a predictable, corresponding uptick in spam. But for that, there’s CommentLuv Premium. A good gatekeeper is essential; it shouldn’t be a wholly manual process that takes a day or more, in most cases.

    9. Oh, @#$%! No, seriously – I agree that it has to fit. Gratuitous profanity that serves only as a sort of verbal punctuation (learn to use commas, FFS!!) is pointless and dilutes the power of a good, old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon cuss word. Language is power. Let’s not lose that.

    10. You should see my naughty words filter in CommentLuv. πŸ˜‰

    11. I’m pretty sure that there’s not a LOT of javascript on my blog, and most of it doesn’t apply to you. (I’m trying to be a good citizen of the world with that EU pop-up; I simply haven’t figured out how to geofence it so ONLY the EU folks see it.)

    Do I give good phone-blog, these days, Mitch?

    12. OTHER than the EU thingy, let me know if you EVER see a pop-up on my blog, because it probably means I’ve been hacked.

    13. Yeah, and the irony is that I don’t believe most of them are winning, here – they’re just playing Liar’s Poker and everyone’s buying their bluff and bluster. If I ever reach the cash-out threshold on Adsense, I’ll probably remove that, too.

    14. Guest posts on my blog are by invitation, only. They’re rare. Very rare. These are very specially chosen writers who have something interesting to say, and I have to remind them to drop their links in their bio blurb because they’re not writing for the backlinks. The backlinks are my gift to them (because on a blog that actually COSTS me money, it’s all the payment I can afford).

    15. This is what I call the “flaming hoops” – if I have to do math; fill in more than my name, email, and URL; HUNT for the little checkbox to affirm I’m human; decipher a blurry CAPTCHA; or get any error on my first attempt to leave a comment, I won’t share my thoughts with you again. (OK, again, YOU are an exception – but you keep telling me how to deal with your cranky bouncer and I keep forgetting so I’m not going to hold that against you.)

    16. Nope. That’s my readers’ job. I’ve provided the means for them to get notified; I’m not going to track them down and hound them to respond to replies. Now, if I KNOW them – and it’s out of character for them not to, I WILL do just that. As a courtesy to them – just as you have done for me, on occasion, because I know they’d respond if they knew there was something to respond TO. But I’m not going out of my way to do that for (or to) people I don’t know.

    17. So many blogs are just a tepid rehash of someone else’s posts. The information is incomplete because the blogger has no idea what they’re talking about. It can be fun to play cat-and-mouse with them until they fall into their own trap, but for the most part – well, there are MILLIONS of those out there, so why waste the time? Let me rephrase that: It was kind of fun to do while I was recuperating from surgery or a broken ankle and taking drugs. Most of the time, I have much better things to do.

    18. If you won’t link back to your own posts, why should anyone else?

    19. AMEN!! I think bloggers used to be a lot more generous about the backlinks before Google started scaring them into thinking that if they shared the precious “link juice” it would hurt their own rankings. Maybe Google should change the algorithm to boost their rankings if they share good content, regardless of some imagined PR from another site. I think by now Google itself should be smart enough to recognize what’s well written and what’s not – and to run its own version of a plagiarism checker with date published bias and downrank anything suspiciously similar to older content.

    20. Yoast (including the free version!) has a pretty decent Readability checker, too. It catches certain types of writing issues that may not be flagged by spelling and grammar checkers (which you should certainly run FIRST!).

    21. I stopped using third party comment systems after the one I tried ate my comments and refused to regurgitate them. That said, I highly recommend setting up a profile on every blasted one – if only for the backlinks in the bio blurb. πŸ˜‰ Take full advantage of the opportunities they afford you, but don’t mess up your own blog replacing the comments system if it’s simple and straightforward and doesn’t involve flaming hoops.

    22. We’ve definitely had this discussion; I’m not sure that one’s in the blogger’s control. I think that YOU have to turn off the “make me confirm it every time” option, in some (maybe all) cases. It is for YOUR security, not the blogger’s.

    23. This one’s a bit of a partnership. The blogger should, periodically, LOG OUT. Visit the site as if they were a new reader, and see if everything works as expected. That said, unless you’re a web developer, odds are you’re not going to manually check every feature in every browser known to man, on every device known to man, and from different continents. So, to all the READERS out there, if you fall into a black hole of WTF, please – PLEASE – notify the blogger that there is a potential problem. It COULD be on your end. But it’s worth giving them the heads-up, unless you hate them.

    24. Broken Link Checker mostly works, but sometimes throws false positives if it simply has trouble connecting on the last check. Before blowing away a GOOD link, a VALUABLE link, check it manually and ignore the plug-in if it works fine. Oh – you said that. OK.

    Wait – CL Premium has a link checker??

    Agreed, Andy is AWESOMESAUCE personified. It breaks my heart that he’s ill, and I will always wish him well. I’d like to think maybe he’s grooming someone to take over maintenance of CommentLuv for him, eventually. πŸ™ Or that he’ll release it to the Automattic folks, one day, as open source.

    25. I try. I do try. It takes a village.

    26. I’m doing better at this one, these days. Of course that ticks you off, because I can’t be bothered to “optimize” them all for speed.

    27. See 26. I’m a little tired of Google thinking it’s the boss of me. πŸ˜›

    28. Oh, you’ll never get me on this one. But I’m convinced there are people who are incapable of originality. Doesn’t mean they’re stupid, but I wonder why they think they’re cut out to run a blog. Why they WANT to. I read a while back that we often confuse “creativity” for “originality.” It’s true. Anyone can create something; not everyone can create something original.

    29. I am mostly an open book. I agree with you on this point; some bloggers act as though the 5 or ten regular readers they have – today – that they KNOW about – are the only readers they’ll ever have or write for. They forget that there are web crawlers and scrapers and random Internet surfers. They forget that what they hang out for all to see will stay on some server, somewhere, forEVER. They forget – or don’t know – that the Library of Congress bought Twitter’s archives. I honestly think that some people (including today’s big celebrities) do not know what “stage presence” is. That’s not your acting ability – it’s our ability to command the stage with poise and grace.

    30. I wouldn’t know how to be anyone else – at least not long term. Sure, I could act in a play, for an hour at a time, if I only had to get the audience to suspend their disbelief. But I have no talent for deception. Some people do, but most of us don’t – most of us would trip up and get caught. It’s just EASIER to be ourselves. But some people, unfortunately, don’t believe they’re good enough. They affect a persona, and when it comes tumbling down, they no longer know WHO they are.

    Reply
    • I can’t believe you responded to each and every point; what a champ! πŸ˜€ I’m not going to respond to your answers for all of these, but I will touch upon a couple…

      3. I go back and look at some of my older posts on this blog and my business blog and realize how hard they are to read because the paragraphs are too long for an online post. Yet, in books, both fiction and nonfiction, writers can get away with it and it doesn’t look bad. I can’t explain why it bothers me online but I know there used to be people who complained about it before I decided to change up the style a bit.

      10. Since I don’t say naughty words I also don’t type them. Therefore, they’re not in my spam filter… but I think GASP catches some of them anyway.

      11. You don’t have a lot of javascript on your blog based on what I saw before I allowed your site in full, and afterwards I’m still not being bothered by anything. Course, I’m already blocking that EU thing on my browser, so all else is good… until we get to #13 lol

      By the way, “good phone blog”?

      13. Some years ago Google said I couldn’t have Adsense on this blog, but I was good with it since I’d been thinking about removing it anyway. Of course, my Adblocker is blocking everyone’s Adsense, so… πŸ™‚

      16. Actually, on your site you have two subscribe boxes. I leave the first one checked as that one let’s me know when you respond to something. Your other box was the one that kept sending me the message saying I needed to subscribe to see comments; that’s the one I fussed about. That’s also the reason I say people need to check to see how their subscription services are working.

      21. Nope, I ain’t doing it. When I come across a comment system I don’t like I don’t leave comments, and often if I see those comment systems early I won’t even read the content. I’m mean like that lol

      22. Actually, on your blog it is… I think you have two plugins kind of doing the same thing…

      26. Did you even think about downloading WP Smush? It’ll do all the heavy lifting for you πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • 11) Yeah, “phone blog.” You keep giving me a hard time about the mobile-friendliness or lack thereof… just checking to see if your phone was happy with my blog now.

    16) I have three, actually. Two for comments: one from CL, the other from WordPress. The WP one requires you to confirm it, and I THINK you can choose a setting in your WordPress.com account that says “Don’t make me keep confirming this stuff,” but I’m not sure that works anymore because I could swear I’d done that, and it STILL makes me confirm.

    WP Smush? No… and I’m as wary of image mungers as you are of bad comments systems. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • First, I hadn’t thought about Matt Cutts in a long while; is he gone? Second, I thought I’d corrected that error with CommentLuv but apparently I went & added a plugin I’d removed that conflicts with it. All is good once again; thanks for the alert.

      Reply
  • Holly Jahangiri says:

    So, apparently that “conflicting plug-in” is the one you were using to give you threaded comments? (You know, threaded comments is now a standard option in WordPress, right?)

    Oh, goody – MY chance to give YOU two year old “breaking news” – Matt Cutts has been gone since 2014, apparently. There was a time we’d have known these things, Mitch, back when we truly thought they mattered.

    But like I said, “Google’s not the boss of me.” πŸ™‚ I just found out, myself, today.

    Reply
    • No, the threaded comments plugin had already been removed because it was interfering with other plugins. Also, you notice that I still don’t have threaded comments; for some reason it’s not working on any of my blogs without the plugin; sigh…

      As for Cutts… I just went to his blog and it seems he just left them in June… temporarily… mattcutts.com/blog/heading-to-usds/

      Reply
  • That’s a bit odd – see //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Cutts

    P.S. Your bouncer and I are giving each other the side-eye. We will NEVER get along. Now he thinks I read and type too fast. @#$% jerk… Not you, of course. The bouncer.

    You realize, I hope, that I’m just typing all this because he told me to slow down. So I’m filing time, typing utter nonsense (I was done with this comment in the first two lines) just so I can sidle past the evil gatekeeper who seems to think novelists and technical writers are evil wizards because we have mad keyboarding skillz. Well, we ARE. ::glares at Mitch’s blog bouncer:: We ARE.
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Mission Possible! Resurrect the Zombie BlogMy Profile

    Reply
  • Holly Jahangiri says:

    There’s more to it than that.

    //searchengineland.com/will-matt-cutts-return-extends-leave-207159

    //www.quora.com/Why-did-Matt-Cutts-leave-Google-for-the-USDS

    //www.quora.com/session/Matt-Cutts/1

    Reply
  • Dhruv Tiwari says:

    It is a huge post mitch,
    I really like it, because i was doing some mistakes, but Now I know that these are mistakes and i need to change it.
    Thanks
    Cheers!!

    Reply
  • Darrell Harris says:

    Hello Mitch
    Great post ! Took me an hour and a half to read. As usual it was very insightful and interesting but most importantly it was genuine. I definitely learned a couple things in fact I’m going to check all the links on my blogs. i’M in agreement with you as far as # 15 people making it hard to leave a comment on their blog. Hey Mitch that was a super value-packed post thanks for sharing it man it’s appreciated.

    Reply
    • That long! lol Sorry about that Darrell. I’m glad you got some things out of it though; that makes me feel better.

      As for bad links… well, I’ll have another post coming up Monday on that topic… sort of… πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Wow Mitch,

    Shaking my head up and down through all points. Especially pop-ups…well you and I are on the same page with that one. I remember the post you did about them lol. I agree….If I can’t get to read something without jumping through hoops, I’m outta there!

    Profanity … Adjectives I can do without. If I see something here and there, I don’t mind at all. But some blogs are full of them and it is worse than the old SEO blog posts where nothing makes any sense.

    There is one thing here I’m guilty of and I do need to make the time to get to it. That is checking my broken links. Every time I think of it, nothing gets done. Thanks for the reminder. I’m taking this one seriously.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Workspace Design For BloggersMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Donna. Thing about those broken links is that it’s now something I’m going to have to address big time, which I’ll be talking about in tomorrow’s blog post. Had to do it but I’ve created a bunch more work for myself it seems…

      Reply
    • Thanks Ravi. These days more people are using social share buttons, which is a good thing, but we all need to make sure those buttons let those sharing it share with others just whose content they’re sharing. Wow, that’s a strangely confusing looking sentence! lol

      Reply
  • Hey Mitch,

    I’m with you on these!

    Especially #9 and #13. I don’t mind a curse word here and there, but when it’s consistent on every other sentence, then I question where the blogger has a fixed vocabulary or are they just putting up a front. After a while it gets irritating. I’m not the best writer, but I do seek to improve and expand my diction.

    As far as ads on your blog, I don’t mind that either as long as it doesn’t take away from the content and the valuable message it’s trying to convey. But as you said, I don’t like it when it becomes a big commercial than an actual blog. It takes away from the essence and the blogger might as well focus more of their energy on paid advertising.

    Great list Mitch! Have a great week ahead!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How Can Solopreneurs Promote Their New Blog Posts?My Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Sherm. Yeah, too many things that get in the way of people consuming your content doesn’t help anyone in the long run. It’s why I went on my javascript rampage some posts ago, because enough is too much. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Hi Mitch,

    Wonderful post. I enjoyed so much reading it. I agree with you on so many things, especially on how bloggers make commenting so complicated on their site. It’s bad enough that I have to add an alphanumeric code before leaving a comment, but I hate it when I have to select images with trees or street signs.

    Another mistake that I don’t think you mentioned it, is when bloggers don’t include a vertical image that I can pin. Pinterest is such a huge traffic source with over 100 million users.

    Just by including a brandable image with your headline and blog’s URL, you can get a lot more visitors.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Minuca
    Minuca Elena recently posted…Avoid These 10 Pinterest Myths To Get Traffic To Your WebsiteMy Profile

    Reply
    • Glad to see you here Minuca. I couldn’t add anything about Pinterest because I don’t know anything about it. lol A few years ago I thought it looked nice, but I knew I’d have nothing I’d ever use it for so I didn’t do any real research on it. I did read your article on it and I found it interesting, but I still know I’ll never go there, and I’m not sure I write anything that anyone would ever want to put there.

      Reply
  • Valerie Garner says:

    These are such great suggestions and ideas! I’m going to do some research about the mobile speed issue, thanks for the head’s up on that.

    Lots of wives think their husbands have “12 year old” moments. You don’t sound like you have that many:)

    Seriously, great post!

    Reply
    • That’s because I don’t talk about all those 12-year old moments online. lol Just today I learned that guinea pigs make noise; I missed out on so much. πŸ™‚ I hope the ideas help you with your blog if you need to look into any of them; good luck.

      Reply

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