31 Big Mistakes People Make Blogging And In Social Media

Y’all know that I’m an opinionated guy. Well, this isn’t going to dissuade you from that belief even one bit.

In retrospect, buying something with this much
wonderfulness in it was a mistake…

There are things I see all the time as it relates to both blogging and social media, two things I’m pretty passionate about, that irk the heck out of me. I’ve written a couple of specific posts about things that irk me, one on my buddy Ileane’s blog and once here.

This time around I figured I’d put a lot of these things together on one blog post. I’m giving you 31 things that I believe people are messing up on both with their blogging and on social media in general. As it pertains to social media, I’m not calling out one particular site over another initially. I might use a site to help explain what I mean, but don’t think that I’m only talking about that one site.

What’s my purpose here? First, to give folk some things to think about if they hope to be successful in either of these areas. Second, to show you, as I tried to do with my last post, that you can touch upon a subject more than once and still find a new way to talk about it. After all, none of these topics are going to be new to those who read this blog from time to time, or all the time. You’ll see what I mean as I go through them… in no particular order for the most part.


Not Responding To Blog Comments

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing blogs with comments and no one ever responding to them. You know, we’re all busy, but why have a blog if you’re not going to respond to those who take time out of their day to comment? Go ahead and be Seth Godin; see how that works for you (since you’re not him).

Not Verifying Whether People Get Emails Telling Them Their Comments Have Been Responded To

I comment on lots of blogs. I don’t get many emails telling me that the person has responded though, and that’s problematic. I’ve written about a process folks should partake in to see if it’s working and if not, figure out a way to get it done (see, they have these things called plugins that might offer some help…).


Ben Rogers via Compfight

Not Linking To Previous Articles On Your Blog

This helps both you and those who visit your blog. The longer you can keep people on your blog by giving them other things that are related to your article that they can look at, the better your blog will rank on search engines because it makes you look like an authority. If people are constantly visiting your blog, reading one post and leaving it looks to them as though your stuff might not be all that compelling. For instance, I’ve written other rant posts about blogging and social media in the past that I’m linking to now.

Never Linking To Blogs Or Articles Outside Of Your Blog

Y’all saw what I did above in linking to Ileane’s blog, even though that was a guest post I wrote there? I often link to other blogs, promoting them while enhancing my own article at the same time. On my other blogs, if I’m referencing something that’s going on at the time I’ll link to those stories, and sometimes I even do that here. Sharing other people’s stuff never hurts you, especially if you tell them about it later on.

Not Writing Accurate Titles

My last post was about misleading titles. Previous to that, I wrote about the topic of creating titles and whether or not they had to be really strong or just accurate. By that, I mean whether the title will accurately describe what the article is about. Sometimes a title just might be written in the style of literature, where it applies to a specific point but might not actually be listed in the article. To me, that works pretty well also.

Not Writing Something At Least Once Every Couple Of Months

This one is dicey and not dicey at the same time. I believe people need to write something at least once a week to be truly effective. Yet, the deal I have with my accountant has me writing 2 articles a month for her, and her site is the highest ranked accounting site in the Syracuse NY area because she’s the only one who has new stuff showing up on a consistent basis.

Blogging success can be attributed to multiple things. Blogging failure can also be attributed to many things, but the worst is not having some kind of consistency in putting new articles on it. I’ve often said that I know there are a lot of people who really don’t like writing, yet create blogs because they’ve heard it’s good for business, which it is.

If you’re one of those people then try writing at least one article every couple of months. I mean, six articles a year are better than none; dead blogs make you seem like a quitter, which is a bad thing for people to think about you if your blog is associated with your business.

Uno junto a Cuadrado (2)

Jose Luis Garcia via Compfight

Popups; Need I Say More?

I probably do since I’m sure that the entire world hasn’t read my latest article about my hatred for popups. So, I’ll say that it’s not all popups, just those that show before I’ve had a chance to even look at your article. Trust me; even if people aren’t telling you they don’t like it, they don’t… so stop it!

Not Writing Enough When You’re Doing Tutorials

I really hate this. I do a lot of research in trying to get things right. However, I come across a lot of information that’s so incomplete that I end up having to read 3 or 4 articles to finally figure out how to make something work. If you’re going to help people help them. Don’t skip steps that you think are unnecessary to tell people; trust me, there’s always going to be someone who’s not as technically savvy as you are who’s going to need that information. In my last tutorial article I made sure to cover everything that others have left out in the past.

Making Sure You’re Not Repeating Yourself Just To Write Long Posts

There are a lot of blog writing suggestions these days telling people that they should be writing long posts. This one’s going to be a long post, but the one thing I can guarantee is that I’m not going to be constantly repeating myself just to make sure it’s long. I see that often when people end up doing what they did in high school, either throwing in extra words or saying the same thing every so many paragraphs to try to reach those magic word counts.

There are times when blog length is important, and other times when it’s not. I live by the Mozart theory; write as many words as are necessary, then move on.

Me Jess Shelby

Me, Jess, Shelby

Images Within Your Blog Posts

I doubted this one for years but finally started coming around in 2011. If your entire post is text it seems to put people off for some reason. Having an image somewhere on the post seems to keep people’s attention; a psychological thing I suppose. With a long post, more images seem appropriate, like in this post.

The thing about images is that you’ll be told that the image should definitely match the content. Trust me, there aren’t a lot of images that specifically match the topic “blogging”. So sometimes you have to be really creative in finding images. One trick is that pretty images will always make people feel good even if they don’t match the content; yup, another trick of psychology.

Word of warning on this one though. Don’t go to Google Images and start snatching pictures from there. You might violate copyright, and if it’s Getty Images… well, you just don’t want to get that letter from them, ever! For my blogs I use the Compfight plugin to find images that I can legally us or my own images. There are also multiple sites that offer free images you can use for your blogs.

Not Having An Avatar/Gravatar

For all of my blogs, if a comment comes in without an avatar it automatically goes to spam. This is probably the easiest way to tell spam comments from others, although it’s not cast in stone. If you’re actually going to be commenting on blogs as a strategy or because you love doing it (like I do), it helps with branding to have an image that goes along with your email address (or multiple email addresses). I recommend Gravatar, which is owned by WordPress, because it’s the easiest, though there are other places that supposedly allow you to set something up.

Not Commenting On Other Blogs

What are you, selfish? You think life is only about you? Get out there, read other blogs, and comment on some of them. Actually, my own tests over the years have shown that I get more traffic from blog commenting than anything else I do, whether it’s from the bloggers whose blogs I’ve commented on or someone else seeing what I’ve said and deciding to come check me out (especially those blogs that use CommentLuv).

2016 - Mexico - Cuernavaca - Hot off the Press

Ted McGrath via Compfight

Not Actually Reading The Content

I had this conversation with a friend of mine where she said that she usually reads the first paragraph and knows what a blog post is about. If you go back and look at my first paragraph, which only had two sentences, would you really know what this post is about?

I’m not spending all this time writing this blog post for people to only read the first paragraph and comment on that, or even the title. Trust me, I know when that’s what a comment is, and it’s going to be deleted each and every time. Now, I know that everyone doesn’t speed read like I do, but if you’re not really getting anything out of the post then don’t bother leaving a comment and being thought of as a noob.

By the way, if you’re not reading my entire article… why not?!?!? :-O lol

Being A Boring Writer/Be Original

I covered part of this in my last article, where I called out the writer for basically saying the same exact thing, in the same exact words, as hundreds of people before her. I don’t care who you are, that’s not only shows a lack of creativity, but it’s boring as sin.

You know what livens up a post? Something called “personality“. Unless you’re writing a doctoral thesis, nothing you write has to be so pure that it’s devoid of personality. Give something of yourself when you write your content.

Hard To Read Captcha

Man, I hate captcha with a passion! Even so, every once in a while I feel compelled to leave a comment on a blog using it. My problem is that those things are made to intentionally be hard to read, and almost half the time I’ve typed something wrong because I can’t really see it, even after doing a refresh before putting anything in.

Why are you using captcha anyway? I’ve noticed that most people using it still moderate comments. If you’re going to send everyone to moderation in the first place then having captcha is redundant. Neither of these are all that visitor friendly.

Copying Other People’s Content

Plagiarism, scraping, taking other people’s content and barely rewriting it… y’all should be ashamed of yourself if you’re doing this. That’s actually part of my gripe two spots above with those articles where people seem to just be copying what someone else has said without trying to be original in any way. If you’re going to copy content, copy your own from a year ago and rewrite it so that it feels fresh to your readers.

Social Media


Marketing All The Time

Me-me-me-me-me; I’ve talked enough about me so tell me more about me!

Goodness, this grates my nerves, and I drop anyone who seems to be doing nothing but this. I see it mainly on Twitter where people have posts about themselves every 3 or 4 minutes throughout the entire day. If others are sharing your stuff that’s one thing, but if it’s you and it’s the only thing you can do… please stop!

Here’s my other thing. Not every single thing you do on social media has to be related to your business. Too many people are ruining Instagram and all the other social media platforms by posting business stuff all the time, or deciding that all those platforms are only for business. Folks, if all you’re putting on your Instagram page are quotes and products, we’re not impressed (unless you’re a restaurant showing your wares; I’ll forgive you that one lol). Actually, businesses I would expect to do that, but if you’re more of a personal brand with a business, then show people that your brand has a human element every once in a while.

Not Sharing Any Of Your Own Content

This is tantamount to sin! Okay, maybe that’s bit strong. lol I check every person’s personal pages whenever they want to connect with me. I check to see what they’re putting out. If they never share anything of their own, then I can’t get to know them so why bother with them? Above I said I don’t like when people are marketing 24/7. Here I’m saying that if you have nothing personal (or your business) to share, then you’re not interesting enough to connect with.

Not Sharing The Content Of Others

This relates well to the other two. I’ve talked about how I market myself on Twitter. I share some of my stuff, then I share other things from others that I find interesting. I like sharing the content of others because I’m interested in a lot of things.

What also happens is if you share the names of the people who either shared it originally or who actually wrote it (like in articles on sites like Huffington Post) and they see their names, they’ll share those posts with the people they’re connected to and it helps to spread your name and reputation to people you’d have never known about. People love being flattered when you show that you appreciated something they created; trust me on this one (for instance, please share this post with your networks as much as possible and see how people respond to you lol). πŸ™‚

Never Interacting With Others

Are you scared to talk to people? If so, why are you on social media?

I talk to people all the time; I’m my own brand after all, and part of what I hope to do long term involves other people. So I talk to people either by messaging them privately (like on LinkedIn, which is set up to be like that) or in the open (like on Twitter).

There are some people who never respond to me however. If I notice that more than a few times, I drop them because obviously they’re not interested in talking to me or anyone else. It used to be something I actively researched before connecting with people but I realized that with as much stuff as there is on social media that was a daunting task every once in a while.

If someone reaches out to you, what can it hurt to respond back to them… unless they’re being mean? You might do business with them, or even make an online friend; that’s pretty sweet if you ask me.

By the way, no matter where you are or who you are, DON’T AUTO-DM; I hate it, others hate it… don’t do it!

Auto-Cross Sharing Your Stuff Too Much

Whenever I have a new post on this blog and my main business blog, it also posts on LinkedIn; that’s it though. If it’s not new and I’m sharing it, I refuse to set it up to auto-post in other places. There are folk who do that, and others who will post a line or link and have it go elsewhere at the same time.

The issue? Why are you posting a link on Twitter to send me to Facebook or Google Plus that says the same exact thing? For that matter, why aren’t you sending me to your blog or website more often instead? Unless you have a specific reason for doing it (like posting a link to send someone to LinkedIn because that’s where the article is), please stop doing this. Images might be a different animal I realize, but other than that it’s bothersome.

Not Doing Either Video Or Podcasts

Out of everything I’ve talked about up to this point, this is the one that I consider the least of your issues, but one that could be helping you greatly. The thing with videos is that it humanizes you and helps you get your point across, and most of the time people can just listen to them if they’re not predisposed to watch. With podcasts, if you create them properly they can not only listen but they can download the files and possibly take them on the road or listen to them at a later time.

Not only that, but you can embed each of these within your blog so that people can see a different side of you and highlight the post somehow. Kind of like this…


Not Setting Up Your Profiles Correctly

On every social media platform I’m on, I come across people who don’t complete their profiles properly. Some don’t even use capital letters for their name; of all things!

If you’re looking to be anonymous, then do whatever you want to. If you’re looking to be known, whether for business, as a personality, or just because you’re a nice person, then set your profile up to let people know the type of person you are. A nice picture or business image, a link to your website or blog, a few words about you or your business is a nice start. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can do a heck of a lot; check mine out to see what you can do (unfortunately, if you’re not on LinkedIn already you won’t get to see all the stuff I’ve done; if you’re in business or work for someone else, you need to be on LinkedIn).

Not Culling Your List From Time To Time

Culling your list means removing people from your list of connections. This one has a twofold benefit. One, let’s face the fact that sometimes you’re connected to people who you really don’t want to bother with. Two, sometimes you’re connected to people you don’t even know. This happens a lot when we first join social media platforms and are looking to grow our channels.

About a month ago I was talking to someone who’d asked me for some advice about improving his online presence. I told him he needed to clean up his Facebook page because he was connected with a lot of fake accounts that made him look bad. Not only that, but he allowed these fake accounts to post stuff on his page and he just ignored it.

A couple of weeks ago I went into my LinkedIn profile and removed nearly 100 people. Oddly enough, LinkedIn started ranking my page higher when compared to the people I was still connected to. I’m now matched up better with people who do what I do as well as local people; hopefully it’ll work better for me as it regards business at some point.

Protecting Some Of Your Privacy, Especially Your Family

Our buddy Brian once asked me to write an article talking about the importance of protecting our family members on social media, especially when they haven’t asked to be there. I have rarely mentioned my wife’s name on this blog, and I share few pictures of her and I. When I share pictures with others here, I almost never mention their names so no one knows who they are. The same is for both Facebook (where I’ve never mentioned her name, though others do) and Twitter.

I tell a lot about myself in my blogging and on social media. You’ve probably seen how I begin some of my posts with a story of something that’s happened in my life that leads to the point of the article. But I don’t tell everything… and I never will.

I don’t castigate anyone who tells everything about themselves, but there are two inherent dangers there. One, those things can be exploited and used against you. Two, it can lead to stalkers and people looking for even more personal information on you that puts you and family in danger.

Reacting To Negative Things Before Thinking About It

This is a tough political season to hold my tongue on, but I’ve been much better than I would have been 8 years ago. At least that’s only politics; there are other things that make me pretty angry, and I know I’m not alone on this one.

The thing is that if our responses aren’t measured, even when we’re angry, we could be alienating people we might actually want to work or communicate with. There are a number of people I won’t allow in my life because of things they were saying about Barack Obama on Twitter 8 years ago that I felt were racist and intolerant. There are people on Facebook who will comment on articles other people write just to push their agenda, forgetting that other business people are seeing that stuff and judging them on it.

Remember, freedom of speech isn’t really free; it always comes with consequences. If you’re willing to live with them then go for it. But you’ll probably find that you’ll get what you weren’t expecting… and you won’t like it.

Not Protecting Your Business Or Brand By Saying Stupid Things

It turns out that people don’t have to be angry to say stupid things. One lady years ago lost nearly half her subscribers on YouTube by saying something stupid about people on Medicaid. On here some weeks ago I told the story about a guy who did videos on his blog using a lot of bad language, only to have one of his clients find it and share some of it with many of his other clients; he lost lots of money and had to shut down his blog and scramble to restore his business (which I never found out if it was able to do or not).

I’m not saying anyone should go out of their way to not be or say something controversial; sometimes it’s necessary to do so. What I’m saying is that if you’re going to take on subjects that might bother someone, make sure you choose your words and message carefully and properly. You don’t want to be politically correct? Well… just remember that freedom of speech thing I said previously.

Not Making Sure What You’re Reading Or Sharing Is Accurate

Two weeks ago someone on Facebook posted a link saying that Davy Jones of the Monkees had died. And he had… in 2012! I see lots of things like this on social media platforms that a quick internet search would clarify, but most people aren’t in the mood to do it. Don’t be that person. πŸ™‚

Protecting Your Brand

This is another twofold point. The first ties in with the point above about not being stupid. The second involves when people say things either about you or your business and you don’t address them, either by trying to fix the issues or fighting for your reputation.

I often see where people recommend that you ignore negative things said about you or your business. I think it depends on the who, what and where. If someone’s griping about you because they just don’t like you, that’s one thing. If someone’s lying about your proficiency at something, or your business, that’s another.

Don’t ever run from an attack if it’s not true. If it is, then fix it, no matter what it takes. You’ll not only show that you have integrity, but that you have guts and belief in yourself and your business.

Visit by Emma Bennison

Australian Embassy Jakarta via Compfight

Standing Up For Others

Every once in a while you have to be willing to stand up for someone or a group when it’s the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t involve you. I’m a big diversity guy; it’s one of the things I’ve talked about in my speaking engagements. So when I wrote a post based on some of the behavior I see aimed at women on social media, I felt that even though it didn’t personally affect me as a man that it affected me as a person and that something had to be said. There’s a quote that it seems no one is sure who really said it first, but it goes like this: “If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”

Being Real And Truthful

I once wrote an article about phony people and how they make me uncomfortable. We all deal with people like that, and I don’t know a single person who likes it. Yet, I find a lot of those same people being phonies when it comes to things about themselves and how they interact with other people.

I say this all the time; unless you’re a jerk and know it, try being your authentic self and try telling the truth instead of lying all the time. Once you’ve been discovered in a lie, especially in business (and leadership, one of my other major topics), you never get another chance to turn things around. Well, you might, but no one will ever fully trust you again.

Let me say this as a motivational statement: There’s nothing wrong with you except when you think about yourself negatively.” We tend to beat ourselves up more than others beat us up. This leads to our lack of authenticity online. Don’t give it all away; protect your privacy when you need to. However, if you’re going to be online, be real and stop trying to be something you’re not, or that you can’t live up to.

Not Marketing Something At Least Once A Day

Whenever I remember to write in my Franklin Planner on at least a monthly basis, this is always the last thing I write on the main page at the beginning of the month. If you have products, or you offer services, you have to try to let people know. I’m actually bad at this one I’ll admit, and I’m working on becoming better. Sure, I share my articles and videos, but I don’t talk about my products or services all that often… not even on my blogs!

So, before you go, look over there to the left and see some of the products I’ve created, and the one product that’s a free download that I didn’t create, but I’m in it. Then go back to your space, your blog or website, and if you have products or services either put then on a sidebar or on an About page. Then somewhere, Twitter, Facebook, wherever, post a link or write something about you. Keep it short to start; don’t overwhelm people. You never know who might be listening or watching.

Whew; that’s it, and I have actually thoughts of more things I could have added. Another time maybe. Please read, comment, and share; see, that’s something I didn’t mention we all should do. πŸ˜‰

77 thoughts on “31 Big Mistakes People Make Blogging And In Social Media”

  1. Hey Mitch,

    Thanks for sharing this list. I agree with you on the following mistakes.

    1. Not commenting on other people’s blogs. I follow a blogger who thinks comments are the main currency of her site and always ask people to leave them. However, she said that she rarely leaves them on her site because she’s too busy. Really???

    2. Copying other people’s work. I’ve had my content stolen a couple times, including this past week. This is NOT okay.

    3. Not sharing your own content. I’m guilty of this. I enjoy promoting others and have to do better to promote my stuff.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marcie. I’m with you, it’s incredible how many people fail on some of the most common things. As for the marketing piece, you & I probably need to keep each other accountable. πŸ™‚

  2. Okay, I’m going to confess right here. I didn’t finish reading the post.

    Why? because you irked my chain and I can’t focus, so let me get this off Mt chest, and maybe I’ll go back and finish after I’ve cooled off.

    So what blew my top? Something I’ve mentioned to you before. Look, it’s very simple when you follow the rules of grammer. It’s “ya’ll” not “y’all.”

    It’s “ya all” and you’re dropping the A in all and replacing it with an apostrophe. You don’t drop a lettet and put an apostrophe, you put and apostropheand then drop letter (s).

    Geez, you’d think someone with your intelligence and knowledge about things would know that. Is it really too much to ask?

    1. LOL! Rasheed, I was born in Texas, my mother was from Louisiana as was pretty much her entire family. I’ve been southern way longer than you, even with the New York in me. We spell it y’all, we don’t say “ya’ll”, which is almost like 2 words if pronounced like you want it to be, so I’m sticking with my spelling.

      BTW, Webster’s has it as y’all, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/y'all; Urban Dictionary has it as y’all, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/y'all; Grammarist has it as y’all, http://grammarist.com/usage/yall/. And these folks, who did a history of the term, have it as y’all, http://dialectblog.com/2011/02/15/the-remarkable-history-of-yall/. Sorry you lose… big time! πŸ˜‰

  3. Okay, I concur. You learn something new after 42 years.

    I wanted to add a photo from the ULTIMATE authority, but it says I got too many links when I put in the Google link.

    1. Yeah, I have my settings to not allow full links in comments. However, if you leave off the “http:// part I think it’ll go through… but no photos unfortunately…

  4. Nope, no can do.

    However, I sent you the link via email, and maybe you can share it and make more fun of my know-it-all attitude. lol

  5. Wow! That’s why I stopped blogging. LOL

    Seriously, though, if bloggers turned this into a checklist, I’m sure the world would be a better place.

    Thanks for putting that all together.



    p.s. Apropos of absolutely nothing, my CommentLuv headline seems conveniently portentous…

    1. Man, if people would just turn it into a checklist, I’d be a happier guy. lol Then they can move to the social media piece and send me into ecstasy. πŸ™‚

      I’ve got to figure out why your comments don’t show up immediately because it seems to strip CommentLuv from you, so I’m not sure which post you were addressing; sigh…

  6. Mitch, this blog post helped me out a lot as I am very new to all of this. I gotta get out more videos too. But my can you write well. Thanks for the tips here. I can come back when I need to find which I need to do.

  7. Sorry, Rasheed, but no. It’s y’all. As in “you all.” The second person plural of y’all is “all y’all.”

  8. Giving allowance to the fact that my blog is personal and just a few of the mistakes you mention do not apply there, I think that I pass with quite high marks. What do you think?

  9. That’s a really long list. I admit that I did some of them. But having a checklist is not a bad idea, if you’ll think about it. Especially for newbies (me). Having one will definitely help and overtime, will become part of the behavior working on blogs.

    Thank you Mitch for putting it up. I’ll make a checklist out of it if you don’t mind.

    1. Glad to do it Marlon. I’d never thought of it as a checklist but in essence I guess that’s what it ends up being. Course, now I’ve got to deal with Holly picking on me… but I can live with that. lol

      1. We cannot have all the positives in the blogosphere, that’s the way things are. But it’s a good way of picking peoples brain about a certain topic. I like your approach on dealing with it though.

  10. That it was, and isn’t there a certain irony in admitting you’ve combined some older posts to make it one, then saying “Making Sure You’re Not Repeating Yourself Just To Write Long Posts” and suggesting bloggers link to their other posts?

    1. Actually, no, for multiple reasons:

      1 – I didn’t combine any older posts to create this one; what I did was take something I talked about before, changed it up, linked back to previous posts where I went into more detail and then linked to the article I wrote last week where I said that it’s okay to talk about subjects people have talked about before, but just be original about it.

      2 – There was no intention for this to be a long post. I actually thought it might come in just over a thousand words when I put the list together. In retrospect I should have known myself better, but since I didn’t plan for it to be long, no irony there.

      3 – Maybe my assumption that the majority of people would understand that in telling folks not to repeat themselves while writing a long post that they’d know I meant “in the same post” was me overestimating intellect… nah!

      4 – I stick my tongue out at you! πŸ˜› lol

  11. Yeah, there you go. I was waiting for the return volley of snark and ALMOST missed it, but you squeaked in a little πŸ˜› right there at the end, so. .. πŸ˜› back atcha. Y’all.

  12. Hi Mitch,

    Great video and post! Hey, the stubble works for you, and the short cut too πŸ˜‰

    Excellent breakdown on all things kinda batty blogging and social-wise. The energy behind the acts mean everything.

    As with the real-ness, I plead guilty to trying to be like others. I mean, my blog screams it. Boring old Biddulph…..haha!

    Engagement is key. Cool thing happens too; when you promote other folks and engage and make friends, people will actually buy your stuff, and follow your calls, because they love ya. Engage, and share your personality. Like-minded folks will love you for it.

    Thanks for the smart share!


    1. Thanks Ryan. I tell you, my longest post ever, unplanned, yet it seems I had enough to share… and I thought of more once I was done! lol My overall issue is that it’s called social media, yet there’s not much social about it. And since I tend to believe that blogging was really the first social media, it fits the pattern of wanting people to interact with each other more, and then make sure their efforts are being seen. If you’re doing all this for pleasure it’s important, but if there’s even the smallest intention of doing it for business it’s imperative!

  13. Hi Mitch,
    This was a fun post to read. I could just imagine you saying all of these things in one of your videos. I hear your voice loud and clear!
    I was in a Blab the other day and Jim Collison from Ask The Podcast Coach casually mentioned how they send out automated DM’s. They have some resources on their site (actually it is the Gallup website – he works from them in his day job). He doesn’t see anything wrong with sending a “helpful” DM to new followers and he thought it was different from all the DM’s everyone complains about all the time. I honestly thought he was very brave for admitting to it. But on the other hand – does it make a difference if the DM is coming from a well known company or brand versus a blogger you just met?

    Thanks for the shout out and for the laughs!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Ileane. You know, every one of these people thinks they can justify it by saying “I’m only trying to be helpful”; none of us thinks it’s helpful, and Brian even stopped looking at DM’s, probably deleted the column, because he was tired of dealing with them. Me… I just immediately stop following those folks because it’s obvious they didn’t look at my profile first.

      Yeah, I tend to fuss a lot, but only in the sense of trying to be helpful. And look, no popups, no DMs… now that’s helpful! πŸ™‚

  14. And you haven’t yet, even though you have taken a page from my book and now expect your commenters to write a small novel to prove their literacy to the SpamBouncer.

    Which, of course, is rarely a problem for ME…

    1. If by small novel you mean 10 words (at least I think I have it set to 10 words) then yes. I mean really, if a person can’t come up with 10 words then what’s the point? Well, I mean, at least the first time around; does it do that if you reply to a reply?

  15. I’ve taken to replying; it’s like my replies to the “Don’t reply all just to say ‘don’t reply all'” threads. Humor, snark, sarcasm… if they reply like normal people (that is, don’t ignore me or go “huh?” or block me first), I won’t block them for being silly and sending ONE auto-DM. ONE. After that, it’s ridicule party time on Twitter! Yay!! (Well, maybe not – I don’t always have time to host a party there; I may just block them.)

    1. I don’t take the time to block them unless I didn’t connect to them & they sent me a DM. Everyone else I just immediately unfollow and move on with life. I mean really, I ask them not to do it in my profile; they can’t say they didn’t know unless they just added me without checking me out… which people shouldn’t be doing (because there’s people like me who won’t like it lol).

  16. Yes it does. And don’t you say “What was the point?” to me – I thought “And you haven’t yet” was an adequate and thoughtful reply, especially since, when I was a kid, the worst thing my parents could do was to give my that sad, shoulder-sagging sigh and say, “We’re disappointed in you.”

    I didn’t want you having any doubts; silence creates doubts in some. And didn’t you mention failure to respond to a reply was one of your pet peeves? I wouldn’t want to disappoint YOU, either.

    But perhaps I should have let you THINK you had disappointed me! There’s some wicked glee in keeping you on your toes, I suppose.


  17. You, opinionated? πŸ˜€

    In regards to your point about images. Yes it helps to break up your post but more importantly I believe that images with alt tags that include your keywords are also very important for your SEO.

    I don’t have a problem with finding images as I use a tool to create my own.

  18. It doesn’t look like you’re replying to replies via Reply… if that makes any sense. lol At least it’s not lining up that way. No matter; I know all! You wanted to know which link Mitch posted; this is it: morphodesigns.com/alienation/

  19. @Peter, Glad that works for you. I use Compfight or my own images and I’m fairly happy with either of those two options… until I’m not, in which case I have a list of sites I can go to for free fair use images. They may not always fit the theme but at least they look nice. πŸ™‚

  20. @Mitch Mitchell, You know me Mitch, I also like to use images that ‘look’ nice. Especially now that I’m no longer concerned about what Google thinks ab out them πŸ˜‰

    1. Yeah, we don’t care about them like that. lol Actually, the only failing of using Compfight images is not being allowed to change any of the alt tags… then again, it’s not like I remember to add anything to mine in the first place…

  21. @Mitch Mitchell, that’s exactly the problem – but I have been replying to replies every time.

    I don’t know if you’re messing around with settings, but if it helps you to troubleshoot anything, this is the first time I hit reply and got an @ mention for the person I’m replying to. (Ever.)

    1. I went to check settings after my previous comment to you, saw that and figured why not turn it on. Everything else seemed to be set properly… and it worked when someone else & I commented back & forth to each other a couple of times. Maybe it doesn’t like you… good thing I do. πŸ˜‰

  22. @Ileane Smith, that’s a really interesting question. It MAY matter – there may be an already-established trust between the known brand and the recipient. (It could just as easily backfire if that trust isn’t there – particularly if there’s any element of animosity between the customer and a brand.) So, bottom line, I think auto-DMs are always risky. I’ve seen a few that were more carefully crafted and less off-putting than others; now that the 140 character limit has been eliminated for DMs, it’s almost possible to sound human doing it – the ones that admit it’s an auto-DM and promise never to do it again while offering something that really may be USEFUL? Okay. The ones that say “Feel free to connect with me on… [list of other social profiles]” make me wonder – do they think they’re Lady Gaga? Give me a reason to care. Then maybe I will.

    You, Ileane? I’d follow you anywhere, Boo.

  23. Hi Mitch,

    I must start out by letting you know that watching your video feels like I am sitting right there in the room with you. You have a natural ability to tell it like it is and I respect that. Yes..we do need videos in our blogs from time to time. It’s value is priceless for the Know Like and Trust issue.

    That kind of ties in with the pop up dilemma. Who the heck is going to go to a place where you need to sign in when you don’t even know the person? Crazy! Even a 12 year old knows that. So you see, I am in your camp when it comes to pop ups.

    When it comes down to it all, people do buy people. That’s what we need to do is get off our you know what and do a video for that virtual hand shake. Write content for others not to ourselves, and most of all, get on social media. Pick a platform you like and start meeting others. Social media is like a party on crack he he he It is so fast to meet with people all over the globe and get to really know them. OK I’ll digress….

    I would love to comment on each point here, but it would be a blog post. I have to say Read the damn blog!!! Give a good comment to that person who took time to write it. And…share it with your friends on social media. If it is good stuff…like this…you want your friends to see it. This is how we all grow organically. It’s like the old word of mouth and that is valuable.

    OK…I’ll stop blabbing but want you to know I agree with this post and if people would heed your words, they too could have a great blog going.

    However, I won’t comment on the commenters here, because some of them look like they want attention. Sorry lol.



    1. Great comment Donna; thanks for it. Yes, people buy people but they also buy personality, which is what I’m shooting for. I mean, I came up with 31 ideas here, I still have more, it became a long post, yet in my mind whenever I’m putting something out on social media or in a blog post it’s not like I’m sitting here having to think about any of these things… I just do them. Sure, some folks might disagree here and there but I’m thinking these are all pretty basic; what’s there to argue with (except that popup thing, and we’ve seen how that goes lol)?

      Thanks for sharing in other places also; I appreciate that more than you can imagine. And I love your accept in your videos; then again, being a New Yorker (central but still…) I would. πŸ™‚

  24. Just a quick question Mitch, Have you added a reply plugin? I ask because I’m getting a ‘@Mitch’ whenever I click the reply icon. I’ve never ever seen this anywhere else?

  25. @Mitch Mitchell, hey, if you don’t like your own stuff, why foist it off on others?

    Without checking too closely, I’d say that’s because I built the list from my WordPress subscriptions. Naturally, I subscribe to my own blog for testing purposes – to be sure all the email subscribers are (or at least should be) getting theirs.

    But I love reading my blog. All 17 revisions of each post, I love it so much. πŸ˜‰

    1. Where do you subscribe to your own blog? I check my feeds in my Feedreader program, but that’s about it. I just found it kind of funny, even though in a way it follows Facebook, which makes you follow your own feed… which is idiotic.

  26. Well my goodness Mitchell! This is a heck of a blog post! Totally cosign with a lot of the information that you have added here my friend.

    Now, on the pop ups…I will say that some of them can be veryyy disruptive and a PITA but they do work! I have a one main pop up on my blog that only comes up as folks are leaving the blog (exit intent), but I made sure that before I added it to the blog that it wasnt going to be too distracting to my visitors.

    To your point about social media and engaging with your fans…this was the biggest mistake that I made with my last brand is that I didnt engage enough.

    I wanted to make it a point this go around to do the complete oppposite and engage with my peers as much as possible and mannn has it paid off. This is definitely something that I strongly encourage folks getting started with social media to do .

    Again, great post Mitch! Sharing on social media…

    1. Thanks for reading Kim… and for reading the post on my other blog also. πŸ™‚ For me, your popup wouldn’t be considered intrusive because at least I got to read the content. The thing these days that’s irking me is going to a blog and suddenly having this large thing drop the content from the top; ugh! I’ve already stopped sharing any blogs on Twitter et al that do those things to me, which I threatened in a previous post about a month ago; if it’s irking me then it’s going to irk others.

      As for the social media point, I don’t know so much about fans but if someone reaches out to me or responds to me and there’s a chance to talk to them then I’m going to do it… as long as I see it because on my phone I block messages from certain clients that support other group communications that, frankly just clutter up the feed without adding anything to the conversation. However, those folks don’t know it, and I can’t do it with my main program on my computer so there’s that.

  27. @Kim George, they must work, or no one would use them. The problem with those exit popups, for me, is that they make me feel TRAPPED. I tried to close the site–how DARE YOU slam the door shut and not let me out? Used to be, only sites that served up porn and viruses did that, so you instantly lose my trust.

  28. Wow, what a great post, Mitch

    A monster for sure, but worth the read.

    If I had read it a couple of years ago, I would be cringing for the simple reason that I was guilty of most of the transgressions you mentioned.

    Fortunately, now I’m ‘complying’ with most (but not all) of your edicts, and mighty glad I finally stepped up my game.

    Of the points listed I particularly liked these:

    1. Marketing All the Time. If we’re building a personal brand, we must strike a balance between overt promotion and interesting, fun, humorous and personal content.

    2. Not Sharing Other People’s Content. When people take the focus off themselves and just focus on their audience, magic happens. Sharing other people’s content is a good thing to if for not other reason than the fact that our audience likes it

    3. Not Interacting With Other. Beats me why bloggers don’t reply to comments and look for other ways to engage their audience (including commenting on other blogs). Same comments apply to social media.

    Thanks Mitch

    Great stuff


    1. Thanks for your comment Kim, and welcome! I’ve always been about engagement, and some folks tell me that it takes away from my making money via blogging or social media. Those things might be true, but I always figure it’s more about other people than myself… well, except for writing my blog. I go against the grain in thinking on this point and believe that I write my blogs for me because it’s what I do, and I hope to bring people along and encourage more engagement because of it. At least with this post it seems to be working. πŸ™‚

      As to all the other stuff… I’m sure you’re doing it all correctly; after all, you did share this post. Now I’m going to head over to see what you’re saying these days.

  29. Hi Mitch,

    Thanks to your video, I’ve learned a new word.


    I do believe I’ll use this. It’s so elegant sounding πŸ™‚

    Gosh, there’s a lot to this post. So many thought- provoking concepts…I’ll narrow down what stood out to me the most.

    Still with you about those popups. I just don’t like them. But I already got into that on your post about them.

    I admit I didn’t have a comment response system in place, but as of early last month, I do. It does matter. When we leave a comment, it’s nice to be notified that there’s a response.

    And speaking of which, while I completely understand that sometimes, responding to those comments may take a little while (we do get busy – and an authentic response requires you to be present and mindful), if I see that someone isn’t the type to respond, I won’t comment because in my doing so in the first place, I’m starting a conversation that isn’t being reciprocated.

    So why bother?

    I’ll still enjoy the material, I just won’t start a discussion.

    I love networking with others in the blogosphere. I don’t care much for in-person networking events because I hate crowds and noise and I don’t think that will change. So for me, interacting with others here is still valuable – and I’ve built up some wonderful relationships.

    I agree with what Donna said in her comment – you’re so natural on camera. I like that you’re comfortable expressing yourself, but don’t become offended when others don’t agree.

    We spend so much time fighting for freedom of speech when here, WE’RE the ones who censor ourselves for so many reasons.

    I also know what you mean about people not reading your entire post (or at least enough of it to get what you’re fully expressing). I’ve had people comment and just by what they’ve said, I can easily tell they must be sharing their thoughts about the title and what they think followed in the post – not what was actually written.

    Anyway, this comment is about to become a book, so I’ll end it here.

    Have a great weekend Mitch. Thanks for “just sharing.”

    BTW – I LOVE that you have an edit function in your comment section. How did you find this?

  30. Hi Mitch,

    Awesome stuff mate.

    You provided a superb guideline for all of us to follow that can and will dramatically improve the way we blog and use social media.

    I just had to share this far and wide as so many folks can benefit not just from your expertise but also from the brilliant way you present your valuable content.

    Actually I had no idea about the verifying whether people get emails telling them that their comments had been responded to. This was all brand new to me as a relatively new blogger.

    Many thanks for raising this important point thats critical to our relationship building online.

    People who take the time to leave comments must be respected and responded to but your recommendation takes it to another level of engagement.

    I will be checking out what you shared re this right after I finish my comment to you Mitch.

    Many thanks again for this great share

    Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger


    1. Thanks Peter; I’m honored… although one of these days you’ll have to tell me via Twitter about living in Thailand… wouldn’t be me (then again, I don’t want to live anywhere except where I am lol).

      That email thing is a big one for me because I rarely hear from a lot of the blogs I leave comments on. Some are those that send me an immediate email saying I mentioned that I wanted to see a response to my comment and asking me subscribe; nope, ain’t doing it. Y’all, I left a comment, and probably not a bad one; I’m thinking I made my intention known already! lol

      See? I keep coming up with new stuff after writing this post that will have to be included in another post someday… just not this coming Monday! πŸ˜‰

  31. Popups and captchas kill me. I really have to like your stuff to stick around with those things.

    I used to be much better about commenting on other blogs. It comes and goes with me now. There are days where I go quite a bit and then there are other days.

    Mostly a time issue, I have less than I did so I had to change how I do things a bit.

    If someone comments on my blog I do my best to respond, sometimes I am slow but I get to it.

    1. I understand the slow part Jack. I used to respond immediately but I have a lot more things going on these days.

      I don’t think anyone has to comment on every single blog they visit, but commenting on some of them when you can helps. After all, I don’t comment on systems that use Disqus, Livefyre or other things like that. That’s when I’ll share those who have posts that I like because it’s still my way of giving something to the folks who come here.

      Time… man, it’s a killer… literally! lol

  32. Great points, Mitch! Bloggers not responding to their comments is a huge pet peeve and pop-ups are incredibly annoying. It seems they are multiplying at a rapid clip, these days. I always enjoy your videos.

    1. Thanks Debbie. What I hear all the time is “I don’t have time…” That kind of thing irks me. If each post got 200 or more comments I could see it, but we both know that’s almost never the case. Besides, if it were the case then responding to the best comments, those that looked like someone put effort into it, would start to sculpt the quality and that might change the entire conversation in a positive way.

      1. @Mitch Mitchell, I like the idea of sculpting the quality of comments. Some are so obviously perfunctory, you wonder why they even bothered. Oh wait – because they expect a visit in return, right? Some people play the numbers game and aren’t the least bit genuine. So frustrating!

      2. Some are hoping for a return visit but many are just hoping to have their comments ignored so they can get a free link via someone else’s site. That’s why it behooves blog owners to get rid of both horrible comments and those that are obviously fake. I’m stunned sometimes by the number of blogs that allow those sales pitch comments to stay on their blogs; that’s unconscionable!

      3. @Mitch Mitchell; Yes, that surprises me. Every new commenter on my site goes through moderation first, so those never see the light of day and I block all spammers.

  33. @Mitch Mitchell, Forget six months, dude. Get it formated into a kindle ebook and put it out there for, say, $2.99

    Of course, your blog would mentioned in it, so you’ll get more traffic. If you wait six months to get some traction there won’t be anyone left to buy your book when you put it out there. lol

    But, seriously, do it NOW. You’ve been talking about using the blog to add revenue, and when the opportunity presents itself, you wanna wait six months, for what?

    I am hereby preordering the first copy.

    1. Dude! As with many things, it has to wait, not because I’m not interested but I’m already in the middle of a project and have another one scheduled (actually it’s ongoing and scheduled; I dare not say more right now…) and THEN I can take a look at it. Maybe it’ll be sooner than six months but I have to get through my other stuff first; it’s not like I have a job or something! lol

  34. @Mitch Mitchell, l don’t mind if you pitch your blog, business, or book on my blog. You’re real, and you’ve earned that privilege. I know you; you won’t abuse that. But relative newcomers may go to moderation or have their links removed. I don’t give everyone free advertising! Funny, too, because those i do rarely take advantage…

    1. On the first part, thanks! On the second… I’ve often found that even when something free is offered that might help someone else people tend to flinch, mainly because they’re not prepared to break that bit of angst at the time. Kind of like all the people I’ve asked to do a video interview with me and how few have actually taken me up on it, fewer still the first time I asked. Sometimes we’re not prepared for an opportunity when it’s presented to us.

  35. @Mitch Mitchell, if you log out now and then and look at your blog the way others see it, it can be informative. You can also subscribe to your own blog, that way. Checking the feeds in Feedburner is great, but subscribing lets you see exactly what they look like in email, and double-check that the emails are being sent and at what times.

    I recently learned that one of my regular readers wasn’t seeing any new blog posts and thought I’d stopped blogging. Turned out, he had to go fish google feedproxy out of spam and whitelist it. Now he’s getting my posts again. But if I didn’t subscribe, it would’ve taken me longer to figure out the sender email address for him to look for and fish out of spam.

    1. I’ve been subscribed to all of my blogs for years. I also check them out via other browsers so I can see what others are seeing. Your point is a good one though, most people aren’t checking to see what their blogs are doing so they’re not sure about the experience their visitors are receiving.

  36. I see that you mentioned me up there as the friend who reads the first paragraph!! I read more than the first paragraph but if a blog post is boring, I am not reading the whole thing. I am not. Time is valuable.

    Now, I’ve read this entire article. I agree with lots of points. And here they are:
    I believe doing video definitely humanizes a person.
    I believe sharing other people’s links is very important.
    I also think its great to go out and read other people’s blogs.
    I was not familiar with the term “NOOB.” I don’t want to be a NOOB but I wish more blogs were easier to read.

    I was sorta surprised that you mentioned doing videos and podcasts in the same section…

    But anyway, great post…

    1. LOL! You know I’d have never called you out, so until you just said that no one knew it was you. πŸ™‚ Still, you make a great point about long, boring posts that don’t say anything. I won’t even read those, which of course means they’re not getting a comment from me either.

      Actually, I said “videos OR podcasts”, since both are technology instead of writing so in my mind they’re close to the same thing. Course we both know I’m not doing both, so videos it is. lol

      I’m not even sure if people still use noob, at least not the way we used it back in the day. These days I think people shorten “newbie” and say it, but I have no idea how they’d spell it. In any case, I think it behooves folks who are going to be on social media for anything other than skulking that they find a way to balance their presence between “me” and “others” for a well rounded experience for the folk connected to them, and of course opening up and talking to those folks who reach out to you is just common courtesy… along with being a powerful tool in the marketing game. Be a real person; that’s all anyone can ask for.

  37. Hi Mitch,

    You have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to blogging don’t you LOL?

    I share some of those pet peeves. My biggest ones are not reading the content before commenting, captcha and the negativity. And I am in ‘violation’ on many of your points. To name one of them: I rarely include video or podcasts on my blog because I rarely watch video or podcasts on other blogs. I only allocate 30 to 40 minutes to all social media per day (Mon thru Fri) and I read much faster than watching video.

    I can do a lot better. But I stopped labeling myself as a blogs, so does that give me a pardon?

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