8 Ways to Kill Your Blog

I have been blogging for 3 1/2 years. I have made some pretty big blogging mistakes. I have come to realize that there is definitely a learning curve to blogging. Some bloggers ‘get it’ pretty quickly and others are still making some of the mistakes I have made. You know the blogs I’m talking about. There are certain blogs that are a joy to visit. They are easy to read, fun to follow and have you as their focus. Then there are the “other blogs”. Maybe you visit them because you are related to the blogger and are trying to be supportive. Maybe you find their articles interesting but you hate the layout. I think there are many ways to Kill your Blog, but am narrowing the list to my top 8.

8 Ways to Kill Your Blog

8 ways to kill your blog

1. Don’t use pictures in your posts.

I started out as a deal blogger.  I loved saving money and I wanted to help everyone I knew find practical ways to save money  in real life.  I was throwing up 5-7 posts a day.  It was insane.  I didn’t have time to format a post or find an image.  I just typed the deal and pushed publish.  This was my first blog – Here’s What I Found.  You’ll notice it was big on words with very little pictures.

Readers need to see an image when they get to your site.  In the visual world we live, you have to grab them with a picture before you can convince them to spend time reading your words.

Click for Free Images

Click for Free Images

Choose your image carefully. You can’t just grab another blogger’s image or copy a picture from google images and put it on your blog. Just do your research before you grab and post.

If you take your own picture, make sure it’s worthy of posting. I recently saw a blogger who was trying to review an item. The pictures that were posted were blurry and small. They told a story – but not the one she wanted to tell. Take lots of pictures and then pick the best ones for your post.

2. Never post new articles

It’s not necessary to post a new article every day, but it is important for your readers to see that you are consistent.  My mom told me about a blog she follows.  The writer has made a commitment to post one article each week on Friday morning.  The readers know that they can count on something new each week.

For me, I schedule a post to go live every morning at 5 AM EST.   That way I have something fresh every single day ready for any reader who wants to start their day with a new hobby feature.

Whether you post once a day, twice a week or several times a month – make sure you are consistent.
Just a personal note: If you find that you have been missing from your blog for a lengthy time, don’t bother writing a post that says “sorry I’ve been gone”. Your readers already know you’ve been missing. Just pick up where you want to start fresh and begin again. Don’t waste a readers time by apologizing for how busy your life has been.

3. Make it impossible for people to comment.

Where ‘s the share buttons?  Can readers easily find your like button?  Do they have to type captcha words? Many readers I know will try to leave a comment one time. If they can’t get the comment to go through because they can’t read the anti-spam words, they may just leave.
I rarely have real spam get through my Akismet filters. Akismet is free and works very well for me and most of the blogging world.

4. Promote Clutter

Most readers go to your blog to read what you have to say, not because they are looking for ads from Google. They also are probably ‘button blind’. So if you think you are going to get rich by posting affilate ads for every company that is available to bloggers, you are probably going to be disappointed. On my deal blog I tried using coupon affiliate banners for a while. After 2 years of blogging, I finally reached my first payout. I have learned that affiliates and button ads are not going to bring in a huge payday for most bloggers.

5. Be a CopyCat

One of the best ways to destroy your blog is to copy other people’s work. If you don’t have something original to say with your own unique voice, then there is no point in blogging. Find your own niche and make it work for you!

6. Go Color Happy

If you’re decorating a kids room or planning a circus themed party, then you may want to pull out all the colors of the Crayola box. But if you’re building a blog, go with standard print color and font on a solid background that gives contrast to the words. If a reader can’t read your words because they blend into the background, you’ll lose them before they ever have a chance to connect with your blog.

7. Put up a Dead End

When a reader finishes your blog post, where will they go next? Do you have a clear direction for them to continue to find other great articles on your blog? Many bloggers use ‘suggestion boxes’ at the bottom of their posts to give you some ideas of other related articles you might find interesting. Savvy writers link inside their article to other posts that deal with the subject.

Give a call to action at the end of your article. You want to provide a prod that will help the reader do something about what they just read – Ask a question, suggest a response, make them think or encourage them to push the like button. Don’t just stop your article with a dead end.

8. Have grammatical errors

It’s easy to misspell a word every once in a while. I often find that I have to go in and fix a random mistake. But regular errors and problems with spelling, grammar and usage will turn many readers away.


So what do you think? Do you agree that these are definite blog-killers? What else should be on this list? Am I breaking my own rules? I’d love to hear your pet peeves about blogs, your constructive critiques or your raving compliments! And yes! This is my prod to get you to take an action! See #7!

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About Sharon Williams

Sharon Williams is a mom of 3 who loves to read, travel, take pictures, work in the flowers and spend time with family. When she's not blogging, she's probably out enjoying life so she'll have something fun to blog about tomorrow!

Comments

  1. says

    I totally agree with all of these! This is a great list! Another I would add is to have broken links (like the last one in this article). I tried to go to “Top 15 Grammar Goofs…” and the page was not found, nor could I find it on Alyssa’s site when I searched. Sorry to bring it up, but it does frustrate me when I find broken links on my own website as well as others. Great article!

  2. says

    thanks for the tips. When I started out a year ago I added every widget, gadget, blog button, and picture that I found thinking it had to be on my blog. This year I have cleaned up some of the clutter from my blogs but just always seem to clutter it up again. Guess, it is just like my home LOL But in time I will be a better blogger and blog designer.

  3. says

    Thank you so much for the great information. I started out blogging “just for me”. As I form new blogging friendships, I love learning ways to improve what my new friends are reading.

  4. says

    I’ve been trying hard to consider all these things, but its hard when you’re limited by your theme or back-end knowledge. I would love to change my comments section and put it at the bottom, instead of at the top, but that is how my theme is. Grrr! Someday I’ll figure it out. Thanks for all the great tips!

  5. says

    Thank you. I’m new to blogging so these are great tips. I’m finding that I’m spending more time on trying to figure out the layout and technical side of blogging than I am actually blogging! I’ve decided that for the moment I’m just going to get my thoughts out there and I’ll have to learn as I go. I guess being on the upward side of 45 isn’t really helping my technical prowess, but at least I know how to spell!

  6. says

    Each of these is such a true statement! One thing that I especially love about your blog is there are always ways for me to find more information and posts to read on your blog. I could stay there for hours and read your posts because it is easy to navigate to more content!

  7. says

    Sharon, I agree with all you have said in your post. Blogging is indeed difficult and its very important to be consistent. In my experience I have noticed that today having videos embedded in your blog keeps the reader engaged to a great extent. Besides I also noticed that most of my short blog posts get a higher attraction as compared to the long ones. So, I think the mantra is to keep it short and simple.
    It is important to keep the blogging basics in mind. Thank you so much for the detailed post.

  8. Tiffany says

    Great article. I am a new blogger and I like to visit other blogs, might see something I like or dislike. I agree, the robot detecting widget is annoying.

  9. says

    Great tips for bloggers, new and old. The captcha is the worst. I mostly do not even visit blogs who have those for commenting. If it a close friend, I may visit a blog post and leave a comment but only when the topic of the blog post is of importance to me.

  10. says

    Great article. I love to hear what other bloggers have to say since I am new to blogging for the public. (started blogging for my husband when he was in Iraq) I found lately that I like to use a software to make a collage so that I can share more pictures without having it be all different files that makes it take forever to load.

  11. Kelley Johnsen says

    Great post! I know I made many mistakes starting out in blogging. Which they had something like this then :-)

    • says

      Back when I was doing all those ‘articles’, it was more like micro posting announcements. It was definitely nuts! Now I do 1 maybe 2 a day and I can live with that much better! Lol

  12. says

    I am still in the learning curve, I think I always will be, lol. I love the posts like this that give you advice, it is very helpful to those of us just starting out (I guess at some point I need to stop including myself in that group).

  13. says

    AMEN!!!! A while ago I wrote about the 5 things readers hate most on a blog; and a lot of these points were in that article. Also, having auto playing music or video is another BIG way to drive traffic AWAY from your site. Most moms read blogs during kid’s nap times or late at night. They don’t want your loud music/video blaring when they are trying to keep a quiet home.

  14. says

    Great tips! One thing I live by is what I like to see on blogs. If you don’t like something while reading a blog, don’t put it in your own blog. I don’t like pop ups or buttons that follow you around so I don’t use those kinds of things on my own blog.

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