What your blog says about you: Mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

I’ve been blogging for a long time, and as such I’ve pretty much seen and done it all. Back in 2002 when I started blogging—at the age of 12—I made every mistake in the book. (OK, there is no book…but if there was…I’d have been the subject of that mother fucker.) Unsurprisingly, I see new bloggers making the same mistakes I did and wondering where their viewers are, and why they aren’t getting comments.

If an official blogging handbook existed, rule number one would probably be “Be Interesting.” The truth is, it takes years to build up a readership, and maintaining it can be difficult, but it is possible as long as you’re interesting. Unless you’ve already made it as a blogger, nobody wants to see or read about your lunch or your kids or various other mundane topics in your life. Your lunch doesn’t make anyone want to come back and see more of your work. The only thing you, your blog and your lunch have in common is that your lunch is turning into actual shit inside of you and on your blog as you write about and publish it. It isn’t interesting. Coincidentally, a post with more photos of your children than paragraphs isn’t going to incite awe and wonder in potential readers either. Not even mommy bloggers publish as many photos of their children as I’ve been seeing lately on a lot of “Lifestyle Blogs”—cut that shit out.

If you’re guilty of these things you might be thinking that it’s OK, because you blog for you and not for anybody else. Unfortunately, if that was true you really wouldn’t be reading this.

Blog memes and weekday themes are another thing I see a lot of that aren’t going to generate more readers for your blog. They’re cheap content. I am also guilty of participating in “Wordless Wednesdays” and cheap survey type posts among other things and they did nothing to benefit my blog. Sure, every now and then a post that is only a photo might be beneficial to break up the wall of text that some blogs become—but is it doing anything more than creating cheap filler? No. Don’t rely on it. Also, that 50 question survey? I might comment on it but you can be damn sure I didn’t read it and I’m only doing it to leave my link behind.

Consistency is key. I find that the times when my blog is most active I have the most visits. Right now, I’m coasting on traffic regarding pine needle cleanup but I know that after January all of the pine needles will be gone and it won’t matter how high I am on the search results about pine needles stuck in carpets. If you blog often, you will get better at it and your visitors will keep coming back because they will expect new content on every visit.

Lastly, proof read. If you want me to take you seriously but your blog reads like a 5th grader’s creative writing homework you’re insane. My eyes roll a little further back into my head each time I see an uncapitalized “I” or the misuse of there, their and they’re. You’re a blogger, and bloggers are short format writers. Act like one.


  1. nikkiana says:

    I think the operative words in this post are “be interesting”. You can write about anything you damn well please, but if you’re not writing about it in a way that makes it interesting to everybody else… People probably aren’t going to stop to read it.

    I’m still working on that “be interesting” part…
    nikkiana recently posted…In Which I Bitch About The ColdMy Profile

  2. Dez says:

    Hmm. I’m probably guilty of the photo deal, but fuck you I’m awesome.

    You did forget to include the influx of “review” posts on lifestyle blogs recently. I’ve seen it from both old and young bloggers, in terms of how long they have been blogging. I get that sometimes it’s because it was free stuff, but other times I’m thinking it’s either filler or “trendy”. I skip past ALL those posts and I stop visiting as often.

    Another way I think some people are failing is that whole, “It’s my blog I’ll say/do whatever the fuck I want” mentality. Yes that is true, but if you care about viewership in the slightest you’ll stop insulting your readers or telling them to fuck off if they don’t like your opinion at the end of every post.

    Last but not least, layout is important to consider. So many sites full screen and adding every bit of information for various places they can do the sidebars. It’s clutter and while you may want to show your readers the last 10 netflix movies you’ve watched, how many comments you have, etc, it is still CLUTTER and makes it hard to focus on the content of the page.

    I’ve ranted much more than I desired for this comment. Perhaps I should have made my own post. I’m lazy. Needless to say I do agree with the points you’ve listed.
    Dez recently posted…Blue Slip and the PsychologistMy Profile

    • Stephen says:

      Very valid points Dez, there were a few more I wanted to include but in the interest of brevity I left them out. These young whippersnappers need to shape the fuck up.

  3. Amanda says:

    Hum. in 2002 I was graduating high school. I had a website for about 3 years. If I could give one word of advice it would not be to “be interesting,” but to not flash your underage boobies and vajayjay all over the interwebz. That is all.

  4. Agent Q says:

    This, this, THIS! I couldn’t agree more with the need to avoid these tendencies. I think this is some of the reasons why I oftentimes struggle with blogging. Whenever I post something, I wish to add a so-what component so that a mundane event isn’t so…mundane. It’s hard, but the challenges are worth it.
    Agent Q recently posted…At LastMy Profile

  5. Sean says:

    I’ve seen blogs over the years that deliberately had no capitalization, it was set in the CSS to be set to all lowercase letters. I guess it was to match the theme or something, but still, it was enough to make me want to not read it since it looked like it was written by a 5 year old.

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