Blog Waste: Five Things You Don’t Need

Steven10 responsesBlogging
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Blogging can be an effective way to voice your views. However, certain features may detract from its ideological impact. If you want to establish credibility and build your readership, work to eliminate the following five things from your blog.

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  1. Animation and other techie additions: Unless you have a comic book blog or other similarly themed content, animation may add tackiness to your text. Busy backgrounds or flashy features for your blog page tend to distract readers from the full impact of your written words. Features like CAPTCHAs meant to filter spam responses can be annoying to your readers and may keep them from commenting. In general, a blog page should be clean and unobtrusive so the important messages shine through.
  2. Plagiarism: Stealing the words of another and presenting them as your own is never acceptable and is actually against the law. Why create a blog if you don’t have anything original to contribute? If you want to include a quotation from another source in your content, simply attribute the words to the original author, and link the quote to the original text, if possible.
  3. Personal information: Even though many bloggers talk about very personal topics ranging from parenting to relationship problems, posting personal statistics is unwise. For example, your readers do not need to know your children’s names or schools. You should not post your physical address or phone number. Don’t detail where your wife works. All your readers need to know is that they can find you on your URL.
  4. Personal photos: Take care not to inadvertently post photos that reveal any of the above information. If you post a photo of your home, be sure the house number or a street sign is not visible. Make sure any photos of your vehicles do not reveal license numbers. If you cannot resist posting that adorable photo of your daughter, make sure she is not wearing a T-shirt or backpack that displays her name. However, posting a photo of yourself is not a bad idea. It helps your readers identify with you as an individual and builds a loyal following for your blog.
  5. Spelling and grammar goofs: Blogging is not for everyone, especially those who cannot ably express themselves according to the laws of language. Spell check only goes so far along the road to readability. If you want to engage your readers, you must establish your credibility as a writer through proper grammar and spelling. Unless you have a plausible reason for changing the language, such as communicating with readers who speak a non-standard dialect, keep your content grammatically correct.

By maintaining a clearly understandable blog, you communicate more effectively with a broader readership. While personal topics are often engaging and informative, remember to keep your personal information confidential. Polish it all up with a final edit for originality and style, and with a minimum of effort you can tailor a new and improved format that will engage a greater following.

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  1. Affiliate Manager

    I agree about not getting too personal, but I made a post specifically about getting married and I’ve gotten a TON of good feedback from what post. Definitely be careful about getting TOO personal, but don’t be afraid to show your cards a bit. People like it :)

    1. It’s all about finding the right balance. You need to share enough to show that you are a human being who has flaws and struggles like everyone else, but you don’t want to share too much to make sure you don’t get into trouble with stalkers and people don’t expect too much from you.

      If I had kids, I would find it super scary that my readers knew my kid’s school…

  2. Tracie Thompson

    I agree with all of these, but you should have seen the mess that happened when I tried to go Captcha-free on my blog. I was getting inundated with spam/scam “comments” and could barely keep up with deleting them after a while, as the problem got progressively worse. Captcha put an end to it.

    I like the “Confirm you are not a spammer” button on this blog, and I wonder if I can get one just like it.

    Item #6, for me, probably falls in under #1 on this list: Few things will drive me away from a site faster than music on autoplay.

    1. As you can see, I don’t use any captcha on Dukeo. Instead, I use a combination of 2 plugins: Akismet, and Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin.

      Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin allows me to add the checkbox in the comment form and prevents most of the automated comment posting (but not all of it).

      Then, Akismet filters the comments by flagging knowns spammers.

      Before installing Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin, Akismet was doing a good job already but I was receiving a LOT of spam comments and I didn’t have time to go through all of them to check if there were some fake positive.

  3. Team Lonric

    I’ve been contemplating if I should get a blog going for my site. I think I’ll get on that soon.

    1. Well, that’s good for you Megan!

      You should definitely do it. It will increase your visibility in search engines.

  4. Maria

    Thank you for the tips. I’m new to blogging so I appreciated your advice.

    1. You’re welcome Maria, I’m always happy to help. :)

  5. Andrea

    I completely agree. I’m new to blogging but received some very good advice at start-up. It’s good to know that I am following your “rules”.

    1. These are more guidelines than rules ;)

      Congratulations on getting started, I hope you’ll reach the success you are working for!

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