Blogging Sins: You’ll Never Get Forgiven For These

Steven15 responsesBlogging
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If you spend as much time reading other blogs as I do you’ll soon start developing strong opinions regarding what’s acceptable and what earns you a non-stop trip across the River Styx into the inner circle of the fiery pit.

Here, in no particular order and with no implications of guilt whatsoever (But, you know who you are so just stop it, right now!) are my Cardinal Sins of blogging.

Squished Content: Your center content area should be wide enough to contain an average sentence. If I have to move my eyes back and forth, from line to line, six times to read a 12-word sentence I’m going to be dizzy before I finish the first paragraph.

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Eye-Popping Colors: Personally, I like the combination of inky black, neon pink and lime green – but only when viewed from a distance, in dim lighting, and only in small doses. If your colors make my eyes bleed I’m not going to hang around.

Teeny, Tiny Fonts: I’m happy for you. You have perfect eyesight. I don’t. And neither do most of your visitors. ‘Nuff said? Moving on…

Like, Duh, and Dude: Please remove all traces of these words from your posts. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a surfer dude, and I don’t plan to become one in the future. You’re a blogger. It’s time to learn how to speak like an adult.

Horrible Navigation: Please make it easy for me to find your archives page, your About page and most important, your Contact page. Why are you hiding this important information?

Complicated Comments: I don’t want to subscribe to your site, or join Facebook, or answer a poll question before I can leave a comment. I just want to leave a comment. I don’t even care if I get a link.

Slow Load Time: Don’t get me wrong, I like those image-type sites where the whole post is nothing but cute puppy pictures or pictures of death-defying bridges. But please minimize those images so I don’t have to wait all day for the page to load. And get rid of the background images, too. They’re just taking up too much time.

Personal Details: There are certain things you don’t discuss in public: Your sex life, your drinking abilities, the color of your dog’s poop, the color of your baby’s poop – these are just for starters. I’m sure you can come up with more.

Excessive Blog Rolls: Seriously? You read 150 blogs every week? And you think I should, too? At least clean up your list and get rid of the blogs that no longer exist. And really, you’ll be doing your blog a favor – If those favorite blogs you’re linking to aren’t relevant, it hurts your SEO.

Exclamation Points: The rule of thumb is one per post. Period. Too many and you just look like an excited surfer dude. (See “Like, Duh and Dude“, above.)

One Long Sentence: Please learn how to construct and punctuate a proper sentence and how to use sentences to construct a proper paragraph. Then, please apply this knowledge to your next blog post.

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  1. Howard

    “Complicated Comments:”

    On some of my blogs, I encourage comments. On others, I don’t care, or don’t want much commentary. I have not noticed any correlation between number of comments and income on any of my sites.

    “Squished Content”

    I find that squished content makes for faster reading. When reading, I like to up the font size and narrow the column to about 30 characters. However, I am a speed reader, which is pretty rare.

    Oh, and yes, I *do* follow about 150 blogs. Although I don’t have large blogrolls on any of my sites.

  2. Deina

    It’s funny that you write that the archives page should be easily accessible but you’re actually hiding it somewhere in footer with some other pages… Besides that the page name’s are written in a tiny font which you mentioned we shouldn’t use… I’ve seen this before, too – you mention we shouldn’t be doing something but you’re doing it yourself…

    1. Deina, if you re-read the point, I’m talking about “horrible navigation”. The archive page of Dukeo doesn’t serve my purpose as much as the About and the Newsletter page. This is why it’s less visible on the site.

  3. Anna Rounseville

    Thank you for making such a clear post. I did not realize there were cardinal sins of blogging. This is all so new for me it is hard not to get caught up in my kid’s enthusiastic punctuation faux pas. Also the entire Tumblr realm will likely disagree with your position on the exclamation points. However, I leave that portion of the internet for my daughter to possess. (My daughter and I have an agreement.)

    1. Well, as much as I enjoy spending time on some fun Tumblr, I’m not sure they could be taken as role-models of blogging…

  4. Right. I consider myself told.

    Thanks for a handy list. Blogs are so easy to write self indulgently that it is good to be reminded that the reader is part of the equation.

    1. Colin, I’m always happy if I can help at least 1 person.

  5. Ash Francis

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one. Between this and “Would you read your own blog?” you’ve got the holy commandments of blogging.

    Nice work!

    1. hehe, thank you Ash. I try to do my best :)

  6. Liza Shaw

    Some excellent tips here. Thanks

    1. Glad you liked them Liza

  7. Eric Lopez

    Not only is this content great… the way you communicate it is also hilarious! I’m still new to blogging so I haven’t incorporated a blog roll yet but hear it’s important. Thanks for the great info.

    1. Thanks a lot for the nice words Eric.

  8. Juliet

    I’ve a new blogger, and this was very concise & helpful. Can’t wait to tell my Mom that I’m not a sinner. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your comment Juliet. Let me know how your mother reacts to that ;)

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