10 Reasons Why Your Blog Sucks
This is a guest post by Edward Khoo. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
You check your traffic every day but all you find are tumbleweeds blowing across the landscape of your blog. Well, there’s a reason you’re not building readership. Your blog sucks.
Most do, and all for the same reasons. The same 10 reasons.
1. You use syndicated content. You can download badly-written articles on the topic of your website at ezine.com, helium.com, goarticles.com and other places on the web. You can cut and paste these pieces on your blog and all you have to do is provide a link back to the author’s site or blog. You can, but you shouldn’t. Without unique content your blog is nothing.
2. Your blog is boring. There I said it. Write about topics that interest me, your reader, not topics that interest you. I want you to keep me engaged, entertain me and teach me. Otherwise, you’re boring me.
3. Your blog revolves around your person. Stop talking about yourself already. I don’t know you personally, and I couldn’t care less about your ramblings. Tell me something I can use in my own life. Facts, stories, not boring personal stuff.
4. Oh no, not your favorite music on auto-play! So as soon as I access your blog, the ukulele string quartet starts playing? I’d rather hear an accordion band. Don’t add music to your site. Half the people won’t like it and the other half will find it’s a distraction.
5. You use clip art. I can spot it a mile away. The model smiling, the perfect family spending the day at the beach, the marathon runner — all license free clip art. And with free clip art, you get what you pay for.
6. I can’t find the post I want to read. So I have to scroll down through pages and pages to find the piece you posted two months ago. First, even the simplest blog platforms allow for categories and search boxes.
7. Your writing totally sucks. Oh, not the writing itself. You’ve got a good writing style. Easy to read. But your posts are loaded with typos, misspellings, lost punctuation and other mistakes that signal you don’t care enough about your readers.
8. You’re spinning articles. You might not be using software to actually spin the articles, but you are writing about the same stuff everyone else inside your niche is. This is not as bad as getting content from article directories, as you are actually using your own words here, but it won’t cut it all the same. Write something interesting or go home.
9. You post once a month. How often you think I’m coming back to see if there’s some new, pithy pearl of wisdom I can glean from your blog? If you can’t update your blog at least a couple of times a week, forget about it.
10. Your blog looks like 12023532989 other blogs. WordPress offers hundreds of templates from which to choose. So, if you choose Minima Brown, your blog will look like all the other writers who build blogs using Minima Brown (or Blue).
Does your blog suck? Well, roll up your sleeves and do something about it. It is still time!
Edward Khoo writes about blogging tips and tech stuffs at his blog EdwardKhoo.com. You can also find him on his Twitter account @squall768.
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60 Responses to “10 Reasons Why Your Blog Sucks”
Nice read- couldn’t agree more with rule #5…it never hurts to show some originality and take your own photos, with some basic composition skills you can snap some great pics with a basic compact digital camera or even an iPhone!
The writing one is important too- everyone has short attention spans online (even if the content is interesting); keep the articles concise and break everything up into short paragraphs. Even bulleted lists or highlighting important words in bold or a different color helps hold the readers attention.
Sorry for the double comment,
@Eric C: #point 6 is about categories & search boxes within a site, Google & Delicious are considered as external sites
@Eric C: #5 point is about using Clip art, I didn’t touch the part about using pictures on every post.
@Chester: Controversy sells doesn’t it? 😛
Hmmmnnn….. I guess the one thing that you forget here is that your personality reflects your blog. So, if you are a boring person that may seem so here.
@ Webwordslinger – I think my problem with pictures is that they now feel in authentic. The post comes first, the picture second, because bloggers feel they have to use them on every post.
People find the images by searching through the free databases, but then again, how else would they have the pictures. In the past, I’ve written posts for websites with mandatory photo policies, and I don’t think the photos match the text at all. Again, it feels untrue, inauthentic.
@Boris – I toally agree.
I think another point missed here is : hitting the right headline. It’s your selling point.
Dosh Dosh writes a lot of quality articles when he first started blogging and he managed to establish himself as an authority in the blogging niche, that’s why even though he has reduced his post frequency people still want to visit his blog because it contains a lot of meat. I don’t think anyone who have just started can attract large amount of visitors by just posting once a month
These are good reasons. I think that if you really want to make your blog better and learn how to keep on improving it on a daily basis you really have to work on each area of learning how to make it better and keep on doing it.
It’s just like anything else in life or in any other job you may have. You have to know the rules and follow them and keep on doing whatever it takes to make it work.
You’re going to make mistakes and the key is to learn from those mistakes. Great article!
Posting once a month or even once a week is the wood rot that destroys sites before they even get off the ground.
I try and post twice a day at least. Although I must add it’s quality that counts but lots of it!
Excellent post, well worth a re-tweet
@Vishal, an exception does not break a rule.
I would add this as the eleventh one:
You blog for money. You are convinced that blogging is about getting money without effort. You just follow strategies that would increse your traffic: You include shocking content, polemic subject, contests, anything that you believe could increase your traffic…
Pretty harsh comments, but I have to agree that a lot of these are very truthful.
Thanks for this tips..right now i will to try make good content..
Thanks a lot..
I can’t tell you why but this post was funny for me.
I give second voice to the comment #8 by Eric C
Good post. I would also add things like too many ads or things like “recent visitor” add ons you see on those badly designed websites or bad colors so you can’t even find the comments link. Let’s face it, it’s tough to find someone who can write, design, stay focused, and be funny.
Dana @ Online Knowledge
Sometime, personal touch (or story?) can kill the boring situation of long tutorial post. 😀
Kok Siong Chen
Wow! Good points! I wonder which point cause my blog sucks now. However, i will do something for my blog. Thanks for sharing!
The truth hurts. I feel liked I’ve just been tongue-lashed. I just had a look at your blog. It is interesting, but would I subscribe to it? I don’t know yet.
We all comparison shop (or we should) for what we read. With the glut of information about blogging and technology, I think this is a very hard niche to enter and be successful.
My question is, do you think your own blogging is violating some of the things you listed here? This is not a criticism, merely a question.
Awesome post. I actually told my friend a few of these suggestions you have above. Well they didnt listen to me and now there website gets little to no views and because of this they quit on it.
I agree most of the points in the post.
Regarding the post frequency, I think of Dosh Dosh, who is really nearly one post per money now.
Regarding the theme, i am also using a free one, since I have little knowledge about CSS and PHP, as well as money.
Very funny and good info. I think I pass the “suckiness” test but I’ll check again.
@Eric C I respectfully disagree. The point is not whether to use images, it’s about using cheesy clip art from the Microsoft site. I’ve seen the same picture of the elderly couple walking on the beach on at least 2 different blogs.
Quality images capture attention, deliver information at a glance (charts and graphs, for example) and demonstrate that you care about your blog’s appearance. Agreed, not every post needs a picture, but it doesn’t hurt.
Check SEOmoz.org for good examples of how to use pix, charts, graphs, etc.
Regards to author.
Upgrading a blog is very important.I read other blogs frequently.I will never read it again if I find that it haven’t upgraded for a week.
3. Disagree. Many successful blogs revolve around a person. I know of someone who just got a book deal. Also, The best writers, no matter their topic, have their personality come through on their blog.
5. I disagree with the school of thought that says every blog post needs pictures. Use pictures sparingly.
6. Agree with the need for chronological and category org, but Edward, figure out how to use google or delicious.
7. You can’t have a good writing style and have typos and misspellings. I mean, that is one definition for bad style.
9. Disagree. Dosh Dosh was mentioned above.
10. Disagree. The look of your blog matters so much less than people think.
Edward, you are such a badass. It’s like you can read my friggin’ mind. If only there were more people like you.
Good article. Now that I’m hanging my head in shame I’m going to go rebuild my blog from the ground up. LOL.
@Chad: I don’t think there’s a mute button because the purpose they upload the music is for you to listen to their “wonderful” music 😛
I love titles like this, it makes you have to read the article. And it was worth the read.
I had no idea #1 even existed. I can see how it would tempt people, but it’s also very clear how it can lead your blog down the road to suckitude.
#4 if classic. It seems so late-90s now to do that. I can’t find the mute button fast enough when a site does that.
Daniel i know that blogs with syndicated content suck, but then how come “The Huffington Post” is the most popular blog today, you said that blogs which post once a month suck, but how come DoshDosh rules the blogging tips niche, bloggers who use same templates suck, but there are many who make a six figure income.
Well 4 out of 10 ain’t bad! I’ll try to get it down to one reason why…
Or ZERO! Getting to work on that now.
I was relieved to find out that there is no way my blog can suck. That is, of course, relying on the fact that these are the only ways my blog can suck 😉
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