Blogging fails – What I’ve learned

I know some of us blog just for fun and others use blogging as a marketing means, either way, every time I visit a blog that gives me a hard time, odds are I am going to be leaving… 😦

I agree with the concept “my blog – my way”, and I am against pushy rules, so all I am saying is that maintaining a user-friendly atmosphere helps people stick around and get to know you better!

So this is what I ‘ve learned through my mistakes and by cruising the blogosphere.

blog fail yeti

1. No Answer

When you have a comments section under your posts, then theoretically you expect people to comment. So when someone comments then he or she expects you to answer, please don’t leave your people waiting.

2. Don’t be a diva

Let’s assume I am on a date with a hot (really hot) guy I just met. When he drives me home I ask him for his number and he says… ehm… NO! I am probably going to forget him the next day, even if he is Brad Pit. (you can replace this name with any hot guy’s name you like) –Wrapping Up– Even if you have a killer blog, you have to give me a way to connect with you. Email subscription and social media buttons will work miracles!

3. Speak clearly

I am overanalyzing, but I am terribly lazy (I confess) and if the structure and overall picture of a post is not helpful, then I usually don’t read it. What does that mean? If I see a sea of letters and words, I am usually not eager to get wet, so lend me a boat please, and organize text in paragraphs. Furthermore the use of pictures always makes the reading experience richer. And another thing, colors. I love colorful blogs, and by that I mean background. I am not going to loose my eyes trying to read yellow or pink letters in a post…

4. It’s complicated

Lost and Confused SignpostInterface and navigations is anohter thing that should be easy. I know what you are thinking, how hard could it be? Clicking “home”, or the header, takes you to the blog’s home page. And by home page I mean posts. Some blogs have a static home page, which is fine, as long as there is a header tab that takes me to the blog’s posts. But what if there are no pages? Then I ‘ll look for the categories, or tags, or recent posts, or the search button or I ‘ll just pack my things and go.

5. Take me to your place

Let’s go back to the point I were on a date with the hot guy (Yay!) and focus on wordpress blogs for a moment. And let’s change the story a bit. Say he does give me his number at the end. Now imagine that the phone number he gives me turns out wrong… Yeah, slap in the forehead! So check your Gravatars, that is the only thing that could lead me back to your WordPress blog, so make sure it actually works, and links back to your blog

6. Anonymity

Blogging is all about storytelling and about the person, yes, even if you are blogging to promote your business venture. The goal is to give value through your content, either that value is practical or simply emotional, don’t keep it faceless, give your readers a name and a face, a person they can put behind the text and create a conection.  So introduce yourself and don’t be afraid to create relationships with your readers, you’ll get to meet some amazing people!

It’s a huge (blogging) world out there and standing out of the crowd sounds tough.

stand out from the crowd

What blogging fails are you proud of?

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26 thoughts on “Blogging fails – What I’ve learned

  1. I (almost) totally agree. (HUH?)
    Photos, spaces – hit that return key a couple times will YA! – and easy navigation.

    If it’s too much to read and I’ve got places to go and people to see, I gotta check out. I can’t believe I read all of this. LOL (I’m the lazy one) But you peaked my curiosity.

    Now there’s another bullet. #7 😉

  2. Six great rules plus one makes seven!

    A good post Ioanna! I knew most of those things, still need to work on my blog more. I have difficulty keeping post short and to the point 🙂

    Connecting all posts to Google is something I need to do. Using the title, at least once and in italics, in the main body of the post is imperative as it will bring in more readers…something about the search engines. Nidhi Raghav from the Foodie group told us about it.

    • If you come to think of it, there are so many rules when it comes to blogging “properly” title, tags, structure, social integration and the list goes on and on.

      But the most important rule is to keep it real and be yourself, make true relationships and keep contact. And I want to make that last thing my most important rule, keep contact. I haven’t been blogging for so long and I’ve missed my blogging friends and the cosy atmosphere!

  3. Great tips, though I’m having a harder and harder time following #1. When I first started out I had a “rule” that I would reply to every comment left on my blog. Sadly and due to time constraints I’ve been unable to answer as fully as I’d like. I’m also using the “like” button as a form of reply much more than I’d prefer, though usually only if the comment is a short, “pretty picture,” “stunning,” or the like. Long, thoughtful comments still receive a reply though.

    • I know that feeling, as Katina says at her comment above, life gets in the way so we don’t seem to have enough time to dedicate to our blogs… I guess all these rules should be more strictly followed when it comes to professional blogging, I feel like we blog because it makes us happy and that the only rule we should be following. 🙂

      • To be totally honest, I started my blog 100% in hopes of having it become professional. I started it to promote ME! My photography to be more accurate. However, making new photos, including time spent behind the computer after a shoot, keeping my fan page current, writing articles for another blog that actually pays me, and oh yea, a full time day job and a wife and daughter who like to spend time with me on occasion, as my fan base grows it simply gets harder and harder to keep up. If photography was my full time source of income, then maybe I would find it much easier to reply to each and every comment. Up to a point.

        • So basically that’s the answer, our blogs serve a purpose and they should be built that way. In this blog I want to just have fun writting and talking to people, so comments are important. Your blog is there for your personal branding and to showcase your work so maybe it shouldn’t have comments but another kind of communication means (a one you could manage more efficiently, like a form) – This way it’s kept strictly professional.

          • I admit it’s a balancing act, but I do enjoy the interaction with people I would never have crossed paths with if it weren’t for my blog. So far I haven’t gotten too big for my own good to reply most of the time. As I mentioned I have been more likely to just “Like” the one or two word comments rather than reply.

            Should someone take the time to write a well thought out comment or critique of one of my photos I will still honor them with an equally well thought out reply. That being said, I don’t want to leave an impression that one type of comment has more value than the other, it’s just that there are only so many ways to simply say “Thank You,” to those one of two word “pretty picture” type comments. I think the “Like” button is just as good as a Thank You in that case.

            • I love the “thank you” button idea it fits perfectly the blogging society! I trully believe bloggers appreciate their readers, even if we don’t find the time to answer to everybody, it shows through our content and our way of writing.

              Only once I felt unnecessary as a reader and that was in a Marketing blog, but afer reading a few posts of that person it became clear that he ditched all his readers/commenters.

              • I couldn’t imagine doing that no matter how “famous” I get. Part of what people are buying into when they visit my blog is me, not just the photos, but me, my smart-ass and sarcastic personality, and the tips I gladly give when asked. I think people appreciate someone who isn’t just a faceless entity there only to make a sale.

  4. I agree with all those points ioanna!

    I have to say that I don’t write as much as I’d like but if I did my posts would be a book chapter 🙂

    I find that being genuinely interested and engage with your audience is a must! After all they are your loyal supporters and without them there is no point to blog.

    Keep up the great work 🙂

  5. Oh yes, these needed to be said. #1 is a particular pet peeve of mine especially know that we can like comments there is no reason not to acknowledge a comment.

    And for ease of use…so many blogs have lost me.

    • And I mean, it’s about the communication no? I am talking about people who generally don’t answer their comments though cause some times you may not have time and it could happen that you miss a few comments…

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