For every good blog out there, there is a multitude of bad ones. Below is a list of the things most commonly done wrong in bad blogs.
A blogosphere is a crowded place, and that is mainly a good thing. Since so many people have access to your blog, there is a good chance you will find an audience for whatever you are writing about. That is unless your idea of blogging is regurgitating popular content, and relying on being the first one people see. There is nothing wrong with writing about popular topics, but let your writing be an expression of yourself – in the end, that is why people visit blogs, isn’t it?
2: FALSE INFORMATION
Giving opinions is easy – getting people to want to read them isn’t. The fatal drawback we see in many blogs is writing about things the writer has very little or no knowledge about. While there is a slim chance that none of your readers will notice you have no clue what you are writing about, proper research is a sign of respect for your readership – as is a lack of one a sign of disrespect.
3: PRETENDING EXPERTISE
This note expands on the previous one. It is a matter of pretending expertise when one is obviously not an expert. A dose of honest humility goes a long way. Not many people will hold it against you if you make honest mistakes – unless you claim the information to be absolutely true. There is no need to pretend to be something you are not and adding false value to yourself does not intrinsically add value to your blog. There will almost certainly be readers who know more about what you are writing than yourself, so stay real.
4: NO EXTERNAL LINKS
Simply put, use external links! External links do not hurt your blog or reduce your readership. People leaving your blog to read another blog because of a link you provided makes them appreciate your content even more – you become a source of relevant information for them. Links add credibility through other people’s expertise are a reminder to your readers that you actually read and research the things you write about.
“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
— William Faulkner
5: UNCLEAR BLOG LAYOUT
When reading blogs, most people will usually want some information before committing to reading the whole entry. They want to know that the blog post has the information they might be interested in. Readers should be able to scan a blog post and get a sense what it is about without actually reading it. You should strive to have a clear layout style and use plenty of headings. Make sure your headings are relevant and descriptive.
6: IRRELEVANT CONTENT
Most of the time blogs are more about the actual meaning of the content than the way it is delivered. Great writers can write about the most mundane of things and still make us feel inspired when reading about it. Unfortunately, most bloggers aren’t great writers. The realization of your writing mediocrity should, however, not stop you from having a great blog. One way to do this is to be careful not to burden your readership with excess thoughts and irrelevant information. Know your topic and cut everything that doesn’t directly contribute to it, no matter how well written you think it is. It was William Faulkner that said: “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” Don’t let your ego get in the way of great blogging.
7: POOR WRITING SKILLS
While mastering English grammar is no longer considered a must when writing blogs, it is still important. Don’t let lacking knowledge of the English language discourage you from writing. However, make some extra effort to write as grammatically correct as you can. If you are struggling, consider hiring someone to proofread your writing. Bad grammar is distracting and can ruin the flow of your article. The same goes for badly constructed sentences. You must appreciate your readership; they don’t have the time and patience to try and understand what you meant – be clear and precise.
8: LACK OF CLARITY
Lack of clarity can encompass unclear layout, irrelevant content, and poor writing skills. Everything that can make your blog hard or confusing to read. This also includes the structure of your blog. Every text should have a set flow, so that each sentence or paragraph is built upon the previous one, and so forms the foundation for the next one. Yes, this is a hard task, but it is one that can be mastered only by endless repetition. Practice makes perfect, but the best you can do is often good enough.