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I’m putting together some notes to give out at my blogging workshops and presentations. This one’s a list of things to avoid doing (assuming your goal is to develop a broad readership).

As always, these are just my opinions, other folks might feel differently, which is fine.

1. Don’t be boring.
Better no post at all than a string of dull entries. Of course, one person’s idea of ‘dull as dishwater’ is another’s interesting read, so deciding what counts as boring is a subjective thing. I’d say a good way to decide is to ask yourself if you think other folks will find your entry useful/interesting or if you’re posting because you feel you ought to. 

2. Don’t tell people what to do.
It’s a good idea to avoid phrases like ‘Go read’ or ‘Discuss.’ It makes you seem bossy.

[Yes, I recognize the irony of telling folks not to tell folks what to do ]

3. Don’t ignore your readers.
If you get loads of comments on your blog entries, people will understand if you don’t respond to every single one of them, but until then, ignoring people who comment on your blog is the equivalent of walking away without a word after someone’s come over to talk to you. It’s your choice, but I’d advise against it. 

4. Don’t make ranting/hateful/insulting posts or comments.
The occasional vent is fine, if it’s about a personal situation, but ranting makes you look like a hater, and nobody needs more haters in their life.

But it’s part of who I am. I have to be true to myself, don’t I?

Being ‘true to ourselves’ is all well and good, but sometimes our ‘self’ can be a real jerk  (I know mine can). Some ‘selves’ should be kept offline, and the hater is one of them.

5. Don’t talk about yourself in third person, unless it’s your bio or you’re doing it to get a laugh.  

6. Don't promote yourself or your work on someone else’s blog (unless you’ve been invited to do so).
Aside from the rudeness factor, pimping yourself or your work on someone else’s blog just doesn’t work. In fact, I’d say it has a negative effect. It makes you look desperate and annoys that blog’s owner and just about anybody who sees your post. If you don’t think that matters, see the note on being ‘true to ourselves.’ Remember, you want people to recognize your name in a favorable way.

7. Never post anything you wouldn’t want the people you most admire to see.
If you’ve any doubts about whether you should put something online, ask yourself how you’d feel if the people you most respect were to see it.

8. Don’t be a potty mouth.
Some people don’t like swearing. If you use a lot of foul language in your posts, those folks will stop reading.

9. Don’t get involved in finger-pointing, group mockery or flame wars.
Every now and then, somebody will say or do something which invites the ridicule/wrath of the online community. However tempted you feel, I’d suggest you avoid jumping on the bandwagon. Leave the righteous indignation to other folks. If you really feel you have to post something about the matter, do it in a way which adds something useful to the debate, and keep in mind suggestion #4.

 10. _________________________


I left #10 blank, what would you put on a ‘Blogging tactics - Don’t do this’ list?

 




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Comments

mikandra
Oct. 10th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
No need to apologise, since part of the reply was taking the mickey, and the other half was lamenting the proliferation of 'rules' lists.

In a more serious vein, there are a lot of blog posts out there trying to 'educate' people about how to behave, in particular when concerning sensitive issues (hint: they are not writing issues). I wish more effort was being dedicated to highlighting instances where people got it right, allowing people to follow an example, instead of the constant kicking in the shins if people slip up. I guess I'm so tired of issue-related flame wars, and words like 'ignorance' being brandished like weapons. Everyone is ignorant about a lot of things, and calling someone else ignorant implies that you think you're not, and that leads to the holier-than-thou assessment.
jongibbs
Oct. 10th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
I remember when I was younger, and people would say to me, 'You're not a stupid person' or words to that effect, which I always assumed meant that they thought they were smarter than me. Of course, they probably were, but I remember thinking it would have been nice for them to not make their opinion so obvious.
mikandra
Oct. 10th, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
LOL! Exactly.

Sometimes people sign off their reviwes with 'keep writing' or 'don't give up hope' or something to that extent. I know they don't mean it to sound like this, but to me, it always sounds patronising, since it implies that after the review they've just given me, I'll be shattered.

Oops. Veering off-topic a bit here ;-)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


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