bloggingIt is often more helpful to know what NOT to do. Here are five common blogging mistakes that you should avoid (but most will not):

Sloppy Writing

u don’t got to be a wurld CLass writer butt u do gotta not be a slob whin righting.

The biggest turn off with content is not a lack of professional writing skills.  Good stories and ideas can overcome a lack of writing style. However, it is always a turn off when we lack of diligence concerning those things we CAN control: punctuation, captilization, avoiding those “texting” abbreviations, and generally typing like an adult rather than a scatterbrained adolescent.

Clean up your typing. Use capitals and punctuation. Take advantage of your spell checker. Write in short sentences and short paragraphs just to be safe. Avoid cutesy cultural “texting” words unless they clearly add to the style and message.

Crappy Photos

The best writing, best design and best content ideas in the world are quickly ruined when we put no effort into making our photos and images as good as they can be. Not everyone can have worldclass, fantastic images but pretty much anyone can avoid putting up lousy photos that show very little effort or concern.

Here is a recent post about good image work: http://www.mcklinkyblog.com/200909/six-tricks-for-great-photos-on-your-blog/ and the next issue of SeriousLife Magazine will be dedicated to teaching you and showing you how to have great photos on your blog. Be sure to get your free subscription to SeriousLife and we’ll let you know when the issue comes out next week.

Widget and Gadget Dementia

Many bloggers, especially those with more personal blogs have an obsession with miles and miles and miles of endless gadgets and widgets lining the sides of the blog.  If not an obsession, maybe they’ve seen it so much they think it MUST be the right thing to do.

This widgetpalooza is bad for several reasons: it slows down the blog from loading; it’s ugly; it’s often useless; it runs the risk of something incompatible causing problems on your blog; it’s a design nightmare and it is distracting from the REAL treasure on your blog – the posts.

Group widgets and badges tastefully. Get rid of gadgets that don’t add value for your readers.  Don’t extend 20 ft of widgets down your page miles past the last blog post.

Eye Gouging Mind Numbing Style

This one is a little more hard to describe but it goes something like this. If one of the following reactions is common upon visiting your blog, then you might want to get some graphic design help:

  • The urge to gouge your eyes out
  • An overdose of Oxycontin to numb the mental chaos
  • An overwhelming desire to strangle yourself
  • An instant decision to leave your blog and never come back

You don’t have to be a professional graphics designer. But ANYONE can employ some general design rules AND ask for the opinion of designers. There are LOTS of designers out there and chances are someone reading your blog is pretty good at design. Ask their opinion.

When in doubt, find a blog that is well done and mimic their style. There is no excuse for a blog design that runs people off, or worse, makes them want to shove their head through a monitor.

Not Learning

I’m always amazed at people who spend zero or less time learning about blogging. If you are going to do it, why not be educated about it?  Maybe it’s just my personality.

Learn about good writing, how to do great photos. Learn about good design, navigation and how to interact with your readers. Blogging is a lot more fun, not to mention more successful, if you actually know what you are doing. It’s not rocket science. Anyone can learn the ins and outs of good blogging.

The fact that you are reading this blog post is a good start…

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There’s probably a hundred of these “mistakes” we could list but this short lesson on these five will hit most people right between the eyes. Crawl before you walk…

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