Monday, February 2, 2009

Top 5 Blogging Mistakes

Everyone has a blog these days--doesn't matter if you're a multinational corporation or a dairy farmer. This is a good thing, in theory. I love hearing about people lives--especially people who have created a business out of something they're passionate about. If I see a blog I like, I'll almost always go and check out their home page as well. What most bloggers don't realize is that it's easier than they think to drive traffic--and a lot of it has to do with how the posts themselves are written. Here is my list of the top 5 most common mistakes people make when writing blog posts.
1. Length--Either people microblog (so, why did I click from Twitter?) or they write a novel. Ideal blog post length: 150-350 words. That's enough to express one idea, and not to go on too long about it.
2. Never getting to the point. Every time you post, ask yourself the following questions: What is the point? What am I trying to say? Why should anyone care?
3. Oversharing. I love to read tell-all memoirs and the like, but there's something about people putting intimate details of their personal lives on their blogs that is just ... creepy and wrong.
4. Being moderate or milquetoast in one's position. The corollary to this is that the best blogs are controversial. The most popular bloggers--think Perez Hilton, Ariana Huffington--are the ones with a very strong point of view.
5. Passive voice. Forget those term papers with the "It seems the author is trying to imply that Ulysses was attempting to be rescued..." lingo. Get active with the nouns and verbs, and all of a sudden the words leap off the page.

For more stuff like this, check out this interview on Robert Middleton's blog with someone named Daphne Gray-Grant.

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