We’ve all seen her at some point. The woman in an expensive dress and designer shoes, who doesn’t know she’s stepped in poop and is dragging the brown, smelly streak across the road as she walks. Some folks look disgusted, while others simply look away and laugh quietly.
Your blog could also be in a similar predicament if you don’t notice. Think of your blog as the designer shoe— attractive, full of personality and enlightening views. But if you don’t notice the trail of poop you’re dragging along, your readers will soon look the other way.
Both new and seasoned bloggers make certain embarrassing mistakes that could be detrimental to their online image. Such oversights and blog blunders are the ‘poop’ on your blog. Don’t let it be you.
Here are nine such embarrassing things that can kill your blog:
1. Too Much Information
Irrespective of whether blogging is your hobby or career, it’s good to share small anecdotes from your life to establish a connection with readers. That said, while showing a little of your personal side on your blog is okay, discretion must still be applied.
Do not share things like your bathroom routine, or what your sleep habits are, or how bad your diarrhea was. You wouldn’t want your private life to be circulated all over the Web. Not only is it in bad taste and socially inappropriate, but might also bring along many dangers. You never know who is reading.
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark
Colourful language will never be ‘cool’, particularly when it pertains to your blog. Certain bloggers take pride in the fact that they swear in every sentence. They think it makes them sassy, when actually it’s completely off-putting.
Your vocabulary should be more than just a few four-letter words. Profanity might be an easy way to express certain emotions, but it reflects negatively on the blogger, and conveys the wrong impression to people who can make or break your blog (and career)— readers, clients, employers, and advertisers.
3. Poor spelling and grammar
Writers aren’t supposed to make spelling or grammatical mistakes since they are held to high standards when it comes to communication. So if your blog posts are full of misspellings, and grammatical and typographical errors, it can be disastrous.
Imagine reading a blog where the first line goes like this: When your thinking of going for a home makeover….Cringe-worthy, right?
4. Seeking sympathy
We all have bad experiences. But it isn’t okay to keep whining and complaining about your bad breaks on your blog in a bid to seek sympathy from readers. No one likes to read about constant complaints. Doing so will only result in an exodus of readers.
There’s nothing like positivity. People are drawn to blogs that are uplifting, encouraging, and happy. Remember that your blog has the power to inspire and motivate many readers, therefore, it’s always better to come across as optimistic, someone who’s faced challenges and survived them too.
5. Inappropriate images
Whether it’s your own images or stock photography, anything nude, vulgar, gory, sexually, politically or religiously inappropriate should never find a place on your blog. When clicking your own photos to put on your blog, make sure you aren’t wearing provocative clothing or using a wrong background (messy bed, dirty dishes, wild party, etc).
Since images form a big part of a blog, always exercise conservatism when choosing and posting them. The wrong images can convey all the wrong messages to your readers.
6. Inappropriate humor
Bloggers with a funny bone are appreciated but some of them just don’t know where to draw the line. Inappropriate humor is not only a huge turn-off, but could also land you in serious trouble and bring along legal ramifications.
What is funny to you may be offensive to others. All your content is better kept PG rated, and if you must use humor, make sure it’s funny in a light and fluffy sort of way and doesn’t target anyone.
7. Repeated requests
Right, bloggers need to eat too. But putting requests for donations, repeated appeals to buy your product, or constantly asking readers to click on certain links simply does nothing for your readers. They come to your blog to read what you share, and not hear constant financial requests.
Having said that, it’s okay to put a donation link on your blog for some noble cause that you’re supporting (cancer research, flood relief, treatment of sick kitty), but be subtle in doing so. It helps to be aware that not everyone will be receptive and some of them may not even be able to afford a donation.
8. Controversial references
It’s rightly said that sex, politics, and religion are better not discussed in public. Your blog is a public platform, and unless it’s entirely about one of the above subjects, you rather not discuss them on your blog.
Religion is touchy, politics is highly debatable, and sex is controversial. You never know who you end up infuriating. I’ve seen many bloggers making controversial references on purpose to bring them attention (and maybe some traffic too). But you’re better off without that, because certain thoughtless comments and references can even get your blog taken down. That’s the last thing you’d want.
“The casual conversational tone of a blog is what makes it particularly dangerous” – Daniel B.Beaulieu
9. Inappropriate remarks
Your blog isn’t a place to wash dirty linen or to launch mean attacks on others. No, it isn’t okay even if you don’t name anyone. Freedom of speech isn’t always appropriate everywhere, so have control on your fingers. There may be people you absolutely detest, but keep it private at all costs.
Bear these tips in mind and put them to use to avoid some embarrassing blog blunders. After all, nobody wants poop on their precious shoe!