Monday, September 24, 2007

7 Surefire Ways To Commit Blog Suicide

Please excuse this unscheduled interruption to my regular blogcasting schedule but I'm not one to refuse a challenge. (Thank you Michele for the fabulous linkage.) I'll return to the regular schedule with a Book Review on Tuesday and then parts two and three of the six part series on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

But first, can I come up with seven ways to commit blog suicide that aren't on Michele's list of seven? It might take some brain wracking but I'm sure I can. Let’s see now:

1. Use Excessive, Gimmicky, Inappropriate, and Off-topic Advertising
ICK! If you want to monetize your blog all well and good. I'm one of many who depend on affiliate programs and pay-per-click for my morning coffee (actually I drink tea) but I can't stand attempting to read blogs that have gone crazy with their advertising. I think blogs that put blatant advertising inside their actual entry look terrible. If the content is incredible I might still read and ignore the eyesore but it is a mark against you in my book. Advertisements should be sedate, topical, informative, accurate, ASR rated (on non-adult-only content blogs), and classy. They should also remain minimal. Don't fill every spec of white space with advertising.

2. Write Short & Pointless
Have nothing to say. Write a single sentence entry that says nothing interesting. Write about subjects that no one cares about. NO! Write what people will want to read. Write about what you love and express in detail why you love it. Have a point and follow it strongly through every line of your post. Write at least two hundred words so I'm not wasting bandwidth loading useless garbage.

3. Be A Doomsayer - Predict Armageddon
Write about how bad your day was. Write about it every day. Write about the imminent end of the world. Write about how horrible people are in general. Write lists of people you hate and are going to kill. *grimaces* Just writing this is depressing me. I don't want to read blogs to get depressed. Jazz yourself up, be happy, force a smile if you have to but you MUST write with an upbeat tone. If you're having a bad day that's fine by write about something that's going to cheer you up, not about how every moment was agony. If you have occasions when you really do just need to have a whinge and get a hug and a pat on the back do it, but do it once, don't keep going on, day after day in the same rut.

4. Be Super Religious
Ok, well in blogs that focus around religion this is ok. Any other time be aware that not everyone who wants to read about your topic wants to be 'saved'. Some of us aren't that into God. Being a preaching blogger is one of the fastest ways to get me bouncing well away from your site. I know there are others like me. Be aware that the world of blog readers is a diverse culture. Write for everyone and keep your religious judgments out of your blog or at least toned right down. You can sign off with God Bless or Jesus Loves You but don't try to convert me to your religion.

5. Use Internet Jargon, Leet Speak, and Yuppy Yapping
U R A QT! *grimaces* I was going to write this tip completely in jargon but I seriously just couldn't. It hurt my brain and killed at least two dozen brain cells just attempting to. Yes, the internet has lead to a whole new language but English is such a lovely language to begin with, why don't we just keep using it? I don't want to have to exhaust myself trying to translate your gibberish and I certainly won't hang around for it.

6. Don't Use WhiteSpace
Stack your sentences together and together. Don't use any line breaks, don't double space your paragraphs, don't leave room either side of your text, and don't, whatever you do, forget to fill up every inch of your left over page with images and ads and glaring backgrounds. Look, the internet is visually tense. Reading for extended periods from our monitors is hard on our eyes (even when web pages are stylish and uncluttered). When you add the pressure of zero whitespace you're causing serious problems for readers. Especially for those, like me, who have dyslexia. I NEED WHITESPACE! It's vital!

7. Write Meaningless Titles
Ok, well this isn't an automatic click away for me. If the actual posts are informative and interesting I'll keep reading. Titles are very important. I want to know from your archives if I'm going to be interested in reading a particular post. You need to offer enough detail in your title so that I'll know what to expect inside. It also helps to be eye-catching and stimulating.

Well, look at that. I did make it to seven after all. *chuckles* This was a great challenge. Am I supposed to tag people now? I think so. Ok, you're it:

Silvia Acevedo
Anne Creed
Geraint Isitt

Oh, and for those of you interested I wrote 10 Tips To Blogs That Get Read several weeks ago. Now you've read seven 'what not to dos' check out ten things you can do that encourage your readers to stick around.

What is it that turns YOU off a blog? What do you like and dislike? Feel free to be specific to this site if you like; anything about it that grates on your nerves? anything about it you really appreciate? Do you know any exceptional blogs you'd like to share?


Blogger Michele L. Tune said...

Hi Rebecca,

You did an excellent job!! Hurray!!

I'm sure one of my "mistakes" is using too many exclamation points, huh?

I'm off to read your 10 tips of what TO DO...


1:27 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

*blushes* Thank You, Michele! It was a fun challenge and another article I can make use of in the future. :-)

9:26 AM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...


You came up with some very good tips. One that I'd like to add is that I don't like anonymous posters who like to ride in only to leave a nasty remark. There is healthy criticism and there are differences of opinion, but some people get carried away or their intent is to 'troll'.

All of the tips are very good and proper, but above all we should always be mindful of our safety. There will be times when anyone of us won't want to respond to everyone who drops a message.

Other than that, I think you and Michele have covered the basics.

Have a good week - and write good poetry..:)

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

Whew! You and Michele have already covered it, plus I'm probably committing blog suicide daily. But here's my entry in this tag contest:

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

My whole address did not come through. Try
and click on "Seven ways to commit blog suicide."

5:15 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

Thank you for your comments Deborah. You're very right! It's important to be safe on the web and remember that not everyone you meet will be kind and decent. Thankfully most of us are.

*hides from the poetry comment* It's been a while since I've focused on my poetry. I really should write more.

Way to go Anne! Great job with your tag entry. :-) It seems like you need to use HTML tags to make links work on here, so for those looking for Anne's 7 Ways it's here:

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I totally agree with you on #1 and #5. Excessive ads or indecipherable e-jargon are two things that I can't stand to see on blogs.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Natash said...

Hi Rebecca,

Reading both this and your ten tips has given me lots to think about. I've kept blogs since about 2000, but ws4w is my first 'non-personal' attempt, and I'm enjoying the challenge...


3:28 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

Thank you Nancy and Tash! :-)

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a publisher of a Christian blog, I disagree with one of your points. It would be more accurate to say, "Write for your audience." For example, my blog started out as a daily devotional. The response was huge. When I began interspersing mainstream topics, readership dropped. I began devotionals again and readership took off once more. Believe it or not, there are people out there "really into God"! I beg to differ when 86% of Americans polled in 2005 answered they believe in God. That poll only gives us the stats on one country and Christianity is worldwide.

To my misfortune, I signed up for a fellow writer's blog a few months ago. Her titles might be catchy to some but I find them offensive. Yes, she's published but I'm curious how that occurred. Her blog is nothing but mindless babblings of her own opinions (but, she is the authority on everything!). So, if you want to read rabbit-chasing monologue on masturbation and her authoritative views on sensual fulfillment -- well, I'll let you surf and find her. To conclude, is she really writing for her audience? She's selling sex and writes her own pat on the back every day and asks you to buy her vanity-published book.

If I have to reduce myself to meanderings on feeling my privates to get a reader, I'll stop blogging!

6:23 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

That really is an excellent point, Anon. In that sort of situation it is important to remember to "write for your audience". Some topics are specifically targetted for religious audiences. In this case, I certainly wouldn't be in your target market and you're right, it's vital to consider who your target market is.

You really do also have to have a close sense of moral judgement. There are some things you have to accept within yourself and others you can forbid. This can change from blog to blog as well but as you mentioned, the sexual nature of your fellow writer's blog didn't suit your personal tastes and while she may have a cult following of readers who are grabbed by her titles they would equally turn off many readers. Again, it comes into target markets. Titles should take into consideration what your target readers most want out of what they're about to read.

Hopefully none of us will be forced to such blogging lows. Thankfully there are many readers out there who are not interested in the prolific pornography on the internet and are here for higher purposes and greater knowledge.

11:23 PM  

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