Twelve Big Blog Booboos

Or How to Make Your Blogging Efforts a Big Waste of Time
Expert: Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Blogging is easy. Blogging is fun. That’s both good and bad. The downside is that the ease and fun of it often obscure the need to take it seriously enough to make it worth an author’s time.

I often coach authors with their blogging projects. Here are some things they should do that I rarely see them do. To look at their blogs, you might think these are rules they are following, when they should be doing just the opposite.

1. Never type “labels” or keywords into that little window-like form located under your blog post window. It’s just an extra step and it certainly doesn’t feel creative!

2. Treat your blog like a diary. Talk about anything that occurs to you. To heck with focusing so you can attract a following.

3. Oh, sure. Spend a lot of money getting someone to design your blog page. No one cares what you have to say. Everyone is there for the artistic experience.

4. Bury your blog on the most obscure service you can find and never, never use Real Simple Syndication (RSS Feeds) to send it anywhere else.

5. Choose a blog service that assures you it plans to censure and censor what you write. (WordPress is one of those.)

6. Forget you have a voice. Keep your blog sounding like the driest text you ever read.

7. Don’t encourage comments. Turn off the comment button. Never ask a question.

8. Don’t ever get any new ideas from someone else. Don’t read. Don’t invite guest bloggers. Don’t link to others’ blogs.

9. Don’t ever leave comments on anyone else’s blogs—especially if they relate to yours. And don’t ever leave a link when you do. Or sign your post. In other words, forget all the manners your mother taught you.

10. Don’t add images, widgets, or ads. We don’t care if our readers get a visual. And we certainly don’t care if we ever make a little money from our blogs.

11. Don’t use a service like Google’s Analytics that will help you assess where your readers are coming from and which of your blogs attract the most readers.

12. Don’t ever, ever, ever mention any of the other things you do on the Web, like your Web site, your Facebook Like page, and your Twitter stream.

Effective involves others–writers, readers, and other bloggers. Effective blogging connects with your other online entities. You can have fun with it. You should have fun with it. But blogging effectively adds to the joy. Think of how much more fun it will be when you look at those stats and see that your blogging efforts are in fact a viable way to market your book.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of Your Blog, Your Business, and the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter. Follow her resources for writers on Twitter @frugalbookpromo and, of course!, her blog at

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One thought on “Twelve Big Blog Booboos

  1. All very true. I think variety is the spice of blogs, as well as the points made above. If a blogger has a big store of topics and can vary substance, length, voice, mood, and intent, their blogs become interesting. “I wonder what she will come up with next.”

    It is very good to be able to return more than once for advice, or tips, or humour. But variety will prevent boredom, and lessen the chance of readers willing to stay away because they can guess what they will find.

    I do agree with all the points – they are valuable considerations. A good blog is always good marketing for books, even when it is neither explicit nor direct. The odd blog in between others that does not mention a writer’s work at all can be a marvelous refreshing break that brings a reader back another time to learn of some new review or other development.

    Thank you for this – it’s been bookmarked.

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