How NOT to be a Terrible Blogger

I have confession to make.  I was a terrible blogger.  Before I started writing The Anti-Social Media, I often wrote stories about how my cat is a strange, manipulative feline with a penchant for throwing up in the most inopportune places.  I’m amazed my friends kept coming back for more.  They really pity care about me.

It’s taken me a long time to break away from my bad habits, and I still fall into them every now and then.  However, I see a lot of other bloggers doing the same things, making the same mistakes over and over.  Isn’t this why we have this wonderful internet, so we can all learn from one another?

Here are my tips to avoid being a terrible blogger.

  • Spelling and Grammar Errors.  I hate coming across a blatant error in the middle of a perfectly fine article.  It screams that the author doesn’t care enough about his/her own work to make sure that even the most basic elements of the post are formulated correctly.  I take the time to read every post of mine out loud.  This ensures it makes sense grammatically, and has the bonus of making sure I stay within my own voice.
  • No opinion or point.  It drives me nuts when you don’t offer an opinion on an issue or topic.  Why are you even blogging then?  Even if you’re blogging to entertain, there’s a point you drive towards to make the joke.  It’s like all those papers you wrote in high school and college.  You have to have a strong thesis and build around it.
  • Publish other people’s content.  This is a cardinal sin of any type of publishing, especially blogging.  Because I use Tumblr, I see a lot of content pushed around and around without proper attribution.  This is the reason we have hyperlinking, so we can send people to other people’s content easily and without stealing their awesome ideas.
  • Write about everything.  We all have weaknesses.  We all know what bores us to death.  If a psycho snuck into my room at night and gave me the choice about blogging about physics or losing my right thumb, I’d gladly cut that thumb off myself.  If you write about things that bore you just because you think they might be important, you’ll quickly learn they aren’t important.  Write about what gets you excited, and other people will get excited too.
  • Ignore your commenters and audience.  One of my rules of Anti-Social Media is to remember the little people. There are more of readers than there are you.  Such is true with your audience and commenters.  If they feel their contributions are useless and you ignore them, they won’t stick around long.  They may also be evil and try to hurt you.  Be nice, pay attention to them, and don’t give them the chance to be spiteful.

None of these are above the realm of common sense.  Half of them are the reverse of things I said about being an awesome blogger.  What do you do to avoid being a terrible blogger?

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