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4 Mistakes Bloggers Make

We just can’t be bloggy friends. I am so sorry, really, and I hate to break it to you… but it’s not me. It’s you.

lose followers

by Bloggers Anonymous

I want to love you. I want to head over to your blog and instantly be motivated, captivated, and inspired. You have some wonderful ideas, you seem like an amazing person, and I think if we met in real life, we could be BFF.

The thing is… your blog is annoying.

I know it isn’t your fault. A lot of people have annoying blogs, and my aggression is probably less to do with your indiscretions, but the fact that I see them everywhere.

So let’s all try to be a little less annoying. Let’s treat each other with respect and build beautiful friendships with other fantastic creative bloggers like ourselves- and get rid of some very bad habits.

(For the record, I have been guilty of every single one of these offenses at one time or another in the past. As part of my rehabilitation, I am sharing the light with others in an effort to make blogland a more beautiful and harmonious place).

 1. You use word verification on your blog.

first world problem: word verification

I get it, spam is even more annoying than an annoying blog. I don’t blame you for wanting to keep it out! Here’s the thing though: it makes the rest of us want to avoid commenting on your blog, too. It can be impossible to read the sample words, and it slows down those of us who’d like to leave a lot of comments for good ideas we see.

Please, please take off the word verification. I promise I will leave you more love notes if you do! And I can write some really, really good love notes. Don’t miss out on them.

Just as a sidenote… if you have wordpress, be sure to activate your Akismet key. It will eliminate spam for you, no verification needed. Not activating it will annoy you and your visitors. We don’t care about links to fake pink uggs as much as you don’t want to have them clogging up your blog space.

 2. You are a new blog, and link up tons of affiliate links and ads.

affiliate penginI get it. When I first started blogging, I was like “whaaaa… I can make money doing this??? Sign me up”- and put like 9,000 links up all over my site. Nobody bought anything. And likely, I drove away a few people- or prevented them from clicking ads they might really have liked and been interested.

A lot of crafty bloggers are stay at home moms or women looking for additional income. Yes, blogs can make money- but it takes a looong time. We’re talking at least a year to start just covering costs and maybe pocketing a little change.

I applaud you for seeing that your blog can be a business. And I want you to make extra money, so you can keep blogging. Please just realize that if you’ve only been around a couple of months or less, I don’t really care what link you think will save me money.

Give it a little time. Let me form a relationship with you before throwing a bunch of DVD deals, coupons and dresses at me, ok?

It’s like picking out underwear for someone you’ve been on two dates with. That took me a whole year of marriage, after three years of dating, to do for my hubs. And it still felt a little weird. Let’s get to know each other first before you start telling me what’s best.

I’d also suggest waiting to have at least 500 followers of any kind to really start hawking the deals. You won’t burn out and sour on them early on, and you’ll look more trustworthy to your audience. Start slowly, and go from there. In the meantime, set up adsense and be sure to put an at up high on your blog so you can make some money while you are growing your audience.

 3. You lurk link parties and you write a canned remark inviting me to your link party.

linky partyI get it- you want to have a lot of links. And I’d love to share my ideas with you and your lovely followers! I also realize this one isn’t your fault. I know you’ve seen a zillion other people commenting like this on blogs so you probably think that is how link parties grow.

Unfortunately, this makes me want to skip your blog and your party pretty much all together. It makes me think you came to the post that I spent hours writing and left a comment just to promote your own blog. I don’t like that. It doesn’t make me want to be friends with you, and it doesn’t make me want to help you.

If you do really love me, and want to be friends, leave me a nice comment! Maybe send me a shoutout on facebook or twitter- let me get to know you.

Send me an email or a message asking me to come check out your party, ask me to add it in my weekly linkup list. I’ll not only add you to my linky page, but I’ll invite some cool friends to come with me, too.

 4. You comment to let me know you are my newest follower- only to ask me to follow you back.

blog follower

This one I see everywhere too, and I realize again this is something you probably think is ok. It isn’t.

I love it when people let me know they started following me. When someone lets me know they are my newest fan, I will usually go ahead and “like” the person right away. You made my day, I’d like to make yours, too.

But if you are just liking me to get a follower, I don’t really have time for you. When you say “be sure to follow me back!”, you’re saying to me, “of course you should love me, and I am actually a bit offended you aren’t already in awe of my awesomeness- I only want to be friends with you so I can get something out of you”. It is annoying. It seems like begging and seems like you only like me for the potential possibility I might like you.

That is no way for us to start a friendship! Get to know me. Leave me a couple of comments. Send me an email introducing yourself and your blog.

Don’t expect to get to first base with me without some flowers and a little mutual respect, okay?

 It’s not too late to change

So there you have it. Look, it isn’t too late, and it’s not personal. So many people have been perpetuating these bad blog habits for so long, it has become accepted as common behavior. To grow a blog, you have to be a bit aggressive- and it is really easy to step over the line into annoying. We’ve all done it at some point or another. Don’t feel bad- don’t worry, you probably haven’t actually lost any friends, but stay away from these annoying behaviors, and you’ll gain far, far more!

Treat your readers, followers and fellow bloggers with respect- as you would your friends. Growing your blog involves a lot of nurturing personal relationships, but you will see more steady, consistent and strong growth when it does come than when you push too hard. Good luck!


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76 Responses to “4 Mistakes Bloggers Make”

  1. Lisa H. says:

    Really great tips, and written with a bit of humor – I like that! It seems I’m always striving to be a better blogger. I appreciate you sharing your insight.

  2. [email protected] says:

    You get A+ in all 4!! Thanks for speaking loud and clear ! xox, d.

  3. LOVE this. I like the idea of getting back to being personal. Send someone an email to talk one-on-one and get to know the blogger better. Don’t just follow to follow! Great advice :)

  4. Carrie @Tempo Life Coaching says:

    Im new to blogging and all this social media self promotion stuff. Loved your article. I need all the advice I can get because I certainly dot want to irritate people :). Gonna pass this on to my other new blogging friends. Thanks!

  5. Kathleen says:

    I suspect this whole ‘business’ of blogging is considerably more complicated these days as compared to even 5 years ago. I know MY head is ready to explode just reading about what NOT to do. So glad I ‘discovered’ you (recently) _before_ entering the fray and launching my own blog. I’m going right over to my little page _right now_ to activate my Akismet key (whatever that is)and set up adsense – oh, maybe I better get some content and a few readers first, y’think?

  6. Julie says:

    On the subject of point #1, I run my blog on WordPress.org but so many people use blogger and limit their comments so the only people who can comment are fellow blogger users or people using Google plus. You lock out a chance to connect with so many people by limiting access! I had a friend who blogged while abroad in Egypt and she didn’t realize that her own mom couldn’t comment due to the privacy settings put in place.

  7. Desiree says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I love the images you added and the honesty of it. I noticed that after I switched from Blogger to WordPress there were less comments.

    I would love to take the annoying verification word out {trust me I have tried} I just don’t know how to do it.

    Anyways, thank you again for the advice! You guys are awesome!

  8. Alison says:

    Many great ideas here! Love the humor!

  9. Michelle L. says:

    I love this post! Follow me back!

    Hee hee.

    Really, love this post. The ilustrations cracked me UP!

  10. Shannon Fox says:

    This here post needs to go viral. All of the points seem like common sense, good manners type of guidelines but too many people are doing the things you are addressing. Like we are in kindergarten with the “I’ll be your friend if you be mine.” I will most definitely be sharing this. Have a fab day!!

  11. I love these tips. Thank you for writing this. As a new blogger I value this type of information.

    Mandy

  12. Florence Deputy says:

    Thank you, this is very informative I am in the process of gathering info to start a blog, but afraid to take that first step I seem to be drawn to the articles on what not to do, so I will definitely pin this next to my computer as a reminder to myself to keep it real! Again great tips! :0)

  13. Love, love this!

    Word verification is a major turnoff for me. And both of those types of comments (follow me or join my linky) are at the top of my ‘most annoying’ comment list.

    I agree about watching how many ads/links you put up… *especially* when you are new. I waited 1+ years before I chose to show ads. Some people don’t want to wait that long and when and how one monetizes a blog always is a personal choice. But unless your blog skyrockets and becomes huge overnight, it is very important in the beginning to build your content first vs. tons of ads. Focus on developing your reader base. In time, you will see an increase your pageviews to support the monetization when you are ready. THEN your readers will likely be apt to click on that link you suggest because you have built a relationship with them. Remember: blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

    P.S. LOVE the graphics… they made me smile.

  14. Anel says:

    Thanks for this post. I appreciate all the help i can get to become a better blogger

  15. Taylor says:

    yes to all!!!! seriously couldn’t agree more!!

  16. Kristy says:

    Thank you for the tips for us newbies! I am happy to report I was only guilty of one.. Which a lovely commenter pointed out to me on my blog- The dreaded word verification! I had no idea it was on! I “thought” I disengaged it, but I was wrong. I like the comments from your readers, too! They are offering some pretty helpful tips as well :)

  17. Kate Ground says:

    You read my mind. I’m a new blogger but the “chain mail” aspect of it turns me off. Thanks for putting it all so clearly.

  18. Desiree says:

    I think I was able to take the word verification OUT!
    Thank you for the info about the Akismet key.

  19. Kasey says:

    Thanks, some good advise. I am new on the craft blog scene and this will help me avoid these mistakes right from the start. Well avoid the ones I understand. I am so new that I don’t even know what all this stuff means. Like the term “link party” it sounds kinda fun? I mean parties are fun, but I have no idea what a link party is?

    Another thing I am always confused about is attaching my URL along with the comments I leave. I wonder is it appropriate? Will people think I am rude? I don’t want to start off as the rude girl on the block!

    So at times like this I just wanted to tell you thanks and maybe learn what the heck a link party is, so is it appropriate or rude to leave my URL?

  20. Carmella says:

    This is awesome! I’m laughing and saying some “amen”s! I have been blogging for a year this week and I too was guilty of a few of these….I had Adsense in every corner of my page with dreams of becoming an overnight millionaire, haha! And for sure the biggest turn off is “I follow you, follow me back!” sounds so rude, I hope people don’t try to make friends like this in real life ;)
    Thanks for sharing…. I’ll be sharing this link on Facebook too!

  21. Kayla says:

    This post is so awesome. I agree 100% with all of these. I’d also like to add

    1.) Only allowing posts from accounts (Google, OpenId, Blogger, etc) because if I’m logged into my personal account (With my obligatory email, iGoogle, google reader and google calendar open) I don’t want to log out of all of those just to comment as my “blog” persona. (And blogger/openid use the Google accounts too so they’re out). Let’s just do a name/website k? (Like you did!)

    2.) The infamous right-click disable. I get that you worked hard on your project/pics and you don’t want people stealing them. That’s cool. But I want to be able to right-click “open in new window” for your links and right-click “print page” for your recipe. Not to mention its a slap in the face to feel that the blogger I have a mental crush on thinks I’m going to steal from them. =C

    Anyhoo, didn’t mean to hijack your post. Again, thanks a ton for putting this out there!!

  22. Jennifer says:

    Great job! Love this post. Sharing it on FB and twitter. I just know that together we can defeat word verification!! ;) Oh, P.S. Um, I’m your newest follower, so can you follow me back? ;P

  23. Awesome tips!! thank you for sharing!! I am guilty and will make some changes :)

  24. This was great! I found you at Pinterest…#4 picture made me LOL! Thanks for sharing:)

  25. Totally agree with #2,3,4…totally annoying. But as a fellow blogger (& commenter) I don’t find the word verification a bother at all. I’ve happily left comments on blogs that had it, it didn’t turn me off at all. I took it off my old blog and got TONS of spam every.single.day. I don’t want that crap in my email. I don’t want it anywhere near me…spam about viagra and *worse*. No thank you. Not worth risking a virus on my computer. Although, now that I have typepad I don’t have to worry about it cause they’re better about stopping that crap so it’s not an issue anymore.

  26. Kellie says:

    I’m not a blogger, but fascinated w/the world of social media… fb, & Pinterest fanatic… came across this post on fb… enjoyed it very much… not sure what it all means, however, get the just of quality vs. quantity… & “LIKE”!! Great delivery & sense of humor… thank you!

  27. Love absolutely everything about this post! I’ll be singing this one from the rooftops on Twitter, FB, and Pinterest!

  28. jamie says:

    Thank you for writing this!!!! Especially #3 and #4… I just can’t take it anymore and something needed to be said! I used to reply to people asking me to join their link parties, explaining how I wasn’t currently joining any new ones… I felt like it put me in such an awkward position to have to “turn down” this person I didn’t even know. Now I just thank them for their comment and pretend like I didn’t even read the link party part hahaha!

  29. steph says:

    can i add on – sponsored posts that have nothing to do with what you normally blog about? i’ve unsubscribed from 4 of my previously favorite crafty blogs because they began shilling adler toilet paper covers, health coverage insurance, and other junk i saw as completely irrelevant. i’m all for ads – i bought a silhouette from a blog promotion coupon and often click through affiliate links, but stuff like this drives me nuts.

  30. Well, now I’m going to have to go check my privacy settings!

    Let’s not forget to add music to that list… If I visit a blog and get blasted with music, I can’t close the window fast enough!

  31. cherie says:

    3 and 4 are the worst! i find it on facebook too. i have a page that is well liked, and visited, and i constantly have ppl doing the whole “i visited and liked your page, now like me back!” and i KNOW it’s because they are riding coat tails, trying to get my fans to like them. grrrr…don’t they realize how much work it is to get that many fans? do they really think i’m not going to delete their comment and ignore their page?! yikes. i’m so glad to hear im not in this annoyance boat alone, and hope everyone else can cope with coat tailers. happy blogging!

  32. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I am new to blogging also so it is good to know what things to try to avoid making your visitors want to leave your site.

  33. Theresa says:

    I am not a Blogger but I am a follower of many blogs and just thought I would through in that I have found it very frustrating at times when I go through the effort of writing a comment of praise on a blog only to come to the end and find that I can not post it because I am not on OpenId, Blogger, etc… It make me feel unwelcome.

  34. Awesome! I’m always looking for ways to improve…but I don’t think I’m guilty of any of those:-)

  35. MiracleMommy says:

    I had word verfication on my Blogger blogs for a while because I didn’t know it was there! I had seen it on other blogs, and thought it was something that they had *opted* to add. Since I hadn’t found anything like that in settings, or any kind of widget, I didn’t realize that it was set by default and that I needed to go and undo it.

    Which is not even that easy, I had to search out the steps, because you actually have to log in to the old dashboard to do it.

  36. Wow – such a great summary of mistakes! I was guilty of the word verification, thought I was doing a good thing until quite a few people told me otherwise. So I took that off right away! :)

    Whether on my blog or others – I can’t stand when someone leaves a comment that doesn’t necessarily relate to what the blogger has just posted, and the comment includes a link to that person’s blog or product or store, etc. It is as if the commentor is obviously only there for one reason: to try and grab a bit of the blogger’s spotlight. Just not cool!

  37. Love this post and am your newest follower…would love it you would follow me back…and this post is perfect for you to link up to my linky party!!!

    LOL!

    Thank you! So funny! And yet, so true! Blogging tact is very important…if only those who didn’t have it, actually read and applied these rules. They are too busy promoting themselves. ;p

  38. I was guilty of number 1, and I read about how annoying the whole word verification thing was on Crafterminds, so I tried to get rid of it. I used Intense Debate on my blog (so I was able to reply properly to comments) and was unable to ditch that without losing all my comments. So I am in the process of moving to WordPress. Free blog at the moment, and will hopefully become self-hosted.

    Thanks for a great reminder!

  39. All great tips. I’m gonna add two that have to do with comments.

    1. Comments LOST IN SPACE – This goes hand in hand with word verification on comments. Sometimes comments fail, I get that, and it is rather frustrating to leave a long comment only to have it lost in the ether when I submit it. I implemented something on our blog that I hope catches on. As you type your comment it automatically saves it in your browser’s cookies every few seconds. That way, if your browser crashes, you walk away for too long, you submit and it fails…whatever the case may be, you’re comment isn’t lost until is successfully posts.

    2. Comment Back To Commenters – If your blog accepts comments, and you have users who are gracious enough to leave comments, be sure to follow up, write back, answer questions, etc. It can be time consuming to answer questions, but it will surely help you lay out the welcome mat for your readers.

    • Michelle says:

      I agree. I like to comment on all my comments even if it’s just to say Thank You! I also don’t believe in over moderation. If someone disagrees with your post, points out a typo or grammar error or just plain types something that doesn’t flatter you leave the comment be. I love seeing variety in comments.

  40. Great information! I have to say, I turned off the Captcha almost as soon as I began blogging and for those who are worried about SPAM, I have not gotten one piece. (Knock wood!)

    It’s hard to figure out balance with affiliate programs and ads, etc. I feel like I tweak it ever day and I’m still not satisfied with the balance and how things look, etc.

    One thing I tell myself is that my blog is always evolving. I can’t be afraid to try new things and I can’t be afraid to admit that some of those new things were duds.

    Anyway, thanks for the insightful post.

    ~Elena
    http://acasarella.blogspot.com/

    P.S.

    Will you follow me?

    (Just kidding.)

    (Kind of.)

  41. Thank you for speaking out on these! I’ve only been blogging for almost a year and I have definitely seen these and experienced these. It almost made me feel like that’s what I should do to grow my blog, but it just didn’t seem right! I often would have to come back to why I started a blog in the first place…I’m still learning a lot. I definitely appreciate the genuine comments, low number of ads, and no word verification! I keep thinking, “I swear I turned that off.” And then I read these tips and think I need to double check…and THEN a little kiddo starts screaming bloody murder and I’m off and running! Lol :-)

  42. Also, does, “Hey, btw I’m having a giveaway – come enter” count as annoying too? Because at least to me, it is. Thanks again for the tips!

  43. jennifer says:

    Can we please add FORCED music when a page opens? Worst offense ever.

  44. Jennifer S. says:

    Thank you so much for this!! You actually answered several things I’ve been wondering myself. I just started blogging myself (very slowly) and have lots of questions that I just don’t know where to go for answers. I’ll continue on my search for it all, but you’ve helped a bit, too.

  45. Jan says:

    pheww! I think I past this little quiz! Yeah! I have been loving all your blogging tips! Keep them coming!

  46. amy says:

    For those who like comment moderation because it filters spam, just do it for posts older than 5 days. Once it’s been out there for 5 days you likely won’t get as many comments, and the spammers don’t find you right away.

  47. Jenny says:

    Thank you for this insightful post. I’ve been using comment moderation on WordPress. I will now consider turning that off as I have noticed that only one spammer comment has escaped the askimet spam blocker since I started several years ago.

    PS: I wanted to subscribe to your Kindle Tips but blog subscriptions are not supported for Australia. I will just have to follow this blog instead.

  48. MCatherine says:

    Well, I passed 3 out of 4!

  49. I absolutely LOVE this. Such great info…and you’re right, we see this behavior everywhere, and as a new blogger I wondered “do I really have to ask for followers” and “why do people even bother leaving an insincere comment…for self promotion, that’s why”…are these really how my favorite blogs got so big? But I don’t think so and I really appreciate the insight. :)

  50. Heather says:

    Great advice for bloggers new and not so new!

  51. Kaylee says:

    This is perfect! That’s for saying exactly what I have been thinking lately. Especially #’s 3 and 4. I hate feeling guilted into being someone’s follower : ) thanks for all the suggestions for things newer bloggers like me should avoid.

  52. FANTASTIC FANTASTIC, screaming from the roof tops , brilliant post. Geeze Louise, those same things make me crazy! I am so happy you wrote it ! It is so true, those crazy words to type in for spam reasons, the linky parties….
    So grateful that you shared it. I want to email your list to all my blogger friends who do that crazy stuff. eeeek..
    Cheers!!! AND happy blogging….
    Lynne

  53. Laura says:

    Love this info hopefully going forward I can avoid these mistakes!!!

  54. Great post and I agree those can be annoying.

  55. Callie says:

    Great post about what could have been touchy subjects :) – I love the illustrative photos, especially the girl with her mouth open in the swirling vertex of annoyance! Yay for making the blogosphere a little more thoughtful. I think that sometimes people forget manners a little since they don’t see the others face to face, and as you said, see others doing similar behavior so it perpetuates. Thanks for the thoughts!

  56. Clare says:

    Great article! I’d add to the list my number one peev….music embedded in the page that autoplays! Yes, it might be a very nice song, one of my favourites even, but I don’t want my browsing experience slowed down bandwidth heavy mediaplayer. I also find it downright rude that people would assume that others would share their taste in music. I liken it to teenagers blasting music from their mobile phones on buses. Just don’t do it people!!!

  57. Sonia says:

    What a great post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! I am off to check out your other blog tips now ! Cheers, Sonia

  58. katphoti says:

    I don’t know if anyone else covered this, so I’m sorry if I’ve posted this when someone’s already said it. I have three blogs I run–two are just personal that I have fun with, and one is to educate the public about the abusive and illegal training methods used on the Tennessee Walking Horse (a breed of horse). Until you experience nothing but Asian porn being put into the comments on your blog, even when you have it set up to approve them, then you don’t know how valuable word verification is. Word verification makes sure that the posts are not coming from a machine that is targeting blogs to comment and post their own spam. It got rid of all of the Asian porn websites that were being posted on my comments on my blogs. There are some children that look at my blogs, so keeping the porn off of it was essential. Plus, if you can’t read what the word verification says, copy your comment and use the refresh button to bring up a new set of words. I think you need to realize that some of what you’ve written here is actually a safety precaution and should be used. I figure if someone is serious about posting on my blog, then they will agree to the word verification.

  59. Great post! As someone new to blogging, these tips are greatly appreciated! I must admit I am guilty of link party spamming (but only because this was my first link party and I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to!). (hangs head in shame) Thanks for the awesome insight!

  60. Amber Mae says:

    I just turned off word verification for you… does that mean you’ll come comment on my blog? lol – JK, you don’t have too ;)

  61. Amber Mae says:

    Heather! You commented on my blog! That made my day, lol. Thanks for stopping by :)

  62. Kathleen says:

    If being new isn’t scary enough; trying to Not offend people is even more scary. Thank you for listing the top 4. Hopefully, I conqure those and move on to the next 4. I appreciate the time you put into this. Kathleen

  63. onelmon says:

    Thanks for these great reminder. I enjoy reading your writing very much and the images are just going perfectly with the writing. (I was laughing real hard)XD

  64. Penny says:

    I am not a blogger, but I enjoy reading blogs. Now, I understand what and why some of the “annoying” things were happening. I thought I was being lead into sights I didn’t want to go into so I just left those sights!!! I enjoy your writing, thanks. :)

  65. Floy says:

    Thanks for the tips. I am getting ready to start a blog sooon and I can use all the info I can get.

  66. Lindsey says:

    Enjoyed reading the witty post! As a new blogger, I am interested in the do’s and dont’s of posting. Thanks for the advice!

  67. Carole says:

    Word verification is my biggest peeve, especially the double number/word verify. Having the moderation option turned on is enough. You as a blog owner can moderate each and every comment made to a post. The benefit….Readers don’t need to jump through hoops to leave a comment.

    Blogs with a gazillion ads flashing at me from both sides of the screen, no time. I have a high speed connection, but blogs loaded with ads/graphics still clog up the works. The pages take way too long to load.

    As for the right-click disable, I figure if someone has that in place they have it in place for a reason. I abide by that, not try to find a way around it (like a screen shot).

  68. Michelle says:

    I agree with everything you said 110%. I started a brand new blog a few months ago because my old blog no longer reflected who I was. THE very first day on THE very first post someone made a tiny little comment about my post and then asked if I would check out his blog, I did. Should I have been surprised to find that his blog was all about selling his e-books? Your post should be listed some where in the WordPress instruction manual, also super cool that you approached the matter with such a great sense of humor.

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