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.
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.
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.
I 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.
I 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.
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!