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3 Terrible Blog Trends
Posted on April 30th 2014
Blogging for a living and in a personal capacity, I find myself analyzing blogs more than others might. Not the numbers or minor details, however: more the style of the content bloggers publish.
Skimming through popular (and not-so-popular blogs), you can pick out a number of post commonalities. Here are a few post types that are visible everywhere:
- The Top 10
- The How-To
- Tutorials, Quick Tips, and Cheat Sheets
- Activity Recaps
- Resource Lists
- Commentary on External Sources
This list is far from complete. But instead of diving into different post styles that work, I thought I’d share a trio of blog trends that annoy me and, more importantly, readers.
The Empty Post
These are “those posts” that promise and fail to deliver. These posts lack in quality, length, and any form of takeaway — in essence, they’re good ideas never brought to fruition.
I’m not going to point any fingers but we’ve all seen these posts before. They are usually lists built around a headline that never, never thoroughly explain anything. Their purpose is simple: To be a placeholder/flag for visitors to stumble on. Blogs need content, so why not write a quick “this is what I would write if I had the time” post?
You’ll know these when you see them because of how confused you’ll be once you scroll through them. “Where’s the info?” you may ask. “The opening promised me something big, and the content didn’t deliver.”
To help, I thought I’d share a few tips for avoiding these empty posts:
- If you’re building out a list of some sort, make each point a complete thought. Think of them as “mini-posts,” or small parts, of a bigger piece.
- When you can’t think of a way to expand an idea, the odds are readers will know. It’s better to take things out than leave readers hanging.
- Write the body content first and work backwards to justify an amazing headline or idea. If you find yourself writing too much on a single bullet point, consider tossing that into a separate, idea-specific post.
Re-posting (or shoplifting) another person’s content is a big no-no for bloggers. While it certainly has a time and place, Google typically assumes you’re out for links/clicks and you risk being de-indexed.
There are a few tricks to avoid the obvious re-post when you come across another blogger’s content that deserves recognition:
- Respond or write a reasonable amount of commentary on the original post. Be sure to include a link, the author, and other source information. Quote and attribute as needed.
- Use the post as inspiration for something entirely original. There may be a place for you to add a link, but make sure it’s relevant and doesn’t seem like you’re one-upping the original blogger.
- Create a week-end review of “Posts to Read” or something similar. Link in a handful of posts and add some description. This will keep the re-post posts from appearing “empty” (see above).
The ‘Acknowledge Me!’ Post
These posts come in many different shapes and sizes. Some obvious, others not so much. For instance, take a once-popular blog that saw a downshift in posts over the past few weeks. The blogger will likely post: “I’m sorry I didn’t blog much recently. I will post some things tomorrow.”
We don’t need to see these personal updates, especially on a business blog. Have something to say along these lines? Send out a tweet and the bloggers who care will surely see it.
Don’t be that business blogger who has to make up for a lack of content with low-quality posts. In the end, these do more harm than help.
(bad blogging / shutterstock)