Blogging: What Not to Do…

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski

Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Here’s a list of frequent blogger mistakes.

1) Negativity: Don’t always focus on what’s wrong with the world or take the defensive side to everything. Positive bloggers are more attractive and more influential. 

2) Writing blogs that are too long: As many of you mentioned yesterday, blog length is very important. Avoid long blogs that might take too much time to read. Most people check blogs on short breaks, so they’ll only skim a blog if it’s too long, or they might stop reading it altogether.

3) Unfocused: Bloggers often fall into the trap of writing blogs that don’t have a point or try to make too many points. Every blog needs to focus on a main thesis.

4) Too self -promotional: Blogs naturally create publicity for the blogger, but some blog hosts still continually write about their accomplishments. This doesn’t create a community and drives readers away.

5) Forgetting that blog posts are out there forever: Many bloggers aren’t careful about what they say on a blog, and it ends up hurting them sometime in the future. Be careful because your words are out there  for anyone to read at any time.

6) Writing the same thing over and over again: Make sure you find new topics each time you blog. When a blogger is trying to blog to his or her brand, it can be challenging to diversify content.

7) Forgetting that blogged content is considered published content. Bloggers who start to post chapters from their books or stories they hope to use again often face disappointment when they discover that publishers consider it published content and want new content for the book.

Do you have anything to add? Thanks for participating. I’m excited about our blog carnival tomorrow! I’ve received around 15 blog entries already. Don’t forget to email me yours at [email protected] Use “blog carnival” as the subject line.

10 Responses

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  1. Marilyn says:

    Excellent post! You’ve saved me lots and lots of shouting from rooftops. 🙂

  2. Jill Kemerer says:

    I didn’t know publishers considered chapters posted on a blog as published content. Thanks for the interesting tidbit!

  3. Lynn Dean says:

    What you said about blog posts being “published content” makes me wonder…how about blogs where writers offer a free sample chapter? Do they post those only after their books are in print and with permission of their publisher?

  4. I didn’t realize blog posts were considered published content, but I’m glad I’ve refrained so far!

    I definitely have to work on making my posts shorter. It’s probably the one rule out of this list that I break the most.

  5. Rich Gerberding says:

    Yesterday you mentioned using Facebook/Myspace to let people know about a new post, which I agree with.

    A “don’t” in my book is to send a full blown email out to everybody letting them know you posted a new blog.

    If you’re sending me an email I’m going to open to read, just include the blog rather than tell me to go read it.

  6. These are awesome blogging tips! Thanks, Rachel. I especially agree with one and two!

    Blessings,
    Katie

  7. Such great suggestions!

    The length one is a biggy… I tend to skim others when too long. Although, I say that, and my blog post today is one of my longer ones (in my defense, it is an author interview so I TOTALLY blame it on Michael Snyder… and it was so darn funny I didn’t have the heart to cut any of it!)

    I rarely post excerpts from my book on my blog, but I did a week or so ago just for fun. It was a small section, not even a whole scene and definitely not a chapter.

    Is posting ANY content like that a no-no??

  8. Dawn Maria says:

    I think that all these tips make sense, but I’d like to add one thing. I use my blog as a creative free space. While I’m working to have a web presence and market myself, I still keep the focus on having fun content. The result is that I’ve become a better writer this way. Not all posts are fantastic, but I’ve developed a voice and brought more intimacy into my work through blogging. I could be doing more to build my audience, but for now building my craft is working for me.

  9. Ed Hird says:

    Excellent posting. Mea culpa. I have been guilty at times of a number of these mistakes in my blogging. Thank God that we can continue to learn and grow.

    I have forwarded the link for this helpful blog article to the 350 Canadian Christian writers who are part of The Word Guild.

    Blessings, Ed Hird+
    author of ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’
    http://www.battleforthesoulofcanada.blogspot.com

  10. NikoleHahn says:

    Good points! I have free fiction online–a book titled, “The Journal of a Mad Woman.” I remember reading a blog on marketing and chose to give away some fiction for free in order to self-promote; to give publishers an idea of my different writing styles. It did surprise me publishers considered any content on an author’s website “published,” but I did know about it. I took that risk with my free fiction. Hey, what good is a story unread, right?