When it comes to access, nothing can beat blogging: anyone can do it, and it doesn’t cost a penny. Unfortunately, even access has its downside, and for every interesting blog, there are hundreds of others that could have been written by hyperactive 8-year-olds without access to dictionary, thesaurus or style guide.
The great news is, if you’re not sure if your blog is less Hemingway and more sugar-high, there are easy ways to find out. Here’s how to make your blog look like it was written by a total noob:
Write like an uneducated dolt
If you were to determine the overall educational standards of the nation by the state of the average blogger, you would assume that precious few Americans ever made it past grade school. Even some august and very highly paid bloggers make “nails on a blackboard” spelling and grammar mistakes. You wouldn’t try to pilot a spacecraft without learning how to be an astronaut, so don’t write unless you learn how to be a writer first!
Have all the quirky personality of a Wikipedia entry
Your readers are following your blog in order to understand your personal take on the subjects and issues that interest them, they don’t want an encyclopedic dissertation of facts and figures. Make your blog reflect your individual identity and don’t be afraid to inject your opinions into your coverage.
Ignore the W5+H
If you’re not answering “Who? What? When? Why? Where? How?” in your blog content your reader has to be excused for not having a clue as to what you’re referring to.
Compose endless paragraphs
The age of appreciation of the classics of English literature has been replaced with the era of webscanning too frantic for even ADHD sufferers to keep up with, so you can’t expect your blog readers to get to the end of an infinite paragraph, let alone one that exceeds (gasp!) five lines. Use the four line rule on all your paragraphs and if your blog is set on a wider than average line length, then reduce it to three!
Leave off the date
It may be evident to you when you issue a blog but you can’t expect your reader to just automatically keep up with your writing. Readers may find your blog entries years after they are written and unless you have a clear date on each post, it could confuse the living daylights out of them. Imagine a reader’s perplexity when they read your tech blog about AMD having the top-performing high-end microprocessor when they effectively abandoned that segment years ago?
Misplace the decimal
In case you slept through basic arithmetic class, there is a huge difference between $10.00 and $1000. Think of it this way: Which one would you rather be paid? Double and triple check all your figures to make sure that they are correct.
Confuse your billions
In American English a billion is one thousand million. However on the other side of the pond, a British billion is a million billion (or what Americans call a trillion). Don’t just take for granted that all your readers are American and specify what you’re intending as your billion.
Sure, every once in a while it’s a good idea to blow out the pipes and let loose on some entity who really deserves it, but if you are running 10:1 on the rant vs. objective ratio, it’s well past time to chillax and adopt a far more even tone in your blog posts.
It may be commonplace in some blog sectors such as video gaming to sound like an Australian Sheepherder (who are legendary for being able to swear for half an hour without repeating themselves), but expletives are never justified. Stay above the fray and show your readers that you are a classy blogger, not just a gutter-dwelling punk who can’t make a point unless you relate it to a reproductive or scatological activity.
Plunk inline links in every sentence
Supplementing your blog with links to sites and pages which are directly relevant to your subject matter is good blogging practice, but beware of turning your posts into linkaramathons. If you have to include that many links, stick them in a sidebar or a post-script… anywhere but within your body copy.
Some of these mistakes are so basic that you would wonder what kind of blogger would ever commit them but they’re certainly out there! Don’t be lumped in with the ignorami: excel in your blogging by avoiding these 12 preventable errors.
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