Today, we continue our “5 reasons _____ sucks” by shifting our focus to blogs. Specifically, we will be focusing on blog writing and the reasons so many bloggers struggle with it.
There are hundreds of millions of blogs online. How many of those do you actually devotedly follow? 5? Maybe less. Personally, I have dozens of blogs that I enjoy, but I really only read maybe 3-5 of them on a daily basis. The rest I could do without.
The truth is that most blogs are forgettable. And most also suck. But why? Why is it that most blog writing sends me running away screaming and wanting to stick sharp objects deep into my eyeballs?
Here are 5 reasons most blog writing sucks.
- It’s all been done before—With hundreds of millions of blogs littering the web, you can bet that there are a lot of other blogs out there focused on the same subjects you’re writing about. And that’s fine, but that means you have to really go out of your way to provide readers with something they can’t find anywhere else. Unfortunately, most bloggers play it safe and simply rewrite and slightly tweak the content they come across on other blogs. The result? A copycat blog that brings nothing new to the table. Why would anyone want to read that?
- It’s trying to be something it’s not—You can find this is any niche. In copywriting, the most popular blog is probably Copyblogger. The blog has its own style, and not surprisingly, you can find tons of other copywriting blogs that try to mimic that style. When it comes to reporting sports news, Deadspin offers an edgy, irreverent approach that is often imitated (poorly, I might add) but never duplicated. Don’t try to copy the writing style of other bloggers. Be yourself. Strive to be the writer who others want to copy.
- It doesn’t engage the reader—Your blog shouldn’t read like a stuffy academic essay that has no personality and creates no connection with its reader. Blogging is all about interaction. It’s incredibly important that you speak directly to the reader and get them so engaged that they want to leave a comment and interact with you.
- It’s riddled with errors—Make no mistake. With blogging, you have a little leeway to be more informal and bend some of the traditional rules of writing. However, that doesn’t mean you can get sloppy. If your blog is riddled with typos and poor grammar, readers won’t trust you. Your credibility will take a major hit, and you’ll have trouble building and sustaining an audience.
- It’s obvious filler—When you’re maintaining a blog over the long haul, it’s inevitable that you’ll publish filler content. Filler content is content that’s not up to your usual standards. It’s usually pretty bland and uninspired, but you publish it just because you need to publish something. Don’t do it. If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all. Get a guest poster. Publish a roundup with links to your favorite blog posts of the week. Just don’t publish crap.
What are some of the other reasons most blogs suck? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.