There are certain don’ts that every newbie in every industry should be made aware of, and blogging is no different. It may seem as if there aren’t any rules when it comes to blogging. It may seem as if literally anything goes in the blogging world. When it comes to freedom of original expression, then yes, I would say that there aren’t any rules. As a blogger, you are free to express yourself however you like, using a variety of different forms of style, font and images. How the content is expressed is completely up to you, the blogger. But, there are certain don’ts that every newbie blogger should know. If you do the don’ts, then it could make your foray into the blogging world a disastrous failure. Trust me, I had to learn some of these don’ts the hard way.
Don’t write a huge block of text
I know, I know, you’re probably looking at this and wondering but isn’t the point of blogging to write? Well, yes and no. While the primary mode of expression in blogging is the very act of writing, writing is still not the only thing you should use. Specifically, every blog post should not consist of a single, long chunk of text. Because, to be honest, who can read that? I don’t know about you, but that is a huge turn off for me. When coming across a blog that has a paragraph that is more than ten lines, my eyes immediately begin to water, and I scroll down, wondering where this is going.
Save your readers the trouble by breaking up the text. Use multiple paragraphs with a space in between. This technique is more efficient in that it allows the reader to quickly scan the text. It also looks better on the page, and in today’s world, it is indeed all about looks. Also, insert an image in between paragraphs to allow the reader to let their eyes move naturally from words to pictures.
Don’t use the wrong font color and size
Nothing screams amateur and unprofessional than a blog that has the wrong font color and size. When I come across a blog that has a black background with a green font, then my first instinct is to simply ‘x’ out of the page. When I can’t read the content on the page, then I just want to give up. I am not going to spend more time trying to read something that is illegible. So, before you hit publish on any blog post, be sure to hit the ‘preview’ button so that you know that the writing is legible. Also, be sure to use a font color and size that is complimentary to the overall color scheme of your blog.
Don’t overload the post with excess links
Yes, yes, you should definitely use links to credit external sources where credit is due. You should also use internal links to self-promote your previous blog posts. But what you should not do is to overload the blog post with excess links. As with most things in life, there is definitely such a thing as having too many links. When I come across a blog post with too many links, I am likely to dismiss it as simply a copy cat blog, or a blog that offers no personal opinion. It appears to simply be a blog whose sole purpose is to promote other websites with no explanation at all. So, try not to use too many links. I can’t say how many links is too many because it really does depend on the type of post that you are writing. But adding a hyperlink to every single word in the paragraph is probably going to be too excessive.
Don’t write for you
A blog is not a diary. When writing a personal diary, then you obviously write for you. In your diary, you write about what you ate, or what you did. But, a blog is not a diary. You are not just writing for you, but for other people. Therefore, when crafting every post, you should create content that gives value to your reader. Remember that one of the most important components of any blog post is not the blog post, but the comment section. With that in mind, create a post that can help to facilitate a conversation about your chosen topic. Create a post that can help your reader. Teach your reader something. Use your experience and knowledge to show your reader what it is like to be you, while also giving your reader something of value.
Don’t not give any credit where credit is due
This is a lesson that you should have learned in school by any reputable English teacher. When writing a research paper, the first thing that you should always do is keep track of your sources so that you can credit them later. The same goes with blogging. If you have to do some research to learn more about your chosen topic, then be sure to include a source list at the end of the blog post. This makes your blog post all the more credible. It also gives your reader a chance to check out the sources for them to learn more about the topic.
Don’t use someone else’s images
Don’t use someone else’s images without proper attribution and permission. As with words, always give credit to the image when it is not your own. Nothing screams unprofessionalism than a blogger who steals someone else’s pictures.
Don’t steal someone else’s words
And finally, don’t copy someone else’s words. The Internet has plenty of blogs. Don’t simply be a copycat. Instead, be an original. Create original content. You are an individual with unique experiences. Therefore, you have the capacity to create content that is unlike any other content out there on the web. There is no need to steal someone else’s words.
What is something that you should never do as a blogger?
See also: 7 Blogging Tips for the Newbie Blogger