11 ways to kill your blog

11 ways to kill your blog

By Rajesh Setty on Wed 03 May 2006, 11:29 AM – 5 Comments

If one of the main reasons you started blogging is because it’s easy to start one, by now you already know that it is a lot of hard work to maintain one. The availability of blogging technologies make it easy to start a professional looking blog in a few minutes. My friend Dave Taylor says that a blog is nothing but a personal content management system. A good content management system (CMS) provides excellent support to manage content.  

A blog is only as good as the content within it.

While it takes time and effort to build a great blog, it does not take a lot of effort to kill one. Here are some ways:

#1 Focusing too much on the form and not the content

Blogging engines are very sophisticated now. You can customize and enhance the look and feel of your blog endlessly even when you don’t have a programming background. In other words, you can get carried away with the form and not focus on the content. Having a great format is like having an attractive store in a mall.

You can get people to walk in but if the goods inside the store are not attractive, no one will buy anything.

#2 Too many ads

Of course, making money may be one of your motives. However, there are very few people who are making a ton of money on ads on the blogs. You can try to be one of them or you can focus on other kinds of leverage from your blog.

Now, on a lighter note: Think about it for a second. The way you make money on an ad is when a person clicks on the ad and goes away from your blog. Do you want to take money to send people away from your blog?

Of course, ads in moderation may be a good idea. Excessive ads are also a distraction. You don’t want your audience to search for your content among the ads.

#3 Stealing content

Stealing is probably a strong word but if you pick up content from another place and post it on your blog without proper attribution, technically it is stealing.

Sooner than later, people will figure that out. Stealing may be more harmful than helpful.

#4 Lack of focus

Unless you are a celebrity or a recognized thought leader, you may not get a license to just dish out opinions on everything under the sun (Note: Not that I am saying someone is doing it now.)

The best would be to focus on a subject where you are an authority or on the way to become an authority. This will help you to focus your message to an audience and build credibility amongst them.

On the other hand, once you lose focus you will start losing your audience too.

#5 Not respecting your readers

John Maxwell said it brilliantly – “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The key reason your blog exists is because there are some readers reading it. If you don’t want readers, you might as well write your thoughts in a diary.

Assume that your readers are intelligent and engage with them in a conversation or risk losing them forever.

#6 Not building enough credibility to back up whatever you are saying

You can say whatever you want on your blog (and say that it is your right of speech.) However, if you don’t have the credibility and qualification to say whatever you said, very soon people will start losing respect on you as a person. After a while, the blog won’t matter anymore.

Maintaining a blog is hard not because writing is hard. It is hard because you have to be constantly growing outside of your writing for your blog to have a meaning.

#7 Bad attitude

Did you know that you can get angry on your blog. You can. But should you?

Your attitude shows up on your blog. If your intention is anything less than genuinely helping your audience with their concerns, you need to re-visit your blog objectives.

Bad attitude is bad on or off the blog. That’s the fastest way to alienate yourself.

#8 Lack of relevance

You can have a great focus but not be be relevant to your audience. My favorite metric is ROII (return on investment for an interaction.) Does your blog provide the right return on the investment of their time in reading it? If not, remember that your audience can run away from your blog in a heartbeat. They can substitute your blog with some other blog that has provides a better ROII.

#9 Attack someone needlessly

Blogs provide you a lot of power only until you mis-use it. You got to pick your battles in your blog (and in your life.) You can attack someone. If the person counter-attacks, you enter into a battle. Do you have the luxury of time to engage in this battle? Is that the best use of your time?

Why do you think your audience would want to be spectators in this game between you and someone else?

When the personal gain from the blog far exceeds the gain by your audience, there will be a problem. Actually, a BIG problem.

#10 Create controversy without basis

They say that if you want to appear intelligent, you should keep making controversial or contradictory statements. The keyword here is “appear” and not “be.” You can catch someone’s attention by creating baseless controversy but you can’t hold on to that attention. If you do this more than once you will get an entry into the “Cry Wolf Club” and no one will bother to listen even when you have something substantial to share.

#11 Excessive self-promotion

Self-promotion – a bit here and a bit there should be OK. If you make this your personal achievement newsletter, people will get ticked off. Nobody has time to read about someone endlessly talking about what they have done in their life.

Creating a blog that provides great value will lead to enhancement of your brand which I think is better than self-promotion.

I am sure you have your own list. Feel free to comment. Let’s collectively increase the longevity of blogs :)

(Note: You don’t have to register to comment anymore)


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5 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on May 3rd, 2006

I think Rory (http://neopoleon.com) does a lot of those things and has one of the most succesful blogs.

But not everyone is Rory Blyth so, good advice.

Anonymous  on May 4th, 2006

Very well compiled Rajesh,

One of the thing I notices about many celebrity bloggers is that, they will write almost 2-3 blogs daily and will make sure that something is posted on their blogs frequently. These blogs do attract the traffic. But most of the times I have seen these people pointing to some other blogs, or magazine article, or just commenting on some issues.

They don’t write about what they think. They just point to many other links. Instead of blog, its more of a WEB DIRECTORY now. Go to that particular blog, you will find list of tens of other topics or issues pointing out to some other sites.

I am not sure whether is this a bad practice or what. Basically we need to define what BLOG means? Is it what are your views, what you think or is it making good articles (either yours or someone else’s) available to the readers.

There will be ofcourse some news in daily newspaper or magazines. I have seen many bloggers to just comment on that story and add a post on your blog site. Readers can read the original news from the newspaper.

So I think we should focus more on our OWN writing and reduce just referring to other bloggers and just commenting on some latest issues. If its a really gr8 article, then we should recommend it to the readers. But not daily, writing 3-4 lines in each post and point to someone else’s blog!

Anonymous  on May 14th, 2006

Hi Rajesh!

Time constraints have made my visits to your blog further spread apart, but I think you are still doing a great job here. It is also good that we don`t need to login anymore.

I enjoyed very much this post. I recently wrote about it in my own blog, stressing how I know all the things I am doing “wrong” in my blog in order to attract readers. However, I still do them, since the feelings of writing mainly for myself and only peple similar to me, and the chance of being able to remember things I have gone through outweigh my desire to make the blog popular regarding number of visitors.

It seems that a lot more people than I thought follows my blog on rss than visiting it, and I guess, for the kind of blog I make, these are high quality -if low in number- people. It is like a club of interesting friends…

Maybe later you want to post on positive “blog suicide”, in the search of authenticity and quality in a blog ;)



Uyaraq  on October 12th, 2007

I will not live with out my childern. Goverment will not alow me to contact any of my childern even thou I never have any criminal record. I miss my childern too much and yet I cant see or hear their voices. bye who ever you are. have a good life.

Satish  on March 28th, 2008

Hi Rajesh,

I liked your article for its simplicity. It appealed to me very much, as I had a desire to start my blog. You have brought out the themes which also are quite relevant in the context of goal setting for an individual.

I recall here the quote by Mr. JRD Tata – ‘Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without deep thought and hard work’.

Best Wishes

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