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How to Bore Your Readers to Death and Scare them Away

This guest post is by Jack Samuelson.

Blogging is no joke. There are millions of blogs, probably hundreds of millions of bloggers, and billions of articles online. Still, that does not mean everybody can blog effectively and run their own blog with success. So what about all those unsuccessful bloggers? Is the lack of popularity their own fault? Check out this short manual and find it out for yourself…

If you’re a successful blogger you might think you don’t need to read this. You couldn’t be more wrong. What if you got tired of doing the right thing and all this pesky, worthless success? Huh? You will definitely need my advice to kill your blog and scare away your readers. So, read and don’t forget to take notes.

Research? I don’t need no stinking research!

“I can write about any topic you want! Give me a subject and I’ll get back to you in just a few moments, perhaps an hour or so, with an already finished text. Try me! I’m writing off the top of my head and my head is full of great ideas. I can produce like ten valuable posts every day. No problem!”

Yeah right. You are probably one of millions of bloggers out there saying the same things. And I’m sure you are all misunderstood by the society of bloggers, which is why they reject your posts and ignore your blogs! Poor fellows.

Let me put it bluntly:

No research = no valuable content = no readers. Period.

Dear diary…

“I have such an exciting life! I just need to share it with you! With all of you. I don’t care that this is a tech blog, and I am writing about what I ate yesterday. I want to share all my experiences with you—tell you about my day, my adorable pets, my ex-girlfriend (ok, I’ll admit it—my imaginary ex-girlfriend).”

Now, listen. There is your personal diary where you can write whatever you want, and there is a blog where you should write what your readers want to read. Got it?

I’m the Pablo Picasso of blogging

“I am an artist! What I write is like a stroke of brush on a canvas. I never change what inspiration and muses bring to me. And you wouldn’t try to improve a piece of art would you? That’s why I write, finish and immediately publish my work, so people can enjoy and appreciate it (and bask in the glare of my genius!).”

Yup. That sums it all up. You are so attached to your words, you just can’t give them up. Every sentence is sacred and perfect. And then you wonder why no one reads your blog? You want to know why? I can help you with that: your articles are full of nonsense. They are simply unreadable. There you have it. It’s not marketing skills, but basic writing skills and modesty that you lack.

The word is the word!

“I’m a writer so I don’t add images, photos, videos or anything that could distract my readers! I also write long paragraphs so I can express myself the way I like. My articles are like short parts of a novel, of an epos. I am too great to care about the readers—they should care about me!”

Are you familiar with this new thing called the Internet? Where everything speeds up, where you are bombarded with millions of images, videos, pop ups, flashy lights, and more, every moment? Where every possible blog reader has literally millions of distractions?

And do you honestly believe that all you need is black “ink” and white background? Good luck with that. Let me know when you are ready to join us in the 21st century.

I’m a grown up and I don’t laugh or dance!

“This is blogging we’re talking about! That is a serious thing. Don’t be talking about jokes, funny pictures, sarcasm, and other childish plays. When I write on a topic, I’m dead serious! Regardless of the topic. Why would I want to laugh at iPhones and the Siri application? Because Siri sometimes answers question like “Where should I dump a dead body?” with specific directions? That is not a laughing matter. You should be ashamed of yourself and concentrate on serious writing—then maybe someone will appreciate it!”

Calm down, blogger… Everything’s going to be all right. Just breathe.

You know what? I’m not going to explain this one for you. If you don’t see it, just put a “joking forbidden” sign on your blog. I’m sure no one will connect it with totalitarian systems and George Orwell’s 1984.

There you have it. The complete manual for boring your readers to death and scaring them away. My advice? Use it at your peril.

Jack Samuelson is a contributing author who writes articles on numerous subjects, interested in issues of personal rights, online privacy, network security and anonymous surfing. He has been an insightful observer of new technologies (such as tools to hide IP) and their relations with the problems of internet privacy, freedom and independence.

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Comments

  1. Kim says:

    Oh crap. I’m guilty of minimal research lately and not putting any images on my blog. Umm, yea. No wonder my traffic sucks. Thanks for the reminder! I kind of needed that swift kick in my ass.

    • Nick says:

      Hi Kim,

      I`ve just had a look at your blog & I have to ask but where do your readers leave their comments?

      I loved your post & wanted to let you know!

      Nick

  2. Frieda says:

    Sometimes the truth hurts but I agree with everything in your post. It is hard to create a useful blog that people will actually want to read and engage with. Blogging is not easy and coming up with ideas and topics that are different from the millions of blogs out there is very challenging. The key is coming up with something that readers want to read about not what I want to write and read about. As for breakfast no one cares what I had for breakfast. I have been told however that I don’t share enough about myself and that therefore the readers can’t get to know me. I am not sure I have achieved the balance between sharing about myself and sharing topics of interest to the readers. Work in progress. Thank you for your interesting post.

  3. Your article did make me squirm just a bit, which is a good thing as it got me to look at some of my recent posts. Bringing appropriate humor into my articles is something I am working on lately as a good laugh will more than likely produce a comment I wouldn’t otherwise get.

  4. Brankica says:

    I laughed at a few of these, especially those who don’t add images or videos and those who write in their own way. English isn’t my native language but I can still understand pretty much anything I read, but it is so funny to run into blogs that I can read all day and really not understand what they are trying to say :) Great post!

  5. Brenda says:

    Very interesting tidbits and imo, oh so right. :)

  6. Brenda says:

    Very interesting tidbits and imo, oh so right. :)

  7. How many images do you see on problogger or dailyblogtips?

  8. Well put together post…People think because a web log is a diary, you can write anything that you wake up to…They forget the moment they define their diary with a niche or some group of readers, they got to stick to the theme that brought the readers want to read about…

    I advocate that once a while you can spice things up and shock your readers with unrelated but interesting posts but then, it must be done with expertise…

  9. Nick says:

    Jack,

    What an interesting article &, unfortunately, extremely true!

    One thought that I have had since I came on-line is that the vast majority of people start a blog without really knowing their subject. They see their blog as their on-line home & try to fill it up with subject matter they have not really got to grips with.

    But, as with any Catch 22 situation, they have to keep the blog going as a means to learning that little bit more.

    Research……….well, that`s a bare minimum! Even if there are reams & reams of notes will the blogger understand them enough to be able to produce an excellent quality article / post on the chosen subject ?

    So, how much does it take for your new blogger to go on-line & produce excellent work that produces a flock of avid followers?

    Thank you
    Nick

  10. Hi Jack,

    Inject your personality into your posts. Be you.

    Look around. Few do this. So few inspire, and most bore.

    I dance around a bit before writing a post. I smile.

    Helps the real ME come out and speak my voice.

    Thanks Jack!

    Ryan

  11. Mi Muba says:

    A perfect blog should be balance of every thing contents, design, images while the perfect contents must be a good blend of your knowledge, thoughts and above all your passion about the topic. I think all those must quit blogging who see watch during this work or job whatever you say. Blogging is an excellent escape from 9 to 5 job but we try to make it a substitute of stereo-types jobs.
    A very informative article full of tidbits and wit. thanks for sharing

  12. Kent says:

    For “the word is the word!” part, zenhabits.net is a huge success though.
    The blog has zero image, zero ads, zero distraction. Try it, you will see.

  13. Oh…I needed this post. I am trying to find the place I belong right now and omitting stuff that I find not working. It’s hard work making it turn into what I want it to be, but this helped me take another baby step. Thanks for that!

  14. Peter says:

    Actually, your post bored me.

  15. Shelby Roth says:

    You are right Jack, blogging isn’t something to play fun with and I think the last thing I would ever think of doing is making my blog readers get bored to death; it will kill me to death too! If that is what other bloggers are doing then it is a freaking death and boring content I would never want to waste my time on!

  16. This is helpful post Jack to those who may want not to freak off there readers to death and scare them for life! Very boring indeed and I wonder if someone could want to follow such a blog hahahaaha… Anyway it is very informative writing full of tidbits and wit. Gratitude for dropping out this!

  17. I have to admit that your blog post is quite interesting. I love the way you hit the nail on the head. No shortcuts! Even if we fail to admit it, some of us are getting tired of doing the right thing. Some bloggers are indeed turning blogs into personal diaries; I agree with you on that. I wouldn’t want to keep coming to a blog which contains lots of strong feelings which are like those of a teenager. I think this is the reason why the bounce rate keeps increasing and you probably lose your readers in event. I loved the post!

    Thanks!
    Carmen

  18. shadyyx says:

    I do not like the language of this post… It doesn’t fit to what I have read from Darren before. It doesn’t fit to this blog. If I wouldn’t know it is just a guest post this is the point where I would stop reading this blog. Darren should pick from guest bloggers more wisely I think. It’s sad I had to use my first comment on this blog (after reading dozens of articles) just because of this post.

  19. I love the topic your blog post! How to Bore Your Readers to Death and Scare them Away… I kind of expected nothing but this. I love the way you get to the heart of the matter. I have actually been smiling as I read the post. It is quite fascinating and worth a read. I am definitely going to click the share button; thanks for the wakeup call. You are heaven sent to all bloggers.

  20. Hi, I am probably guilty of mixing up stuff. I mean I like poetry and also love causes so i do a bit of it all. I do not know if this is a bad thing. Maybe someone here can take a look at my blog and tell me. I would truly appreciate it. Thanks in advance. :)

  21. Claudia says:

    Thanks for this post Jack, and for reminding me (as if I needed it) not to go beyond two posts a week while having a day job. I need the rest of my time to read up, come up with ideas I can turn into a post, write, edit, find and add a picture. And then edit again just in case my earlier editing has made things worse rather than better ;)
    I love the “Dear Diary” advice: putting your personality into your writing is one thing – sharing your daily life on a [enter business subject] blog is just ridiculous. Don’t mention your dogs, kids or mother-in-law unless you need them to make a point.

  22. Lillian Leon says:

    Ooh, I’ve just experienced that sinking feeling… my last blog post was about me!! Eek! But it was from the heart… Thanks for the reminders!

  23. I think we are all guilty of one of the no-nos at one time or another. You may be perfect, but I am a mere flawed human being. I am a bulldog researcher. Often the posts I write are the outgrowth of something I’m researching and wasn’t planning to write about, but having done all that research, it seems a waste to not do something with it. But then again, sometimes I just have an opinion. Or a story to tell. Or a picture to display. It takes me forever to edit. I’m a terrible proofreader and I never see my typos until after I publish, so even after publishing, I keep trying to get it all fixed. I so very much miss having an editor to catch my mistakes. I always seem to see what I meant to see rather than what I actually wrote.

    Sooner or later, we all write about ourselves. It helps if you (a) DON’T WHINE, (b) have a sense of humor, and (c) keep it succinct! I have to admit that I’ve had enough of the ups and downs of youthful relationships. Maybe it’s an age thing, but I just don’t care. There’s an audience for everything, but I’m not always part of that demographic.

  24. Katlyn says:

    I just started a YA book review blog. How do you make book blogs more interesting? Since I just started, I have absolutely nothing to giveaway and no one to interview. Does anyone have any tips?

  25. Trish says:

    Very funny and very helpful both at the same time! It definitely drives home the point much better and more strongly. I have to say on the first point that content is definitely very important, which definitely means some research. Here’s an article all about content marketing. http://smallbizindustryreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/marketing-with-substance-all-about-content/