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10 horrible blogging tips.

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There’s so much great blogging advice online. The interwebs are full of great tips, but what if you want to have a horrible blog? What if you want to alienate readers, make more enemies than friends and just have an awful go of it?

Fear not friend, I am here for you.

10 horrible blogging tips.

1. If you want to start a rich, healthy dialogue, write a post about the ways parents should discipline their kids. For added fun, float the topic of spanking.

2. Save money on your host. The name of the game is “cheap.” Don’t worry about up time or things like that. Try to find the cheapest host possible.

3. People came to your blog to see selfies. Don’t disappoint them. Don’t be greedy, give us a buffet of selfies in which you are at the mall, at McDonald’s, at a pet store, etc.

4. Write really interesting headlines that have nothing to do with the actual blog post. For example, I should have named this blog post, “10 ways to make easy money in 1 step!” So many people would have clicked on that on Twitter!

5. Made your header 98% of the screen. People didn’t come here to read your blog, they came here to bask in the warm glow of your header. Make it huge!

6. Every time you tweet a link to your blog, ask people to retweet it. Never just make your content so good that people want to retweet it, instead beg for a RT. It’s a lot easier than getting good at writing.

7. Don’t give credit for the photos you use. Photographers are a very shy group and feel embarrassed when people credit their photos.

8. Automatically believe that anyone who disagrees with you or does not support the causes you write about hates you. Further the idea in culture that there are only two options: You wildly support me or you’re a hatemonger. It’s the only way we can continue to murder dialogue.

9. Write 10,000 word novellas for your blog posts. If there’s one thing people are getting these days it’s longer attention spans.

10. Only share the good stuff of your life. People hate authenticity, they love production. Be as fake as you can be, only showcasing the moments in your life that look like they were pulled directly off a pinterest board.

Well, I hope those were helpful. If not, perhaps you’d like to talk about the right way to discipline kids.

What other horrible blog tips would you add?

About Author

Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff

113 Comments

  1. I’d add “more ads” – pack as many advertisements as you can on your site. Make sure to break up posts with AdSense boxes in the middle of the text. At least two or three per post. Sidebar ads are ok, but the real gold is to put big ad boxes in your posts. That’s untapped and prime real estate.

    • Derek

      I especially enjoy the ones that pop up so that you’re cut off in the middle of reading a sentence and have to find the tiny, secret x.

      • Totally – in text ads with those popups! ARGHGHGH!

        Going through one of those blogs is like tip-toeing through an advertising minefield. You WANT to read the article, but fear scrolling down in case your cursor accidentally trips one of those contextual links!

      • YES. And please make sure those ads aren’t in anyway relevant to your reading audience. Ads that that have to do with what you’re writing about might accidentally be useful, but if it’s one weird trick you’re sure to be obnoxious.

        Seriously though, when this happens on a blog, even when I love the content, I reconsider ever coming back.

    • Yes! Yes! Yes! Spam your own site, please!! I’ll stay and click them all day long!

  2. For a successful photography blog/website, don’t put up any photos at all!

    • And if you do, watermark the heck out of them so people can no longer tell if that’s a baby or a troll.

    • Southern Curmudgeon

      If you’re a photographer but not very good yet, steal a few dozen images from the best photographers. Folks will think you’re that good….. until they hire you and see what YOU churn out. Also, once word gets out you have stolen images (and it gets out quickly) you’ll have TONS of visitors to your site. They’ll call you things you’ve never heard, but hey! A hit is a hit right?

      If you’re not a photographer, just grab images from anywhere and use them. Don’t credit the photographer and never ask permission. Again, you’ll get LOTS of attention soon!

      In either case, get an attorney on retainer. Copyright infringement cases are very expensive and time consuming. But that’s OK. You’ll have plenty of time because your blog or website has been taken down by a DCMA notice.

  3. Make people type in a secret code of hieroglyphics if they want to leave a comment.

  4. If you wanted me to RT this post Jon, you could have just asked, rather than beat around the bush in #6.

  5. I disagree on #2. People do have budgets, you know. I don’t see that a paid site looks or works any better than a cheap or free one.

    • Jon Acuff Jon Acuff

      I guess it depends on traffic. Keep in mind, I am unemployed, so the idea of being on a budget is not foreign to me.

    • Michelle

      Some of my favorite always visit blogs are hosted on free sites. Don’t really see that as a big deal.

      • I think the issue is that If you’re someone who is going to have a self hosted site, make sure that you do your research and find one that is reliable, and not to just pay as little as you can for a service that will hinder your site.

        For a lot of people free blogging platforms work. And if that is what you’re using I would say to find the one that works best for your situation.

    • I am a graphic designer; trust me, if you want to do long-term blogging like Jon, you want to pay for one. The cheap/free ones almost never have decent themes, and do not give you much flexibility.

      That being said, if it is just something you do for fun to share with the people in your circle, I think getting a WordPress or Blogger is perfectly acceptable.

      • Christiana

        I know that Word Press gives you the option of buying your “blog name” is that a good way to start and then pay for the domain when you have the money.

        • If you don’t purchase a domain right away (even with WP) you’ll eventually end up with two blogs – the free WP version and the paid domain one.

    • Ben

      While the design (or lack there of in your template) can be important I think the real issue on #2 is hosting traffic. I’m a videographer/graphic designer and I can live with plain sites, I can even live with overly crowded run of the mill blog sites if the content is compelling enough but if I can’t get to the blog post because there is too much traffic through your host or because the host is constantly down for maintenance I will never know if you content is good. There are a couple of blogs I have been following recently that seem to have this issue. Half the time I click on their links I can’t get to their site and by the time traffic has cleared up on the host I’ve moved on and forget to go back.

    • It definitely does both work and look better, but you have to gauge what you expect to get out of your blog. If it’s a hobby, free is fine. If it’s business…surely hosting a blog doesn’t cost THAT much?

  6. Post regularly and then go MIA for a month with no warning. The readers will be there when you get back.

  7. Neil

    You absolutely need your own tool bar. Something that value-adds to your website like fast searching using. Heck, make sure your custom toolbar offers to install more toolbars, because everyone wants their browser to look like this:

    http://www.linux-noob.com/forums/uploads/post-1-1160073179.jpg

  8. Be sure to have a video with commercials that auto-play. Bonus points if your reader can’t STOP the video. Also, put it in a really strange place in your sidebar so that it’s difficult to find.

  9. brooke

    Pop-ups. Lots and lots of pop-ups.

    • Neil

      You forgot pop-unders. They always win friends.

    • brooke

      and for the love… make sure you have a music track that plays when the site loads, but be sure to hide the “mute” button. It’s nothing but a waste of valuable real estate.

  10. Linda

    Make sure you have music on your blog that automatically blares as soon as the blog is opened. People love clicking on your blog and getting jarred out of their seats by a little Skillet.

    • Lacey

      Definitely. Loud annoying music that startles you so much that you drop your computer, and causes everyone around you to glare at you.

  11. Please neglect to use spell check and feel free to use texting based abbreviations and colloquialisms at will. We will take the time to look them up! Oh yeah, and I tackled that spanking thing. 😀

  12. Make sure to choose an interesting font such as comic sans. Times New Roman is SO 2010.

  13. Don’t use “clickbait” to attract an audience. You mislead to get a view of the page, but you lose a ton of credibility.

    Was your junior high basketball team called the “Lions” and you want to tell a story about it? Don’t title the story “My time playing on the Lions”. From that, people are expecting a story about pro athletes. An article about junior high sports is going to leave the person disappointed. Don’t title an article “The Time I Met the President” and talk about how you met the president of your local bank.

    http://www.logan.cc/blog/2014/01/this-one-weird-trick-that-readers-hate/

  14. In response to #2, use GoDaddy as your host. They’re really a quality service.

    #SaidNoOneEver

  15. Annette

    Be sure to claim every brilliant quote or nugget of wisdom as your own. Wise folks much prefer to be plagiarized than credited.

    Or, you do plan to give credit, don’t look up the true source and wording so you can quote accurately.

  16. Liz

    How ’bout using a GIANT PICTURE OF YOUR FACE on one of the sidebars for your “about me” section link? Nothing makes me want to read your blog more than seeing YOUR GIANT FACE hog up half the page. That’s not even remotely narcissistic.

  17. Another good bit of horrible advice would be “Copy and paste other author’s posts onto your own blog because readers won’t be able to find their blogs (they have thousands of readers) but found yours(And you woin’t admit it but as the author you are one of the only readers). It is your responsibility to make sure they get the content that they are missing on these other (more popular)blogs. Basically, if you want to get more traffic create a blog digest of other author’s works. And oh yea, credit to the orginal author is not nessersary. The readers come for the content not the author.”
    Don’t worry though, I don’t know this first hand but read of people doing such things. And it actually does drive up traffic. Lawyers just love to read blogs that do stuff like that. You may even get some calls from some of the lawyers that read your site.

  18. Post or embed videos to your blog site which also has ad content that auto-plays ad audio. There is nothing as attention retaining as two audio sources occurring simultaneously.

  19. I stopped reading after #5. Couldn’t you have made it shorter and addressed blogs being to long to hold people’s interest?!

    (Heehee. Good shtuff as always!)

  20. When it comes to Christian blogs, pandering to the republicans is always ethical. Bash the satanic democrats as much as possible!

    Also, I too am unemployed, Jon. How’s your Halo score? Yeah me too.

  21. KC

    Use as many acronyms as possible and do it ASAP.

  22. Get sloppy. Have lots of ads! Clearly your page is about making money, not your writing. Auto play music and ads. Those are especially fun for your readers who are at the library, work, or some other public arena and they love having everyone let in on the secret of what they’re doing! Make sure you also hide that pause button or disable it so they have to exit your site to escape it. That’s my favorite.

  23. Vox Populi

    Make the same elementary grammar and spelling errors over and over and over again, and never bother to take five minutes to look them up and get them straight once and for all. Because people should focus on you’re heart and not get distracted by you’re lack of concern with unimportant details like standard English usage am I write people am I write?

  24. Studies, that I made up for this post, show that when you rhyme people believe you 100% the time. Trust me when I say it’s not a crime when you can turn a phrase on a dime. Another blogging tip always works well when we work in alliteration.

  25. Cindy

    Professional photographers make a living from their photography. When republishing a photo, please contact the photographer for written permission and their payment terms before republishing. Even if you give credit, if you republish without permission, you are in breech of copyright and in essence, stealing the photograph. Many blogs are opening themselves to lawsuits by thinking it’s ok to “borrow” (steal) photography. The same concept applies to stealing the words of other writers and sources.

    So my bad blogging tip is to borrow every photo you love on the Internet and republish it at will 😉 and, don’t worry about having model releases from people (especially children) who are pictured in the photo. I’m sure they would love to have their photo plastered all over the Internet.

  26. Make sure every post is 1000 words of more. People can’t get enough of your good writing.

  27. jessica

    Do sponsored posts. Often. Because nothing feels more authentic than a post about you organizing with…insert major brand here…

  28. Great points. I would add Do not reply to comments, especially from readers who share a personal story or ask you a direct question.

  29. I would actually encourage photo credits…because photo credits pay my bills and cause work to come rolling in like no tomorrow…

  30. This is absolutely hilarious! You pretty much covered all the bases!

  31. Barbara

    If you have a food blog, please be sure to give a long, animated description of how you are squeezing in this test recipe while also potty training your toddler or your new puppy. Everyone loves puppies. Also, please do not forget to add a photo of every single step. I might forget the spoon, the bowl or the salt. Or how to stir the salt in the bowl.

  32. amy b.

    All of these are funny except #5. Most blogs (including yours) do take up 98% of the screen on which I read your blog, my phone. I’ve just gotten used to scrolling, which I gladly do for you and others that entertain and/or inform me

  33. In addition to asking people to retweet your blog, putting a “Tweet That” button next to your favorite sentence in the post.

  34. More floating and blinking ads, please!!!

  35. Black background with extremely tiny white text because your content is so good I apparently have to work for it.

  36. Carl

    How about another topic of “How to generate lots of blog traffic”? Invite bloggers to rant about what they hate the most. Whoops, I guess that is what this tread is anyway. In the spirit or your sarcasm, I thought it would be best to label this thread.

    Seriously, I enjoyed your book “Start….”. Fortunately, you didn’t take any of these blogging tips.

  37. Write the longest post ever in history, all the while refusing to ever use the return button so that it’s all one long paragraph. Readers will enjoy getting lost in all the lines blurred together.

  38. A friend shared your blog on his FB page. I’m fairly new to blogging & would just like to know how many of these unwritten blogging rules I may have broken with mine . 🙂
    Notmywil.wordpress.com

  39. Bad blogging tip: Do comment on every other blog you can find and in the name section be sure to put something super narcissistic like “Allison Mayer worlds best photographer ever so please click on my name now so Google thinks my website is super duper important and I get to page one!” 😉 Because you wouldn’t want people to think you were commenting because you actually liked what they wrote.

    (seriously, the next photographer who comments on another photographer’s blog with “jane doe- Photographer” is going to get a beat down from me)

  40. I just love food blogs that pose the same food in 5 different ways. Where will the spoon be positioned this time? I love the suspense.

  41. Never interact with your readers other than producing the posts. Make sure they feel as if they are privileged to read your sage-like quips each day, but that you, as the wise author, are on your high and holy place, coming up with the next life-altering post, and have no time to actually interact with those who would read blogs with their free time.

    I just love blogs like that.

  42. 1. Blog about your latest episode of the stomach bug, detailing the symptoms. Especially because many of us only have time to read blogs while eating lunch.

    2. Post about the latest episodes of Downton Abbey and Sherlock, without giving a spoiler warning. Chances are we won’t get around to watching it anyway.

  43. Blog sporadically. People LOVE that. XD

  44. Teresa

    So my toolbars are not supposed to look like that?

  45. Mel

    Make sure if a subscriber disagrees with you, to block them right away. Don’t ever listen to their side or ask questions! Nothing shows Christian love better than banning those who disagree with you! They will then tell everyone about your site and people will come flocking! 😀

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  47. You should assume that people are too dumb to come up with their own tweet, and tell them which phrase you want them to tweet from your blog post. Because most people on Twitter have no idea how to compose a tweet.

  48. Pauly

    Make sure and recycle old posts to try and get more comments. Nothing is better than reading what you think is a new post, only to find it was originally years ago!

    • I agree, you shouldn’t repost old stuff and pass it off as new. But I have been blogging for 6 years…so I have a lot of good things posted deep in my archives. Things new subscribers will never find. So, I started a Throwback Thursday feature where I recycle old stuff. I do it to help the new readers, not to get more comments.

      🙂

      But I hear ya…I don’t want to keep reading the same things over and over.

  49. Tom

    Jon – Be sure to make another post of what to include in our Christmas letters! 🙂 Here’s another tongue-in-cheek list regarding entrepreneurship: http://swivelfreely.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/five-lessons-i-learned-from-starting-my-first-business/

  50. Peter

    Always be sure to never jump into a dialogue in the comments created by your posts. Completely distance yourself when someone offers you constructive criticism or simply asks a question, and just pretend like they didn’t say anything. Definitely keep doing that.

  51. Ringo

    Please try and come off as arrogant as possible. Readers love to read “look at how awesome I am” stories!

  52. David Atwell

    – When someone first comes to your post, you absolutely must have a modal that covers the screen before they can read your content. It doesn’t matter what it says- you can ask them if they agree that there need to be more Upworthy things in the world, or if they’ll take a survey after they’re done. Make sure it’s almost impossible to figure out how to close it. Bonus points if there IS no way to close it on a mobile device. Your traffic will just skyrocket.

    – For truly happy readers, divide the post up into ten pages of one paragraph each. Or a slide show, those are always great. They take forever to get through, which is the best part for your readers, and have the added bonus of making your user hit all your ads over and over, which means more money! And definitely don’t add a Full Article link. Nobody wants that.

    Full disclosure: I’m a web developer. I’ve seen people that actually seem to believe this stuff.

  53. BEST non-tips I have seen a while.
    Especially #10 —->> I would add to that, have a few more “perfect” kids to put on display for your blog…hahaha!

  54. When people take the time to subscribe by e-mail, only allow the first 3 sentences to show up in the email with a “read more” link. And then when your reader clicks over to your blog, only post the first 10 sentences of the post with yet another “read more” link!

    Shoot–why stop at two links? People LOVE having to click on multiple links to read one blessed post!

  55. Shante Kiefer

    “Pulled straight off the Pinterest board” – Love it! But honestly everything in my world looks Pinterest perfect.

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