Sunday, January 23, 2011

10 Things Bloggers Should NOT Do: A Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

So I'm not doing Bloggiesta because holy cow, how in the world do I have a whole entire weekend to dedicate to blogging when I've barely scrapped together two hours this whole week to blog. But I came across this post at my friend's blog Alise On Life, which was directed from Word Lily's Bloggiest mini-challenge, which references the post "10 Things Bloggers Should NOT Do" on Daily Blog Tips. *starts singing "It's a Small World" after that...* Anyway, I thought it'd be interesting to take this mini-challenge and to see how I've done according to this following list for bloggers.

1. You must not expect results overnight.

3/5. This is probably mostly irrelevant by now, since I'm coming up on or have missed (darn it! again!) my second blogoversary, but I do remember being impatient when I first started out, and wanting people to read my blog IMMEDIATELY. So yeah, I probably could've done better with patience starting out, but, again, it's mostly irrelevant now.

2. You must not ignore your readers.

3/5. I think I could do better, sigh. I wish I were more judicious in returning people's comments on my blog. I wish I had a faster turnaround in writing my discussion posts, particularly if they arise from someone's comments, or a conversation I have with people.

But then I thought about the fact that this blog is for ME primarily, and that when I try to tailor my writing style and content to this theoretical audience's interests, I'm not as happy. So, while I'm not saying you should ignore your readers, I also think it's more important to stick to your own style, to blog when and about what YOU want to above all.

3. You must not scrape another blogger's content.

5/5. Just don't do it. Plagiarization is not just a lifting of direct quotes from an uncredited source, it's also using someone else's ideas and not giving them credit for it. There have been a number of times when I was interested in starting a particular feature on my blog (mostly involving covers), but once I found out that other bloggers already had very similar ideas, I let it go.

And if you think I've taken content from your blogs before, I apologize for the misperception, but I honestly don't plagiarize; it was most likely a case of you and me getting similar ideas at the same time and writing about them utterly unaware of the fact that someone else thinks the same way about those things.

4. You must not expect success without promoting.

3/5. Tell me, how does one "promote" one's blog without being aggravating or coming off as a witless sycophant? I hate self-promotion. I'm terrible at it. If you asked me to tell you why you should read my blog I'd sound so illiterate you'd probably think I scammed my way into my notoriety. (Speaking of illiteracy, you should read this article, titled "You Should Date an Illiterate Girl", which I discovered via Angie's blog. It sounds like it might be offensive on the first page, but the second page especially is quite beautiful and romantic. And, bizarrely enough, a few minutes ago I just found out that one of my roommates knows the guy who wrote it. Whoa!)

Anyway. Self-promotion. I I believe in a meritocracy so much it probably hurts me. I'll admit: I used to use giveaways to try to get my blog name out there. Then I realized that the kind of blog-reader I usually attract to my blog is not really the kind of blogger who follows blogs just for the sake of their giveaways--which is a good thing, to me. So now, uh, thank you, everyone who talks about me and my blog positively? Hehe. You're my main source of "promotion."

5. You must not be another blogger.

4.5/5. I like the name I have established for myself in the blogosphere. Occasionally I will get spasms of envy for another blogger, particularly when I adore his or her blogging voice and wish I could sound more like that (most of the time it's their humor I'm envious of), but for the most part, I am happy with my self-made blogger identity.

6. You must not fail to update your blog regularly.

3.5/5. It comes and it goes. I used to be incredibly good about it--almost in a crazy-person kind of way. Reviews nearly every day, and memes or discussion posts in between those. In the past few months I've gone a week or two straight where I just didn't post at all, and I think that might happen this semester as well. But things will be okay; I've decided to take those blogging slumps in stride.

7. You must not ignore SEO.

1/5. Well, uh, obviously I fail this, because I didn't even know what SEO stands for until an hour ago. (It's "search engine optimization," I believe.) I have this vague notion that this is related to the "promotion" thing, and since I suck at promotion, it's no wonder I suck at optimizing my blog's searchability on search sites or whatever.

8. You must not ignore networking.

2.5/5. How does one network for book blogging? This is yet another one that's related to my promotion issue. Unlike other bloggers, I am inadept at talking myself up to publishers and authors. I'll say I fail at this one as well.

9. You must not have an unreadable/unnavigable site.

4.5/5. This is one thing I'm fairly certain I did alright in. I like my layout--well, okay, I'm getting tired of the pink, but that is a different story--because I think it is pretty straightforward to navigate.

10. You must not throw mud around.

4/5. I'm not going to pretend I am an angel. I try to be diplomatic when expressing my frustrations, but I'm human, too, and sometimes I encounter that angers me so much I just need to talk about it on my blog. I by no means make personal attacks, but yes, I do believe that people or organizations that are doing wrong deserve to be called out on it.


So, ratings-wise, it doesn't look like I did that well for this mini-challenge, lol. But what the heck. It's okay. I'm happy with what this blog is, and besides, I have to get a few things in my "real life" done first before I can relax and play with my blog all day (i.e. write my thesis, pass my honors exams, graduate, get a job). If you're interested, why not do this mini-challenge for yourself and see where you stand with this list?


  1. I know what you mean, Steph. I'm definitely no angel (though you do the tight-lipped thing better than me) and I don't give a crap about SEO or shameless self-promo. I do stuff. I hope people like it. :)

    Hope your week turns out to be less busy. Sometimes blogging/reading can help things become less stressful.

  2. I never agreed with the "your blog is about your readers, not about you" notion that people try enforcing. If I pandered to my readers constantly, I'd find blogging miserable. But I don't want to shut them out entirely so I try to respond to comments as much as I can and I listen to them when they have comments about my site as a whole. I don't want to push people away but I want to be myself as well. People read my blog because it's me, not because I'm trying to be something I'm not.

    I'm all for having giveaways and discussion posts because, quite rightly, my readers make me who I am. I need to be thankful to them. But I'm just going to keep being me and keep my readers in mind.

  3. I like the idea of not ignoring your readers, but at the same time, I do think blogging must be something you do for yourself - not saying ABOUT yourself, but just something that makes you happy doing, that's where 'write the blog you want to read' comes into play.

    And I think SEO confuses us all!

    Happy Bloggiesta! Hope you achieved all your goals.

  4. I read the "You Should Date an Illiterate Girl" and I loved it! Thanks for including that :) and great post!

  5. I've been trying to be good about replying to comments on my blog but the other thing I want to start doing is visiting the blogs of people who comment. I figure if they liked my post enough to comment we must have something in common.

    I really wish I had a more distinctive "voice" on my blog. I know I'm rather boring and uncontroversial but I am who I am.

    I don't really get SEO either :)

  6. I like your blog! I think you did pretty well. I don't update regularly because I'm just honestly not willing to plan my schedule around my blog. There are weeks when I don't get a whole lot read, or when I don't feel like trying to write a post and with everything else demanding my attention, something I do for fun should not be adding to the stress. Also I'm pretty bad at the promotion. Interesting self-test.


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