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How To Write a Bad Blog Post

I blog hop a lot. And there are awesome sites out there. And there are sites I never return to again (even though they are awesome). It took me a while to realize the sites I avoid have the same things in common.

I also realized I’m guilty of a lot of those things. As bloggers/writers, we tend to do the things that would totally turn off anyone (including ourselves) if we found it on another site, and often don’t even realize it. Today I tried to look at it from the visitor’s perspective.

So, what would make a person run screaming from your site? AKA: How To Write A Bad Blog Post:

1. Write a very long post with very small print. I’m not even going to bother to start to read it. I’m a mom, I’m too busy.

2. Put lots of ads in the post. Breaking up the post’s flow with lots of adsense text or other ads makes a site look spammy.

3. Don’t add any pictures. A short post without pictures is fine, but if the post is long and nothing but text, without photos or being broken off into sections, it’s an eyesore.

4. Rant on in run on sentences. Talk too much about nothing. Go off on tangents. Tell a backstory to “share” that totally detracts from the main theme of the post. Like my friend Michelle does whenever…. (what, you mean you don’t care about my friend Michelle? But you’ll LOVE this story!)

5. Create a poor layout/outline. First start the post with all your opinions. For a few paragraphs. Of 15 lines each. In the middle of each of these paragraphs, bury the relevant content. Readers who find it win a prize.

6. Use obnoxious colors. Black on white is boring. So is white on black. How about brown on cream? That would be AWESOME! Hard to read, but it coordinates and are your favorite colors.

7. Make the content hard to find. Forget a disorganized post, let’s see if the readers can find the post at all. Put it more than halfway down the page, or better yet, make the reader figure out which link will take them to the full post. A little scrolling/scavenger hunt never hurt anyone.

If you are guilty of most or all of these things (I sure was), it’s not a bad idea to fix them.

If you err in just one or two areas, it’s probably not a big deal, and if your traffic is already awesome, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. But for everyone else- if you don’t like seeing it on another site, don’t do it on yours.

  • I think we’ve all been guilty a time or two! I always hope that I’m improving, but that’s about all I can do is hope. 🙂

  • Jen-Eighty MPH Mom

    Excellent post! I think we all have room to improve. I agree with just about everything you said. I think I have some work to do 🙂

  • JGregg

    uh, oh! i think i’m in trouble here (i do a few of these no-no’s). perhaps your guidance will aid me in improving my tired (yet true) design. admittedly, i do need to do some work on the ole porkster, aka, FatScribe.com! i always enjoy these self-improvement type posts … thx.

  • Agree, agree, agree. Great post.

  • Alicia

    Very good points! When I was reading the list, I kept thinking of my own blog..lol!

    But, I agree! I notice the same things, and my pet peeve is reading a LONG rambling post!

  • Michelle

    Well said, Penelope! It takes a lot to drive me from a site even though I am very visual and appreciate beautiful blogs! However, I must confess to being driven away by lots of bright gaudy colors coming at me as well as too much rambling!

    I also don’t enjoy blogs that are super-charged emotionally and every post is in your face or controversial. (Even though we all have occasional ones!:D)

    I don’t know if you know this, but I’ve moved and have begun a new blog! Hope you’ll come visit some time!

  • So well put. Fun post

  • Theresa @ Faith And Family Reviews

    This is the second post along these lines that I read in the last 15 minutes. Interesting, that many bad blogs, huh?

  • Great post. I think everyone has room for improvement, especially newbies!

  • eve

    great list!! I have a few pet peeves too- great idea! lol

  • JulieD

    This is a great list, Penelope!

  • You just described ALL of my pet peeves.

    And, if you ever see me committing one of these crimes, PLEASE let me know!

  • Laura @ GotChocolate

    HA! Poorly written sentences get me every time. I’m not perfect, but I spend A LOT of time on my posts and proofread them at least twice. Some blogs slap up posts and they have umpteen typos.

    ANNOYING!!!! Again, I’m NOT perfect, but I try to do my best work.

    Thanks Penelope! GREAT topic!!!

  • Nolie

    I think I get a B or a C. Better than an F.

  • Nolie

    Oh I started a “Blogs I love” page and I can’t steal your button as the code is not clickable.

  • Sam

    Great tips Penelope. I know I’m guilty of some of those.

  • Penelope

    A lot of people tell me that…I don’t know how to fix it. That is really sweet Nolie 🙂 Let me see if my “replyme” and code work (if you get this by email, let me know…it’s the first time I’m testing out if my reply goes to a reader by email):

  • Nolie

    The e-mail worked 🙂 The code worked and you are now on my blogs I love page. Only suggestion I have is to go into the plugin editor for comment reply notification and hit ctrl+f to find where it will say no-reply and change that to the beginning of your e-mail. So if it’s penelope @ penelopesoasis you want to change it to penelope. This way people can hit reply and reply by email to you when they get the notification.

  • Shop with Me Mama

    Was it my blog? LOL? I just did a post similar to this one. I think we did it to help others out mainly! I love trying to help others out. Great post Penelope!!!

  • Theresa @ Faith And Family Reviews

    It might have been, I find it hard to remember what I see when and where while blog hopping.
    Yes, it was! Two great minds thinking alike! 😉

  • Good reminders to us all! I break some of the cardinal rules of blogging, but you know what? I don’t even care. I just do what I feel like doing on any given day. 😉

  • A thought-provoking post thanks Penelope. There is a lot to think about.

    The worst one for me is white print on a black background. Even if I really love a blog I simply cannot read the posts, it’s too tiring on the eyes.


    Couldn’t agree more!

  • Kelly

    Excellent points! I think I need to work on the text size things. I use the “normal” option in Blogger but might go up to the next size and see how that goes over.

  • Mother Mayhem

    Are black and red obnoxious? I am a dragon after all…

  • Julia

    Great post! I have to remember some of those things sometimes. I am bad at going off on tangents. *hangs head in shame*

  • Penelope

    Sometimes, you just gotta be you.

    I like your dragon anyway 🙂

  • Hi
    Well narrated piece on how to make a bad blog LOL
    Yes if you fall into some of these tips you are for sure are going nowhere LOL
    Thanks for alerting your co-bloggers with your expertise,
    would like to visit again to get some more tips for bad blogging LOL
    Thanks for sharing this
    I will be alert in these useful tips