Let me begin this post with an FYI. This past weekend, we compiled my top 50 most read posts and put them on one page. You can find the link to the page on the menu at the very top. It’s titled “Popular.” Or just click the top 50 posts.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a special interview I conducted with a fellow author on his fascinating new book. So stay tuned for that.
Now on to today’s subject.
Last week I offered a balancing caution to the almost deafening emphasis today on building a platform. If you have a unique message to share with the world, platform is essential. And I’ve spoken on it before myself, especially with respect to authors.
But while building a platform is important for anyone armed with a message, we must also be aware of the dark side of social media and the temptation to obsess over statistics.
Bloggers often ask me for advice on the craft. To answer their common questions, I’ve written a meaty post called Advice for Bloggers which outlines 25 practical tips for bloggers – new and experienced.
As a supplement to that post, here are 8 reasons why I don’t read certain blogs. This post could have also been titled “8 Reasons Why We Don’t Read Your Blog” since I speak for countless others. There are other reasons why I won’t read your blog, of course. I don’t read blogs I’ve never heard about nor blogs that are dedicated to subjects in which I’m not interested. The same is true for everyone else.
But these 8 reasons have to do with things that you can correct . . . if you want to. So if you’re a blogger, you may want to consider these points.
We don’t read your blog because . . .
1. The design is horrible and it’s a distraction from what you write. Sometimes a blog design is so bad that it’s difficult to read the text.
Solution: Install a nice-looking theme and your problem will be solved. I recommend StudioPress Themes. They are beautiful, inexpensive, and very powerful.
2. Your posts are filled with misspelled words and grammatical errors. Typos are inevitable. I have a Ph.D in Typo. I’m incapable of seeing my own and rely on you all to let me know when you spot one. But posts that are full of misspelled words and grammos are a big distraction. And (right or wrong) they give the impression that what you say isn’t reliable.
Solution: Find someone who knows grammar to proof read all of your posts before you publish them.
3. Your blog has nothing unique or interesting to say. Time is precious for all of us, so readers must be choosey. Many of us will only read things that we find fresh, challenging, encouraging, or insightful.
Solution: Rethink the purpose of your blog. Find new material.
4. You never promote, feature, or lift others up. The blog serves you all the time.
Solution: Do some interviews with people who are doing something interesting and edifying. Review a few books, audios, albums, songs, etc. that you want to promote. Consider having some people guest post.
5. Your posts are way too long most of the time. Once in awhile a long post is fine. But writing a mini-novel constantly on a blog is way over the top.
Solution: Shoot for less than 1,000 words for most of your posts and don’t exceed 3,500 in the longer ones.
6. You misrepresent other people and their writings. In this way, your blog does a disservice to the body of Christ and grieves the Lord Himself.
Solution: This is a heart problem. Oftentimes envy is the root of it. Get before the Lord and have Him search your heart to the point of repentance in this area. Treat others the way you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). Never misrepresent another human being, especially another child of God.
7. You don’t moderate your comments and allow readers to slander and gossip about others. The sins of slander and gossip are alive and well even among those who name the Name. To allow your blog to be a platform for these sins is to participate in them yourself.
Solution: Moderate your comments and never approve something that personally attacks another individual. To put it another way, never approve a comment that you wouldn’t want approved if it was about you or your family members. Remember the words of your Lord and “do unto others.”
8. You are negative and most of your posts tear down. You rarely build up. You rarely magnify the Lord and bring Him into view.
Solution: Learn what it means to build up and give Christ. Even when you write a post that challenges or questions the status quo, be sure to build up and offer positive solutions.
The above list is meant to sharpen and improve. So if any of it applies to your blog, consider it as constructive criticism to help you do better. I’m still in school myself, learning every day. For a companion to this post, see the 5 Mistakes I’ve Made in Writing.