10 Trademarks of a Lazy Blogger
Are you getting tired of posting to your blog or touting articles to your friends on social media?
After you do anything long enough, you’ll become too familiar with your work and start to develop bad habits. If you’ve been blogging for awhile, for example, you might find yourself looking to cut a few corners and rush some posts, or, even worse, too burned out to write at all.
So if you catch yourself doing any of the following, consider straightening yourself out or taking a sabbatical until you feel that Shakespearian inspiration calling once again.
1 No Fact Checking
Enemy number one to many on the web, facts can be scary things. Here at DashBurst we like to find interesting facts and stats and report those figures to you in worthwhile posts. Others, however, like to create material unsupported by any data, including bombarding you with their uninformed opinions. On the one hand, having an opinion and some personality helps bloggers connect with their audience. But on the other hand, serially posting articles of hearsay will eventually make bloggers lose their credibility. Such bloggers are more likely to go off on tangents and long-winded rants than to provide useful and relevant information. Another way bloggers insult the fact checking standard is by spewing out a few facts without mentioning their sources. This then begs you to question the integrity of the bloggers’ data and of the bloggers themselves!
2 No Images or Proper Attribution
When it comes to dropping the ball on proper attribution, copyright infringement of images is the number one crime committed by bloggers online. Bloggers swipe images from Google search or Facebook, for example, then slap them in their blog posts without attribution. If the image used is copyrighted or protected under a Creative Common license, though, it could eventually come back to haunt the blogger. Most of the time people get away with this, which only further perpetuates the problem. The attribution issue is completely out of control on social media, where many of the photos you see are repeatedly regurgitated or even photoshopped. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine the original source of any image.
You know you’re dealing with a really lazy blogger when you read a post without any images displayed. In the social media era, I wish goodluck to anyone trying to grab readers’ attention without incorporating a visual component into their content. Without visuals, your content becomes so unshareable on Facebook oand Google+ that it doesn’t even matter what you said in the first place. The hard reality is you could shock the world by explaining the Space-Time Conundrum, but your post wouldn’t get two looks without a Pinteresting picture!
3 Bloated Block Quotes and Gateway Pages
Nothing peeves me more for than landing on a blog post that is just a small snippet pointing to another more wholesome article. You’ve seen these entries before usually capped with something like “Read More” at the end. No – write more! Wasn’t there anything of value you could have added? If not, consider sharing directly to the source. This move always leaves me feeling used and betrayed, wasting precious seconds of my life on every extra click. And be wary of any blogger that constantly stuffs a bunch of other people’s quotes in their work as filler. As bloggers, we have an editorial duty to provide new commentary, thoughts, and ideas.
4 Using the Same Text for Your Title and Permalink
After beaten-up bloggers string together a few keywords for an article title, they often overlook the importance of creating a unique, functional permalink. Bloggers using a CMS like WordPress can edit the slug of the permalink to be different than the title text. This is key because titles can function with many words whereas permalinks are best kept between three to five words (like ours here: “lazy-blogger-trademarks”). Instead of spending a few seconds optimizing their article URLs, however, tired bloggers post their article title as their permlink, often using 10+ words to create a URL that looks like spam to search engines. But hey, their content is probably spam, anyway, so maybe these bloggers are doing us a favor!
5 Editing After Publishing
Have I edited a post after publishing it? Sure. Do I normally try and edit before publishing, though? Of course. But some folks like to shoot from the hip and just let posts fly. After you hit publish, though, shit gets real, so bloggers should read posts to themselves before a commenter calls them out for a misspelling or worse. After which some scared and repressed bloggers may refrain from replying to comments all together.
6 Stop Replying to Comments
How soon after you stop replying to people’s comments do they stop leaving comments on your blog altogether? Unless you’re running a publication the size of Mashable, engagement is going to be a two-way street and you’ll need to put in the legwork to read and reply to your readers’ comments. And don’t forget about spam. Using a comment system like Disqus or Facebook, you can moderate spam posts out of your system.
7 Unsocial Media
They drop link after link on social media, with no additional input, ever. These bloggers are too worn-down to so much as muster up one sentence or Rodney Dangerfield-like “one-liner” to accompany a post on Facebook or Google+. They are basically the social equivalent of an RSS feed pointing to their blog. Their thoughts can be broken down into Matrix-like XML and predicted based on the latest trending tags on Twitter.
8 No Plan to Backup Blog
We’ve all seen that day when one of our unfortunate but lazy blogger friends takes to social media to vent about their blog getting hacked and work lost. When questioned about any backup plan they mention it was just a hobby, nothing serious and then disappear for weeks, unheard. Don’t be a fool. These days, everyone gets hacked. The real question is, could you recover from being hacked? How lazy would you have to be to risk all your hard work on such negligence?
9 Not Publishing Consistently
A common question among bloggers is how to post to their blogs. If you’re having trouble answering this you might have a consistency problem. You don’t need to post just for the sake of posting something. Rather, you should establish a consistent schedule to make running your blog much easier and give your audience a post frequency they can expect and look forward too.
10 No Inspiration
The real question all bloggers should ask themselves is this: do you have an audience that looks forward to your posts? Do you have topics or issues you’ve been burning to cover? At some point the lazy blogger simply runs out of crap to say and looks to coast on content. But blogging is building a relationship with your audience and, just as any relationship can sour over time if not nurtured, so can blogging, too. Once you find yourself constantly talking about the weather, what you’re going to eat, what’s on the tube, or other discussions lacking substance, it might be time to go your separate ways. To have a good relationship with your audience, blogging requires passion and commitment. You have to be 100% dedicated to providing them quality content. If you can’t live up to that, then stop wasting our time and, more importantly, your own. Take a nap, rest up, and find something to do that actually charges you up!
What other lazy traits have you noticed among bloggers these days?