10 Blogging Mistakes You Need To Avoid Doing On WordPress

A woman showing her palm at a man's face at a beach

Okay let’s take the mickey out of serious writing and explore some things I’ve personally declared as ‘blogging mistakes you need to avoid’, thanks to the 18 or so months I’ve spent on the WordPress Reader.

Read enough blog posts and you start to see a pattern. Sometimes said patterns are pleasant, like the blogger who asks thoughtful questions at the end of their posts.

Other times, I find myself wondering if I’m turning into a WordPress geezer, yelling at people to get off my (digital) lawn.

So based on my anecdotal experience, I’m now highlighting the things that grind my gears when it’s time to browse the Reader, and if you find any of your habits listed here, don’t take it too seriously, because I’ve clearly run out of topics to write about if it’s come to this.

1. Leaving ‘nice’ comments

I get it. I should be happy that someone even took the time to reply to my posts, but if you’ve ever left comments like ‘nice site’ or worse, ‘pls follow me at [insert website here]’, do note that it’s going straight to trash.

That’s not because I have a big ego, but because I can’t tell if you’re a bot or not. And after using AI to write this post, I don’t even know if any of you are really human.

Still, if robots can write so well, there’s no reason why you—as a human—can’t come up with at least one coherent sentence.

As someone who’s relied primarily on comments to build an audience, I can tell you that it’s much better to write one great comment a day than to post twenty ‘nice’s in the same timespan.

Fortunately, I’ve been fortunate to have a bunch of awesome blogging friends who not only drop entertaining demonstrations of their wit, but also their constant encouragement, and I’m thankful for that.

Now, back to the trash-talking.

2. Making your readers jump through hoops

On the flip side of the above point is you requiring my name, email address, zodiac sign, mother’s maiden name, and the serial number on my microwave before I can comment on your blog post.

I get it. You’re worried about spam. Maybe you’re like me and think we’re all just AIs talking to each other. But that’s what the moderation feature is for, isn’t it?

At least once a day I come across a well-written post that I’d like to comment on, only to come across the dreaded Form Of Scrutiny that leads me to close that tab.

Maybe someone will prove me wrong. Maybe you’ll come up with a legitimate use for requiring your audience’s details. But until that happens, I’m just going to say that this is definitely a blogging mistake you’ll want to avoid.

Dog zig-zagging through po

Let’s not turn the comments section into an obstacle course, eh? Photo: Murilo Viviani

3. Using cliffhangers

Nothing cheeses me off more than a title promising ‘the best ways to write a blog post’ that starts with their troubles with insomnia, and ends with ‘stay tuned for my next post where I reveal how to write an amazing blog post’.

Get outta here with that Charles Dickens tomfoolery. This ain’t no paid-per-word serial. I’d just taken the time to scroll through your entire post on how loud your clock ticked last night, and the only payoff I get is a vague promise of what’s going to happen happen in your next post? What is this, the end of a Breaking Bad episode?

Using cliffhangers to end your novel chapters is awesome. Doing it in your blog post just gives everyone a bad time.

4. Selling services you suck at

We have lots of talent here on WordPress. Most of it self-proclaimed. I, for one, am a professional learner. That’s a nice way of saying I suck at everything.

But when you start charging money for skills you seem to lack, that’s when I lose control over the twitch in my eye.

I’m talking to you, book editor with seven typos in your sales pitch. Or you, digital marketer with twenty followers and no way of finding you on social media.

Don’t get me wrong. The internet is amazing, and we’ve become a borderless world thanks to its wonders.

But that also means that anybody with an entrepreneurial flame lit by the tinders of their last DMT trip can set up a website and call themselves an award-winning life coach. And it’ll $500 per hour of their time, portfolios be damned.

I love a good rags-to-riches story as much as the next person, but if you look like you’re the one that needs your own services, then maybe we need to go back to the drawing board for a bit.

5. Plagiarising, and not even hiding it

I tend to do a bit of due diligence before connecting with a blogger I don’t know. Because again, who knows if you’re real?

Sometimes though, it’s not just the bots that are doing the spamming. There have been times when I’d come across actual humans who’d left sincere replies on my blog, but their voice in their comments totally didn’t match the articles they put out.

Worse, each of their articles had a distinctly different voice.

Cue “Google search with quote marks”. In about 0.43 seconds, I’d found the websites said blogger had copy-and-pasted their article from.

Some of them even think they’re gaming the system by copying one paragraph from Wikipedia and another from a random blog. I see right through you.

You want some advice? Learn to steal like a professional. I can show you how. It’s just going to cost you $500 on the hour.

A printing machine printing newspapers

How people think they can still get away with copy-pasting verbatim is beyond me. Photo: Bank Phrom

6. You keep breaking your own promises

“Oops, it’s been four months since I last posted. But I’m back now. From now on, it’s going to be weekly posts. Every week. Week after week. No exceptions. Stay tuned for my post next week!”

Then another four months go by and your next post reads “So I totally had no time to blog. But whatever, because I’m doing me.”

Look, I get it. The Hiatus claims us all. I’ve fallen victim to it too (just check out my posting schedule pre-2020), but you gotta give me something to work with here. We need to get you an arc.

Do you have a quest that you’ll actually follow through on? Something that readers can also experience alongside you? Or are you going to once more break your own promise of wanting to write that novel, or get in shape, or quit your toxic job?

You don’t need to be perfect. I fail all the time. But maybe fail trying, instead of not attempting anything in the first place. I just want to root for you, you know? Give me something I can comment ‘nice’ on!

7. No paragraphs

Can’t believe this is still a thing. I don’t mind if your formatting’s a little off, because hey, Block Editor, am I right? I don’t mind a post that’s devoid of subheadings or images. But by golly I have no idea how some of you can write thousand-word articles without once pressing Enter. That’s like singing Bohemian Rhapsody in 2x speed without pausing to take a breath. If you find that you’re paragraphically-challenged, then perhaps you can seek out the wealth of editors we have here on WordPress. They’ll help you sort things out. Provided they’re not robots. And that they’re programmed to use the Enter key.

8. You’re an SEO specialist

“Do you want to know the top skills all bloggers need? I’ll tell you what are the top skills all bloggers need. The first top skill all bloggers need is to not leave lacklustre comments. Hope this helps you in your quest to learning the top skills all bloggers need!”

I get your enthusiasm for digital skills, but there’s a reason why SEO is half-analytical, half-creative. Knowing the technical aspects of it is only part of the puzzle. The other part is remembering that it’s always about the reader.

Sure, we may be catering to an algorithm, but the algorithm was built to give users a better time when on Google. How else do you think I managed to catch the plagiarisers red-handed?

Yes, SEO is good, and yes, there are certain guidelines you’ll have to follow, but if your SEO efforts result in you sounding like a bot, guess what’s going to happen to your Google rankings?

A large audience at a concert with their h

Let’s not forget the ultimate purpose of content—the audience. Photo: Tjis van Leur

9. #hashtagging everything

This ain’t Instagram. You don’t need hashtags in your post, because all that does is add a few more numbers to your word count. Seriously.

Hashtags do work in social media, where users can browse all posts listed under said tags, but on WordPress, #hashtags #like #these only serve to clutter your posts.

And it irks me to no end when I come across posts with more hashtags than actual content. Wow, I really do sound like a WordPress geezer now.

Anyway, you want the same functionality on WordPress without the spammy aesthetic? Use the Tags feature instead. You can find it in the Post section when you’re drafting your article.

10. Taking advice, especially from me

If you’ve found yourself nodding your head to some of the blogging mistakes you’ve been committing, and you’re considering changing your ways, I’d implore you to rethink your life choices because some random dude from Malaysia shouldn’t be able to sway you so easily.

Always do your own due diligence and improve on your own accord, because WordPress should be the last place you go to for any advice.

I know I keep repeating this point, but somebody’s gotta say it.

Keep improving

I really hope you aren’t in the group of people who commit these blogging mistakes, but if you are, maybe just take it with a grain of salt and only change if you want to.

Because this is just one guy’s view on WordPress, and right after I draft this post, I’m going to head back to the Reader and continue shaking my fist at both bots and humans alike.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll end up with an entirely new list to write about. But I guess you’ll have to check in next week to find out.


The biggest blogging mistake is not clicking the button below, because I do send out exclusive content that you won’t find elsewhere on the blog. Join the handful of people who now have the burden joy of getting entertaining content right in their inbox.

161 thoughts on “10 Blogging Mistakes You Need To Avoid Doing On WordPress

  1. I’ve fallen victim to announcing about my hiatus so much. I’ve also seen blogs where 70% of the posts are apologies for not posting 😂. Thanks for this.

    Oh, and then comments are very special to me, because basically anybody and anything [read as robots] can like, but meaningful comments can come from only good people.

    It becomes a two-way thing. The blogger should make conversations easy to start, and the reader dare not comment with less than three words!😩

    • Lol, I totally get the apology posts, because I’ve done them quite a few times before too. Then I just disappeared and reappeared without much fanfare.

      Agree with the comments. And they automatically give you a good idea on who is connecting with you too, because it’s very apparent how thoughtful a comment is.

      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Pingback: This Is Why I Don’t Click On Your Blog Posts | Your Friendly Malaysian Writer

  3. There’s something even more worse than an obstacle course for a comment.

    Imagine this. You come across a wonderful blog post, you nod along with the points with the author. And then find out that there’s no comment section at all. Instead, just more product selling, an one-way conversation.

    Even more infuriating is people advertising their medium articles on wordpress, locking them behind a paywall. The reader doesn’t realizes it, until they click on it, and wasted their time.

    Also? What is up with putting hashtags on the title itself?

    • Lol, sounds like first-world problems to the uninitiated, by boy do things like this get annoying if you browse the Reader enough.

      My personal pet peeve is trying to sell products on a page you haven’t even put effort in. No design, no audience, no effort in connecting, but there it is, a link to purchase your book.

      This is the same type of person who’d buy NFTs because they think they’d make money, without even understanding how it even works.

  4. Given this, I’m both flattered and shocked you’d choose to hang out at my blog. :D
    Anyway, yours is GREAT and I feel like I’m learning how to improve every time I read another of your posts. Here’s hoping I don’t break my promise and finish that novel. Don’t want to disappoint you.

    • Oh yes. I’m always hoping I can support someone all the way through a novel, so you can bet that I’ll be disappointed if you don’t finish it :P

      Thanks for stopping by, Nick!

  5. I feel like you add the best disclaimers! 🤣 I’m obviously new to this and you are the first person i followed on here, you have made me laugh and realize that this has so many approaches without making me feel bad about my beginner mistakes. Thank you so much for your content! I can’t wait to see more 👍🏽

    • Oh wow, your site doesn’t look new in the slightest, so I wouldn’t have known at first glance.

      And I appreciate your lovely words, because they made my day! Can’t say I’ve given my disclaimers much thought, but now I do :)

      Thanks once again for stopping by!

      • Awe man! Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me! Not gonna lie it’s a pre-made template 😂 but still! Thank you so much 🙌🏽🎉 can’t wait to see more of your posts

  6. This really cracked me up. The blunt statements, sarcasm and jokes were really good ways of getting the point across.
    I thought I was the only one who get so pissed off by the hashtag thing.😅😅
    Nice.😉

  7. I was so worried when I saw the title of your post. I’m so new to blogging that I was sure I’d be doing all of them. I’m glad to report, I haven’t. However, I’m new enough I just might not have had the chance. Now that I’ve read your post hopefully I can avoid any of them in the future.

    • Lol well you’ve left an amazing comment, so that’s one mistake you’re not doing. Am pretty sure you’re aware of most of these by nature, judging from my visit to your blog. I enjoy reading your posts too. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

  8. Haha Stuart, I must admit You have quite a witty writing style! But I think your article sums up some of the glaring mistakes. I am still at the beginning of my blogging journey so I am glad to have come across it. Thanks Stuart!

    • Thanks for the kind words! I do try to be as witty as I can to make up for my lack of it in real life, ha ha.

      Anyway, I’m glad you decided to drop by, and your art still left quite an impression on me.

      Thanks again, Ishan!

    • Lol I see what you did there.

      Am thankful for your kind words! Definitely do tinker around, and I’m looking forward to see what your blogging journey holds for you!

      Also, I wanted to visit your blog but the link in your profile doesn’t seem to be working. Just let me know when you have yours up!

  9. “You want some advice? Learn to steal like a professional. I can show you how. It’s just going to cost you $500 dollars on the hour.

    I’m available Stuart if you need any help.. 🤣
    But you know I’m a bot… not but too funny and actually i’m sure I unwittingly do some these accidentally that I shake my head too.

    Thanks for the morning laughs..
    Have a great day!
    💖🙏

    • A ha! I always knew you were a bot. There’s no way you could maintain so many quality posts and comments so that must be it :P

      Always a pleasure seeing you here, Cindy. Thanks for visiting!

  10. It’s no. 5 and 6 for me Stuart- not that am guilty of same but moreso my support for those as mistakes. 2021 has been my best year for consistently publishing my blog weekly. It took great effort but am community to trying- perfectly written article or not. Thanks for sharing.

    • Commitment is awesome! Here’s to wishing that your trial and error only results in the constant bettering of self. Wishing you great things to come through your continual effort, and thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. I was laughing and agreeing to almost every point here ^_^ slow clap gI especially number 10 where one shouldn’t just take advice all the advice from the internet, you need to see how it resonates with your blog like maybe blogging inconsistently works for you and you are probably trying to blog everyday because you heard thats how you show you are a serious blogger 🤣🤣🤣
    As for cliffhangers I know some authors who use those to blog chapters from their work in progress and that works for them although of course when you read you are like gosh now I have to wait till the next instalment to find out what happens next…

    also I really dont understand why people try so hard to write for Google than simply writing be it for either themselves or the readers or just for just…

    This comment was written by a genuine human
    ~B

    • Lol yeah, cliffhangers don’t apply to fiction though. In fact, cliffhangers are required in that case.

      But are you sure you’re human though? Maybe I should include a CAPTCHA here, because maybe some of you AIs here are unaware that you’re actually machines :P

      Anyway, love your comment! Thanks for taking the time to write such a wonderful comment, and may we blast through our writing goals this year!

      • I find CAPTCHAs a bit ironic that we have to prove we are human using an AI generated challenge 🤔 IT wants me to prove I’m human?????

        What if we are in The Matrix 😎
        ~B

  12. “Nice”. Lol

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. I honestly loved your post and all of your pointers on what you see as blogging mistakes. I have to agree with most of them Stuart, as I see them pretty consistently too, fortunately I don’t think I’m guilty of many of them. Hope your new year has got off to an amazing start. Warmest wishes from down under and happy blogging into 2022. 😊

    • Lol, you jest, but I actually have a few unapproved comments that are exactly that. On this post. If you can’t beat em…

      At least lovely comments like yours make it all worthwhile, and I’m grateful you took the time to make my day a better one.

      Have always wanted to visit Australia. Maybe someday. Thanks once more for stopping by, Miriam!

      • Hey Stuart, thanks for your kind words. I hope you get to Australia one day, it’s a big beautiful country. In the meantime, happy to show you around through my posts. Have an awesome day. 😊

  13. ” I, for one, am a professional learner. That’s a nice way of saying I suck at everything”
    :D that’s an insightful line worthy of a forehead tattoo!

    I use a similar term – “lifelong learner” – though I prefer to keep the term internal to my own head. The point is to keep aiming to be good at what you do even if you reach some level of competence.

    In the spirit of that, you’ve nailed the top facepalm worthy blogging snafus I’ve seen over the years. Especially the “return from hiatus posts”. I must have done my share though I prefer not to look for those.

    All the best in your writing and a successful 2022!

    • Oh yeah, maybe ‘lifelong learner’ would’ve been a better option, lol. And yes, there’s never a pinnacle to what we do. Even the greats like Micheal Jordan or Muhammad Ali could probably still have tons to learn during their prime.

      And The Hiatus does claim us all, lol. Our goal is to not let it claim us again, which is much easier to do than to try to claw our way out once it does. Love your comment. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. Yes, so true. I think I did give short comments when I didn’t have the time time to write comments. Can’t help it. And you are so right about SEO. I still don’t understand what it is despite reading 10 articles about it. It’s like something that can’t get into my brain.

  15. Hi, im a human. I write nice comments sometimes, but only because I binge-read blog posts and sometimes don’t have time to comment on each one, but you’re right, I prefer receiving extensive comments to nice ones but only because I don’t know how to respond to nice comments except with thanks or a like. Anyway, one thing that bothers me is when im reading a post on reader and only the 1st paragraph is available and I have to click a link to read the full post on their site. I read all my blogs on the WordPress reader and find myself unfollowing people who only post like that

    • Lol that’s one of my pet peeves too! Especially when coupled with a complicated commenting process (much easier to comment directly from Reader).

      And yeah, replying to comments actually takes some effort. I feel shy sometimes, and have no idea what to reply, but I just remind myself that it’s not about me, that people like you have actually taken time to write something, and so the least I could do is to actually have a conversation with them. I’ve found that that helps me come up with longer replies much easier.

      Loved reading your comment, by the way. And Happy New Year!

    • Posted the comment without continuing. And, this post was a great one as usual. Can I stop my impressiveness scale from getting surprised by Stuart Danker? Nevermind.
      Anyway, have a great 2022!! And a great 3k followers! And a great influence over tons of people who love your content. This blog can and probs will go big scale, Stu, you just wait. Have a nice evening! (Or, er, is it day yet?)

      • Lol, I love your optimism for this blog. Hopefully if I make it, you can say you heard it here first, eh?

        Again, am glad you decided to restart your blog, reposting or not. And it’s good to see you around here again, because it felt like you disappeared from WordPress for a bit.

        Thanks for stopping by once again, and for your constant support!

      • Aw, thank youuuu! This gives me a lot of hope and support. Yeah, I sorta dropped of reading/writing blog posts when things were getting a little close-knit in my life, but I’m more than happy that that comment cheered you. See you!

  16. Nice article once again, Stuart! I especially liked that you described yourself as a “professional learner” – if you don’t mind, I might start using that term every now and then as it totally applies to myself… first off in all my hobbies/sports (a mountaineer who thinks they know all is not a good mountaineer) and as a future PT (a PT that claims they know everything is the biggest red flag of all) I don’t think that counts as plagiarism yet :D

    • Lol I’m actually surprised someone else wants to be a professional learner, so please do! And can I say that your mountaineering life looks amazing? You sure look like you know your stuff, both for mountaineering and PT. Thanks so much for stopping by, Johanna! It’s so cool when interesting people like you visit.

  17. I rarely read blog posts word-to-word but I did it while reading this post! In fact, I did not realize that I was reading every word until I reached the very end. Loved this blog post and your sense of humor!

    • Oh yeah, and this is why I prefer WordPress.com over the .org variety. The Reader is a very strong tool, I’ve found, and no amount of self-hosting can make up for that, unless you have a good digital marketing team behind you. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  18. “Oops, it’s been four months since I last posted. But I’m back now. From now on, it’s going to be weekly posts. Every week. Week after week. No exceptions. Stay tuned for my post next week!”

    So guilty! 🙋‍♂️🤣

    I used to be as right as the mail but, #life. (<– only hashtag, promise!)

    Looks like you got it going on over here, good work! And I really appreciate you stopping by TBT to give me a bit of Xmas cheer. Also, Tinhead City looks like a fun book, added it to my queue!

    Keep up the good work and I'll keep checking in here. Oh, and one more thing…!

    Ah, I'll tell ya next time. ;)

  19. Another bit of advice. If you go off using wordpress for say 4 months and the come back you rarely get people viewing your posts. I have hundreds of blogs from about the same amount of time as you have been on. Biw I am getting back into it with not even close to the even getting likes. Worth warning your views. That’s what i get for doing a stint on Instagram.

    • Lol, you probably got something out of Instagram, so I’m going to guess it was all right? Or even better, maybe it turned out to be a good learning experience!

      Yeah, taking regular hiatuses doesn’t bode well for our readership, that’s for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Terrific advice, Stuart, you had me smiling. I feel a tiny bit guilty about #6 because I began a “series” of posts about the native flora where I live called “Just One” where I focus on one plant – but I haven’t completed a new one for over a year. I know some people really enjoyed them. Well, at least I didn’t promise that I would publish them in a particular time frame. And boy, do I need a comprehensive list of words to substitute for “beautiful” and the like. I genuinely try to write substantive comments but it’s hard to come up with new ways to say how much you like something,

    • Lol, actually I think this is exactly the process we have to go through to improve as writers. To realise that we overuse some words, or that we don’t write enough, etc. are all cues for us to turn into the better version of ourselves.

      Loved your comment. And you best resume your flower posts, because the images you take are impeccable, and so many people are commenting, which means you’re shortchanging us all by not posting :P

      • Ah, that’s nice to hear, thank you so much. Well, I post about once a week and it’s not usually flowers but I’ll consider posting more of them, if only because here in the northern hemisphere winter, we need some color to keep us from frowning too much. ;-)

    • And I appreciate you stopping by once more to leave your encouraging comments! Thanks so much for being a positive presence on the blogosphere, and thanks for stopping by once more! You have a great end of the year :)

  21. What an insightful post! Some of the mistakes were worth laughing at, considering how silly sometimes people just become, but one of them got me right in the foot, number 6. Oh man, i must admit that I’m sometimes such a lazy bone when it comes to writing than I am when it comes to reading, but I began improving lately and, even with this, I’m gonna make room for more improvement. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. I’m now gonna have to see more of these from you. 🤝💖💖💖

    • Lol #6 comes deep from my own heart, because that’s what I routinely do too. Imagine the things we’d have achieved had we not broken our own promises. It’s a reminder for me more than anything, so don’t feel bad because we all do it :P

      And yes, constant improvement is always good, so here’s to continual growth all the way through 2022! And thanks once more for dropping your wonderful comments :)

  22. It’s an amazing post indeed… Loved the content. I also wish to grow a reader community soon , cuz I’m new here but I’m living the app And Merry Christmas to all !!❤️🎄

  23. This had me chuckling throughout – well done. One of my own pet peeves is when people provide internal (or even external) links but then don’t have them open up in a new window. I think this qualifies as a nice comment? haha :)

  24. I feel the same way about Number 10, and there’s a reason why I avoid grammar politics in my blog. I should have really paid more attention in English class. But I’m just a guy who writes stuff, had to redo some work, and has an avatar of a cartoon horse eating bread. Why on earth would you take my advice?

    • Lol, what is grammar politics though? I like learning new things, and this seems like a learning moment for me. So even though you have an avatar of a horse, I still think there’s a lot of value you have to impart. Such as actually publishing your book and taking care of things from end to end. Anyway, great to see you here again!

      • I just made up the term, but it is a reference to Grammar Nazi, where people get very aggressive about little things in regards to writing without fully understanding the culture of the language, or the fact that mistakes happen (even though I have my own pet peeves, but mistakes happen). For example, in America, we have 37 different dialects of English, they are mostly the same, but each of these dialects have their own tweaks and rules that a Grammar Nazi will not fully comprehend because they are using Standard English rules (which is universal for written works). Sometimes people blow it off, sometimes people snap back, and sometimes things escalate to stupid levels. I’d rather avoid that.
        Also, I’m bad at grammar, and wouldn’t want a Grammar Nazi to rage on me about my commas.

  25. Hello Mr Stuart.
    I am very happy to follow what you write. Even when you run out of ideas to write. You still produce useful writing like this article.

    Point number one, I do it often. Number 3 I do not understand it. Maybe Mr Stuart can help me?

    For SEO. I totally agree with what you put forward. Show your 50 SEO skills and the rest of your human side. I think so.

    Maybe Mr. Stuart has an addition?

    • Lol number 3 is no biggie. Just sometimes I come across a blog that says it’s about something, but the writer ends up saying ‘I will reveal what really happened next week!’ Almost like click bait.

      And I suck at SEO. But I can definitely recognise when someone is writing for the algorithm instead of for the readers, lol.

      Always great to see you here. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments!

  26. Dare I say “nice post, Stuart?” Haha. Couldn’t resist that.
    Seriously, I enjoyed reading this post because, while you give pertinent suggestions, you take the mickey out of yourself!

    I agree with your sentence: “I can tell you that it’s much better to write one great comment a day than to post twenty ‘nice’s in the same timespan.”
    If I have taken the trouble to read a post, liked it, and want to comment, I need to say what appealed to me about the post. Which sentences stood out. If I have a different perspective on the post, I like to say it in a way that doesn’t sound challenging. Just another way of looking at the same idea that the writer has presented.

    About hiatus:
    Speaking as a newbie – – (I just celebrated one year of blogging).
    I feel if life happened to me and I couldn’t write for a few weeks, I can pick up where I left, whenever I am ready and I don’t need to announce my absence to these lovely followers. Because I would be egoistic if I assume to be so important that people are going to miss my writing efforts for a few weeks if I don’t inform them in advance.

    I would rather write whenever I can, (try to do one piece a week). Work hard on that piece and try to produce a post that is hopefully worth reading.

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post.
    Best wishes.
    Chaya

    • Oh no you didn’t! Lol.

      I totally agree with how you approach comments, because that’s my EXACT thought process when commenting too. And it’s not that hard to do after you read their post.

      I totally get that hiatus thing as well. Not proud to admit, but I used to announce my every absence (even during my time on Blogspot), as if anyone cared, lol.

      Happy one year anniversary! And I found this comment to be a real treat, Chaya. I super appreciate the time you took to craft this, and for being the exact good example that the blogosphere could use much more of.

      Thanks for YOUR thought-provoking comment!

  27. This reminds me of the beginning of my WordPress journey, when I thought some of my spam was real. I’d seen a post about how the WordPress spam filter can mistakenly filter out real comments. So, in a deep state of wishful thinking, I was approving the more coherent comments and replying “thank you so much for reading!” – until it hit me that they were bots 🙃

    • Hahaha, gotta admit, some of the spam comments have me thinking they’re real. Especially the generic ones like ‘I really enjoyed this post’.

      That’s the exact reason why I actually visit their site and trawl their About pages now (if their initial URL doesn’t seem suspect).

      But yes, I still do find real comments in there from time to time, so it’s always good to habitually check up on them. Speaking of which, thanks so much for the reminder, Lizi! Gotta go check it now :P

  28. Funny enough, I used to commit some of these sins—and by some, I mean no paragraphs and breaking promises (to myself). Namely the paragraphs, once I had transitioned from Tumblr to WordPress, it took me some time to break away from the chunky blocks of text and write in a way that was easy to read. I’ve gotten better at tackling The Dreaded Hiatus, but as always, a good reminder to keep on going, even when it’s hard.

    Thanks for another great post Stuart!

    • I actually think that The Dreaded Hiatus is a good thing, because sometimes it highlights to us whether or not we really want to do this. The more we feel bad, the more we actually want to do it inside.

      Thanks so much for being honest about your habits! I’m sure this will be useful for those out there. And also, thanks so much for stopping by!

  29. Excellent post, as usual! I know I’ve been guilty of a few of these–more so the “hiatus” than anything else at the moment. Because, you know, real life i.e. day job, bills, etc. I finally had to make the decision to either quite the blog or quit the job. Guess which one I picked? Yep. The blog. I at least don’t get heartburn from writing!

    The other one I struggle with are the paragraphs since they’re vastly different when writing for the web. I’ve definitely made the mistake of making my paragraphs far too long! I’m working on it! English and History major–we kinda DO long paragraphs out of habit!

    Thanks for writing! Now it’s time for me to do the same…

    • Long paragraphs are still acceptable, ya know? No paragraphs are a different beast altogether.

      So cool to know about your background, Kathleen. English and History seems like the perfect combo for a blog.

      And the hiatus claims us all, doesn’t it? I actually thought you picked the job, but it’s so cool to learn that you picked the blog! Wishing you all the best with your journey, and thanks so much for sharing your story here!

      • For a while, I tried to do the job and do the blog but it wasn’t working. The job ended up not being a good fit anyway, and I was burning out faster than I ever had in my life.

        Made choosing the blog, and my writing, was easy in comparison!

        Thanks for the vote of confidence!

  30. Omg this post was really fun and it was like you reading my mind!! Some points I was like YES, YEAASSS! 🤣🤣 Ok but hopefully I’m not in any of these categories… Although, when you comment on my page does it require you to leave your social security number??? Gosh I hope not but I’d like to know bc you bring up a good point , I hate when I have you enter my whole life just to leave a generous comment!!

    I also don’t like when I see blogs asking for donations… To their bank accounts…. Like…. No. That’s weird..

    • You mentioning donations actually has me curious if that feature actually works. Who knows, a patron might like a person’s work enough to sponsor their blog costs.

      Haha no, it’s pretty straightforward to comment on your page, so you’re safe. But it does hurt us as readers, doesn’t it? To want to comment then seeing that form to fill in your details. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by! Always a pleasure seeing you here.

  31. Even though I’ve read multiple lists based on this topic: yours stood out pretty well from the rest because of the humor in it. I just loved reading this post! You really do offer great advice, and I think it should be taken.

    Basically, the blogosphere is just an assortment of so many types of bloggers and comments, etc. Blogging itself is a rather fun hobby, granted you do put in some time and effort to build it.

    Oh, and don’t forget the spam comments: some of them are super weird 😅

    • Oh yeah the spam. These bots definitely haven’t matured, but I actually do get some pretty decent (generic) spam from time to time, so much so that I have to visit their page to determine if they’re human or a spam account.

      But yeah, the general trend right now is weird sentences that sound like aliens trying to fit in.

      And thanks so much for your kind words! You’ve made my day :)

  32. Wow, accidently across this post and I love it. It is inspiring and open my eyes as a new blogger. Yes, there are some things to improve on mine which is to set on my schedule for posting regularly. Btw, I never seen someone just do copy-paste to make blog. Is it allowed in WordPress or blogg rules?

    • Lol, there is no plagiarism police anywhere on the internet, if that’s what you’re asking. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do if someone decides to copy-paste our stuff. But yes, it does happen.

      Anyway, thanks so much for your kind words! I appreciate you stopping by :)

  33. The Dreaded Hiatus! This is a huge fear for me. I don’t want to slip into it!

    I started my blog in 2017 as a challenge to myself – can I post 3 times a week, every week? Since then I’ve had maybe 5 OMGIFORGOT days, mostly because I write my posts on on the Sunday before the week I schedule them for, generally on topics that happened the previous week. It’s rare that I’ll goof on that side of things.

    And I’d say I had maybe 30 just-crap-lack-of-real-content posts, usually because I was really sick. There’s five or so ‘holiday’ posts a year where there’s no content – Happy Thanksgiving and such.

    Still, I’m over 700 posts now, and I feel like if I take a hiatus it’ll all just STOP and I won’t be able to start again. So I keep trucking. My blog is definitely a ‘slice of the author’s life’ rambling blog, but I’m proud of myself for keeping the schedule.

    This post has good advice, all things that make me cringe when I see them, so thank you for sharing! And really, why not take advice from you? If a stranger on the street struck up a conversation and had thoughtful advice, I’d listen to them and think about it. Consider the Internet our street, and we happened to brush elbows. Good advice is still good advice.

    I rarely comment, but I do read every one of your posts. :)

    • Whoa, you mean you draft three posts in one day? That’s another level of output, one that I wouldn’t dare tackle. Much respect to you, Renee.

      And that urgent feeling is pretty interesting, no? On one hand, it’s pretty stressful, but on the other, we actually NEED that feeling to stay on schedule. Or else, we’d just do whatever the hell we want. Sure, I hate having to stick to a schedule sometimes, but I’m now seeing that feeling as more of a boon.

      I thank you so much for your kind words, and it’s so cool to see you as a familiar face now, as I regularly browse your blog too. Thank you for this lovely comment, as it’s made my day!

      • I draft three posts in one day, yeah. If I’m writing I can easily put out 3,000 words or so in a couple hours, so output isn’t the issue. (My top day was just short of 8,000.) Showing up everyday is a struggle though, and I’ve worked around that by writing in advance and writing in longer sessions less frequently.

        I will admit that it’s guilt about possibly missing a post that forces me to sit down and write some Sundays, but it’s also the way I have my schedule set up. Sunday is for laundry, cleaning, and my blog. So I write while I wait for loads to finish. :) Which this makes me sound super organized – I’m not. I’m just a creature of habit!

  34. Phew I’m relieved I don’t do any of these. The only thing I’m not sure of is what commenting on my blog requires. I don’t like to look at my blog so I’m not even sure what it actually looks like.

  35. I think we all know that listicles are actually the biggest blogging mistake of all. I’ll give you a pass though, because you made me chuckle with those one-liners and call-backs. I’ve only been blogging for a year and a half, but all of this really resonated.

    I tend to assume that “lazy” comments are just people fishing for followers, and they are annoying. I understand bots commenting and liking — they’re a sleazy and I can’t imagine they’re very effective at driving revenue, but I understand why it happens. What I don’t understand are the real people who go fishing for quid-pro-quo likes and comments on blogs that they’re clearly not interested in. Sure, you can probably get some likes or comments in return, but what do those numbers matter if there aren’t interested readers behind them?

    Anyway, great diatribe. Looking forward to your future rants.

    • Lol listicles are my jam. I think I should branch out into listicles for comments. Now wouldn’t that be something.

      And the ‘metrics hunters’ are a pretty interesting breed. Maybe they get a kick out of seeing those extra likes, or perhaps numbers matter more to them than their content. I actually don’t know what drives them, but it sure as hell can add an element of insincerity to the WordPress experience (such as the person who likes all the posts on your blog within two minutes).

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Sam. I appreciate it!

  36. When I saw your title, I’ll admit it, I got a bit nervous. I’ve been trying to ‘find my feet’ in my art blog, and I thought, “ahh, crap, wonder if I’m doing any of these.” Luckily, I’m not, whew, and I actually laughed quite a bit. So, yay.

    I really like #10. Because if, as writers/ artists/ creators we are truly following our hearts and creating what WE want to create, what someone else has to say or thinks really shouldn’t have the ability to shake our foundations, so to speak, you know?

    Sometimes, I think about just shutting comments off. (seo, trying to grow readership, and all that aside) Just to see if I have the guts to put out my very own content without wondering what someone else may be thinking about it. But… I like the comments and feedback a lot. For me, it seems like a big part of blogging is about the conversations.

    Lastly, as a new-ish blogger, sometimes I find it tricky to comment on new-to-me blogs in the Reader, that I’d like to comment on, but really don’t know what to say. So, I have started saying something like, “New here, I like this, this, and this about this” or something similar. It seems to break the ice to being new. :)

    • Oh yeah. I remember people telling me that sci-fi was the worst thing I could pursue when writing fiction in Malaysia, and that quitting my job to write a novel was a stupid idea, but I did all those things anyway, and I’ve gotten some decent achievements for doing so. Had I listened to the naysayers, I’d probably be living today with a lot more what-ifs.

      And no! Don’t turn off your comments (though you should do what you want to do)! Because how else am I going to interact with your posts? In fact, I’m going to head over there now! For real though, I think comments are what make WordPress WordPress, so it’d be a waste to take it away.

      I don’t think you need to worry how people may see you, though your current strategy looks pretty good too.

      By the way, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving this wonderful comment!

      • Fair enough, haha. It was more of a self-dare in artistic bravery. And, bravo for following your creative instinct! Seems like sometimes it’s hard for some to imagine great ideas until they see the end product. And, that’s ok. Makes it even sweeter when they love it later.

  37. Thank you for another funny and relevant post! If I click on a post that is just a giant block of rambling, I don’t even attempt to read it! That is the blogging mistake that annoys me the most.

    I love your metaphor of being a “geezer” wanting people off your “digital lawn.” It was nice to have that picture in my mind while I read the rest of your post.😁

    By the way, I read your book and it was really good! I love a good dystopian story. I was sucked into the book right away. Your writing made it so easy to picture all the people and places. It felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book.

    • Oh yeah! I always feel bad trying to impose my views on others, but I too agree that the most effective blogs are ones that provide value to the readers instead of merely being a public diary for the writers to vent on. But whatever floats others’ boats, eh?

      And wow, I feel so honoured and thankful that you’d read my book! You’d really made my day with this. Thanks so much for your lovely support and kind words!

  38. Once again, great post! I have to admit…you had me laughing out loud a couple of times. My pets probably think I’m crazy.

    I have been guilty of the “post next week” that didn’t happen, and not using subheadings. At least I got the paragraphs part right. :) If I click on a post that’s not in paragraphs, I click away just as fast.

    When it comes to SEO I think if bloggers just write normal sentences then they shouldn’t have to worry about adding in key words. There’s so much contradiction when it comes to SEO it’s confusing; especially to the new blogger or marketer.

    I’m working on product descriptions and check out other shops to see how they do theirs. Sometimes I just shake my head because the descriptions aren’t even logical sentences. I can understand it if English is a second language, but there are some who can’t even use that as an excuse.

    AI at least tries to get the sentences right; humans, not so much sometimes. What would really be hilarious is if AI dropped the f-bomb here and there, but it’s probably programmed to not offend anyone. That’s when it would be really hard to tell the difference. :D

    Once again, an entertaining and educational post. Thank you for both! :)

    • Oh wow, what a wonderful comment to wake up to today.

      And yeah, digital skills like SEO are a tough one to simply Google. Different practitioners have their own way of doing things, but the ones who do it badly can end up with a checklist instead of an article.

      Lol, I’m pretty sure AI can be tweaked to sound however we want it to, and that’s going to happen real soon. I actually wonder if I’ll be more of an editor instead of a writer when that time comes.

      And thank you so much for taking the time to type out this great comment. I truly appreciate it!

      • If you’re anything like me (as I feel you are) you’ll be more editor. I can read til the cows come home, but if I find one typo or spelling mistake, that’s all I look for from that point on. It’s hard to get back into a story or article after that.

  39. I like that you’re not holding back :)..I chuckled and nodded my head at so many of these. I’m just becoming acquainted with posts that are only about key words. I have to shake my head at the number of times certain words appear in posts sometimes.

    • On their own, keywords aren’t the devil. But gosh do some folks try to over-optimise to the point of shoehorning the keywords into sentences that don’t make sense.

      I love your comment, and ‘not holding back’ was a pretty cool thing to have this piece described as. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your own pet peeve!

  40. Not sure if I should take you seriously or just forget everything you said after explicitly saying not to take your word for it 😅
    Hashtags and long paragraph posts are probably my pet peeves… the hiatus one not so much because I personally know that life happens. I also can’t stand reading blog posts that have like zero capital letters and long winded sentences… I’m no whiz but grammar was created to facilitate the readers!

    • Lol yeah, I’m hard on the no-paragraphs thing, especially because that applies to writing in general and not just blogging. Comments are fine. WhatsApp messages too. But a thousand-word post? Think of all the potential readers they’re losing.

      Love that you stopped by to share your own likes and dislikes. I truly appreciate it!

    • Lol thanks so much Erin! I love it when readers like you highlight the specific sentences that you enjoyed, because it also helps me improve. That’s to say your comment here has helped me on my blogging journey, so thanks again!

  41. Fellow WordPress geezer here. I can unequivocally agree with all of these. I have, however, been guilty of one. The “It’s been so long, but promise to post regularly” is one I’ve used before. (only once long ago!)

    I’m also absolutely sure we could both come up with twenty more points. My favorite is one I get often in comments is “I really like what you’re doing here. You make so many great points.”

    This post hit a cord in many I’m sure. Now, if you don’t mind, follow me a http://www…. just kidding!

    • Lol, the URL-in-comments thing is such a terrible mistake because it makes people look spammy without providing any particular payoff. Those who enjoy your comment will click on your profile anyway.

      Hahaha, that comment is funny as heck for some reason. The spam bots love vague comments like ‘You make so many great points’ and it’s saddening to see humans follow suit sometimes. But I digress—I shouldn’t complain too much.

      And after taking months-long hiatuses at a time, I can say that it’s not an indicator of your future progress.

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Brad. Hope to see you around on your blog!

  42. Stuart love the post. I was taught at a very early age to stick to what you know and have a passion for and you will never go wrong. It’s great to aspire to be great in other things because some are multitalented, but if you spread your self too thin you become a jack of all trades and a master of none. When blogging we should stay in our own lanes and trust that with persistence of perfection we will get where we purpose. Blessings and Peace!

    • Agreed! That’s where so many people go wrong. Yes, we need to earn a living, and that takes up a huge portion of our lives, but that doesn’t mean we need to let our dreams go.

      A lot of us see pursuing our gifts and passions as a pastime. I see it as a way of finding our own greatness, our own way of expressing ourselves.

      Thanks so much for your thought-provoking comment!

  43. yea, for some reason, nobody wanted to buy my service where I guaranteed 10,000 followers in less than one month.

    and given that you follow my blog, I’ll have to question the effectiveness of your due diligence :)

    thanks for another thoughtful post…

    • Hahaha I only follow your blog because I enjoy reading about the tortures you put your students through.

      But for real though, you have a way of taking stats and making them interesting. Maybe I SHOULD get you to help me walk the path towards 10,000 followers.

      Always great to see you here, Jim!

      • Maybe that’s why so few of my students follow my blog :)

        and you should be the one telling people how to get followers – your blog has grown quite well!

  44. Thanks Stu! I feel guilty at times when I try so hard to get my writing to a green light on my SEO indicator! In the end if I follow the algorithm bandwagon, I’ll likely lose my true readers. Must stay focus and remember why I blog. So once again my deepest appreciation for your timely reminder as I review during this mini-hiatus I’m taking now how I’m to blog when the new year starts & my blogging resumes. Merry Cmas pal and a blessed 2022!!

    • Lol the dreaded green light, always being judged by the likes of Yoast. I still believe there’s a good way to blend both storytelling and algorithm-pleasing though. It’s the over-optimisers who write sentences that don’t make sense that get me. Thanks so much for your usual great comments, Kelvin! Truly appreciate it!

  45. Another great post, Stuart! And my trigger finger is getting itchy again, because just like you – I’m also noticing this trend around this joint.

    Point No. 1: I used to feel just annoyed when I initially got these comments, but now I feel disappointment. People who are supposedly proficient with words when it comes to writing, yet only know one or two words? I’ll call a spade a spade: South Asian bloggers are oftentimes guilty of this. There’s actually a teen blogger who did this once, which merited her a spot in my blog’s comment blacklist.

    Point No. 8: To be honest, the concept of SEO has been thrown around like an overused rag. Sure, it may be important as some experts say — but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth nowadays.

    • Oh yeah, done right, SEO is a powerful thing. But then you get keywords repeated over and over, and that really grinds my gears.

      Also, I’ve kind of started ignoring one-worded comments, because they tend to come from spam accounts anyway.

      It’s so great that you took the time to share your thoughts, and this will definitely enrich the experience of the readers, so thank you for that!

  46. Stuart – this blog post was exactly what I needed. Seriously. There are several items on your list that have come to my attention as areas needing improvement in my blogging career. That’s for sure. Especially, the “committing to doing something and then not quite making it happen” thingy. I’ve decided to give myself a little wiggle room these days, because I definitely don’t want to appear to be a woman who’s not backing her words. I always start out with the best of intentions when aiming for a goal, but . . . well, no excuses here. So, flexibility in anything I goal set to do is the strategy I’ve adopted these days. Anyway, loved this post and the humor in which you delivered it. I was, unfortunately, nodding my head and sheepishly smiling throughout the whole thing.

    • I definitely wanted to put a smile on others’ faces, but calling you out wasn’t on the list, lol. So I’m sorry for that in advance, Jana!

      And yeah, I speak with authority on the hiatus thing because I had done the same for 6 or so years so here’s to finding our stride in our own time, eh?

      At the end of the day, it’s all about being better than we were yesterday, and your comment definitely left me feeling better as well, so thanks for taking the time to do so!

      • Oh, I definitely didn’t take it as you calling me out. What you said was right on time and helped me to self reflect. I needed that. I so appreciated you giving us a “real talk” session. Please keep it coming, Stuart.

  47. I love every one of your points. My only question today is – Is the button for more exclusive content real and if so what does it include? This old girl just doesn’t click anyone’s buttons you know? Chris

    • Lol it is real indeed. It’s basically to sign up for the newsletter (which I’ll write separately and whose contents won’t be on the blog. You can also unsubscribe at any time).

      I haven’t gotten that in full swing yet though, since that involves another chunk of regular writing. But it should start soon once I pursue my fiction again.

      Thanks so much for asking, Chris, and for your support!

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