How To Make Readers Avoid Your Blog Like The Plague

  1. Never analyze your blog from the perspective of a first-time reader
  2. Whether in design or writing, show no passion
  3. Be as wordy as possible
  4. Always link to well-known blogs, never to obscure ones
  5. Write uninteresting titles
  6. In all things, avoid variety
  7. Focus on frequency of posts - not frequency of good posts
  8. Don't reply to comments
  9. Post infrequently
  10. Avoid displaying personality at all costs
  11. Provide only a partial RSS feed
  12. Be self-congratulatory
  13. Avoid paragraphs and white space
  14. Make links open in a new window
  15. Never add pictures to your posts
  16. Write about what everyone else is writing about, but add nothing new
  17. Fill your sidebar(s) with irrelevant pictures, widgets and ads
  18. Frequently post outside of your blog's theme
  19. When you link to other blogs, provide no compelling reason to actually visit them
  20. Never, ever say thank you


  1. If some of my clients would just understand that it is not just me saying this...

  2. Mark: I feel your pain, man.

    Av: Thanks!

  3. #16 I agree!
    #8 I'm guilty of! LOL

    Be safe...

  4. Hey Lora,

    You won't see me casting any stones. (:<

  5. Good points...I'll have to print that and keep it next to my keyboard, Thanks!

  6. Hey Teresa,

    That's the nicest thing I've heard all day - thank you, too. :)


  7. Two KnivesMarch 05, 2007

    Wish I had been reading you when I first started! The one I don't get is "opening links in new windows." I had readers complaining that they WANTED to open links in new windows so they wouldn't navigate totally away from the site. What's the rationale? Thanks.

  8. I disagree with the point about not having links open in a new window. If I'm posting a link to extra information (like an imdb page for a movie I mention) it's going to open in a new window.

  9. Hi Two Knives,

    Great question. Basically, the reason it's on the list is that the practice in question will needlessly lose you readers/subscribers.

    In general, the practice of causing links to open in a new window has a number of disadvantages - but no real advantages. Considering that readers already have the ability to open links in new tabs/windows if they so choose:

    Cons: Breaks the back button/history, adds another window/taskbar clutter that wasn't requested, hinders accessibility, confuses novices, irritates veterans.

    Pros: ?

  10. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your input. My response - in addition to the comment above - is to go check out the top 10 or so blogs on Technorati and see how many of them cause links to open in a new window.

    You can bet that if it was in the best business interests of those blogs to force new windows on their users, they would. (:<

  11. Now you can tell your friends your work is even translated in french :)

  12. Wow! Now I know why people all over the world read my blog & link to it! LOL. Thanks for your insight... =:)

  13. Bonjour F-

    Merci beaucoup, monsieur. :)


  14. Hey Beader,

    Haha, thank you. Speaking of readers and links, I should add a disclaimer to this post, "Not Applicable For Russia". Russian readers show me no love for some reason. -j

  15. I have a question, what do you think about "blast from the past" post. The writer brings back up a few post as links for their new post.

    I don't know what I think about that.

    Be safe...

  16. Hey Lora,

    As in, linking to older posts that relate to your current one? I think it's a great idea.

    This post by a decidedly demented (in the best possible way) lady is a good example, I think.

    Same concepts apply as with any other link - that is, give your reader a reason to actually want to visit them.

    It could be a "Related Posts" list at the bottom, or links within the post itself. However it's done, if done well you're definitely giving more value to your readers.

    If you mean more of a "recycling" idea, where you revisit old posts, as long as you have something new to say on the subject, I think those can work too. -j

  17. Still have a lot to learn about blogging :-s
    Thanks for the infos :D

  18. Hey Dominique-
    Don't we all? Glad you found it useful. -j

  19. Re: #14 Make links open in a new window.

    Could you elaborate on this?



  20. Yo Ian,

    Thanks for your question. If you check a few comments back, we talked some more about this issue.

    Also, If you came from Copyblogger, for instance, you may have noticed that the link to this post didn't open in a new window. You'll find that to be the case with most successful blogs.

  21. Thanks for that John. Your argument is persuasive.
    I was getting tired of inserting the target="_blank" script anyway.



  22. Cool Ian, glad we agree.:) The "_blank" stuff does indeed get old.

  23. Speaking of CopyBlogger, congrats on crafting one heck of a cool headline, John--and getting CopyBlogger to blog about it! :-)

  24. Hi Bonnie,

    Yeah, getting a mention on Copyblogger was pretty cool - thank you.:)

  25. I am working on #3. I have my article repository [those I will compile for my future hardcover book] and then, now, I have a regular blog.

    It's important for a blogger to also analyze where s/he expects the blog to go. Is it for her own edification [repository, practice for writing] or to seriously hold readers' attention as a normal 'blog.'

    I have read it before so it's worth repeating: In all things, just write!

    Everything can be manageable along the way. Thanks for the tips.

    Oh. And why did you steal my tagline for yout nifty graphic? Are you stalking me?

  26. Hi Samsara,

    Thanks for your thoughts; a vision or goals for your blog are a huge asset. And yes, I stalk anyone SASSY. It is a rare and valuable commodity.

  27. A technical note on forcing links to open in new windows:

    Your site coding will not validate if you are using _target blank to force links to open in new windows with certain doctypes - html strict and xhtml strict (as used on this site).

    I believe the reason behind the attribute being dropped was that it is contra to Web Accessibility Guidelines.

    We should try to design our blogs so that they are easily navigated by all of its readers.

  28. Thanks for the entertaining read. I'm a new blogger so I probably do half of that stuff, but we all have to learn from the beginning ;-)


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