Better Blogging

To revamp this site, I read a lot about blogging, and learned there are now rules about how to do it. Apparently, I violate many blogging conventions. These rules are funny considering I didn’t even know what a blog was when I started. It just seemed like something enjoyable to do. Of course, as a rhetorician, I know the most important rule is audience-centeredness, but I just defined my audience as myself, the occasional friend or student, and perhaps whoever else stumbled onto my site. The internet was generally empty at the time, and I decided early on that my blog would avoid a heavy personal focus. I do talk about my life all the time, though. That’s what happens when your real audience is just yourself.

After reading two sites on blogging mistakes (Lorelle on WordPress and Coding Horror), I’ve set goals to improve according to these new “rules.” Here are some cliches and mistakes I fall into:

1. Huge, fubared banner

2. Lack of topic focus without a genuine niche. But is this necessary on a personal blog?

3. Stealing content. I occasionally steal bandwidth from someone by inserting an image, which is bad, I learned. I do frequently repost copied and pasted material from other posts, also bad. Reposting without adding my opinion, also bad. 

4. The mindless link echo chamber –  Guilty as charged. I frequently just post links to somewhere without adding any content. Bad blogging form to repost links. This isn’t a bookmark site, but I use it as such. This makes no contribution.

5. Irregular posting and regular apologies for it. This is considered to be tacky.

6. I never bothered to clean up the comment spam on my blog.

7. Some of my entries use long paragraphs without breaks in text or page breaks.

8. Apparently posting what you’re reading or listening to is passé.

9. SEO, SEO, SEO (location, location, location)- Search engine optimization is all the thing now. I don’t particularly care, but I can improve. I use “anchor text” poorly, i.e., links need to be explained instead of just saying “read this.” I use ridiculous, uninformative, or vague post titles, like “bleh” or “nothing much.” Titles should reveal the post content. Titles show up on searches, stupid titles show up stupidly, and they don’t speak kindly about what I have to say. I don’t use tags (Blogger doesn’t have ’em) or meta-tags. My site was not set up clearly for feeds or “bots” to crawl and all that crap. It’s all so complicated.

10. I often post just for the sake of posting. Sort of like posting a status on Facebook. I mean, really, who cares?

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