102 Ways to Make Your Blog Not Suck

    April 12, 2007

  1. Make sure a new visitor can discern the who, what, where and why of your blog within three seconds
  2. Write original content
  3. Make your posts scan-able
  4. Use pictures and other visual content
  5. Use a custom theme
  6. Have easy and multiple subscribe options
  7. Include blog author information
  8. Don’t use too many categories
  9. Reference old posts and topic history
  10. Use spell check
  11. Link out to other relevant material
  12. Have an opinion
  13. Use humor
  14. Write lists
  15. Make sure your blog’s top post has content that will appeal to a first time visitor
  16. Use categories and keywords that actually describe your posts
  17. Identify the look for your blog, e.g. whether you want a corporate or informal look
  18. Market your blog content
  19. Encourage community building with third party services
  20. Respond to comments in the comments section of your blog
  21. Give links to other interesting blogs and articles
  22. Don’t overload the site with ads
  23. Have a blogging strategy
  24. Use a unique domain name
  25. Brand your blog
  26. Don’t steal or duplicate other people’s content
  27. Organize your categories
  28. Cite your sources
  29. Join conversations on other blogs and continue them with follow up posts on your blog
  30. Be controversial, but courteous
  31. Use a personal voice
  32. Write with passion
  33. Tell stories
  34. When writing about tips, show examples
  35. Try to merge advice with examples and stories whenever possible
  36. Write series of posts
  37. Write consistently
  38. Don’t apologize for your opinion
  39. Provide resources to on topic sites
  40. Update your old posts and pages if possible
  41. Post updates to old posts and pages in new “update” posts
  42. Join on-topic communities and get involved in other conversations
  43. Be friendly
  44. Moderate spam comments
  45. Moderate overly negative or flaming comments if it’s a business blog
  46. Don’t go off on religion (unless it’s a religious or strictly personal blog)
  47. Don’t go off on politics (unless it’s a political or strictly personal blog)
  48. Talk to your readers in second person occasionally, e.g. “what do YOU think?”
  49. Use humor to liven up dull material
  50. Use personal anecdotes to liven up dull material
  51. Get the audience involved
  52. Ask for contributions
  53. Listen when you get contributions
  54. Encourage user generated content
  55. Always have comments turned on
  56. Check your anti-spam software for false positives (everyone hates it when they spend time to comment and it disappears)
  57. Link to direct sources
  58. Give credit when you reiterate other people’s ideas
  59. Recognize other quality bloggers and sites
  60. Don’t be afraid to critique low-quality competing blogs or companies; the Blogosphere thrives on conflict
  61. Use catchy titles and keyword strings so you have sexy content as well as posts that can be found via a keyword search
  62. Use bulleted and numbered lists
  63. Use the bold and italic styles, but only one sentence or less at a time
  64. Use offbeat sources as well as the MSM (it’s the Blogosphere; talk about other people’s opinions)
  65. Write about what you know
  66. Write about what you’re learning (just make sure to disclose that you’re still learning to avoid backlashes if you misrepresent something)
  67. Write about where you think things are going.
  68. Write about where you think things have been
  69. Simplify complicated concepts, use easy language
  70. Cut the fluff
  71. Enable full feed
  72. Write content that isn’t completely disposable
  73. Don’t Overdo the sensationalism
  74. Provide easy social bookmarking options
  75. Provide easy social media voting options (e.g. digg, reddit, netscape)
  76. Manage your blogroll
  77. Change things up once in a while
  78. Leverage new technologies
  79. Change your blog’s look and theme at least every few years ( web design trends change )
  80. Keep the same naming conventions
  81. Have consistent navigation
  82. Use sub-navigation when appropriate to break general categories and pages down into more specific ones (categories pages, etc.)
  83. Use breadcrumb navigation
  84. Comment on press, links and awards the blog has received (let the readers know how you’re doing)
  85. Disclose sponsorship or paid advertisements
  86. If you provide top ten lists or link lists please include why you found those resources valuable compared to the infinite other sources online
  87. Put sources, posts, and other information in context for new users / visitors
  88. Don’t assume readers or visitors understand every acronym and neologism. Link niche words to Wikipedia or other references.
  89. Make your links stand out so they’re easy to find
  90. Make your call to action stand out
  91. If you don’t have a call to action, then make the blog’s purpose very apparent.
  92. Monitor the Blogosphere for news and info on your blog’s topic; information moves faster through blogs than in the MSM.
  93. Avoid sweeping generalizations
  94. Check facts; they’re online and easy to find.
  95. Don’t blog pissed off; remember your words are permanent, so least attempt to calm down or be rational
  96. If you need to rant (we all need that sometimes) label it a rant so visitors know what to expect.
  97. Bait people when appropriate to encourage discussion and conversation
  98. Promote yourself (hey, it’s your blog) but don’t over do it.
  99. Don’t be overly commercial unless that’s what you want your blog to be.
  100. 100. Appeal to multiple audiences (customers, other industry professionals, other bloggers etc
  101. 101.Disclose potential conflicts of interest when you write about a product or service to which you’re connected
  102. 102.Be social and have fun!

Have anymore that you would like to share? Please leave them in the comments! And make sure to leave a name and url and I’ll add the best ones to this list and cite the source!