Sometimes we do things because we want to achieve a particular objective, only we come to find out later that what we were doing had the opposite effect from what we wanted. We didn’t know until it was too late. And sometimes, we even know that what we’re doing isn’t good, but we justify it to ourselves by saying we’ll get what we want…

Except that we don’t.

We hurt ourselves, our visitors, our reputations, and more.

Ready? Steel yourself — YOU may on this list:

Writing too many posts

You’re writing too many posts if you feel you have to write every day because “that’s what you’re supposed to do”. You are likely struggling to come up with ideas. Your posts are too short. Their content is nothing more than echoing links passed around the blogosphere by lame bloggers who can’t come up with original content. Bloggers do this because it gets visits due to frequency, but the long-term effect is that you will lose visitors and subscribers, because your content is weak.

Solution: Only write when you have strong, compelling content that is useful and valuable to your readers. If this means you have to write less frequently, so be it. Write in advance and build up an inventory of draft posts for when you hit a dull spot.

Repeating other blogger’s content

If you’re “writing” (I use the word loosely in this case) posts that are merely a link to another blogger’s post and that includes a blockquote, any readers you have will trickle down to nothing. Because you have nothing original to offer them. Doing the same thing, but then adding, “I completely agree!” is not offering an opinion worth reading.

Solution: Only write original content. Do not repeat news or link to other posts except for “speed link” type of posts. Vow to be a creator, not a consumer, a leader, not a follower.

Spamming comment name fields with keywords

This used to not bother me, but now that my blog has grown in popularity and I get a much bigger dose of it, I hate it. Put your name in the name field, not keywords, not the name of your site or anything else. Just. Your. Name.

People do this because they think it’s helping get traffic or they think it’s helping SEO. It does neither. But it does damage your reputation. It makes you look like you’re trying to game the blog and you have no real interest in participating in the conversation. I makes you look cheap. If you’re not saying something worthwhile, nobody will click on your comment link anyway. And most bloggers still have no-follow on comment links, so you’re wasting your time, anyway.

Solution: Use your real name. Be a real person, not a keyword. Make real friends. Give to the conversation, do not take from it. The rewards are far, far greater in the long-run.


When someone is not making the kind of money they wanted through advertising, often they engage in the self-defeating behavior of putting even more ads, text-links, affiliate links and banners, and start writing the kind of awful, stupid stuff available from Smorty or PayPerPost oh, excuse me, Izea (whatever). This techniques also goes by the name of “drive-your-visitors-away-screaming”.

Remember: just because you’ve sold out, that doesn’t mean anyone’s buying.

Solution: Remove all or nearly all advertising and concentrate on thrilling your readers with awesome content. Then, when you build your numbers up, you can increase the ad displays and even land private sale advertising that pays well.

Successful blogging is all about long-term thinking, providing value, and building your brand and reputation over time. There are smarter and stupider ways of doing things, but there are no shortcuts. Long-term thinking leads to self-propelling actions, short-term thinking leads to self-defeating actions. Thinking that the ends justify the means leads to self-defeating actions. Knowing that the means justify the ends leads to self-propelling actions.

photo by Elaron under CC License