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The Bad Blogging Habits I’ve Broken

A photo of a girl reading and biting her nails

This photograph was taken by aptmetaphor.

I’ve been blogging, on and off, for around eight years in total, and my habits have changed quite a bit during that time. Namely, I switched subject and started writing to a schedule. Eight years is a fair amount of time to see changes, though I expect that bloggers who’ve blogged for less time but more consistently will have noticed any ‘errors’ they’ve made a lot sooner.

Because I only know about my own bad habits this post is me-centric. If those of you who are bloggers could write about yourselves in the comments, I’d be grateful. (Don’t let me be alone in my admissions here!)


When I was new to blogging – when I wrote an ‘anything goes’ blog which was impossible to keep up because it’s impossible to write well when you’ve no limits – I used to wait until a post got comments before I blogged again. I worried that if I kept blogging without comments no one would ever read the posts that had come before the newer ones. It’s very easy when you’re blogging about ‘whatever’ to get a bit ahead of yourself and think that this means that you’re creating a blog that will attract everyone, but hindsight has taught me that of course this is not the case. (This is perhaps the biggest traffic/audience-focused reason for sticking to one subject – few people will be interested in every single post you write if you’ve no focus yourself.) Obviously I was a new blogger and didn’t know many other writers. As well as this, as much as I liked to think otherwise, my blog wasn’t really a good ‘fit’ for the bloggers I connected with because it wasn’t a true personal blog. Looking back, I probably wouldn’t have become a reader of my blog either!

Of course the problem with waiting for comments and not posting new content is that I expect people thought I’d stopped blogging – and quite rightly, really, because in effect I had. So they wouldn’t come back. And I know now as a reader myself that it can feel weird to add a comment to a post that is a few weeks old.

I don’t know if I made a deliberate decision not to wait when I started The Worm Hole. But by then I had taken to heart the fact that a blog needs an actual subject, and that really is key.


Before I started The Worm Hole, I published my – few – reviews to the anything goes blog. They were full of rants and over-the-top. (In fact my earliest ones on this blog were, too.) I’ve stopped that.


I used to think of design over content. I suppose that’s understandable as I was a web designer first and foremost, but I did have this idea that an awesome design would be good enough. True, some bloggers had amazing websites, but they also had a firm grasp of their written theme. Nowadays I believe content is more important than design, though design can make the first impression, of course. I’ve realised that focusing on both design and content is what’s needed.


I used to publish silly posts when I had no ideas – they were posts to say I had no posts. After my boyfriend noticed I planned to post a second one of these only a couple of weeks after a previous one, I realised how unnecessary it was.


Lastly, I used to over-do the comedy, or at least what I thought was funny. Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while may remember over-written posts.

And that’s the erroneous history of this silly blogger.

What bad blogging habits have you broken?


Rebecca @ Love at First Book

February 10, 2014, 3:19 pm

I think non-scheduling was a bad habit of mine. It’s so nice having my blog now on a schedule. It helps a ton!

Christine @Buckling Bookshelves

February 10, 2014, 3:20 pm

It never occurred to me to feel weird about commenting on an older post — if I got behind in my blog reading and had something to say as I was catching up, I don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Occasionally I get a comment on a really old post because someone new has wandered by and I love getting those notifications! And if I’m a new visitor on a blog I will often comment on an old review of a book I’ve read because having books in common — if we don’t have any books in common, it’s probably not a blog I’m going to follow!

In the beginning I definitely made the mistakes of thinking a generic blogger background was no big deal, not using any images which gave posts no visual appeal, and being completely unaware of the no-no that is hotlinking. I don’t think I was a big offender on that last one because I was using code provided by GoodReads for the purpose of sharing book cover images, but I’ve since learned that if you want all you images to work all the time, you need to upload them yourself!

Jenny @ Reading the End

February 11, 2014, 2:18 am

A bad habit I haven’t broken at all is failing to respond to comments on older posts. I’m terrible about it. Once I’ve gone through and responded to the comments on a post, it’s rare for me to respond to any comments on that post afterward. That’s a habit I’d love to break.


February 11, 2014, 1:31 pm

I used to try to write posts all in one sitting and include references to lots of things I’d read. Now I do have a schedule for writing (although it doesn’t always look like it, on weeks I get busy with other things, like paying work or travel) and I focus on one thing I’ve read.
I love comments on older posts. It seems important to me to keep talking about books- we talk about them in present tense because they’re always the same when we open them again.


February 11, 2014, 6:11 pm

I definitely schedule now, which is so helpful. (I’m currently behind, unfortunately.)

I’ve also broken the habit of accepting review requests for books I’m not all that interested in.


February 15, 2014, 9:07 pm

I think that the blogging rule I break the most is not having a clearly defined blog. I think of myself mostly as a book blogger–especially as that’s who my commenting audience is–but they’re not my most popular posts by any means. I love having a big variety of posts but it does mean that it’s harder for me to attract new audience–especially as I think it’s more difficult for newer audience to connect with the personal posts when just jumping in. But…I just hate being tied!

And second is consistency. But…although I wish that could change I just don’t see it happening with my current life!

Bad habits of a reader? Letting posts build up for too long in my feed reader and wanting to comment but knowing it would be silly to comment on a post 25 days old. I really need to make a daily habit of checking posts instead of doing it every two or three weeks. :(

Laurie C

February 16, 2014, 2:13 pm

I don’t mind receiving comments on old posts at all, and am sometimes disappointed to see “comments are closed” messages on older posts that appear on other blogs. I agree with Jeanne that books are an ongoing topic of conversation and sometimes you don’t read a book till much later than “everybody else” so you’re not ready to talk about it till after everybody else has moved on!
I still have most of my bad blogging habits, but I did get over my early reluctance to comment on other people’s blogs (figuring they’d be thinking “who the heck is this person?”)


February 20, 2014, 4:45 pm

My main problem is about scheduling the blog posts. I have tons of to-be-written reviews and I’m unable to catch up. I would like to be more organized!


February 27, 2014, 4:44 pm

Rebecca: It does, doesn’t it. Far fewer thoughts of ‘I really should have a post ready for tomorrow/next week’

Christine: Oh no, I mean posts that are a good few months old, old enough you think the blogger’s stopped visiting themselves. The thing with hot-linking is intent – if you don’t know that you’re taking bandwidth, someone tells you, and you start saving the images it’s fine. It is still a problem for the site owner, but it’s forgiveable. If GR provides code and says you can use it, go for it, though yes, they could change the link any time. I’m still using the default Twitter background so I guess I better stay out of the Blogger background issue!

Jenny: Hands up, I admit I’m bad at that too. I’m trying to get replies completed in phases (what I’m doing here now…) It’s easy to forget or let them mount up. I can suggest working in phases – open up the comments list for several posts at a time. It might fill up the inboxes of those who subscribe to comments, but I’d say that’s better than not responding at all.

Jeanne: Writing all the posts is great if you can but even with time to spare I think you’d get burned out after a while. Focusing is a good idea. (I know a lot of blogs on blogging say write lots at once, but I think you’d end up with less quality that way.) It’s a pity that we ‘need’ an option for restricting the time people can comment. Grrr spam.

Liviania: Up until this morning so was I, so I emphasise! That’s a milestone, I think, stopping accepting books you don’t want to read. I know that when I started getting requests I worried about upsetting people by not accepting or that I’d never hear from anyone again, but you learn it’s not worth the worry and that in reviewing books you don’t like you’ll just be giving the book a negative/average review, anyway. Better pass on the request so that someone else can review it, assuming others have been emailed, too, of course.

Trish: But then you haven’t not got a defined blog, there’s a definite theme overall :) I can only speak for myself but I like your non-book posts a lot, I think once you’ve started reading a blogger and you like their style, what they have to say, etc, a change in subject doesn’t matter too much, unless perhaps it to a subject you really don’t like. Your blog comes across, to me, at least, as book/food/personal, and I’d say there’s (ironically?) a lot of crossover in that.

Regarding consistency, I’ve always been amazed at how many posts you write, considering. I wouldn’t be concerned about consistency at all :)

I’ve just done the commenting thing for the first time, to catch up on What’s In A Name. If it’s a post that was published a long time ago it does sometimes feel strange as a reader, even if it’s a boon to the blogger.

Laurie: That’s a good point, and one I hadn’t thought of – I get upset sometimes, too. Most especially when the post isn’t really old. That said, with spam comments being so high, closing comments is sometimes a necessity. I’ve found a work around – any comments with email addresses not previously approved go into the moderation queue – but it’d be nice not to have to do it. The heck person thing – that took me so long to get over, too. We need another Susan Cain book!

Isi: Try the ‘I can have the chocolate bar (or whatever treat you’d like) if I write a review’. It’s a good way of getting things done. Just don’t skip meals, of course. Your brain needs the energy!



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