Today I spent a few hours surfing through this blog’s archives as part of my annual review. One of the many things I noticed is that there are many articles on how to improve your blog and hardly any on how to totally screw it up.
I thought it was time to rectify this and so tonight am proud to present my top 9 ways to screw up your Professional Blogging Career:
1. Ignore Ad Network Rules
Every ad network and most affiliate programs have sort of list of rules, regulations or terms of service that are very helpful for screwing up any hope of making money with them. If I was hell bent on ending my career as a blogger I’d start by flouting these sorts of rules. It’s very difficult to earn a living from blogging if the people who hand out the money boot you out of their networks. Rules like clicking on your own ads, asking others to click on your ads, telling everyone in minute detail all the details of your earnings stats, breaking swearing rules, writing about gambling, explicit content, changing ad codes – all these things and more can quickly ensue your evacuation from ad programs like AdSense, Chitika and YPN. Do this and you’re well on the way to screwing up your ProBlogging Aspirations. PS: an especially good way to kill a few birds with one stone is to run YPN, AdSense and Chitika Contextual Ads all on the one page at once.
2. Make Big Claims that Won’t Follow Through on
Once you’ve pissed off the advertisers it’s time to start messing with the minds with your readers. One great way to get them offside and leaving your blogs in droves is to constantly make massive claims and promises that you never follow up on. Constant announcements about your grand visions and plans that never eventuate, biting off much more than you can chew and generally big noting yourself and your achievements as a blogger when you’ve got nothing more to brag about than the fact that you know how to make words bold or in italics – yep all these things are sure to make your readers not only leave – but do so angrily.
3. Start and Give up On Blog Projects As Quickly As Possible
Lurking around Pro Blogging circles there is a special breed of blogger that we all come across from time to time who is very difficult to track down simply because they don’t stay in any one blog long enough. I’m not sure whether it’s a lack of patience, itchy feet or a fear of sitting still – but this species of blogger cannot help themselves and is capable of starting large numbers of blogs in a short period of time – none of which last more than 6 weeks (and they are the good ones). I’ve watched a number of these bloggers over the past three years and am constantly simultaneously amused and depressed by their blogging strategies (often accompanied with plenty of big claims of what each blog will do and achieve (see point 2). They leave a long trail of blogs projects behind them that are here one day and either gone or lying dormant the next.
4. Game Google
This is brilliant strategy if you think about it. Shut down one of the best sources of potential traffic to your blog by trying to cheat. They’ve made it easy for you to do by creating a page especially for web-masters. All you need to do is do the complete opposite of everything they say you should do and within weeks you should be pretty much banned from Google and you can begin the process again with Yahoo!, MSN and any other search engine that sends you traffic. Another great source of inspiration for how to put Google offside is the blog of one of their engineers Matt Cutts who has a whole category on his blog dedicated to the topic of getting caught cheating by Google. Duplicate content, invisible text, link farms, keyword stuffing – the possibilities are endless!
5. Become Obsessed with One element of Blogging and Ignore the Rest
This is a much more sophisticated way of screwing up your blogging career but quite effective if you ignore point 3 and persist with it. There are plenty of targets of obsession to choose from really. For example develop a blog design tweaking disorder. This is a favorite of many downward spiraling bloggers because there is a never ending array of things you can do to improve the look of your blog. Many who go this route do so by cluttering there blog a myriad of buttons – others become obsessed with swapping between templates or playing with their CSS for hour after hour (usually skipping meals and always forgetting to write content – unless it’s about the latest changes to their design). Another popular obsessive blog disorder is that of perfecting the implementation of different Ad networks like AdSense. These bloggers ignore the fact that they are yet to add content and have no readers in the quest of finding the perfect placement and design for their Ads. Obsession can be taken in any direction with blogs, SEO, building profile, blog tools etc – all can become brilliant distractions from a balanced and holistic approach to blogging.
6. Hide Agendas and Conflicts of Interests from your Readership
We’re back to playing with the minds and patience of readership here by being as two faced and manipulative as possible. Don’t disclose relationships that you have with Advertisers, be totally inconsistent with your arguments, Claim to have read the books you recommend (with affiliate links that you don’t mention wherever possible) etc. If you really want to speed this process up try blogging anonymously, perhaps with as a fictional character while pretending that it’s all legitimate. Play your cards close to your chest and keep your readers on edge and guessing what your motivations are at all times.
7. Quit Your Job and Go Pro Now!
Throw all caution to the wind and just do it. I heard a preacher talk about this once, his catch cry was ‘name it and claim it’. Brilliant advice if you want to crash and burn in blogging. Don’t worry that you won’t have an income for a year or two while you get established. Don’t stress about eating up any savings you might have and risking your family’s well-being – safety nets are for weaklings. Announce to the world that despite the fact that you only have one MySpace blog with 17 posts about your pet cat that you’re going Pro!
8. Plagiarize, Steal and Give as Little Credit to Others as Possible
Once again this is something of a twin pronged attack on killing off your blogging prospects as you will not only piss off other bloggers, but you also could end up being banned by search engines if classified as a Splog and might even end up defending yourself in court in an expensive civil case. What better ways to bring your blogs down! Simply copy complete posts from other people’s blogs, newspapers, magazines etc and paste it into your own blog. Remember to be most effective with this strategy never to give credit with a link or even a name to the original source of the content. If you really want to excel at this you should invest in at least one automated tool to create your Splogs. In fact don’t limit it to one tool – get a few, it’ll screw your finances up even faster! While you’re at it by some comment spamming scripts as well to speed up your downfall.
9. Blend In With the Crowd
Keep in mind that stats show that there is one blog being created every second and as a result there are tens (if not hundreds) of millions of blogs out there. One strategy to ensure your blog remains unsuccessful is to work hard to blend in and be inconspicuous. One great way to do this is to pick a blog template that everyone else uses but you can enhance this by surfing around and choosing the most popular topics to write on and trying not to say anything original.
Of course each of the above tips taken by themselves might not quite get you over the line in killing your blogging prospects (in fact I can think of a few very successful bloggers who break a few of them) but putting them together exponentially increases your chances of doom! I highly recommend that if you are wanting to completely ensure you screw up your blogging that you throw into the mix at least three of the following bonus tips.
Bonus Tips to Take Things Up a Notch
• Always Write When either Angry or Drunk
• Totally ignore any spelling or grammatical skills you might have picked up over the years
• Write about Your Personal Life whenever possible – including intimate details of relationships and family members
• Always use free and untested blogging tools
• Write about anything and everything – the less focus or consistency in your topics the better
• Post 400 times one day and then not for a few months
• Never Backup your Blog
• Work 18 hour days in your Blogging
• Ignore your Readers – never respond to their emails or comments
• Make your blog password your name or something else easy to guess