My 3 Worst Blogging Habits

Hi! Since my last post on blogging featured some things I wish other bloggers did, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my bad blogging habits. Even those of us who’ve been doing this a while have our flaws. Maybe this exercise in introspection will convict me to implement some positive changes. 😉 (See a note on the Gutenburg Editor at the end**)

Taking forever to reply to comments

This is my worst blogging habit for sure. Though I try to reply to all comments people leave on a post within 1-2 weeks of publishing it, that’s often the range of time it takes me to respond. For shame! I actually love and cherish people’s comments. It takes me a while to reply because I want to put ample time into reading, fully absorbing, and thoughtfully responding to each one. Knowing that replying to the comments could take over an hour (esp. on more intellectual and/or weighty posts like my recent one on American Christianity) pushes me to procrastinate…

Ugh! I’m usually not a procrastinator, but I am in this circumstance–not sure why. I think it’s part reflection, part laziness (in other words, part justifiable, part not). I’d rather mull over people’s words (again, esp. on the weighty posts) than reply immediately. Buuut, this leads to having several comments to answer, and I know it’ll take a while…so I just put it off, reading and commenting on others’ posts while I have unacknowledged comments waiting for attention. Oops. I really need to set up a routine where I reply to all my comments on a certain day at a certain time.

Not checking on/updating my website enough

I admire some of my blogging buddies like Steven who keep their site(s) spruced up. I lag a bit in this area, and I know a lot of bloggers can relate. Many of us tend to focus more on our individual posts (and whatever’s next on the agenda) than our overall online presence. I seem to go through phases; for a few weeks, I’ll check my site frequently and make little improvements…then I won’t change anything for half a year or more. There’s a lot to keep track of with a website: what widgets we have (and whether any are not functioning properly for some reason), whether all our hyperlinks and social media icons work, whether the menu options and categories are easy to use and reflective of our current content. Emphasis on that last phrase because, while we don’t need to overhaul our sites every other week, we writers and bloggers are always evolving in a certain direction.

Below are some examples that are arguably too drawn out but hopefully illustrative–

Maybe someone started as a “Christian blogger” with all “Uncategorized” posts, and their menu options were “Home” and “Blog.” One year later, they find themselves gravitating to experience-based devotionals and the occasional Bible story lesson; also, unexpectedly, they started to sprinkle in posts with cooking, cleaning, and organizing tips for a comfortable home. They should start using the categories “Christian Devos,” “Bible Study,” and “Homemaking Tips.” The menu might have “Home,” “About,” “Blog,” “Christian” (hover over that option to see “Christian Devos” and “Bible Study”), and “Homemaking Tips.”

Maybe someone started out as a “book blogger” and just used the category “Book Reviews,” and their menu options were “Home” and “Book Reviews.” Let’s imagine they expanded their horizons with time and started dipping into other forms of entertainment, creating a category and another menu option called “Miscellaneous.” Three years later, their blog has burgeoned into a site with book, TV, and movie reviews along with the occasional social commentary…but they’re still putting everything besides the book reviews under “Miscellaneous.” Nooo! They really need to update their categories and menu options for all those subjects! A good menu for them might have “Home,” “About,” “Blog,” “Reviews” (hover over that option to see “Book Reviews, “TV Show Reviews,” and “Movie Reviews”), and Social Commentary (perhaps hover over that option for “Politics,” “Social Media,” etc.)

We often begin our blogs with a certain vision that adapts as we, our interests, our readership, and even our lives/circumstances change. We might even move in a certain direction for a couple years then gradually shift in another direction for no real reason. It’s all good! We should write what we want, regardless of our initial vision or what we were writing this time last year, two years ago, etc. I believe the best, most authentic and genuinely interesting writing comes from those who write where their heart leads them. I’ve more to say on this, but I’m going to stop so I can make a future post on this topic. Yay for accidental ideas!

Firstly, embrace your creative evolution, and secondly, update your site once in a while to reflect who you are NOW–not six months ago, not a year ago, not two years ago, but today. Make sure things work on a literal front but also have things make sense. I started as a “grammar tips blogger” and still had grammar-related categories on my site up to a few months ago, though I’ve clearly strayed from that. Yikes! Also, I need to break up my gazillion Christian posts into sub-categories. After writing the hypothetical scenarios above, I was urged to go update my main menu.

Not going out of the way to find new bloggers

Going along with the notion of evolving, I really should update the blogs I read. Since I’m more well-established, I can sit back and wait for new followers to stream in, then peruse their content and see if I want to follow back. There’s just a few problems with my current laissez-faire methods. Firstly, as I alluded to in my last blogging-related post, most new followers I get are spam accounts or people with no interest in interaction (go figure?!). I’ve made some good connections through my new followers recently, but it doesn’t happen all that often! Secondly, though I have some blogging connections I’ve maintained for years, bloggers are constantly losing interest in the community, getting burnt out, etc. If I just rely on the connections I’ve already made, my pool of blogging buddies will shrink with time. Thirdly, even if I’m well-established, it’d be silly and arrogant to think there aren’t some amazing blogs out there for me to discover, rather than them discovering me.

I did spend an hour recently looking up some topics of interest and finding a couple good blogs. I want to make a point to do that more often. Just as I’ve grown, it’s time my WordPress Reader grew, too.


Thanks for reading! What are your blogging habits, good and/or bad? Are you guilty of these? Let me know in the comments.

**Since WP users have officially been forced to transition to the Gutenburg Editor, my next blogging-related post will be a deep dive into using it. For now, you could check out this post I made about it at the start of 2019, but it’s time for an update/rehash. Let me know if you’d find that helpful!

18 comments

  1. Hey Lils,

    Really interesting post filled with good ideas. My favourite thing you said is this:

    [U]pdate your site once in a while to reflect who you are NOW–not six months ago, not a year ago, not two years ago, but today

    I agree with this and I think it comes down to how seriously people take blogging. I see writing on my blog as a big part of the reason why I’m on this planet so I channel a lot of effort and energy into it. I think it’s important for people to organise their blog so it achieves whatever their reason is for blogging. Might be an obvious point but I’m not sure everyone thinks about it.

    In terms of bad habits, I am an absolutely tragic disaster when it comes to moderating comments. In so many ways. But I’m praying about it!

    Thank you for the mention! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good point! How important blogging is to you will certainly affect how much effort you want to put into your site. I also see my writing as a big part of my purpose in life. Reading and writing have always been my bread and butter. Also, I think we both have a perfectionist streak of wanting everything we do to be on point, whereas others might not care that much.

      I’m the absolute worst at replying to comments (as evidenced by the one I’m currently typing), so at least you reply when you have them turned on. I really hate confrontation, so I don’t blame you. I tend to iron out 95% of my sassiness when posting things that are kinda controversial to avoid discomfort, and I have occassionally deleted unseemly comments. I think you are brave for putting yourself out there and sharing your views of God and the world!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I usually don’t scope out the followers who follow me because like you said, most are spam accounts. I will check out accounts who are active commenters because I know they are human beings. I usually spend 30+ min per day scoping out other blogs and leaving genuine comments on their blog posts. My engagement levels are decent because I’m active on WP (mostly behind the scenes).

    I don’t update my blog that often. I’m not an active content creator but I’m an active commenter. People need to know that our blogs exist and that we’re approachable 🤗 If you saw a comment that said “great post!” Or “Awesome!” Would you want to talk to them? Probably not. Adding some love to your comments goes a long way ♥️ Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I use WP like I would social media (if I was using social media), as I still try to visit blogs even if I cannot upload new posts. It seems to work well for me. Whenever I have some down time, I will read new posts using the reader and try to leave a comment or two. 👍 Those who do not support other bloggers typically receive less engagement overall. If you want to receive likes and comments, you need to give likes and comments. 😆

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  3. I struggle to keep up blogging something every day, and putting out a longer, more thought through post once a week. I know, to get attention, I should probably post more than once a day, but then again, I’ work full time as a teacher and I’m writing a book in my free time and I’m in book club, so my time is limited. That results in too few posts, and too little engagement for other people’s blogs. Just like you said. I can’t sit waiting for people to find me, I have to find them. But I need time and energy. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for this, I like being reminded of the importance of the blogging community. I think it was another one of your posts on blogging that encouraged me to start actually engaging for the first time a few weeks ago! Before I had just been focused on what I was producing. Really eye opening and surprisingly effective. I’m still trying to get the ratio right between posting and interacting. But, blogging is so much more encouraging when it’s done inside this fantastic community.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really work hard to keep up with your first two habits, but I am so bad with the 3rd one too! Like you, a lot of my recent followers have been spam accounts, so it’s discouraging to try to read new blogs and find new amazing bloggers, especially when I also want to keep up with all the old blogs I’ve followed for a long time and love. Great thought provoking post, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, dear. I’m in the exact same boat; it really is discouraging, gah! It’s like trying to find a cute shirt amongst a bunch of duds at the thrift store, haha. So hard to find real people amidst the spammers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m right there with you on responding to comments! A couple years ago, I was very intentional about building relationships with other bloggers on WordPress, but that has gone by the wayside recently. I’m glad I’m not alone, with these bad habits–hopefully we’ll just keep improving!

    Like

  7. I’m guilty of some of these myself, then again I’m also guilty of some of the things you mentioned on your post about wishing what other bloggers would do😂
    I have too many irons in the fire to be organized the way I’d like to be!!😬

    Like

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