Top Six Phrases To Avoid On Your Blog

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In a recent post I talked about the ‘30 Ways To Upset Your Visitors With A Blog Post‘.

In this post let’s explore some more phrases that you should avoid…

I’m often talking on the blog about great language to use to pull readers in, ways to sell without turning your audience off, and good ways to engage your readers and increase your traffic. However, for every great phrase you can use to encourage sales, hook your audience in to your blog article and invite positive feedback, there will be another one which you could write, that would instantly kill off all of your readers and leave them scurrying away to find new industry experts to fulfill their need for information. Here’s the lowdown on the top phrases that you need to really avoid when you write, to make sure you don’t alienate your followers…

Under construction                                        

There are very few phrases that can incense a reader of a blog more than this. You know when you search online, and you see a link to a potential new great source of information? And then you click on the link, wait for the page to load…and you get met with an image of a little digger, a ‘men at work’ sign or something similar? A page under construction says something very clear to your readers: ‘I can’t be bothered to get this page up and running right now. So, I’ll put something up when I have a bit more time, but in the meantime I expect you to hang right on in there until I can find the time to meet your request’. Under construction can be translated in to ‘I don’t care about my readers’. If you haven’t got around to populating a page just yet, take it offline until you have time.

404 page not found

This is frustrating. Broken links show your readers that you are a bit slapdash, and can’t be trusted to check out your links to make sure they work before you publish a blog article. If you send your readers off on a wild goose chase to refer to another page you’ve referenced, you need to make darned sure that they are rewarded for following your guidance, and get taken to where they wanted to go. Use the Broken Link Checker plugin. This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found.

Buy now! Buy now!

If people were to list the reasons why they visit a blog, I should think that ‘being sold to’ is either on the bottom of the list, or not there at all. People want information, entertainment, guidance, advice, knowledge…but not sales patter. Avoid selling overtly in your blog posts unless you want to turn off your followers and send them packing elsewhere quicker than you can say ‘Blog FAIL’.

My competitors suck

No one wants to go in to a blog and read a long sales pitch about why you are much better than all of your competitors. Let them work it out for themselves, by reading pithy, interesting and informative blog posts that showcase you to the best advantage, automatically putting your competition in the shade without explicitly telling your readers that they aren’t as good!

I am angry

Reading about other people’s anger online is not just uncomfortable – it’s also unprofessional. Always resist the temptation to use your blog to vent off steam about people who you work with that have let you down. Take any strong negative emotions offline to make sure your readers aren’t left confused, unsure of your intentions, or simply fed up with reading your diatribe online.

I am bored

Bored bloggers make boring blogs. If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, and lack the enthusiasm to produce valuable content for your blog, it may be time to consider a new way of marketing your products and services. Don’t make the mistake of letting your lack of enthusiasm spill in to your blog – keep it fresh, vibrant and passionate by writing about things that really whet your appetite for communicating, to give your readers something worthwhile to pop in and read.

What do you avoid?

Please share your views in the comments below.

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13 Responses to Top Six Phrases To Avoid On Your Blog

  1. Tim September 3, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Definitely agree with the “under construction” page. The worst example I have seen of this was when I checked the homepage of a supposed-SEO company who emailed me offering services, and informed me they ranked very well for extremely competitive terms. Pathetic.
    Tim recently posted..Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS)My Profile

  2. Extreme John
    September 4, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    Excellent suggestions Andrew. I too recommend the use of the broken link checker plugin to check for any broken links. It’s a big turn off to readers when they have found a very interesting blog and suddenly get frustrated for seeing the “404 page not found”.
    Extreme John recently posted..Extreme John Shares His Blogging Tips At Hot Blog Tips Dot ComMy Profile

  3. David September 5, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    Yes, I hate the bloggers who try to sell me all the times, especially I ended up bought some crappy service and products through his/her blog. will never return to that blog anymore.
    David recently posted..Milk for heartburn: Does it work?My Profile

  4. lovely September 6, 2011 at 3:56 am #

    404 page is a little bit frustrating. I almost always encounter such sites. Frustrating because, you cannot avoid them all the time.

  5. Satrap
    September 8, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    You hit the nail on the head (a few times actually)in this post Andrew.

    I actually stopped reading a few very good blogs, because every other word out of those bloggers moth were basically a sales pitch for their or an affiliate product.
    Satrap recently posted..Make Money with Google Places- Step by Step GuideMy Profile

  6. Felicia September 8, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    I agree with your post about #1. I have encountered blogs before that say they are under construction or they are fixing something. One blog I remember said it will only take 24 hours, but it has been 2 months since he posted that sign and his blog is still not up and running. Well, seems to me he lost the drive to continue on his blogging.
    Felicia recently posted..WPT Grand Prix de Paris: Day 2 is about to start.My Profile

  7. fred
    September 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    I remember the good old days when the place to be was Geocities and your “blog” wasn’t complete without an animated construction worker GIF! This was a magical time called 1997.
    I can’t say I’ve seen that gif used sincerely and without irony for at least 7 years now. I believe my website in 1997 may have included one, however.
    fred recently posted..Five Ways to Use Twitter for Social Media MarketingMy Profile

  8. Jean Gogolin September 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    With me it’s always about the writing. So I leave a site when I see “rocks,” “pumped,” “at the end of the day” and anything else as cliched as that. If the writer can’t think of anything more original, why read the rest?

  9. Corinne Edwards
    September 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Dear Andrew –

    I don’t think that “Under Construction” is so bad if you give an approximate date when you expect to be up and running.

    There are other things that bug me. Like lines and lines of text. Hard to read. I think most people skip these and move on.

    Also, sentences that start with “well,” and “somehow,”

    Just say it.
    Corinne Edwards recently posted..OH NO! THE END OF THE WORLD – AGAIN?My Profile

  10. Ana September 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    “I have all the answers” attitude. I highly appreciate informative posts. That’s why we’re all here, isn’t it?

    However, some authors seem to forget that we’re not all completely ignorant about the topic that they’re covering. It can be clearly visible from their style of writing and the way they approach their readers.

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