Because I've seen a lot of similar ones throughout the past year and all.
But people, it really is time to stop the madness. I've followed some awesome blogs since I started my first real public blog back in the fall of 2009...and I've ended up unfollowing (or at least no longer reading) at least half of them since then because their content went so far downhill that I just couldn't take it any more.
|The look on my face when I suddenly realize that a blog/blogger I've loved has succumbed to the product review and/or giveaway train.|
Also, if you follow me and comment on my blog, chances are I'll follow you back - and if I don't, trust me when I say that there's a good reason for it. I'm a small-time blogger. I'm not blogger famous nor do I ever expect to be, because I actually refuse to adhere to so many of those unspoken blogger "rules" (i.e. that every post MUST have a picture or you're just totally not interesting; that I have to use "squee-talk" and words like "awesomesauce" to come across as fun-loving and friendly; etc. etc. etc.). I blog because I enjoy writing and I enjoy reading quality blogs. I'm not hard to please, but I am easy to frustrate - if that makes sense ;)
So please, guys, please...heed the following:
Use the basic grammar lessons you learned in elementary school.
The thing is, I'm not just talking about proper comma usage...that was simply the most amusing picture I could find :p I'm talking about the fact that I have seen bloggers who don't capitalize proper nouns or the words that start sentences. And a personal pet peeve of mine - not using apostrophes. "Im loving the weather today" makes no sense. What is "im"? That is not a word. *I'M*, however, is a word, and if that's the case, *I'M* also glad *YOU'RE* loving the weather today. Capiche?
If you're going to post a tutorial or recipe, make sure that all of the directions and ingredients are present and make sense.
No lie, I went to make a recipe last night. I'd found it on Pinterest and it was from a blog. I'm pretty careful about printing out recipes from people's blogs, but I can't catch everything. I guess I didn't read through this one carefully enough because the ingredient list was missing TWO THINGS. Neither of which I had in my house when I went to make dinner last night (we're not talking oil, salt, butter, pepper - we're talking recipe-specific stuff). I asked my husband to run out and grab them while I put the rest of the meal together, and when we were eating I made a comment about how *I* should have paid more attention, should have maybe read through the entire recipe to make sure I bought all of the ingredients I needed. Thankfully he told me not to be silly and that it's the job of the person posting/sharing the recipe to make sure it's legit. I gotta say I agree with him ;)
TURN OFF THE CAPTCHAS ON YOUR COMMENTS.
I feel like a million other bloggers have already complained about it, yet I'd say about 1/3 of the people I follow still have their captchas turn on. I think it may be a default setting, but still, it's not hard to fix. Please, please go into your blog settings and make sure your captchas aren't on. I'm nice enough to still leave a comment even when I'm required to enter a captcha - usually - but today I had to type THREE different captchas on someone's blog before it would accept my entry, because apparently captchas can come in wavy form WITH lines through them AND random punctuation marks included. Oh, and caps count as well now?! WTF is right.
Music on blogs/websites - the kind that automatically plays when the page opens - is something everyone complains about. But I'm here to say please also stop the madness when it comes to crazy large headers (please make sure your header fits on the blog page and doesn't add a horizontal scroll bar. PLEASE)/pictures/tons of ads and banners/FLASHING GIFS (omg seriously on that last one) that cause your page to load at an abominably slow pace.
I actually had been following a great blog. Recently the blogger re-did their page. They added some sort of flashing gif. Now when I try to view the page - in Firefox (my usual browser), Chrome, even Internet Explorer - the only thing that loads is a blank white field with that stupid flashing gif in the top left-hand corner. I've tried contacting the person, because I'm sure I'm not the only one having this problem, but to no avail. Also, another blog that will remain nameless now has a random little box that floats across the page whenever I visit. Wanting me to join some network or website or other, I don't know. The damn thing floats around the page until I physically click on it and close it out. THAT IS NOT COOL. Maybe I'm just about the only person in the blogosphere who doesn't care about monetizing my blog, but why would you want to do so at the expense of your readers' enjoyment???
***STOP WITH THE PRODUCT REVIEWS.***
Okay, that's a bit blunt. I'm not saying you should NEVER accept and review free stuff. In fact, The Bargain Blonde said it best - if it is relevant to your blog theme and readership, go for it.
*To an extent.*
I've received a few PR pitches (the first one was back in April of last year and the most recent one was just last month), both just general products for me to review and also stuff for me to give away. I've accepted *two* of these pitches - both book reviews. Not that I wouldn't accept anything else, but all of the other pitches I've received were for things I just wouldn't use personally and that's that. Regardless, I think the general unwritten "rule" for posting product reviews (and for that matter, giveaways) on your blog should be that they shouldn't make up more than half of your blog posts. Honestly part of me wants to say that they shouldn't make up more than a THIRD of your blog posts, so trust me when I say I'm even being a bit generous here.
I mean really - if your blog consists of 10 product reviews and 3 *actual* blog entries in a month, do you really think people are going to read it? Also, the people sending you the shizz you're reviewing must be pretty freaking stupid to think that anyone is paying attention to your review of their product when it's buried amongst 9 other reviews of 9 other products.
Moral of the story: Free stuff is nice, but please don't compromise the quality of your blog for it - unless of course you are strictly a review/product review blog.
But if that was the case, I wouldn't have followed you in the first place. So.