Brian Clark at copyblogger has one of the most practically-focused blog how-to pieces I've seen, and the reason it excels is that it tells you explicitly what NOT to do! I'll pull out my favorite bits here, but you really owe it to yourself to head on over there and not only read each item, but take every resource link included with each item. Way Cool!
Some people are turning the whole “blogging advice” arena on its head, and instead of focusing on what you should do to be an effective blogger, they point out what you shouldn’t do. Perhaps this is a better way to get certain points across?
OK, I’m game. Here’s my “top five” list of big mistakes people make, and a handy prescription for how to cure what ails your sickly blog.
5. Do you write for search engines instead of people?
Your blog is suffering from “robotitis,” an affliction characterized by boring, keyword stuffed content that serves only to fill the blank spots between AdSense ads. If you actually hope to sell something, you need emergency attention, fast.
3. Do you agonize over writing a great post, only to slap on some hastily-concocted post title that all but guarantees hardly anyone will read?
Less-than-compelling headlines kill more solid blog posts than any other blogosphere affliction. There is a cure, but you’ll need to take action fast. If not for yourself… won’t you do it for the children?
[This was THE biggest problem my students had at the University of Montana last fall. Their second biggest problem? Clearly introducing and citing links in their posts instead of saying something vaguely cryptic and then saying "click here." As a surfer, if you don't tell me where I'm going, that is an invitation to me NOT to take the link.]
1. Do you use user-unfriendly RSS options that you bury at the bottom of the page, and leave out an email subscription option altogether?
I can only label this as a disease of the blogging mind. You do all that hard work to get everything else just right, and yet you rely on people to remember to come back on their own? That’s just self-destructive. Paging Dr. Freud!
For more tips on what not to do with your blog, check out Why My Blog Stinks, a blog that actually doesn’t stink at all, even though it’s one of the most egregious examples of Mistake Number 1 above.