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Let’s Stop With The Shitty Blog Posts

Lately, I have felt like there is little to no point in publishing a blog post that took me any time at all. In the early days of my blog, I felt as though everyone was putting out quality content, and I was endlessly inspired. Every post I read would spark off ideas and memories, or give me inspiration for a post of my own. People bared their souls in their blog posts; shared private stories; weaved magical words.

These days I do not feel like that happens. I continue trying to weave magic and then keep it safely hidden on my laptop, away from weary eyes. Every other blog post I read is riddled with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. You can call me a grammar nazi, but I’ve read blog posts of rambling first person narrative so vague that by the end of the paragraph I have no idea what’s happening. Grammar is necessary. Was it the author who went to the beach and took those pictures? Is the named friend the one pictured or the narrator? What exactly is going on?!

Let’s Take A Closer Look

People sometimes try and defend the kinds of behaviour I’m calling out. Obviously, we all make mistakes from time to time, but with apps like Grammarly and spell-check built in, those excuses falter somewhat. Even then, there are many valid reasons for ignoring spelling and grammar. Language contains multitudes, and I sincerely believe there is power in slang and in accents, in nuanced syntax and adjusting tones. That use of language is not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about using four different spellings of the word “definitely” in the same post.

It’s also very true that not all of us can afford editing software or the latest DSLR camera for our photos. Again, not all of us need or want to do that and there might be all kinds of things we wish to convey in our images that mean we do without fancy editing and sharp high-res shots. That’s obviously a different case altogether. I’m talking about how it smacks of irony to see bloggers describe themselves as a “top photography blogger” and then upload a single wonky, grainy image with a finger over the shutter.

You Know The Sort

I’m so fed up of blog posts that consist of a single over-exposed image and a paragraph of waffle. What have I clicked through for? A clickbaity title? I’m fed up of Travel Guides that are just a list of pictures with a name underneath. Where are these places? What are they? Are you recommending them or just acknowledging their existence? I’m fed up of “Lists” that aren’t actual lists. Career and Industry “insights” from people who started the job last week. “Helpful Tip” roundups which contain 2-3 tips and a load of waffle. Reviews that don’t include any basic information: what the product is, the name and price, where and how the author sampled it.

To me, it feels like lazy editing. I get it. We all occasionally sit down to write only to find our mind so blank we can barely string a sentence together. Top tip: WE DON’T NEED TO PUBLISH THAT. For a while, most of my edits were deleting random waffle. “Hi guys how are you all blah blah something vague” could easily fill two paragraphs of a post. These days I can pre-empt the waffle and get straight to the point. I’m not for a moment saying I don’t think people should greet their readers, but some clarity would go a long way. If you’re describing a post as a review, and the majority of what you’ve written is not a review, then that’s going to irk me. There’s a distinction between “chatty” and “ramble”, between “personal” and “pointless”. I get that we all have different styles and that the beauty of blogging is that anything goes. Does that mean we don’t want to hold ourselves accountable, to keep some sort of structure, to ultimately create better content and improve on our earlier selves?

It’s A Numbers Game

I accept that this post probably sounds incredibly entitled. A lot of people have likely turned off already and are indignantly subtweeting me. Who do I think I am? But, honestly, in the years since I’ve started blogging the game has changed. People have realised that in the eternal quest for numbers, they can get more views by having a clickbaity title. Who gives a fuck what the content is so long as you’re getting the stats? I guess I’m old-fashioned in trying to hold myself accountable. There’s a whole ocean of blogs out there. If I’ve chosen to subscribe to yours then I at least want your post to do what it says on the tin. And I know that if I’ve ever rushed out a post I wasn’t sure about, I lived to regret it. I want my blog to represent the best of me: the best I can do.

I find it so frustrating to slave over posts just to release them into this void where they are quickly forgotten. Of course, I understand that blogging moves quickly. People feel the need to churn out 5 blog posts a week: not all of those can be heartfelt think-pieces that tug at the edge of the audience’s psyche. But do they need to be dashed off crap? I would like to think that there is still a place for quality content, still some merit for good writing and honest articles. Maybe I’m naive and that place isn’t blogging, but I know we used to be capable of more. After all, none of us built our audience on waffle alone.

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27 Comments

  • Reply Ada

    Clapping wildly at this. I often feel I’m being pedantic for caring about presentation but I’m so frustrated in seeing sloppy, poorly written posts getting churned out and racking up numbers. I don’t get huge numbers and I find it hard to be consistently regular. It’s a spiral. It dents my confidence, makes me think no one wants to read the kind of thing I want to write, makes me feel like there’s no place for me in the ‘blogging world’.
    Still, at least when I do put put a new post, I know I’ve put everything I have into it, so there’s that.

    July 23, 2017 at 7:37 am
    • Reply Laila

      Thank you Ada!!! I adore your blog (as you know) and I’m so glad others feel the same way as me. X

      July 23, 2017 at 11:40 am
  • Reply fabuleusedujour

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!

    It’s so frustrating to pour your heart, sweat and tears into compiling a post just to see another blogger’s wacked up a post that’s little more than a pretty flatlay with a few bullet points underneath. I get that visuals are important but sometimes I feel like the actual post gets forgotten about. Or sometimes I’ll have spent time coming up with and putting together a post only for the comments to be ‘great photos!!’.

    I think this is especially bad in the fashion blogging world, I’ve seen so many outfit posts just literally be them wearing the outfit in different poses. Why did you wear this? What’s the story behind it? Idk, maybe it’s the way people are consuming content, maybe all they want to see are pretty pictures – but if that’s the case then that’s certainly not why I started blogging!

    SinΓ©ad xo Fabuleuse Du Jour

    July 23, 2017 at 8:11 am
    • Reply Laila

      I totally agree Sinead! The recycled pose and outfit one is so frustrating- I like to at least have some context for the pictures.

      July 23, 2017 at 9:09 am
  • Reply T. Chatty

    Hi Laila! I totally agree with you on this. I absolutely love reading and following blogs, because I believe it would give me a new perspective, or a view into someone’s way of life, or someone’s crazy experience bungee jumping, or an honest opinion about a book or a movie, or just plain self-help, maybe help me deal with something. And it annoys me when posts are put up just to bait clicks and have no value to offer, wasting people’s time.

    I am a science student and see this happen especially with science & tech blogs when people just use buzz words like ‘big data’ or ‘analytics’ or ‘design thinking’ in the titles but really have no useful content to share whatsoever.

    Probably one of the reason I have religiously followed your blog for the past couple of years, is because of the quality of content you put up. You must be very proud of this! And yeah, don’t you give a damn about those guys who’d subtweet you for feeling this way!

    July 23, 2017 at 8:13 am
    • Reply Laila

      Really interesting to hear your insight, especially into science and tech blogs which I confess I don’t know a lot about. Thank you so much for your kind comments about my blog as well! πŸ™‚ x

      July 23, 2017 at 11:40 am
  • Reply therealpinkblogger

    I completely agree with what you’ve written! I always do my best when it comes to content.

    Have a lovely day!
    xx Kris

    https://dreamingofpink.wordpress.com

    July 23, 2017 at 10:06 am
    • Reply Laila

      Thank you Kris! X

      July 23, 2017 at 11:39 am
  • Reply sunshinesarahxo

    Honestly Lalia this post is everything right now!!! I get so annoyed when i see bad spelling & grammar because it is so easy these days to have that shit checked before publishing! Ugh! And don’t get me started on the use of ‘however’ because there sure are people that don’t know how to use it correctly! Haha!
    I thank my Mum for installing such correct use of the English Language in me it has come to be most useful in blogging!! Not to brag or anything but I did get a B for it at GCSE!! Hehe!
    Some posts really turn me off as a reader like listicles, a fashion post which is just the same shot four ways! Or a random fucking wishlist post!! Get.off.my.screen!!
    It annoys me when a post by some newbie blogger does better than one which I’ve literally spent hours creating but that’s the way of it now i guess!! So frustrating but i shall continue with my perfectly edited posts & hope for the best!!
    Thank You for this post! I really loved it!
    Love
    Sarah xxxxxx

    July 23, 2017 at 11:24 am
    • Reply Laila

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Sarah!! Thank you. Your support means a lot! πŸ™‚

      July 23, 2017 at 11:39 am
  • Reply floribundar

    All of this. I’m also kind of bored of blog posts that are only a paragraph long. I can understand that with fashion posts but a review, in a few sentences? Nope. Xx

    July 23, 2017 at 11:33 am
    • Reply Laila

      Completely agree!

      July 23, 2017 at 11:38 am
  • Reply Samantha Abbott

    This post is awesome. I totally agree with you when it comes to taking care over grammar and spelling. Also, small things like capatilising the ‘ I ‘ in our content (when we talk of ourselves) This I see often and just looks so wrong.

    Sometimes I feel my posts are too long but that said, I prefer to post once or twice a week with better, more thoughtful content than churn out 5-6 a week of rushed, half – arsed posts about a few cheap products I may have purchased just for sake of getting a post out there. Quality over quantity definitely counts.

    Not saying my posts are all that! Not at all. We are all trying to be different from the blogger next to us, we all have our own style of writing and photography etc. I recongnise that we are a community and should lift each other with support but reading your post highlights some issues that should be addressed. I guess in the big scheme of things it’s ‘survival of the fittest’ those who don’t try so hard to produce great content will fall by the wayside eventually.

    Apologies for the waffle!

    Ps. Love your little ‘Treat Me’ button. I need one of those!

    Samantha x

    July 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm
  • Reply Pallavi (@wildfirecharm)

    I randomly came across this post on twitter and it really spoke to me. I went on a long blogging break recently and have only just come back to it. The reason was that I felt like people didn’t want to read the kind of stuff I write. I am essentially a beauty blogger, sometimes lifestyle and fashion but I enjoy writing long reviews, more in depth, taking a little more time to share every little detail that I noticed or felt with a product and I always get a feeling that some people who comment on my blog haven’t read it properly or just don’t enjoy long posts and would prefer something that just ended with a ‘This product is really nice and beautiful’. I’ve had tiny, pointless reviews like that on my blog before and they used to get a lot of views but I’m going to keep writing long posts and hopefully people who do like them will keep coming back πŸ™‚

    Pallavi
    http://www.wildfirecharm.com

    July 23, 2017 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply Novreica

    I totally agree with you, Laila. I am honestly getting tired of some of my once-subscribed-bloggers turning into common beauty and fashion bloggers posting their daily outfits and then wrote something unrelated, mostly in bullet points (that obviously shows their slack) . I mean, can you elaborate at least what you’re wearing? I’m not sure they’re giving opinions or just showing off how wonderful they could be in their clothes. :}

    And bad reviews are just a carbon copy of critics’ review, not an honest, personal one. πŸ™

    I totally agree with ‘grammar matters’. I am personally not in the grammar nazi level, but writing helps me learn and I find myself putting much more efforts on my writings. I learn to proof check every single blog posts and even don’t mind putting it back to draft when I find something wrong.

    In the end, I don’t mind about the stats or how much money I can make from it. Being a honest and passionate is my ultimate goal as a blogger. <3

    July 23, 2017 at 12:57 pm
  • Reply Bethany Jones

    You’ve said it how it is and i admire that. I’m so obsessive when it comes to checking my posts over and over again that sometimes I’ll only post once a fortnight, because i want my posts to be flawless. Mistakes do happen, and sometimes when i look back i realise i’ve spelt something wrong and i literally plummet into oblivion thinking of how many people have seen that spelling mistake.

    I completely agree with what you’ve said, adding a tone of voice to your writing with some coloqualism is fine, it adds pizazz but when i click on posts that are, quite honestly, a bit sloppy, i get a bit down as i feel like some people feel writing isnt a vital part of blogging, when in my opinion, it should be first and foremost.

    I read blogs that have basic html, unedited photos, but BRILLIANT writing and it keeps me coming back again and again. Writing really is a crucial aspect of blogging.

    Brilliant post by the way, and i love your blunt honesty.

    July 23, 2017 at 3:45 pm
  • Reply Suma Fiore

    Glad to know there are still people like you. I joined the blogging game recently and it’s highly discouraging to see that quality has little to no real value on the internet. I hope a lot of people read this and take it seriously :]

    July 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm
  • Reply Emma

    I totally get this – sometimes a picture can paint a thousand words and justify a short post to go alongside it, whilst others leave you with a hundred questions unanswered. Photo diaries are all well and good n Instagram but as a main feature I’m not so sure…

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

    July 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm
  • Reply Les Petits Pas de Juls

    Yep! Once more, Laila, you’re a star! True and spot on! Hopefully, people will have read your wonderful, sensitive, straightforward post.
    English being my second language, I too am irked when I spot grammar or spelling mistakes, especially when written by an English-speaking blogger.

    Meaningful, interesting and inspiring subjects are what we’re looking for on other bloggers’ blogs and we should all strive to provide the same to our own readers. Statistics always kill the jist.

    Let’s keep doing it for fun!!!!
    Happy blogging to you, my dear!
    Celebrating today 6 years of blogging and wishing I still have the jist

    Cheers!
    Xoxoxo
    Jul’

    July 24, 2017 at 8:20 am
  • Reply Frankie | TheMayfairy.com

    OMG, this is everything I feel but didn’t want to say in public. Even if I’m basically President of Club Waffle

    July 24, 2017 at 10:10 am
  • Reply Alyse

    I read all this and I am linking your post in my upcoming Sunday post.

    I don’t read posts with very clickbaity titles. It is a numbers game out there, hence my preference to publish only when I feel inspired to write and not for the sake of having X amount of posts per week. If a blog posts is a list, I never click to read it. There is definitely a way to write long posts that convey information and aren’t waffle.

    July 24, 2017 at 6:40 pm
    • Reply Laila

      The irony is I feel this was quite a clickbaity title- but it came from a place of such frustration! I didn’t know what else to title it at all.

      July 25, 2017 at 10:58 pm
  • Reply Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

    Yessssssss. I read this from beginning to end and all the comments too! I’ve been feeling a bit of unease about blogging, and you put a lot of what I was thinking into words. I’m getting a little tired of how susceptible the blogosphere is to trends and how quick everything is consumed and how meaningless a lot of it is. When I get frustrated about it, I try to tune out and just do me πŸ™‚ -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    July 24, 2017 at 7:16 pm
  • Reply denisesplanet

    I read my posts a looot before I publish them and I even write things like, sometimes, just as an ex – jumper/sweater for “everybody” to understand… since I live in one place now, but was raised up in an American school – so sometimes, now, I would write organise, but still keep humor or honor without letter u… it’s changing, since I usually wrote organize before – and I think it’s OK. Lack of parallelism, a professor of mine would say πŸ™‚ The lack of good content, I agree. I don’t like to read “My makeup haul”, or “How to wear rompers”. Wear them the way you want, I would think! But these titles are good for statistics. Also, “My holidays in the Riviera” with loads of sea photos are to show “Look, I was there, you weren’t!” Generalising, of course. I try to keep my blog as my “diary”, but people read it, so it’s nice. I normally link the places like museums or art galleries, and I think it’s enough – if people are interested, they will check it out. But anyway, all this to say that you are right – people want to be seen, to show off. ^ paragraphs about why “I combined a pink belt with a green gingham skirt, and not a red one”. I get what you are saying. I tend to keep my posts short. Not because of being lazy – it takes a long time to make them concise. Just because of a personal taste. But I try to give some “depth” to them πŸ™‚ Just an attempt πŸ™‚ I hope you have a lovely week!
    DenisesPlanet.com

    July 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply witchravenfox1985

    I was nodding along as I read this because I get it. I stopped blogging for a while because I didn’t feel like I was saying anything worthwhile. I don’t pay attention to ratings, hits and that stuff though, because that’s not why I blog. If people interact, like, reblog then it’s great, just not my primary goal. I’m still finding my blogger feet.

    July 24, 2017 at 9:08 pm
  • Reply char

    I fully understand this. Blogging has changed sooooo much in the past few years and I think that the type of blog I used to enjoy reading is harder to find. I’ve begun to embrace the unfollow feature for those rent-a-post samey blogs. I sometimes fall foul of what you’re talking about with struggling to find the right words to explain how I’m feeling or something and about 50% of the time I do probably end up publishing what could be considered waffle (sorry!) but I do at least try to make sure everything is proof-read. I don’t think I fall into any of the main categories, though.

    July 25, 2017 at 11:18 am
  • Reply Kim

    lol your waffle comments are killing me πŸ™‚
    In my case I got really busy at work, got super enamored with instagram and felt like I could share the “meat” of what a wanted in a faster way instead of editing a blog post that takes time I didn’t have anymore. I think there is room for quality content and the really successful blogs have built their brands on recurring series and/ or transparency in life.
    With instagram looking so pretty and curated a blog still is a place to be real about life not a just a pretty snapshot of what we want people to see.
    I’m excited to start blogging again, I actually have inspiration, extra time and projects to share πŸ™‚

    August 1, 2017 at 3:17 am
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