What not to post on your blog….

Being a nice sort of person, I would never dream of telling any of my cherished readers what I don’t like about their blogs.

In fact, I did find the constructive comments on my roughseas poll very helpful. And I am sure I would have got most peevish had any of you said what you didn’t like. But I have been slightly irritated when I flick on wordpress recently and seem to see the same endless tripe.

So – things I don’t like to see on blogs:

1) If you have a blog devoted to your darling offspring, please call it that and save the rest of us being inundated with photos of Francesca and Alexander from their birth onwards, under the vague pretence pretext of it being a general blog about life, or, photography, or, musings.

It is a kiddy blog, pure and simple. I have a dog blog. I rarely put photos of the dog on my blog because not everyone wants to see endless photos of a big furry dog. If they do, they can visit his blog. Same applies to your wrinkly offspring who you consider to be the most beautiful thing in the world.

One of my father’s more sensible views was regarding children. If anyone asked about me, he would say 'She's fine, thank you for asking.' And talk about something else. Usually cricket. He sure as hell did not want to hear about their boring kids, so he figured they didn't want to hear what chapter I was on of Janet and John.

Now, this does not mean that a decent photo of a child should not be included on a blog. Just not on every post and every photo. Thank you. And please grandparents out there, do not feel I am picking on you. I am not. It is usually the parents who flood their blogs (and dogblogs) with pix of Junior and Junioress.

2) Recipes. I do post these from time to time. Partly because for vegetarians, it's sometimes good to get inspiration from elsewhere. And for carnivores you can always carnivorise it. It's about ideas as much as anything else rather than standard recipes.

I like to read some food posts, they are good and inspirational.

But it is insufferably boring to read someone posting about pasta, with any of a) garlic b) chillies c) olive oil or butter d) lemon e) cream with possibly some salt and pepper and fresh herbs on top. That does not make for a brilliant blog post nor is it something I consider remotely useful. It would only be a brilliant blog post if you added something terribly witty about the making or eating of said incredibly boring and simple pasta recipe.

The same goes for seared tuna/shark/salmon/whatever all served with dill and a drizzle of something and a couple of leaves of rocket. (Aragula for NAs)

There is nothing new about any of these recipes, they are incredibly basic and why some of them end up as featured blogs is so beyond me I can't be arsed to think about it.

I do, however, wonder how long people spend creating their wonderful dish to take that perfect photo that looks as though it has come out of a coffee table book. They are truly amazing. So well arranged, perfect colour, texture, blah blah, and they dish this up every day? Get out of it. These people have an eye to being the next amazing cookstar.

And, also, it is really polite to say where you have got your inspired recipe from, instead of pretending you are the next winner of 'The Kitchen has Talent' with your original recipe of pasta with garlic or seared fish.

That's before I even get into the olive pate lottery. I wrote a perfectly simple post about how to do this, with a bit of context as to why. And got no comments (OK it was pre-wordpress days ie boring old blogger). I read some other blog that posts a similar recipe (not quite as good IMO, the recipe, not the post) somewhat after mine and gets a hundred or more 'Supah recipe dahling' comments. FFS. There are some serious suck-arse commentaries on the recipe blog circuit.

Which brings me to

3) Photoblogs. As everyone should know by now, I am not fond of these blogs that post a photo without even a caption, let alone any text. No, your picture is NOT worth a thousand words. This is not Vietnam with a photo of a kid running down the street with her back on fire. We all knew what that was. It didn't need a caption.

But if you post a photo of Tiddles/your prize rose bush/the sunset/a cup of coffee/the sea, without any context it looks exactly like everyone else's photo of Tiddles/their prize rose bush/the sunset/a cup of coffee/the sea.

I do follow *some* photoblogs. But very few of those are photos without text. Take note photoblog people. Most people can produce a decent photo in these days of digital messaround. Even me occasionally.

4) What I didn't do blogs. Then there are the blog posts that start off 'Well I'm really sorry I've not been around because [insert boring emotional/domestic incident] but I'll really try very hard to get back on track with my blog’.

Just. Who. Cares. There is a limited window to get someone interested in your blog on WordPress and it is that first paragraph. Negative crap about your boring life won't do it.

5) Pretentious creative writing. This falls into the same category as photos and recipes as it invariably elicits comments of the 'supah' type. You know your writing is good if someone actually comments about the plot/style whatever. But reading the same sucky comments from the same people on the same blogs just looks like a cozy circuit. And one I am unlikely to join.

6) Busy blogs. Hate'em. The ones that take too long to load, and when you have finished, they even take a long time to get rid of. If you fill your blog up with a load of links and too much clart, it switches off your readers. It used to be the same in the dogblogosphere. I would get so bored waiting for something to load that I would click off before I had even read the post.

Not just busy in terms of media, but in terms of design too. We all like to individualise our blogs – it is a statement. I have messed around with mine over the years, but in the end, I invariably end up going back to a variation on the same theme. Not because I don't like messing, but I find clear and simple more readable when I read other blogs. Even the dreaded photoblogs or recipe blogs. Backgrounds are distracting, poor old Pippa will probably get his changed soon!

7) If you wish to address your readers collectively, please do not call me a guy. I know that you think it is a general term that isn't discriminatory but personally, I find it grossly insulting to be called a guy when I am a woman. I do not want to be a guy, one of the boys or anything else. Nor do I like the acceptance of the masculine default.

There are plenty of alternatives. Readers, everyone, people. If you insist on the tacky and slangy guy, why not say guys and gals, or guys and dolls? Awful isn't it? So cut out the guys, guys – and gals/dolls.

If you think this song rant is about you (cue Carly Simon) then it isn't. It is just a total random mix of my views about random uninspiring blogs that I saw over the weekend.

[Off topic, but there is some nice guitar music on this song, and I can sing nearly all the words which is a record for me. Hey! Who wants to know that?]

And if I follow your blog, it will be because I like something about it, for whatever reason. That something is what makes it individual. I thought I had about five faves, but in truth it will be nearer ten. That's ten authors, not ten blogs, as there are far too many of you out there like me with a Multiple Blog Personality Syndrome.

I do like cranky blogs, grumpy blogs, dogblogs, travel blogs, opinionated blogs (preferably the same as mine but I can tolerate a little dissension), and some decent pics.

Almost forgot. A little dash of originality goes a long way.

PS I know, I still have the last consumerism post to publish on ethical shopping. Soon. Promise. Sort of.


About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in blogging, journalism, life, media, musings, public relations, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to What not to post on your blog….

  1. EllaDee says:

    That’s one way to get me to read a post… I was having a Carly moment or two but it appears EllaDee is safe. I agree with you on every point but one – you can post Pippa photos anywhere anytime.


  2. I think you have just about got it all covered there. If I was adding to the list I don’t much care for medical blogs or posts about illnesses. I generally don’t like posts of more than about 1,000 words (short attention span) and although I sometimes like a single picture (with or without caption) I don’t like blogs which are an entire photo album. I really like that Carly Simon song – Mick Jagger is on backing vocals but I guess you knew that already!


    • I’m sure I haven’t, they were the first ones I thought of! There may well be another seven tomorrow.

      I love 🙂 writing about health when I know what I am talking about which, natch I always do.. Interestingly – statistically – one of my most popular topics on this blog has been cervical screening from a search perspective. You can always skip the girly health topics when I write about them 😉

      How many words do your posts have? More than 1000 I reckon. This one was 1443.

      Ah the photo album blog. Damn! thought of that and forgot about it. No 1 on the next list of seven.

      Think it was one of those I used to dance to at my posh school. I didn’t know that. I thought his only connection was as the subject, didn’t even know there were other contenders. Just had a little tinties search, mmm, now who was it? MJ would be first choice still, but close second WB. Gorgeous. Now listening to this again totally to hear Mick Jagger – thanks for that. Adds even more to the song, with the excellent guitar stuff (there is one part that sounds so clapton) and her lovely strong voice.

      I wonder if this comment exceeds 1000 words?…..


  3. free penny press says:

    My blog is barely 30 days old and if I fall in either of the above I am open to suggestions..
    I have to agree with your tick-marks but will add one more thing.. Longgggggggggggggggg blog posts. If it takes me 15 minutes to read through a post, well chances are I am clicking off. It limits time I have reading others. I also am not big on posts littered with curse words..I toss a few in just for spice, but not every other sentence. That tells me you have no other creative verbal skills and well, why do I need to spend my time reading something un-creative..

    In closing, I am amazed at the creativity of some bloggers. I mean everyday they are consistent in posting thoughtful, knowledgeable, funny, visual posts.. got to loove the blogosphere!


    • Either I didn’t realise/I have forgotten/some other reason, that your blog is new. Tbh, it does fall under some of those categories. Individual, opinionated, original and one of my faves…

      I am laughing now, you are the second (of three) people to comment about long blog posts. I ALWAYS write long blog posts. It’s not intentional but that’s how they go, but they shouldn’t take long to read because the style is (meant to be) short. It can take longer to read a shorter post written in a discursive and badly worded style than a long post with punchy writing? I don’t think my posts take ten mins to read, sometimes only five. Must check that one. Depends how fast you read (I read fast).

      Swearing is an interesting one. (Love that cultural difference – curse words). I use them on here, which is why there is a warning about it being a ranty blog and all that. But I think I agree with you, if you use them less, then when you do, they have more impact. All my other blogs are pretty swear free zones 😀

      Have to say since I shifted from blogger to wordpress I have found some great blogs. There is some good stuff out there.

      Now, the question is – do you have carly simon on vinyl??


  4. Anonymous says:

    I feel sure my comments are always polite! I am not so much in blogland at the moment but I still have the odd read when I can. They often make me smile, as yours did today. Isn’t it funny how we humans can manage to irritate without actually meeting! I don’t mean by that that I was irritated in the slightest by your post!
    I have found blogging to be oddly therapeutic, it is a leap away from the ‘real’ world and I try never to bring the ‘real’ world into the blog.
    Writing as two dogs allows me to keep thing light. I particularly like the humour to be found in many blogs, including your own. Like you I could be doing without too much in depth, misery stuff. But I guess it all depends why you blog. Some people do like writing about their own lives, problems etc I guess they find that as therapeutic as I do using blogging to avoid real problems! C’est la vie!


    • MBB you are always welcome here or on any of my blogs whenever you choose. That’s the whole idea isn’t it? Comment and blog whenever you choose.

      And, as you know Pippa and I well enough, you obv realised that although I was part serious, i was part tongue in cheek about other blogs.

      If blogging is irritating what about forums?? I have always blasted the Richter scale on that one 😀

      But yes, I don’t think people get the concept of dog blogging isn’t just about ‘here are my beautiful dogs’ – you have it in one, it is a total escape.

      I do write about my life. But I still try to keep the humour. And of course you are polite. After all, you are British Bassetts. 😀


  5. Brilliant, couldn’t agree more. I find myself strangely drawn to your father, my neighbour whines interminably about her offspring. The great thing about blogs, … you can stop reading them. You don’t experience the droning hum in your ear which can only be terminated by being offensive!
    Carly Simon, thank you for inserting the vid. I had forgotten the track, one of my favourites. Took me back to smooching with my best girl before going off to foreign fields, played it a lot since.
    Long blogs, they are fine if they are interesting. You comment about the first paragraph, so true. Three lines in it is either good or I move on. 😉


    • Damn! Thought when I started reading that you were going to say you were strangely drawn to my fascinating and incredibly well-written blogs (etc etc) and not my blunt and sexist father. He did have some good points though, and not boring about me was one of them. He did go overboard when I passed my O levels though and bought a round in the pub. How embarrassing. Still, it was the tap room at lunchtime so there were probably only four or five people there 😀
      I wonder if there is anyone of a certain generation who didn’t like that CS song? I have a terrible habit of playing songs endlessly when I like them.
      Some short blogs can be boring as hell!! Most people say long blog posts are too much, and yet, sometimes I get more hits on longer posts. My sikorski one was well long (less than 2000 words though) but I didn’t think it could be told in less. Suppose I could have done it over two posts, but it’s not the same.
      Must work on my intros though if I have only have a three line limit with you. I think we all tend to treat blogging as some personal writing space without giving enough importance to the intro. One of the first rules in journalism is about your intros. Oh that reminds me, I decided to write a post on intros. I’ll never get around to ethical shopping at this rate.


      • But if I had said those things you may have thought ‘too needy’ or ‘taking the mickey’! Remember vinyl, leaving the record holding thingy (tech speak) over so the record repeated endlessly on the same record. That was my favourite thing. Hurricane Smith played at max endlessly … Harvey Andrews ‘Soldier’ the same my mother wasn’t so keen though.
        Never had a problem with your intro’s, BTW were you thinking of CS when you drafted your post conspiracy theory, or is it just another coincidence in the game of life?
        Connections to spy’s, I’ve was inspired to look at CS’s web site, she has a whole section on that song and ‘who is the one’. They refer to deep throat and WoodStein and all that cloak and dagger stuff. Were you really drawing attention to this in an oblique conspiratorial way by talking about a dead Pole?


  6. Probably the second rather than the former.
    Yes, I did that too, an excellent trick was it not?
    And – no – to the rest of your questions 😀


  7. Blu says:

    I have to say I like recipes that are incomplete and inspire thought.

    Your buerre lemon for example, complete within itself but has spawned many ideas here. I’d not really thought of that combination, so now add butter to recipes where I’ve used lemon and vice versa.

    My pet hate is desert recipes. They are all just cream and sugar mixed with either fruit or chocolate, how hard is that, and how very bad for you is that.


    • I used to be a stickler for exact recipes but I suddenly flipped, and now cook quite spontaneously, mostly with an eye (??) to what particular flavours I feel like eating.

      I think I originally decided to do the beurre lemon sauce with asparagus as I wanted something like hollandaise but slightly less rich, ie I didn’t want the egg liaison. In fact I have adapted that now to a sauce that suits us better, so that it is olive oil, still lots of lemon, and a little delicate veg stock. Sometimes a drop of wine, usually not. Still has the sharpness, but the olive oil gives it depth and avoids the richness of the butter.

      I never read dessert recipes, for the obvious reason that I neither like nor eat dessert. You are totally correct though. Whenever I see dessert pix I wonder why people spend so much time creating something like that. Each to their own I guess.


  8. Vicky says:

    Another missed read for me, though could be my fault with this one.
    There are only a few blogs I REALLY follow, and look forward too, and I could probably count these on one hand. I have stumbled across one or two others that I’ve found interesting, though haven’t stayed.
    When H had his dogblog, he followed loads of other dogblogs, and in a way I felt pressured to keep in touch. So I’m keeping it simple this time.


    • No worries.We all miss stuff.

      Just because I follow, doesn’t mean I comment, quick glance, interesting read and onto the next, maybe more interesting to me one. The ones I like, I look for on my list thing to track them down in case WP has been messing around. A handful like you.

      I think people blogs are different. You choose what you like and read and look at, without being pressurised to reciprocate. The dogblog world is different. H did have some nice pals as I remember, some of my faves.

      I have discovered I like cranky middle aged Brits who post a few pix, but I also like the same from Aus, Canada, America, and younger people from all over the place!!

      But I do stop following people when I think there is little point in it.


  9. Brave. I’m a Canadian living in the US and when I blogged “15 Reasons I Don’t Read Most Blogs” I was torn to bloody shreds at opensalon. Fun! Even after 22 years here, I’m still too Brit/bossy when I speak out…which seems to work fine for my blog.

    I agree with your points. The worst? People who refuse to break their copy into paragraphs, which is common. I see it, I’m gone.

    I’m a fellow career journo and read very few blogs, even though I search daily for ones to comment on or follow. Most are boring as hell. The ones I like tend to be women living in an interesting place who write well/lyrically about it, often with photos. But I’ll read anything if it’s well-written.


    • Thanks, but I don’t think it was brave. I could have been a tad more outspoken but I was obviously feeling generous that day. Can you send me the link please? – sounds a good read 🙂 or should I be a super researcher and look it up? I probably can!

      Canadians are just unique. I think since joining wordpress from blogger, I seem to meet more and more and they have a great outlook on life. This is my more outspoken blog, but I am usually nicer on my roughseas one, and my piccy one.

      Pars? I had a real problem with my last post on here where I so wanted to break up a par and yet, the second part didn’t fit on its own. I should probably have reworded it. And text speak on blogs? You forgot to mention that one.

      I managed to sneak a peak at your profile while you were writing this so I read your impressive CV. I have a few fave blogs, for whatever reason, and they are totally different to mine and to each other. I’ve got a blogroll page on roughseas which lists some. I probably need to update it though. Maybe try Philospher Mouse of the Hedge (Texas), or bbecares – can’t remember the blog name, another journo, a Spanish one in Morocco for now.

      If you have some good links I’ll be back to have a looky. Thanks for the visit and honest comment.


  10. Thanks for #4 and #6. I’ve been wanting to say that for a while, myself. 🙂


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