1. Keeping the site updated on a regular basis. Why should I return if there’s nothing new?
2. Providing information that is interesting, useful, or really funny. I like getting a sense of the blogger’s personality and life, but I also want to be gaining useful information about the blog’s topic. Yes, there are some blogs that I read just because the writing is hilarious: The Fat Cyclist is about biking, and I don’t even own a bike or want to. But please keep the rambling about your trip to the grocery store to yourself (unless you’re funny!).
3. Indulging in a few off-topic obsessions. This may seem to contradict #2, but I enjoy feeling that there’s a person—complete with quirky taste—behind the magic curtain. So whether it’s the Tour de France (The Elegant Variation), your crazy upbringing in Florida (Maud Newton), or pugs (you know who!), please don’t be afraid to give us a glimpse of who you are. It’s just a blog; have fun!
1. Being too, too cozy with a select circle of friends (often other bloggers) so that the average reader feels as though she’s accidentally stumbled into the “cool kids” bathroom in high school.
2. Abusing my trust. If you write that you love a book, please do so because you love the book, not because you got a free copy from a publicist. Or, at least admit that you’re shilling.
3. Absolute self-absorption. I’m happy you have a book out; I really am. But if that’s all there is to your blog—YOUR book, YOUR readings, YOUR conferences, YOUR mother loving the book—I am going to move on. Please learn to promote yourself shamelessly in a discreet way.
--- Leslie Pietrzyk
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