Excuse the mess, I'm redeveloping the site and my services, and some things are a bit broken. HTML, CSS, BLM.

Nineteen ways to piss off your readers

A sharp list of ways to turn your readers off. Slightly ironic / facetious in parts, but deadly serious too.

I was going to write ‘piss your readers off’ but then I realised that ending a sentence with a preposition would upset even more people…

(Feel free to correct me if ‘off’ is not a preposition in this case!)

  1. Talk about yourself to the exclusion of your readers;
  2. Write about the same subject as every other blog site;
  3. Use jargon and acronyms, even well known TLAs;
  4. Expect your readers to be dumber than you;
  5. Talk about a gadget / thing / tool / place as if everyone in the world has one / knows what it is / knows where it is;
  6. Review a product or service without explaining that you get some cash from your review;
  7. Set yourself up to be the sole authority on a subject;
  8. Have an explosive title but fail to deliver on its promises;
  9. Have more than one spelling mistake;
  10. Have broken links (like when you get the wrong domain ending – .com instead of .net for example);
  11. Fail to date your article;
  12. Hide who you are;
  13. Force people to open another document (like Word or PowerPoint) just for a single photo or half a page of text;
  14. Publish too many ‘list posts’ (this is a list, and it’s my first one!);
  15. Write in a recursively tautological fashion (that’s bullshit for ‘blog about blogs’ – ‘talk about Facebook when we all know how Facebook works’ – ‘justify your arguments by linking to your own previous posts to prove your authority’ et cetera);
  16. Fail to provide links to useful sites and interesting people (I need to work on this);
  17. Write nine paragraphs about a fantastic product you’re selling, but only explain on the payment page that it’s just for Americans
  18. Confuse your opinion with fact;
  19. Argue with the lovely people who comment on your work – you’ve had your say, let others have theirs.

I’m told by the ‘10 steps to the perfect list post‘ that I need to order these nineteen items to make sure my top ones are really good ones, but looking through my list I’m happy with how they came out. I particularly wish to stress how annoying numbers 2, 7,8, 11, 13 and 17 are, so perhaps they should be my ‘top six’ (but I understand I should have a top five, not six).

Anyway, can you give me a really good one (or bad one) for number twenty?

I don’t mind explaining that, while I’ve been writing and web publishing for many years, this is the first time I’ve been so actively focused on my readership; I really don’t want to piss you off, so I’m trying to focus on what’s good to read, and blogging best practices – am I falling down on anything?

How’s my writing? Text 07950705258 if you see me writing without due care and consideration for other superhighway users.

[Wedge]
1 comment
  1. I think it’s okay to do 15 in some circumstances.
    i.e. you’re following up on something you wrote earlier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

The difference between good writing and a good message

Next Article

Who are you? (It’s a direct question)

Related Posts
Ellen van Aken
Read more

Mind your language!

Tips for creating intranet content that employees around the world will appreciate and understand.
Read more

The future is not social…

Taking a stand against the thoughtless assumption that everyone and every business needs to be digitally social, Jenni Wheller has some counterpoints to consider.
%d bloggers like this: