I may not be a daily blogger, but I spend a lot of my downtime indulging in health/fitness/food blogs.  I’ve taken a lot of time to search out blogs that interest me and feed my hobbies, as well as those that inspire me to be a better blogger.

Of course, when you’re weeding through blogs, you’re going to come across some elements that are either going to turn you on or off about the blog.  These things are ultimately going to decide whether or not you choose to come back or continue to read the blog.

These are some of mine.

Bad spelling/grammar:  Everyone makes mistakes when it comes to writing and editing; it’s just basic human error and I don’t expect perfection.  However, when someone continuously makes simple spelling errors, I find it nearly impossible to continue reading.  If you didn’t already know, I have an English degree which I hope to one day utilize in an editing position, so obviously spelling and grammar are important to me (though I am far from perfect myself).  When I come across an adult hoping to turn a blog into a career, yet unable to master simple grammar, I don’t have a lot of confidence in their ability as a writer or a teacher.  It’s my belief that adults should know the difference in simple words and grammar rules like then/than, there/their/they’re, definitely/defiantly, etc.  It’s basic, it’s simple, and it’s something you need to know if you intend to have a large readership who respects you as a writer.

Slang:  I don’t mind the odd use of slang in a blog post, but overuse is really grating.  Some might consider it personal style, but I think that it really comes across as childish.  Despite my age, I realize that I am a bit old-fashioned in my expectations of the written word.  I don’t adapt well to linguistic change (sexting in the dictionary?!), but I can accept new words when they’re describing something that is otherwise difficult to describe.  However, I do not see the usefulness in changing a word like ‘amazing’ to ‘amazeballs’ (an example I’ve run across a lot recently).  It’s a useless word that has no real meaning, other than basically saying that something is ‘amazing’.  I don’t mind the odd use, but seeing words like that in blog post distracts me every time and I honestly just don’t get the purpose.  Show respect to your content, use real words.

Phoniness:  There’s a thin line that every blogger has to draw when they begin sharing their words and their lives with the world- What is too personal to share?  Obviously, it’s dangerous to share too much with your readers, but if you hold too much back or if you aren’t real with your readers, you come across as fake.  A lot of times what really connects me with bloggers is an intimate detail: the relative that died, the break-up, the miscarriage, the wedding, the best friend who dumped you.  These anecdotes break the “blogger façade”, and make that person actually seem real, like a friend.  No one wants to read about a person who’s completely perfect (or at least seems that way).  I’m not perfect, I don’t aim to be, and reading about perfection is boring.  Show me your cracks and your mistakes, and maybe I’ll learn something.

1,000 pictures of the same thing:  People love pictures.  I get it.  But no one wants to see 10 pictures of your lunch from slightly different angles.  Take 100 for all I care, but find the best one (MAYBE 2) and post that.  Done.  You’re welcome.  (Also, I don’t need to see 32 pictures of your dog every day.  It’s cute, I get it.)

Incorrectness:  I read a lot about health, nutrition and fitness.  I studied all three in school and actually considered becoming an R.D., but I’m terrible at science classes.  However, I keep abreast of the most recent studies and breakthroughs in the field because I’m constantly aiming to improve my health (especially with my R.A.), so I consider myself pretty well informed.  I read a lot of blogs on the subject because it helps keep me motivated.  But, as I’m sure most of you know, there’s a lot of wrong information out there.  You don’t have to have a degree to get a blog, and you can offer any advice you want.  Nothing toasts my hazelnuts quite like a self-proclaimed “health blog” telling people to go low-carb or eat 800 calories or run with a cold.  Common sense isn’t common.  Your body likes carbohydrates, it wants more than 800 calories, and it’s telling you it’s sick and tired because it’s not up to running.  Don’t offer advice if you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

Emoticons:  When did it become okay to use emoticons instead of words?  The written word is written, it is meant to portray the emotion behind facial expressions, not facial expressions themselves.  I don’t mind the odd smiley thrown into a blog post, but they shouldn’t be used regularly throughout.  If you can’t explain the sentiment with normal words and punctuation, you’re doing it wrong.

So there they are (some of them).  I’m happy to get it off my chest, since I’m not about to complain about blogs to my friends…they think I’m strange enough.  There will probably be more, because I’m a just a peeved person.  Picky, picky, picky.

Coming up soon: a recipe for a single chocolate cupcake.