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Our blogs are distinct representations of us, in every sense of the word. They tell the world what we’re like, what’s on our minds, and what are goals are.

In my constant search for great information, I have come across many a blog that offered interesting information, yet was lacking in one very important thing. Personality.

Granted, all blogs are not designed to be personal, but these are what I am referring to here.

There can be any number of things that makes your blog blend in with all the noise on the Web, but there are a few things that are instant deal breakers. Translation-0:00 time spent on site.

Your Blog Design Sucks

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This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to the world of blogging. When I come across a blog that looks like a 3rd grader designed it in the dark, it really annoys me. I mean, how hard is it to find a decent looking free theme? There are thousands of them online and it only takes a few minutes to test drive them.

If you want your readers to have a good experience, why wouldn’t you spend time finding an aesthetically pleasing theme? After all, most of us will only get one shot at a reader. If they are put off by anything they see, they probably will never come back. Reader lost!

Your blog tells the world who you are and what you’re all about. If there is nothing there but plain old text and not much else, what does that tell your readers? What does it say about you?

I’m not saying that you need to go out and hire a designer, spend a bunch of money, and come up with a brilliant design. What I am saying is that you should try to put some degree of effort in making your blog as presentable as possible.

Personally, I am completely turned off by a poor blog design. I won’t usually even get to the content if the theme is hideous or there are ads strewn all over the place.

This is not to say that plain Jane websites can’t be successful. Take StevePavlina.com for example. His site is very plain and boring, yet he has a massive following because of his outstanding content.

Now, if you can write as well as he does, then you’re excused from bettering your design. If not, it may be wise to try to find some ways to create a better visual experience for your readers.

Your Blog Looks Like An Advertisement Parking Lot

This drives me crazy. I see so many blogs that are relatively new, have a handful of posts, and like 35 ads all over the fucking place. It’s ridiculous. There is very little chance that this strategy (if you can call it one) will pay off.

I call it the “dump and pray”. It’s when someone just dumps random banner ads, text link ads, Google AdSense Ads, and sidebar ads in every nook on their blog and there is no rhyme or reason to any of it. Then they pray that people find their site and click on their stuff. Hmmmm.

Having quality advertisements is a viable and ethical way to generate passive income…for some. If you have a high traffic blog and can find suitable advertisers that want to pay you to promote their stuff, that’s great. However, starting a blog on Monday and plastering crap ads up and down it on Tuesday is a joke, not to mention a waste of space.

Your Posts Put People To Sleep

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If your blog is about waterfalls, massages, or mattresses, then you’re exempt. If not and you tend to write posts that bore people into falling asleep in the middle of your 2,500 word article about pencil erasers, then it’s time to change things up a bit.

People have ultra short attention spans and if you don’t have a captivating headline AND content, there is a very good chance that you will lose your reader. Losing a reader is the last thing you want, so it makes sense to make some adjustments.

I am certainly far from the be all end all captivating writing wizard, but I do put a lot of effort into making my posts somewhat entertaining if nothing else.

For a few good examples of blogs that WILL captivate you, check out the following:

Building Relationships Takes Personality

Blogging is all about building good relationships. Nobody wants to associate with a robot, so it’s unfortunate that many so bloggers add little or no personality to their sites.

I’ve listened to dozens of Podcast interviews and it amazes me when the interviewee sounds like Data from Star Trek. Absolutely no personality and completely monotone. Building a blog takes networking and networking is all about people. If you have no people skills, how can you effectively network?

Just about anyone can write an article, but that doesn’t mean anything. The key to keeping your reader and wanting them to come back is YOU!

Even if you don’t think so, you do have a unique style and there is at least one person in the world that will find that style to be incredibly awesome (even if it is your Mom).

So, loosen up those tight pants and relax! Have fun, enjoy yourself, and write from the heart. It will make a HUGE difference in how people respond to your blog.

If you are naturally an asshole, then I say go with it. If you have a clearly defined voice, even if it’s being a complete ass, then that’s who you should be online as well. For example, JohnnyBTruant comes across as an arrogant prick who doesn’t seem to give a shit about what people think.

This is exactly what makes him so popular. He isn’t hiding the fact that he is an ass, he is embracing it. And guess what? It works! His blog gets tons of traffic and he has a great business going.

As a side note, I don’t talk shit about people behind their backs, so I want to share the actual Twitter message I had sent Johnny a few weeks ago.

All I’m trying to say here is that we all need to express ourselves through our writing, our design, and our persona’s. Be yourself and I truly believe you will be more successful.

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