To all you writing bloggers out there, I was probably one of your 10,000,000 subscribers. Today (or yesterday) I unsubscribed. Dimes to dollars, you don’t care. You have about 999,999 subscribers to read your drivvel or buy your junk. In case you’re wondering, though, here’s why I unsubscribed.
1. You advertised too much.
I am very, very, very happy that you managed to release the fourth edition of your guide to something and simureleased a brand new eBook detailing all your tips and tricks of the trade. I’m equally pleased that in early September 2010 you’ll be promoting your BFF’s newest guide to potty training a gecko and may even foray into a mini-series on eBook publishing for the layman.
I was interested (kind of) in the first post I saw with the neat digital cover. I thought, “Hmm, is that worth $25 of my hard earned dollars?” After all, I’m always looking for ways to make my writing better!
The second post made me think you were trying to hard.
The third post annoyed me.
The fourth one made me unsubscribe.
I really don’t care that much about your eBook. You don’t need to beat me (or any other reader) over the head with it or insights from deep within its electronic pages. If we want it, we will come. Bringing it up in every single post – along with a larger-than-life image of the stock cover – is just annoying. More than likely, I went to your blog for information, and got advertisement. Thanks, I’ll stick to prime-time TV for my ads.
2. You flogged old ideas.
3. Your concepts are insulting.
I recently saw a blog that touted an extremely young “entrepreneur” as an “expert” on managing freelancing time. Not young as in “straight out of college.” Young as in “just got his license.” The site even included his age.
Not to be “ageist” (because it isn’t), but I don’t really need life advice from someone who rings Mommy when he needs a refill on his Dr. Pepper. This tells me that either a) the site is desperate for content and will take nonsense from anyone who can put three words together into a sentence or b) it’s comprised of other post-adolescent freelancers who read The 4 Hour Workweek a few too many times.
(Note: Much love to young entrepreneurs and their dedication to a craft. It’s just that what you say on time and life management isn’t applicable to 99% of the freelance writing world.)
5. You re-wrote something from a more popular site.
Did you see that post on Freelance Writing Jobs about sending a solicitation letter? It was awesome. So awesome, that you wanted to ride the buzz. You rewrote their post, throwing in some ideas that actually made next to no sense, and linked to the original article to get some Trackback love.
I didn’t miss your sneaky slight of hand. In fact, it was blatantly obvious as I switched between feeds in my Reader. I had this vague feeling of having read it before, because I had, 15 minutes earlier, by a better writer who provided some original ideas.
If you’re going to try this, please provide some commentary or a new take. Don’t just take the concept and use different words. There’s a reason article rewrites go to 1 cent or less per word on Digital Point Forums, and said reason does not bode well for your blog if that’s all you’ve got.
Bonus! You went over it’s vs its, their vs they’re vs there, etc.
Unless you run a blog about training the basics of grammar, or are specifically posting about that, no serious writer requires a primer on improper word usage. We make mistakes. I’ve gone back to change such trivial errors four or five times in writing this, and, chances are, I missed a few. In your case, it looks like you’re just upping your post count instead of providing value. If you feel so strongly on the topic, please just link to the Oatmeal. He already did it (better than you did).