Overall, I find blogging very rewarding: it’s a chance to develop or polish writing skills, to build a community around a theme and to connect with people all over the world. Praise is nice too—who doesn’t like a pat in the back?—and you will generally receive unexpected positive feedback.
Yet, some little things can irk you. These blogging annoyances are everywhere and you’d better start to learn how to deal with them to keep your sanity.
Here are four annoyances you will probably come across.
Spam — 88,155 spam comments and counting. That’s how much spam I got since I move to WordPress in 2007. I’m at war against spam: I value comments and I hate to see junk mail getting through valuable input. Luckily, Akismet blocks 99% of spam comments I receive, I just have to go through the spam queue once in a while to make sure no legit comment was flagged by mistake. Protecting your blog from spam is important: whenever I see spam lost among comments, I can’t help thinking that the blog is abandoned or that the author doesn’t give a damn about it anymore.
Copyright issues — Some bloggers put vaguely threatening notes indicating they own copyright over their materials. Others put watermarks all over their pictures and resize it such a way that you can barely see them—but hey, at least they won’t be stolen, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that. A lot of people tend to think that online content (designs, articles, pictures) is free and available for use. Most of the time, contacting the offending website to explain that your work is being used without permission and that you want to have it remove ASAP is enough. If this doesn’t work, you can contact the platform on which your work appears (Blogger, WordPress, Flickr etc.). Tip: to find if some of your pictures have been stolen, you can use TinEye, a reverse image search.
Silly and outrageous requests — I encourage people to contact me if they have any question and I regularly receive emails regarding to life in Canada, immigration, travel or photography. But I also get what I call the “WTF Questions”. Like this guy who wanted me to email him my old filled in immigration forms so that he could just copy them. I mean, of course Mr. I-have-no-idea-who-you-are, you’re welcome to have a look at all my personal information, including my banking information, social insurance number and the copies of all my IDs! And then there are always entertaining requests. For instance, this is the story of a food blogger who was invited to a culinary trade show in Italy. The catch? She had to develop a recipe, promote the event and pay for her own airfare from the U.S to Italy! A lot of companies or marketing firms contact bloggers with pretty outrageous requests and use the “good publicity” angle. The best way to deal with these requests is to pause before clicking on the reply button. Turn insult into opportunity and explain why working for free isn’t going to happen. Hopefully the company will get the message.
Hate mail and trolls — Well, let’s face it, sometimes people do not get the message (see above). No matter how right or polite you are, you may receive unpleasant emails. The best way to deal with these is to hit delete, otherwise you’ll be feeding the trolls. Don’t get upset over such emails or comments: there is a bunch of anonymous out there who just love lashing out in a very passive-aggressive kind of way. Over the years, I’ve gotten comments picking on my English, accusing me of being a fake Canadian/French because I have dual citizenship, I’ve been called a traitor by some French-speakers unhappy to see me blog in English etc. Don’t get upset over it and cheer up by checking out Passive Aggressive Notes or My Favorite Hate Mail—you’ll see, you’re not the only one dealing with weird strangers!
Have you experienced any blogging annoyances? How did you deal with it?