All About Blogging: Dealing With Blogging Annoyances

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Irked Monster, Ottawa, August 2011

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?


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. wow, I’m very lucky because I’ve not received any of these kinds of emails. Yes, I have Akismet active in my blog but that’s all.

    I think I’ve only received 2 comments but they were from people annoyed about my post so it was fair enough.

  2. I have had friends tell me that they looked at my blog and wanted to comment but were put off by the requirement that they register on blogger or whatever. I tried allowing anonymous posters to comment but was quickly splattered with spam. Even now I get too many comments which are just plugs for their commercial site. I don’t know how to prevent that but take comfort in how quickly I am able to trash them.

    • I’m not sure whether Blogger has some kind of plugin or add-on against spam. It must have… you should look into it. It really makes your life easier!

  3. Hey so far so good for me really but do receive spam comments and initially I did not delete it out but my blog pal Tor advised me to do that which I did.

    I suppose there are people out there who are ‘jealous’ of one blog’s success.

  4. I am SO happy that WordPress blocks out all the spam because man it gets crazy sometimes!

    And trolls/stalkers are really just pathetic losers who hide behind their computers. It really is good advice not to pay them any mind and just hit delete! 🙂

  5. Very, very early on in my blogging (2002) I posted a photo of a woman with crazy fashion sense and I had one commenter tell me off about it.

    There’s a woman in the Czech Republic whose comments are always negative. I really don’t know why she reads my blog in the first place if she finds it only worthy of criticism, but I always let her comments through.

    My post with the most comments (40 as of now) is about Azalea Trail Maids in Mobile, Alabama. I have never been to Mobile, nor did I take the photo — a friend of mine did. The post was written in March 2005 and it only has the photo and about four sentences, but it’s sparked such an outcry among the Trail Maids that it gets hits every single day and the occasional harsh outburst from a former or current Trail Maid.

    A guy accused me of stealing a photo of a kidnapper from a 1940s-era newspaper, when the photo was mine in the first place and edited to sepia to look vintage.

    In the early years a German company asked for that very same vintage-looking photo for their online gambling game, but wouldn’t pay for it.

    Also in those early years a Seattle company tried to get a surfing photo I shot in Tofino, BC, but wouldn’t pay for it.

    The list goes on, but my blogging experiences of 9+ years have been overwhelmingly positive with very rare blips of negative. I don’t get trolls, just a lot of spam that usually gets filtered out (is it just me or has Akismet really missed a ton of spam this month??), so I can’t really complain.

    • Thanks for sharing! Glad to see I’m not the only one dealing with crazy requests.

      I recently turned down an offer to use my pictures taken in Paris for an iphone app. The person wanted me to give the pictures away for free for a credit but the application was a paid one. Ahem… no? To his credit, the guy perfectly understood my point. Why would I give my work away for free for commercial use?

      And yes, Akismet behaved weirdly lately. It missed spam a lot and marked legitimate comments as spam!

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