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16 Elements of Bad Blog Content: Self-Audit Your Articles

Elements of Bad Blog

Many blogs are plagued by poor content that leaves readers unsatisfied and disinterested. 

In this article, we’ll be looking at 16 elements of bad blog content. Some of them are obvious, while others aren’t.

Take note of them all and if you’re guilty of any, you know what to do.

Let’s begin. 

What Makes a Bad Blog?

A blog can be classified as a bad one if it lacks value, lacks originality, has “clickbaity” titles and filled with jargon.

Bad blogs also have an inconsistent content format and headline structure, poor grammar, are overstuffed with keywords, has too many ads and are devoid of proper research.

1. Lack of Value

One of the most important things to remember when creating blog content is to provide value to your readers. 

You too must have stumbled upon a write-up that made you feel like you wasted 5 mins of your reading time, that’s bad content right there.

Bad blog content fails to provide any form of value to its readers. 

This can be due to several reasons like misinformation, lack of research, the writer not being knowledgeable in the field of discourse and many more. 

If your blog content doesn’t provide any value to your readers, they will not stick around for long.

Here’s something I do to always ensure you provide value, you should do the same.

Just before you publish an article, read through it and ask yourself these two questions.

  • Does your content satisfy the search intent?
  • Is it comprehensive enough or lack some necessary information?

Your answer to these questions will tell if you’ve done justice to the written piece or not.

2. Lack of Originality

Originality is key when it comes to creating blog content. 

Bad blog content is often unoriginal and uncreative.

It may be tempting to copy and paste content from other sources, but this will only hurt your website in the long run.

Don’t plagiarize, give credit where credit is due by employing the use of references or external links.

Don’t misinterpret this fact: content originality doesn’t mean you should write about something that hasn’t been written before.

Come to think about it, everything already exist on the internet.

However, your ideas/thoughts/experiences about a topic are unique and therefore deemed original to your readers.

Focus on creating unique and original content that your readers will enjoy.

3. Clickbait Titles

Clickbait titles are titles that are designed to grab the reader’s attention, often by using sensational language or exaggerating the content of the article.

Bad blog content often uses clickbait titles to attract readers, but this can be counterproductive.

Why lure people to click on your headline when the content therein is totally different from the title?

You might think you’re smart but this is counterproductive, I’ll explain.

There’s an important ranking metric called “Bounce Rate

The more readers hop on your content and quickly leave due to disinterest, the higher your bounce rate becomes.

A site with a very high bounce rate signifies a red flag to Google. As a result, your rankings will drop over time, and your brand trust to Google diminishes.

Focus on creating titles that accurately reflect the content of your article.

4. Excessive Jargon 

Your content should be accessible to a broad audience so avoid alienating your readers with technical jargon and industry-specific terms. 

I came across a blog last year, owned by a UK-based writer but the thing that struck my attention while reading through the articles was the excessive use of British slangs like “innit”, “peng”, “oojah” and “lad”.

Might not be an issue if the content is consumed by just British citizens, but if you intend to serve a global audience then keep the slangs and jargons aside.

Instead, use plain language and clear explanations that anyone can understand. 

5. Inconsistent Formatting

Inconsistency in formatting can make your blog look like a jigsaw puzzle.

Avoid large walls of texts by breaking them into smaller, digestible chunks.

Stick to a uniform format for a seamless and professional appearance.

6. Inappropriate Use of Headings Tags

Headings are like road signs: they guide your reader through your content. 

Neglecting them can lead to confusion and frustration. 

Using the right headings and subheadings makes the content more scannable and easy on the eyes. 

Always use appropriate headings to keep your content organized.

Here are the core things you need to know about heading tags:

  • H1 – For the content title as a result should be used only once in the article.
  • H2 – For first-layer subheadings; you can have multiples of H2 tagged heading.
  • H3 – For nested subheadings within an H2 heading, can be used multiple times.
  • H4 – For nested subheadings within an H3 heading, can be used multiple times.
  • H5,H6,H7 and beyond – Going beyond H4 seems like a lot of breakdown, it’s not necessary.
  • Use paragraph tags or bulleted/numbered lists instead.

7. Overuse of Passive Voice

Passive voice can make your writing sound distant and impersonal.

Embrace the active voice to create a more engaging and dynamic reading experience. 

8. Poor Grammar and Spelling

Poor grammar and spelling are a surefire way to turn off your readers. Bad blog content is often filled with errors, making it difficult to read and understand.

To avoid this, make sure to proofread your content thoroughly and use a tool like Grammarly to catch any mistakes. 

9. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of using excessive keywords in your blog content in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings.

Just because you’re trying to rank for a certain term doesn’t mean you should stuff it all over your content even where it doesn’t seem fit.

The writeup becomes less natural and readers can always tell when there’s something off about a written piece.

To avoid keyword stuff, you can use prepositions, LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) and related terms to add variety to your content.

10. Poor Content Organization

Many bad blog contents are laced with poor content organization, making them difficult to read and understand. 

This is different from inconsistent formatting and inappropriate use of heading tags mentioned above.

Bad blog content can be formatted properly with the right heading tags but still laced with poor content organization.

Content organization has to do with the order in which you present the information as you write about the topic.

To have a good content organization, one is expected to create an outline.

With a well-thought-out outline, you’d have a good content organization which will lead to a superb content hierarchy.

Content hierarchy is the strategic arrangement of information on a web page (or another content asset) where the most important information is emphasized more than less important content. Often, this means that the important content is at the top of the page and less important information is toward the bottom.

11. Overuse of Images and Videos

Images and videos can enhance your blog content, but too much of a good thing can be bad. 

Bad blog content often overuses images and videos, making it difficult to read and understand the actual content of the article. 

Use images and videos sparingly and make sure they are relevant to the content.

12. Too many Display Ads

For me, this is the most annoying feature of bad content and I’m sure you feel the same way too.

Bad blog content is often filled with lots of display Ads: multiple Ad videos playing in the background, and Ads popping up, all covering the written piece and hurting the user’s experience.

13. Lack of Research

Good blog content is based on research and facts, but bad blog content often lacks research and relies on personal opinions or assumptions. 

Make sure to do your research and provide accurate information in your blog content.

14. Inappropriate Tone

Using an inappropriate tone or language can turn off your readers. 

Bad blog content often uses language or tone that is inappropriate and most times offensive.

Make sure to use an appropriate tone and language that reflects the values of your brand and audience.

15. Failure to Optimize for SEO

In this modern age, failure to optimize your content for SEO amidst the millions of competition on the internet is considered a bad practice.

Ignoring SEO can significantly limit your blog’s visibility and reach. 

To ensure your content gets seen by your target audience, you need to optimize your blog posts by employing SEO best practices. 

This includes using keyword-rich headings and subheadings, crafting engaging meta descriptions, and optimizing images with descriptive alt tags amongst many other On-page SEO processes.

16. Lack of Call to Action

A call to action is a prompt that encourages your readers to take a specific action, such as opting in for an incentive/freebie/email list/paid product, leaving a comment or sharing your content on social media. 

Bad blog content often lacks a call to action.

A clear and compelling CTA increases your blog engagement and guides your readers to the next step.

I’ve created a complete guide on starting a blog, you can see it here:
How to Start a Profitable Blog: A Detailed Step-By-Step Guide


– What’s the most common mistake bloggers make?

The most common blogging mistakes are:

  • Using a bad hosting platform
  • Using a bad WordPress Theme
  • Blogging with no niche
  • Not providing value
  • Ignoring keyword research and SEO
  • Publishing thin content
  • Poorly formatted content

– How do I choose the right topic for my blog?

Focus on topics that are relevant to your niche, provide value to your readers, and showcase your expertise.

– What’s the ideal blog post length?

There is no ideal blog post length as it depends on your topic, audience, and purpose. 

Aim for a length that is thorough enough to cover your topic but concise enough to keep your readers engaged.

How can I improve engagement on my blog?

To improve engagement on your blog, add social sharing functionalities, ask readers to share comments, thoughts and questions, share your content on social media, and use an engaging writing style that encourages interaction.

– How can I improve my writing style for blogging?

Read widely, practice regularly, and seek feedback from others. Experiment with different writing techniques, and pay attention to the writing styles of successful bloggers in your niche.

– What tools can help me optimize my blog content for SEO?

There are several tools available, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, RankMath SEO (for WordPress users), and SEMrush, which can help you monitor your blog’s performance and optimize your content for search engines.

– How can I make my blog content more visually appealing?

Incorporate relevant images, infographics, videos, or other multimedia elements. Use whitespace strategically, break up large blocks of text, and ensure your font and color choices are easy on the eyes.

– How do I know if my blog content is resonating with my audience?

Pay attention to your blog’s analytics, such as page views, bounce rate, and average time on the page. Additionally, monitor reader engagement through comments, social media shares, and feedback from your audience.

Final Thoughts on Why Most Blogs Fail

If your intention is to create bad blog content, chase readers off your site and have zero engagements, then I’ve provided you with a list of things you should do wrong.

However, if you’re blogging for the right purpose, to grow a business and build a solid source of passive income, then avoid every element mentioned above.

Audit your site content to fish out bad content and make adjustments.

Till we meet again on another article, happy blogging.


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About Website Hurdles

Well, hey there!

I’m Stanley, founder of Website Hurdles and I curate high-quality guides geared towards making money online, profitable blogging and building passive income.

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