A pet peeve of mine is when bloggers write posts that make me go, “Hmmmm?” And by hmmmm, I mean I don’t buy what they’re saying because they don’t back their facts up OR they make broad generalizations that aren’t true.
For example, you shouldn’t write, “ALL college kids have crazy sex” or, “ALL meat eaters are killing the planet.” If you do want to say something like this, it better be in a tone I can actually read as funny, or you should back it up with actual facts, otherwise you just end up looking like a ranting nutcase. If you write stuff like this too often, your readers won’t consider your blog a place for trusted advice, and you won’t be considered competent in relation to your topic.
Other mistakes like this include…
Not linking to statistics or other pertinent facts. For example, simply writing, “Pesticides cause problems during pregnancy – so ONLY eat organics.” is maybe true but it looks way better when backed up with a link. Such as, “A new report out from The Organic Center (TOC), a leading research institute focused on the science of organic food and farming, recently confirmed that yes, pesticides during pregnancy can cause premature birth or a low-birth weight baby…” and so on.
Same with figures. If you’re going to say that five out of ten kids aged 12 in school are reading at a 7-year-old level , you should get your 5/10 figure from a relevant source and linked it.
The above seems like common place know-how, but at a recent staff meeting for a client I work for, some of my co-bloggers were arguing that it’s ok to leave out links, especially if you site a source. I don’t agree. If you make your readers work too hard to locate the facts you post, they’ll head to another blog; one that doesn’t make them work as hard.
What do you think? Do you link to facts and other posts to support your information or do you go commando?
Coming up: hopefully some blog and online writing gig leads. For now though check out Deb’s leads.