Information Overload: The Blogger’s Worst Enemy and 8 Ways to Avoid It

Information Overload: The Blogger’s Worst Enemy and 8 Ways to Avoid It

Reader Comments (26)

  1. Another blogger’s (or humans’, in general) downfall is the feet ridder. i mean feed reader. if you have as many subscriptions as I do – 160 – then you’ll know what it feels like. As soon as you get to the bottom of the list, the subscriptions at the top of the list has new updates!

  2. Some very good points to keep in mind. I’m guilty of scanning headlines and if they don’t get my attention I keep going – but I expect my readers to read my full post.

    I’ll keep these in mind going forwards.

  3. “use a simple analogy that relates to something your reader is already familiar and comfortable with”

    Great suggestion. Many writers explain something new without using any familiar concepts I can hook into. That makes it tough to understand them. Using an analogy is a good way to get over this.

  4. Excellent stuff. As always, it comes down to clear, focussed and concise writing. But, as always, that isn’t as common out there as one would hope.

    The essence of a good blog is bite sized bits of information. The average blog reader may chew through ten or more blogs on a regular basis and they want to be able to get through them without having to quit their day job. I’ve culled blogs from my rss before purely because I don’t have the time to read a novel every week.

  5. “Make clarity your #1 objective.” So very true.

    Admittedly though, I thought your headline was referring to how I as a blogger could avoid information overload myself (e.g. half your blog reader subscriptions), and not avoid overloading “my” readers with information. Which, I guess, goes to tell just how hard it is to do, simply because readers are so diverse.

    Great article.

  6. My fave: “Focus on the ONE big thing…”

    It’s gets soooo easy sometime to produce a lot of muddled ideas that all come a’tumbling forth at once.

    The key is to use your point # 2: Deciding what you want to say BEFORE you say it.

    Thanks for sharing your insight!

  7. Great list of things to keep in mind – particularly simplification, clarity, and repetition (beginning and end). I’ve printed this out and will do my best to keep it in mind whenever I write, because it will definitely help me create better articles.

  8. Thanks for this info Dean – especially the stuff about pics. I only just started using them on my blog recently and I’m not great at choosing so this has clarified a few things.

  9. I’m guilty of quickly scanning through piles of my feed reader and only reading about 1/4 of what is written. It has to jump out at me as useful before I devote my attention to it. So good advice.

  10. Great points! Not sure how far the Southern California In-n-Out burger chain has made it in this country, but they use a similar model. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Their menu is very short. Burger. Fries. Drink. Shake. None of the millions options that overload your brain and make you just want to turn back around and leave. Then they have a secret lingo if you want to complicate your order for those in the know. Like “animal style” means add a bunch of sauce and onions and crap. Or “protein style” means no gluten/ no carbs kick off the bun. You won’t find these terms on the menu cluttering the brain of the new customers, but the regulars know how to get what they want. They have the perfect business model in my mind that could be applied to any business, including our blogs. Also, they make their fries right there where you can see they are REAL potatoes. They even sneak religious messages with number references on the bottom of their packaging. They fulfill all their personal goals while also pleasing their customers. Simple. Clear. Focused.

  11. In fact there is no such thing as information overload. There is only ceaseless repetition of the same information. If you are clever enough, you’ll read the first instance of a particular piece of information and skip the endless chain that follows it.

  12. I disagree with the “decide what you are going to say before you say it.” A sensible idea *does* reveal itself as I write it. I think this is a matter of what kind of writer you are.

    Personally, I start with whatever comes out of my head and then revise it for clarity and structure. I’m surprised revision isn’t on the list.

    I’m guilty of not revising enough and I’ll take your suggestions into consideration in the process.


  13. Awesome post that is really timely as I have increased the amount of blogs I read. If only we could all make points so clear and powerfully.

    The metaphor you used in the first point about good writing being like a pane of glass is one of the best metaphors I’ve seen in a bit. Not only is it imaginative, it gets the point across. I now wonder whether that one metaphor could have summarized the whole post.

    Great work.

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