1. Constant talk about “marketing” and “branding” outside a business context. (Especially from those espousing anti-consumer views.)
When you think of yourself as a “brand” that you need to “market,” you’re trying to pitch, not converse. Buying and selling has its place– in the real financial market. It should not be applied to everything in life. If you want READERS it is better to frame your thinking in terms of having a point of view and a focus that is consistent enough to make people want to subscribe and talk to you.
2. Using Social Networking primarily to talk ABOUT social networking.
This is a bit like having a telephone conversation that goes:
“Can you believe we’re using the telephone?”
“I know. I love the telephone.”
“I’d like to know how you are using the phone to enhance your conversations.”
“I have been able to call many people and discuss how we can use the telephone.”
“Are you using the telephone in business?”
“I’ve been able to pro-actively develop synergies for a win-win customer experience using the power of telephonic networking.”
“That’s great. Do you dial with your right hand or left?”
There are some contexts in which it makes sense to talk about the phone itself; for example if you work for the phone company or if the cat chewed through the phone cord and you have to explain why you are taking him to the vet.
For the most part, though, we have much better uses of the phone than talking about the phone itself.
3. The Word “Monetize.”
You don’t “monetize” your accounting skill by going to work for a firm. You don’t “monetize” your free time by taking a part time job. And you don’t “monetize” your writing talent by publishing a book. (Really, trust me on that last one.) So why don’t we drop the euphemism and say what we mean. “I’m trying to make a little money with my blog.”
4. Articles in the “4 Simple Things” Format
I believe glossy magazines may have started this one. The “list of things” article format with its easily digestible pieces of advice has been with us well before social networking came along. Even publishers like the “list of things” format for books. (I’m guilty myself. I wrote two books with “number of things” titles/subtitles.) I think it’s time we retired the format. Can we at least letter our lists or something?