20 Things I May Hate About Your Blog

As you may know, we kicked off an all-new 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge this week! Week 1’s content and tasks are all about assessing your blog and really taking stock of what works and what doesn’t. So our SITStah Eternal Voyageur is here to share with us the 20 things she may hate about your blog. Make sure you scan YOUR site for some of these blog errors!

Blog Errors

I’m a blog addict, and I’m always on the search for my next favourite. Though fresh, original content is what I look for, there are some things that can get on my nerves and may put me off adding an otherwise nice blog to my reader.

Frustration (was: threesixtyfive | day 244)

Photo Credit: Sybren A. Stüvel

Here are the most annoying thing that blogs do, in no particular order.

1. No RSS feed button. Seriously? You don’t want me to be a regular reader?
2. Button is there, but well hidden. Searching for it is not my idea of fun. Top of the page
(especially top right) is where I expect to see it!
3. No “older” “newer” post buttons on the bottom of the pages. I have seen several blogs that
didn’t have those, and I couldn’t figure out how to see the older posts!
4. “Previous” and “Next” instead of “Older” and “Newer” links. On some blogs “next” mean older and on some it means newer posts. When I’m simultaneously browsing through archives of several blogs, I often don’t remember which is which anymore.
5. Also, “<>” are often barely visible and hard to click on.
6. No categories / labels. This is very important for me, because often only one type of posts on a blog appeals to me. For example I might find a fashion blog might have lots of runway photos that I don’t care about, but also fantastic DIY tutorials that I want to read. If I can’t get to all the tutorial posts in one click, I’m not going to bother going through 4 years worth of posts to look for them.
7. More than 30 categories are just annoying. Especially if there are 3 posts in each.
8. Too many photos. Seriously, after the 6th consecutive image of the same outfit / dish / table
décor / baby, I start to yawn and scroll faster. I don’t close the browser after the 12th picture, it’s because I’m already asleep. An overdose is a tested and true way of developing a dislike for a good thing. In fact some my favourite bloggers tantalize me by posting too few images – and I
love it, it keeps me coming back for more. (Garance Dore I’m talking of you).
9. Blogs that update more than twice a day, especially if the posts are high on content. These make me feel stressed, like I can’t every catch up.
10. Pop-ups of any kind. Self-explanatory.
11. Music or videos that play automatically. If you had any idea how many people look at blogs at work…
12. A pet name for readers. These are patronising and annoying to anyone over the age of 12. If your blog is called A Snowqueen’s Life, please don’t refer to me as your little snowflake, or worse — polar bear cub.
13. Only summaries of the posts on the main page. This means that I won’t be going through your older posts, as opening each and every post separately is annoying. Reading 50+ pages of blog archives is best done by smoothly scrolling page after page.
14. Too much “ooh, you gotta buy this!”. That is actually the reason I don’t read fashion magazines — most of the articles are ads in disguise. A blog that does that doesn’t make it to my reader (an exception is solid, unbiased reviews).
15. Annoying commenting systems. Ones that won’t allow me to comment unless I sign up. Or ones that plain don’t work.
16. No search box. *pulls hair*
17. Too small font / not enough contrast. Its amazing how often I have to ctrl+ to increase the font size. But if the text is just to pale I don’t enjoy reading and sooner or later I move on to something with better contrast.
18. Tiny images. Especially if you are trying to show me something on them.
19. The background is screaming at me. If you love bright colours and bold patterns, the background is the one place where you should restrain yourself from going wild.
20. I will leave this one for you ladies. Complete this sentence: “It annoys me when _____

Things that are surprisingly missing from the list? Good grammar and spelling. That’s because I believe that dyslexics and people who don’t speak English as a first language shouldn’t be banned from blogging. As long as you use punctuation marks and break up text into paragraphs, you are good with me.

Is your blog guilty of one of the above 20 mistakes? No biggie, it’s really surprising how many great blogs are. And now that you know, you can fix it!

More on How To Blog Better

Venusian Glow Eternal*Voyageur writes at Venusian*Glow, where she shares DIY skin care experiments, how she got her dream hair and everything about breaking out of the bra matrix. When she’s not blogging she hoop-dances, thrifts and backpacks with two little people. You can find Eternal*Voyageur on Twitter @eternalvoyageur and Facebook.

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Comments

  1. Super helpful advice! I have to admit, as a new blogger I had to go back and double check myself. Thanks :)

  2. I hate it too when you have to sign up for something. Discus? Gravatar? Why can’t I just put my Name and Email?
    And we wont even get into word verification… ugh.

  3. I agree with most things on this list…the only exceptions to the rules are the blogs that I’m just in love love love with. They can usually bend it without making me leave!

    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com

  4. Good list! Whew I’m glad I passed. I HATE word verification. I know it’s supposed to stop spam, but it is a pain in the butt for commenters. I’ve even just gave up when it popped up. I recently had a spam issue on my blog, so I made comments by approval, which I don’t love, but it beats verification! I also hate auto playing music and blogs that post more than twice a day. I’ve stopped following blogs that do that because they overwhelm me!

  5. Completely agree that #1 is when there is no way to subscribe via RSS. So frustrating. I do not like to use the Google Friend Connect option so I typically just move on if I can use RSS.

    Another huge annoyance (which isn’t really the blogger’s fault) is when people comment on a post with something like “I’m following you. Now follow me.”… What? That’s not a comment! That person probably didn’t even read the post. Do people really just want their follower number to be high? No interested in genuine readers?

  6. There are at least 3 items in this numbered list that I WILL be changing right after I write my post for today, take the kids to Saturday activities, cook 3 meals—–AWWWWWWWW–blogging is taking over my life! Time to PIN this to refer to later! THanks for categorizing this ideas so nicely!

  7. I went back and put my search bar back in my blog because of this post. I had wondered if it was overkill, but now that I do have a year of posts, it probably isn’t a bad idea to have it. I even tried it out for myself and liked the results. I had no idea it would bring up all the posts that matched the search term, and would truncate them so you could see the first few sentences and get a gist for it, while at the same time easily eye-balling the whole list to pick and choose.

    Can’t believe I didn’t know that! Thanks so much for the tip to have the search bar accessible.

  8. Thank you for this Post. Unfortunately, I am guilty of more than one of these. A few of them I have wanted to fix / add but haven’t had the time to learn how to do it OR if I did take the time to try it on my blog – it failed and I did not fix it. I will take these into consideration when I am updating the layout of my blog. Thanks

  9. Great post! Yes, #12 completely drives me crazy. I really don’t want a pet name. Sometimes, pet names for the bloggers’ kids can be annoying too. Why would you call your own daughter “The Girl?” I get the whole anonymity thing, but I’ve seen too many moms call their kids “The Girl” or “The Boy.” That just rubs me the wrong way.

  10. This was a wonderfully eye opening post. My first time visiting here. I just love to learn new things or learn from my mistakes. So, this is very eye opening. I am unsure about what the RSS is or how to fix it or if it is even fine on my blog. I also learned today that I need to simplify my labels.

  11. I have read mixed things about search boxes, but if you say we need one, I am gonna go with it.

  12. Auto-playing music ranks high on the list since I’m 99% of the time either listening to my own music or on a slow PC waiting for the damn thing to load. Second is using un-readable, custom fonts in your blog body or title. Save the fancy fonts for your images. You’re making my PC slow down trying to fetch the custom font. RAWR.

    Also pretty much everything else on this list…

  13. Great list! I’m guilty of having more than 30 categories, so I’ll probably fix that soon.

    I avoid blogs that overrun you with photos of multiple angles of everything or consistently long posts that take more than a few minutes to read. If I have to scroll down 3-4 pages just to get the gist of the post for almost every post, I’ll unsubscribe.

    My other pet peeve is tiny, blurry photos. I’m not a photographer and I don’t have a fancy camera, but it is hard to read/view a post with 100 px square images.

  14. Great tips!

  15. Excellent post and worth checking out. Hate, hate, word verification and nine-step comment boxes. Time to update.

  16. ^^ I am guilty of spelling my own blog URL wrong in the comment above. Ha! Can it be Friday yet?

  17. Great Post! Crossing my fingers that I’m not guilty of any of these :-X

  18. Such great advice! I went through and fixed a few things on our blog today. Thanks for the tips!

  19. Blogs that load really, really slow are annoying and push me to leave. I also find it a pain when there’s no contact form or an easy way to find someone on social networking if I really like her blog.

  20. The RSS feed is my number 1! It is how I like to do my blog reading. So, when blogs don’t have an RSS I usually just skip over them :(

  21. I’m so glad to know that I shouldn’t “truncate” (hate that word) my posts on my home page- I’ve been trying to figure out how to do it and now I don’t need to- yay! Such a great checklist- I’m whittling away!

  22. This is hilarious!
    Thank God for grace
    Thankful I have the freedom to blog the way I choose and freedom to allow others to do the same
    xx

  23. I agree with all of these except #13 as well. I like titles and snippets as I scroll so I can decide quickly if I like the variety that a blogger offers. I’ve also read a lot of blogging “how tos” that insist small summaries instead of full posts are an important part of making the jump from “just starting out” to “real” blogger.

    Definitely NO on the automatic music and the word verification. Ooooh, those give me the chills!

  24. Did anybody else notice that thesitsgirls.com is itself “guilty” of #13?

  25. Word verification annoys the bejeebers out of me!

  26. Those things are annoying, but if the content is good enough, I’ll usually stick around.

  27. Love this post as it has given me many ways to clean up and improve my blog. Trying to grow my blog for 2012 and so far this has helped point me in the right direction! Gracias! xoxo

  28. I agree with most of these EXCEPT summary posts. I think it’s nice to breeze through and see what I might want to read further.

    I am completely annoyed when it seems like between every post is an advertisement. I’m all for making money, but does it have to interrupt everything?

    I checked my blog out and I’m guily of word verification. I guess I should take that one out of there! :)

  29. Great post! Love it! I’m working on my categories, because I have recognized that they ARE unwieldy.

  30. Thanks for sharing these! I definitely need to work on #17, but I’m a little new to WordPress and haven’t taken the time to figure out how to add different fonts, or make the text bigger…

    Also, I just changed my header. I hope it doesn’t scream too much. I would love if anyone took a look at it and let me know!! @romanceonadime

  31. I liked this list and will be cross-checking it to my own blog very soon! I also HATE when there is no “newer”/”older” button and thought I was the only one who didn’t like the “previous”/”next”, but you are right…it’s meaning is NOT consistent!

  32. I agree with some but not all of the points especially the one about “Only summary” I personally like to read summaries because I don’t want to be scrolling down an entire page to read all the blogs. I want to be able to browse quickly kind of like a Reader set up.

    I would love to see a follow up to this post on how the writer suggest to correct those pet peeves.

    Great post I made some changes on my own blog.

    My biggest pet peeves are: flash intro pages that take forever to open, music when you go to a site and pop-ups asking me to sign-up for a free whatever…

  33. Thank you for the tips. It is important to get feedback with those that are honest. There is always room for improvement. I think I passed most of those, but I have to double check a few! Thank you again!

  34. I think my big pet peeve is no way to comment without having to sign up, be a member, or jump through hoops. I used to have comment authentication on my blog, but I took it off because, you know, it’s irritating. The spam catcher does a fine job of catching the spam, so I’m all set!

    • I am guilty of the no feed problem – I just need to figure out how to make it happen.

      • Hi BabbyMama, you can add an RSS Feed easily by using Feedburner. http://feedburner.google.com should take you there. I use WordPress, and you add it with a Widget in your sidebar (simply drag and drop “Text” under Widgets and add the Feedburner code they will supply you. Hit save. Voila! I’m pretty sure this is similar in Blogger, but it’s been awhile since I’ve used their service.

  35. I HATE when people don’t allow the option for you to subscribe via email.

    I like my posts to go somewhere besides where they would go if I hit the subscribe button.

    PLEASE put a subscribe via email button on your blog or you will never, ever get me as a regular reader!

  36. Excellent points!

  37. *phew* I pass!

  38. Hahahaha. I was guilty of no RSS feed option. Just put it up =D
    And this, I will definitely remember and avoid at all cost!
    Thanks a lot for sharing =D
    xo

  39. That’s a great list! I’m going to check to see if I have any of these annoyances on my blog!

  40. I don’t know if it raises to the level of “annoy” but it does irk me when blogs are not optimized for mobile devices.

    Usually this is in the form of so many doodads and whistles that there isn’t really any content published to your feed other than a note that says “if you’re reading this in a reader, you’ll need to come on over…”. I get that you want traffic. That’s why I follow your blog (in a reader) to keep up with the billion blogs I can’t get enough of.

    OR, people who purposefully only syndicate the first couple of lines of their blog. I get why you do this (you want the traffic), but it had better be a SUPER powerful first three lines to get me to make the jump.

    Just saying.
    Bernadette

  41. I have a LOT of blogs on my reader and sometimes I’m skimming and come to a big fat banner across the top that fills my entire screen. Unless I love that blog I’m going to skip it and move on. Please make sure I can see some content without having to scroll down!

  42. Great list and I agree!
    20: It annoys me when… the entire side bar is full of flashing, rotating, constantly changing ads and buttons!
    20a: When the left and right side bars take up more room together than the actual content.

  43. I definitely do the lots of pictures things! Oops! My question is, how do you make the labels? I am horrible at figuring out how to do stuff like that!

  44. I really hate the buy this blogging too, but I must admit I’m a picture- aholic.

  45. Yay! You’re featured on the SITS Girls Site. This was a great list. And now I’m running back to my blog to take a peek again.

  46. I love these and agree with them!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  47. Great post. I’m off to check my blog and see if it measures up on a few things… :)

  48. This list covers just about everything I get annoyed about too. I hope I’m not guilty of any of these. I’m checking now.

  49. I hate word verification! Great post ;)

  50. Great post! I agree with almost all of these, and I dont think I’m guilty of too many either :p

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