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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!
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.
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 patronizing 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
- How to Write a Blog Post in 15 Minutes or Less
- How to Make Your About.Me Page Amazing
- How to Start a Blog Meme
- How to Get the Most from Your Google Reader
- How to Get Blog Readers
- How to Blog About Your Faith
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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This is actually good to know 😉
Great post! I’m happy to report I’m only guilty of one of these things: no RSS Feed button (oops)! I’ll have to work on that :o)
First, if you visit my site, have mercy on me, I am the midst of a total make over! That said, I wish more people would get the “NO MUSIC” thing! It is just beyond annoying to be assaulted by some cheesy music blasting out at you – especially if you are in a public place. Why Oh Why do people and businesses still do this???? Thanks for a great article.
What annoys me lately are blogs that seem to do nothing but run contests and giveaways. I want to read something interesting once in a while. Also, bloggers who post too frequently. I would rather read an interesting post once a week, than to be inundated with the same old stuff, just because someone told the author it was preferable to post every day.
Sandy Cooper says
Great post and I completely agree with *almost* all your points. 🙂
Responding specifically to the complaint about categories: I just want to interject that when you are in the process of building your blog, there may be some trial and error here. I’ve been blogging since 2008. When I started, my blog theme was very specialized.
After a few months, I added a weekly feature, which introduced a number of new categories.
Then a few months ago, I completely redesigned my blog and the blog theme, which still encompasses my old theme, but opens up the possibilities to write about several new topics and still have it “fit” my blog theme. This meant completely redoing my categories and tags.
Some of my categories only have a few posts in them, because I’ve only written a few posts in that category to date, but plan to write many more this year. Some categories only have a few posts in them because they reflect my blog’s former blog focus and I don’t plan to write more about that topic.
So, either way, I want my readers to be able to locate those posts, should they choose. A blog is a work in progress, as you know.
Thanks again for your insight.
Great post! I just wanted to echo what Tara commented a few months ago- at the bottom of the blog post under “More On How to Blog Better,” the link to the article “How to Write a Blog Post in 15 Minutes or Less” actually redirects you to an online shopping article (this url): http://www.thesitsgirls.com/ask-the-expert/how-to-shop-online/. Just thought I’d point it out in case you wanted to make a quick link switcheroo! 🙂
Katherines Corner says
Although I don’t think I was guilty of these bloggy no no’s I did recently make a huge ( expensive) change to my blog to help make it even more user friendly.
This is a great blog about blogging! Love it, especially as I’m trying to get my own blog up and running 🙂 Just wanted to let you know, on this article, in the “More on How to Blog Better” section, the “How to Write a Blog Post in 15 Minutes or Less” link goes to a link about shopping online. I’m going to search for this “How to Write a Blog Post in 15 Minutes or Less” though because it sounds like a great read!
Such a helpful article. I’m adding a search box asap! One thing that annoys me is when I comment and I have to go through that word verification system. Sometimes if I don’t get it 100% correct, I have to re-do it. At that point i simply leave!
Thanks for the advice!
I read this quite hesitantly for fear that I was committing crimes against blogging. Phew, so far I am not guilty, but I’m not reading through the comments because I’m *sure* I’ve done many other things wrong. Thanks for the input!
Jewelry Rings says
Even though I am an atheist, today I want to thank God (or whosoever there is) for listening to my prayers. You see, I was digging for a little bit of information on this particular matter, and, right here I have discovered not really a little bit but instead, a bigger bit of information. I can’t explain to you how pleased I am to have stumbled upon your pretty website.
I totally agree with these. I need to clean up my labels. In my feeble attempts to come up with funny categories, I have way too many. But otherwise I think I’m good. Whew!
Lauren Michelle says
Whew! I was only guilty of one, and that was only because I switched WordPress themes and didn’t catch that it took away my search bar. It’s totally back on there, though. Thanks to you! 🙂
I’ve been blogging for a few months and am still learning how to use it effectively.
My primary purpose is to share fun info and share reviews of family friendly media.
I don’t know how to add a RSS feed button or how to put my posts in categories.
Is there a place I can find tutorials for these?
Thank you for the info,
Hector Rauhuff says
Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!
Kimberly Gauthier, Adventures in Blogging says
Yikes, I’ve committed a few of these, but only a few.
I’m not a fan of the music, awful design, and I don’t like to have to hunt to find share buttons.
Heather Fulkerson says
Super helpful advice! I have to admit, as a new blogger I had to go back and double check myself. Thanks 🙂
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.