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Blog DesignBlog Tips

20 Things I May Hate About Your Blog

By Jan 17, 2012January 30th, 2015181 Comments

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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.

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 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

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.

About Alina Thomas

Alina is a Northern Virginia wedding photographer based out of Leesburg, VA. She has a passion for arts and design, and strives to express it through her work. She is creative at heart and loves nothing more than sharing her knowledge in photography with other Virginia wedding photographers on her blog each week. Alina loves being a new mom to her first-born and spending time with her husband who helps her run her businesses. Please feel free to follow her on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google+.

181 Comments

  • Kat says:

    Great post! Thankfully, my blog isn’t guilty of many of these. Phewph!

    One thing I hate on blogs, especially established ones, is too many ads or affiliate logos smooshed around the edges of posts. It’s distracting, when all I want to do is read good content.

  • I really annoys me when I have to scroll down to the bottom of all the other comments to make a comment.

  • Wow, what a great post! I totally agree about the pics!

  • I think I passed!! Well…except for the search box. I gotta get on that one, don’t I?

    I know a lot of people will get annoyed with me when I say this but here’s my contribution to the list:

    It annoys me when blog consists purely of product reviews.

    There, I said it. I love to read about YOU but I don’t will not seek out a blog that is essentially a commmercial.

    Great post and I agree with you on everything!

  • katherine says:

    Darn. I think I’m guilty of a few of these but I’m still learning. (Thankfully not the music offense- that’s one my pet peeves.) Some stuff I haven’t had a chance to set up yet (December was fun but not productive) Now I’m going back to fix these errors. Hopefully.

    One “pet peeve” I have is too much “flash” on a site. It’s not quite as common but I still run across websites that take forever to load. The zillion flashy, swirly or cutesy pics and gyrating fonts are distracting & I exist their site without reading the content.

    Even worse than music is a video that automatically loads. Sometimes I take my lunches at work & thankfully I wear headphones but still…it’s annoying.

  • Jenny says:

    Nobody is perfect, but after the third or fourth spelling error I’m going to call foul. Spell check exists for a reason.

    Another pet peeve which, thank heavens, I don’t see very often: numerous font changes within a post. I was trying to read a very talented writer’s blog and found I just couldn’t cope with a different size or font every few lines. Please let me concentrate on your content rather than your formatting!

  • Ok, risking sounding like a complete idiot…#6. I get what it is, and I would LOVE to have tabs at the top of my blog with posts filed under each…such as “wine” , “wineries”, “projects”, “recipes”, etc. How do I do this?!!?! I have tried googling it…but have not been successful. Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you!!!

  • Brooke says:

    This is a fantastic post! I have already made a few small changes to my own blog like reducing the number of labels and adding a subscribe and search option!

    My biggest peeve is a screaming loud background that takes away from the content. Also music auto playing is really annoying.

    I’m so glad to have discovered your site, I think it’s just wonderful!

  • Sarah says:

    Ive printed this out to make sure I think about this! Im always stuck with topics as I want some complexity but dont want to drown in ideas…hard juggle!

  • Deana says:

    Thanks for the tips! I am off to fix one or two things on my blog!

  • Kimmie says:

    YAAY! You won’t hate my blog! 🙂 I do think my font might be a little on the small side for some, though. I’ve been tweaking my blog a bit so I may make it a little larger. Very good things to think about on this list. Thanks!

  • Anything that just makes a blog hard to read or navigate. I really can’t stand the wordpress ‘swipe me’ ipad sites. I always click to view the standard site. I know mine has been a work in progress! 🙂

  • The ONLY thing I’m guilty of on this list is having more than 30 categories in my labels. I will TRY to slim it down!

    Thank you so much for talking about font and contrast! I am actually visually impaired and simply cannot stay on a blog that’s difficult for me to see. I feel about it too! Part of me wants to tell the person that I might’ve stayed longer, but I worry it’s rude. It’s THEIR blog, they can design it however they want, right?

  • This was amazing! I got definitely found a few things that I changed immediately! Thanks for the quick and easy tutorial!

  • This was a great! I found it to be interesting and easy to apply to even the newest blogger!

  • Allison says:

    I am so NOT technologically advanced. I don’t know how to make a RSS subscribe button.

    Otherwise I think I’m okay. My background is bright, but I don’t think it’s distracting.

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  • Kristin says:

    Okay I guess I have a little work to do. I’m so thankful that few blogs I find have the automatic music video issue. The biggest offenders are restaurants and spas, I find.

  • Armi Niemi says:

    Nice tips! Although I had a different opinion on some of them: the 13: IMO the scrolling down page after page is what annoys me. I like to see it all without scrolling and read what looks interesting. 🙂

  • Music on a blog bothers me so much!! OMG. I’ve always got music going when I’m on line, nothing like listening to classical and then some other song starts playing at the same time.

  • Music on a blog. GOD help me I’ll close it right down. I feel bad not giving them a chance but OMG what if I don’t like your music?

  • Joelle says:

    These are great, and I definitely agree with most of them! I don’t have an RSS feed button since I have Google Friend Connect and I don’t really want to clutter my page. I’ll look into an easy way to add one though.

    As for tags, I do agree to an extent. Some of my posts are kind of random, and I don’t really want to label them as “random”…but if I have a series {Wedding Wednesday, etc.}, then I will add a tag.

    Overall, a great list though!

  • Charlotte says:

    I really hate blogs that are hard to read. If I have to squint or adjust my screen, chances are I won’t be hanging around for a long time.

    This was a really great post. I already noticed I was guilty of one thing–not having my “contact me” buttons in an easy-to-find location, and I fixed it. Thanks for this 🙂

  • Jen says:

    I like this post. I think that I am following most of the ‘rules’.

  • Alexandra says:

    Oh, I knew this would be your post, Geeg.

    Yes, to all these things: especially #15.

    Also, sometimes we forget about brand new blog readers.

    I can remember clicking on to some blogs when I first began surfing and with all the stuff going on all over, I actually couldn’t figure out which text was the post.

    No lie.

    I just clicked out.

  • Eve says:

    This was a FAB post! I’m working on designing my second blog, so this was totally helpful. Thank you!

  • ElsiesMom says:

    I’m not sure that I should write this given that I’ve not even started my posting, but from a purely observer view – blog posts where the body is just all over the place. I love block paragraphs. Centering, or just starting wherever on the page so that you have to really follow the sentence
    down the page makes me want to leave!

  • Dakotapam says:

    Looong paragraphs turn me off.

    Too many photos, especially if they are the same thing.

    I’m OK with cutesy nicknames for your family members, but remember, a new reader may not know who Monkeyhead is. I refer to my teen as Dakotateen (because he is very private) but the name implies that he is a teen and he is my kid (I’m Dakotapam). I refer to my husband as The Rev….but that is easy enough too. But I don’t want to have to keep track of 6 or so different alter egos.

    If you are going to refer to a discussion you had last week, link to it…I may not have been there.

  • Mommie Daze says:

    People who write with no caps, no punctuation, no paragraphs. They think they’re doing some radical stream of consciousness thing, but it’s unreadable. I won’t even try.

  • Broot says:

    When I can’t find the comment button, or when the font is all fancy and hard to read. Otherwise, I agree with your list!!

  • It really annoys me when I find a blog I love and I want to follower the blogger on twitter but alas there is no twitter button to be found! annoying!!

  • Life As Wife says:

    I might be that person who posts too many pictures of my kid…

  • Loved this! I really need to work on my categories and I’ll have to check on some of the other things too. Though being called a snowflake is kind of cute. 🙂 The main thing that really turns me off from a blog is never-ending paragraphs. My focus isn’t good enough to follow.

  • Classic NYer says:

    Glad to report that I’m not guilty of most of these… but I’ll go ahead and work on the rest. ::slinks away::

  • Kathe says:

    Seems I am guilty of a couple but at least they can be fixed. Thanks for the heads up! My peeve? No date on posts. I can’t tell when the post went live to see if it is current or not. Drives me nuts!

  • actuary mom says:

    I hate word verification. Turn it OFF!

  • Lindsay says:

    Right on! So many of these things annoy me to no end, but most of them are on a learning curve. What really bothers me that really has no excuse to EVER happen is BIG, BOLD, BRIGHT fonts strewn throughout a post. It can be cute if used minimally, but when every other word is a different color, I want to cry. And bad spelling, no capitalization and poor grammar are just unexcusable.

  • sandra says:

    Always something to improve. Thanks for the list. I have a few things I can work on.

  • alyce says:

    Great tips! Thx.

  • Great list. I have a few of these that I need to work on, but thankfully nothing horrid like music or popups! I’d like to switch my commenting system from Intense Debate to Comment Luv, but I am not sure if I would lose the comments I already have. That would be AWFUL as I just started getting a good dialogue going. But I came to that conclusion because it’s so easy to comment as a reader with comment luv.

    Also was unaware of how summaries on the main page were viewed. Since I write about a lot of topics, I thought this would be a good way for people to skim and only have to read what they were interested in, but now I see that they’ll never read more than my first paragraph. Thanks for the tip!

  • molly says:

    This is so great. Thank you!

  • Michael says:

    MMMMMM….I may need to redo a few things on my blog.

  • Great tips! I actually kinda not like it when I see loads and loads of labels on a blog.

  • Madison says:

    This made me go over and look at my blog. I didn’t see any glaring problems so that’s a relief. I’m dyslexic so sometimes I overlook things. I don’t think it’s too big of a problem.

  • Sonia Barton says:

    What does number 5 mean? I just bought a new Theme and it has the truncated blog post, they sent me the code to change it to full posts, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I bugs me also, that’s why I know I need to change it.

  • April says:

    Hmm…sounds like I have a few things to work on! Such a great read!

  • Carolyn says:

    I’m trying to figure out how to NOT have just summaries on my page, but haven’t yet. I’ve emailed a few people so hopefully I’ll change it soon!
    These were great, thanks!

  • Mejia Mamma says:

    YESSS…definitely some HIT pet peeves on that list!!

  • Jennifer says:

    A dark background with a light font. I’m not reading it unless it is mostly graphics. My eyes just can’t take it.

    I was very pleased to realize that I don’t have any of these problems. Whew. I guess it pays to read those critiques.