11 Reasons Why I Won't Be Returning To Your Blog


There are so many blogs out there. I visit a lot on books and writing, and sometimes it’s difficult to know which one to choose. I may be drawn to a great headline or a topic that is close to my heart. I am often driven by impulse and I happily click on an irresistible image or interesting subject. 

Once I’m on your blog and you have my attention, please don’t disappoint me. If you do, I will probably not visit your site again. Life is too short for many things, including bad coffee, bad people, and bad blogs. 

I’ve put together a list of the 11 reasons why I never return to a blog. 

1. Poor formatting
When I land on your blog, I want a clean page with a simple, decent-sized font that does not change from paragraph to paragraph. Web readers prefer a lot of white space, so it's better if you paragraph often. They don't want to feel as if they are reading an ancient text book filled with chunks of dense text.

Most of us prefer a clear white or off-white background with black or dark-grey text. Use only one other colour to highlight something in a post. It's good to guide readers with titles and sub-titles in bold, and to avoid over-using italics.

Tip: Don't post a blog without pictures. I like to see the blog post title in an image, or a photograph that reflects the essence of the post. This makes me feel happy, and I know that it is shareable on social media. Make sure that the image is the correct size to convert to most of the platforms.


2. Badly written content
If your sentences go on forever, if you use out-dated words, and if you always write in the passive voice, I will leave and never come back. You need to write simply to convey complex ideas. Avoid overused and unnecessary modifiers and qualifiers. I think there is a place for adjectives and adverbs on blogs, but they must add to the piece and not distract me.

Tip: Check your readability statistics before you post. If they are too low and your passive content is too high, rewrite your blog so that people will enjoy reading it.


3. Not enough consistent content
After I’ve read your home page and your four blog posts that were written months apart, I’m not inspired to follow you on social media or come back to your site. Even if you are just starting, make an effort to blog weekly. You will soon build up a body of work and people will start to notice you.

4. Blog posts that do not deliver what they promise
If your headline says that I will learn how to write an essay with your template, please make sure it does. If you tell me that you have 20 brilliant quotes, please make them memorable. If you promise to solve a problem, give me well-researched advice. Don’t worry, I'm not looking for a miracle, but I do want to leave with a sense of having learnt something. 

5. Blogs that frustrate me
You know those blogs that look good, but they never leave you feeling satisfied. They seem to say the right things but they don’t answer your questions or solve your problems. This is generally because the content has been poorly researched. Reading them is a bit like asking the Kardashians a question. They may look like they know something, but you will be disappointed with their response. 

6. Blog posts that are too long
Some people are fans of the never-ending post, but I'm not one of them. Although it’s nice to have a lot of information, I find that I’ve forgotten why I was even reading the post because it's taken so many twists and turns. Stick to the topic and give me links to the related posts instead. 

7. Blogs that feel generic
There are some blogs that have no soul. Good bloggers put their own spin on the subject matter. Great bloggers allow their personalities to shine through. They have the courage to be themselves. Make sure you have the correct people creating content for you. Only entrust blogging duties to your IT department or advertising team if they are able to do it.

8. Advert overkill
We all want to make money from our blogs, but overdoing it makes us look desperate. Blogs with pop-up ads, adverts that break up the text, flashing sidebars and Google Adsense everywhere, are a huge turn-off for me. If you want to make money from your blog, you will find some great advice here

9. Errors, errors everywhere
We all make mistakes, but I find that I can’t take people seriously if they do not bother about spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If I read a post and the author says ‘between you and I’ instead of ‘between you and me’, I will abandon the site immediately. Make sure you know how to use apostrophes, commas, and full stops. Their misuse upsets a lot of readers.
 
Tip: If English is not your home language and you are using it, you should take a course to improve your skills.

10. Theme templates that do not suit the topic
First impressions count. Try to find a theme that suits your brand. For example, I feel uncomfortable if I arrive on a writing page with a garish theme and a heavy-metal playlist. If you are writing inspirational blog posts, avoid a dark theme with a gothic font, and if you are writing twisted tales, avoid light, uplifting themes. You can find free themes or you can pay for them. Try to keep it simple so that your content shines through. 

11. Blogs that are written by Admin
Have you ever visited a blog where all the posts are written by ‘Admin’ or ‘Staff writer’? I prefer to read blog posts written by a human being - and I want to see your face. I want to know a bit about you if I’m going to spend time on your blog.
I hope that you find this post useful. Remember these are my reasons for not returning to a blog. Please add yours in the comments section below.

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

Source for image

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Pinterest,  Google+,  LinkedIn,  and on Twitter:  @amandaonwriting

© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this post, read:

~~~

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate
44 responses
Great advice!
Excellent list. I stop reading blogs with a dozen unsized photos that take longer to load than the text takes to read. It's one of my top three pet peeves.
Your blog posts never disappoint!
Thank you, Heather and Connie. I agree about the photos, Robin.
Regarding posts written by Admin, you should never, ever keep that as a login/author. It makes you twice as vulnerable to hackers. This is especially rampant in WordPress, and people often don't know how to fix that.
your posts are so motivating.
Hello, Amanda: I was so relieved to know that it wasn't personal. Truly, with a chuckle, Peter
Superb piece Amanda. Interesting. To the point and crisp. Plus an appealing personal touch. Thank you.
I agree with much of what you say. However, as a poet, I wish to make the following points. Firstly, Archaic language has a place in poetry and may form an integral element of the poet's style. Secondly (and related to the forgoing), punctuation does not need to comply with rigid rules when employed in poetry. Richness and variety can be stultified by rigid adherence to the rules of grammar. Regards, Kevin
12: Auto-play video/audio/gif file 13. Pop-up pleas (which block what I came to read) to sign up for a newsletter
Well said.
I stopped reading when I hit gripe #2 and skimmed the rest. Nobody likes bad writing. But I'm looking for positive, creative content that makes me feel alive. And I want to engage with people who live creatively. I will keep looking and I will know it when I see it. But I can't impose rules, because creativity doesn't work that way.
Great list, Amanda. Hopefully, my blog won't bore you. I found you via Mr. Ape. :-)
I'm with Cyndi, gifs drive me up the wall as I find they distract while I try to read...anything that moves or flashes on the page will turn me away. I like clean, uncluttered, and friendly blogs :)
You make some really good points here, some of which definitely hit a little close to home (1, 3, and 9). I think perhaps it's time for me to take a closer look at my blog and follow some of your advice. Thanks for a great lesson!
I think tips are great and always welcome! I like it that Wordpress is a place for expression in all our own unique ways! You may visit and grade me or follow. I appreciate any and all my followers. I do understand though if I like a blog and they don't always post once a week. Life and creativity takes time. Thank you!
Thank you, everybody, for the feedback and for sharing your thoughts on what annoys you and what you enjoy on different blogs. I'm glad that you found them useful and that the post gives us all something to think about when creating a blog.
Lisa and Cyndi, I agree. I don't like this new pop-up feature where you are forced to close an appeal to join a newsletter before you can read the post. I simply close the site and move on.
I'm not sure what to do in this instance - I am getting alerts for every comment on this article, which is definitely not wanted. I've tried to find a way to manage the subscription, but have found none. Please help me out here. Thank you. Truly, Peter
Peter, have a look at the bottom of the message in your alert. It says 'Change your Posthaven email settings'. Change the comments to 'never'.
I'd like to add blog posts split into multiple pages where you have to click Next 20 times to read about the Top 20 reasonsfor X
The Everyday Vampire does break number 10, but only because she's combining inspirational messages with being undead... https://everydayvampire.wordpress.com
Helpful tips, thanks, Amanda. 7 convicts me. My header photo may be too large, as well. Question...do you have an article similar to this, pertaining to what makes you stop reading a novel?
My blog is probably not for you, I have typo prone fingers, a lack of time to edit and mostly I write for me, You can read it or not, I don't care really. I read a lot and most bloggers are attention seeking gits with nothing to add. You left that one out. Kudos on the non facebook or other crappy social media comments section.
This was helpfull. I think probably the most important tip I'd take away from this post is the element of consistancy (which I struggle with). I have bursts of energy and produce several blogs in a week and then find I have nothing I want to share for weeks/months on end. https://theconnblog.wordpress.com/
Thanks for the tips. I abandoned my blog two years ago and now find that striving to become a writer I need a platform. I don't know whether to resurrect my original blog, or create a new one. I love my original blog, it fits me. It was aimed towards my other passion textile art. I've also been advised that it's better to have your platform on Wordpress rather then Blogger. I haven't read through your entire site, but I would love to know your thoughts regarding this choice.
Hello Rose We agree that Wordpress seems to be the better option. Thank you for the feedback. We wish you lots of luck with your new blog.
Thanks for the quick response.
These are excellent pointers. What is the best post length? Do you come back if post is broken into parts with links to each part?
Mia Botha tried to answer how long a post should be here: http://writerswrite.co.za/how-long-should-your-...
14 visitors upvoted this post.