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.
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.
by Amanda Patterson.
© Amanda Patterson
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