Recently I read a few posts on the topic which not only were pretty hilarious but also absolutely spot on. Why do we follow certain blogs and not others? Why some are appealing so much that we even subscribe to not miss a post, while others do not even seem worth giving a chance by opening more than a landing page? I have some ‘go to’ blogs that I really love and come back to, if not daily, then at least once a week. I enjoy them all for different, yet very similar reasons; they put forward great content, are easy to read, create a connection between a reader and a writer (and a small community around the particular topic / theme they focus on), they are clean and easy to navigate.
As much as I know what will make me fall in love with your blog, I also know what will definitely NOT. My 6 killer deal breakers are:
1. Give me SOMETHING!
Ok, so not everyone needs to write long, elaborate, HuffPost – worthy posts full of info on ‘How to’ and why, but surely I am reading a blog to get something out of it.
- Give me some advice and helpful tips
- Share easy to follow recipe or a DYI project
- Inspire me
- Make me laugh
- Get personal – so I WANT to know more
If you give me nothing from the above I am sure to not be coming back
2. Your blog is so BORING
that I literally prefer to go back to my work email rather than go through all your paragraphs. Ugh.
- Don’t make it sound like dry facts only. If I wanted to read dry facts I would go to Wikipedia, not your blog
- Don’t just rewrite facts in your own language, be funny, sarcastic, be controversial (though don’t overdo it!)
- Write about something I (people) can relate to
- Entertain me
If you bore ME, the chance is that you bore 99% of folks out there (as I am pretty easy to please). Boredom in a blog is a killer, so don’t kill your readers off.
3. The whole ‘thing’ is just SLOPPY
Low resolution images, random fonts, inconsistent sizing of graphics and hard to navigate pages create a feeling of an overall ‘mess’. I am coming to your blog to relax, to take a moment in a busy day to enjoy something that you worked hard to put out there. Make it worthwhile.
- Double check spelling / grammar
- Follow same pattern for image sizing and watermarking, use fonts consistently
- Before you hit ‘publish’, take a minute to see how it looks in a ‘preview’ mode
- Remember that less is more
4. Slow down on the ads…
Ok, I get that one and totally agree with having some ad sense ads and / or banners throughout the content. Just don’t place one after each paragraph because I am getting confused! Is this an add or a part of your content? It gets tricky on a phone too.
- Please don’t set them up to just ‘pop up’ on me. If you do, you are sure to lose me right then. Forever
- Make sure your ad sense settings are all in order. You want your ads to be somewhat relevant to what you are writing about
If it gets too annoying, I will NOT give you a second chance.
5. …and subscription buttons
Let me decide if I find your blog interesting enough before I sign up for anything. There is nothing more annoying than even before I have a chance to see your landing page, I have the ‘give me your email’ message popping up. The moment I close it, another ‘pop up’ to follow you on Twitter, FB and Instagram. Oh, come on, give me a break. I don’t like you. You lost me.
6. Answer my comments please
Hey, I actually took time out of my busy day to comment on your post. You can reply with delay, that’s fine, just don’t leave it unanswered. If you do it more than twice, I will never comment again. Even worse, if I comment and see you replied to other comments but not mine, you will hurt my feelings. There are approximately around 240 million blogs as of 2015, I don’t need to hang around yours.
What are YOUR reasons for stopping reading a blog (or never getting interested in reading it in the first place)?