First, a confession. To be honest, this post was originally titled “9 Things Bloggers Do That Annoy Me”. But since I’m learning to be gentle, I thought I’d make the title a bit more positive. So consider these some simple tips from a friend! Though I’m a relatively new blogger, I read lots of blogs and have thought about the way I respond as a reader to what I see before me. Here are some blogger habits I’ve noticed that can be a hindrance to more readers and comments. Let’s help each other be better bloggers!
1) White backgrounds with tiny gray font. I know that visually this color scheme is demure and beautiful. But I can’t read it. Gray font makes me squint and after about 10 minutes my head starts to hurt. Same goes for bright pink font. Or anything neon.
2) Too many images that clearly aren’t yours. Perhaps it’s Unsplash or Google or Polyvore, but I want to see images taken from YOUR daily life! Plus, the assumption I make when visiting a blog is that all of the work, unless otherwise linked, is the blogger’s original effort. And no need for a super fancy camera; I took the images for this post on my iPhone 4, so you can do it too!
3) Stats that don’t add up. Friends, if you list your stats (for ad purposes, for example), make sure the numbers add up. You just can’t average 12,000 views a month and 1,000 a day. It doesn’t work. If one’s a high and one’s an average, please say so!
4) Chek yer speling and gramer. Please. The occasional missing apostrophe or mismatched subject/verb is not a big deal. But when a whole post is littered with errors, it starts to get distracting.
5) Turn off comment verification. I am tired of proving I’m not a robot; furthermore, I sometimes fail to decipher the squiggly letters (probably because I was reading some tiny gray font). If you’re worried about spam, try installing Disqus! The switch was a bit tough for me but I’m glad I took the plunge.
6) Promotional comments and “follow me back.” Have you ever gotten a comment that says:
Follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter, Facebook, RSS, YouTube, G+!
Giveaway TODAY! Enter it ASAP!!! xoxoxoxox
Yeah, not so “nice.” I actually don’t mind it when people drop their links in the comments– in fact, I tend to click over to their blog! But when your promotional text is longer than your actual comment on my content, then it’s no longer a comment. It’s annoying.
7) Bad language. No, I’m not a child and don’t have sheltered ears. But because the majority of good writing and good blog posts do not have cuss words, it’s just jarring to see one. You can feel strongly about something but say so eloquently; and I’ll be more inclined to keep reading.
8) The pointless rant. These are rants that don’t help anyone. They’re not the occasional opening up, or the confession, or the insightful perspective, or the advice humbly given. These are rants that don’t invite others in, that sulk in the corner and huff and puff about blowing your house down. No, thank you.
9) Ad-ridden blogs. I understand that ads are a great way to make some money off of your blog. But there’s a point at which they become intrusive (cue darkened screen and “like” button), and I have trouble reading the content that you actually want me to read. One popular blogger who balances her ads well is Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere. In my opinion, her ads are not intrusive.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me what advice you have for bloggers who want to improve. What bothers you and how can it be remedied? I would love to know!