So being in the blogging world I visit a lot of other blogs finding amazing resources, recipes, tutorials, DIY projects, amazing creative writing and so much more! I think I frequent on average about 150-200 blogs a week! I have my usual blogs that I visit often, either weekly or daily. But for the most part, many of these bloggers are new ones I’m discovering or ones that I haven’t visited in a while and I’m stopping back in because an article they wrote peeked my interest. I love my fellow bloggers and there are truly some amazing writers out there, but there are some things about some of these blogs that makes me just cringe and not want to comment or come back!
I’m finding I’m not the only
blogger person that these things are bugging! If you hunt for it, you will find many other people say the same things bug them, so I’m going to share them with you so you know how you can improve your site and make it more friendly to visitors. Normally I write in a much happier style for our blogging 101 articles, but in this case, I see many seasoned bloggers doing the very things readers are telling me they hate. A seasoned blogger isn’t going to read something like “How to make readers happy…” but something about why people may dislike their blog…it may interest them a bit more. I’ll return to my normal positive self for our next blogging101 article.
Please realize, it’s not YOU I don’t like, but merely these features of your site that drive me and others nuts. This is a great help for new bloggers too, so you can see what readers have said drives them nuts, so you can not make the same mistake.
1. Captcha! Word verification! Unless you are a blogger I love, and I really have something I want you to know, I will skip leaving a comment if you have captcha/word verification. Spam preventions such as “click the box” or what is 2+2=; those are just fine. I don’t mind those, as they are simple to do, but word verification/captcha is a completely different story! Have you ever tried READING some of those? It usually takes me about 2-3 times to get the letters right! And sometimes they are caps sensitive, sometimes not, sometimes the g looks like an h, a 9 looks like a P; honestly it’s the most annoying thing and just not worth my time fighting with. And if you have it on a giveaway? No way! I’m gone! I know why you want captcha! I understand. I get quite a lot of spam comments too! But you can add filters to prevent this, instead of torturing your faithful readers with word verifications. If you are in WordPress, Akismet is the best plugin I’ve found. On blogger, you can change your settings to where you have to approve all posts before they go live. Yes, it sucks and takes a little time to manually approve, but it will not chase away your readers and will still prevent spam on your comments.
2. Autoplaying MUSIC and videos. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there is a place for a music playlist or video, like if it’s for a special occasion, but truth be told, a random visitor won’t know that reason. All they know is that while they are waiting for your site to load they get a sudden jolt of surprise when the music starts blaring from their speakers! I know many readers are like me and they visit sites at night after the kids go to bed or really early in the morning. Honestly when I hit a blog that randomly has music start, I just hit that “X” button to close the page in order to shut the music off quickly before it wakes the kids up. It gives a good scare and not everyone in my house wants to be hearing it when they are busy doing something else like sleeping or homework. The other downside to these players is that it makes your blog take a lot longer to load, and that is a big reason why people leave your blog faster. If your music or video plays automatically but doesn’t have sound, that is fine! I don’t mind those because I can choose if I want to increase the volume and hear it or not, and then I’m also prepared for it!
3. Bombarded with Ads. Remember the old saying, “A place for everything and everything in it’s place”? The same goes for ads. I see some sites that have a banner ad right below their header and before their post begins. These are fine; as long as they are skinnier, don’t take up half the page so you have to scroll forever to see the beginning of the post and don’t slow down the site. But usually only ONE should be there if any at all. More than that, and I feel like I just hit an ad convention. Usually ads should be in the sidebars, well organized, and be sure that the size of the ad doesn’t trespass on the actual blog article. I’ve seen blogs where I’m trying to read, but the ad from the sidebar is so large, I can’t read half of the words from the article. I just give up at that point.
4. Popups or Media Bars. I hate when I go to a blog and try to read their post and I’m constantly bombarded with popups or if my mouse goes across a link and I get ad popups that I can’t get to go away so I can keep reading the post. If I’m visiting your blog it’s because I’m interesting in what you have written, NOT in clicking the “close” Xs every few lines. And as for the media bars, I don’t mind these. In fact I really like them, because then when I like the article it makes it easy for me to share it with my friends. But they are also like Ads, they have a place and they should be in their place on the SIDE of the screen or down below. What I don’t like is when it is placed right in the middle of the screen! I don’t like trying to look around a bar/ad/popup…whatever, just so I can see what you have written. It’s not worth it! You need to make it as simple as possible for your readers to read your articles. It’s what keeps them coming back.
5. Clashing Design Colors! I’m sure you have all seen them at one time or another! Yeah, you like that? Is it easy to read? It’s when the background of a blog is one color and the text is a similar shade, or another dark color and it is very hard to read the words written. If I have to “select all” just to be able to have enough contrast in colors between your
letters words and the background of your page, I’m not going to stick around and torment my eyes trying to figure out what you wrote! Be sure there is enough contrast in color between the text and the design background that it is easy to see and read all the text!
Again, I don’t mean to be harsh, but these are features that I’m continually hearing from readers and fellow bloggers that they just cannot stand about some blogs. I don’t want you to lose potential readers and amazing fans because of a few design flaws!
Yes, there are other things that drive readers crazy. No there is no “ONE WAY is the RIGHT way” to design your blog. Yes there will always be at least one person that doesn’t like your site. Don’t worry about all of that. Do your best creating a site that you love. But realize that there are those few items that are continually showing up as dislikes among readers. It would be a great disservice to yourself if you didn’t listen to the masses when they speak. These are the few items that I see constantly being complained about. They also bug me. Take it for what you may.
What are some features that you just can’t stand when visiting blogs?
What are some features that you absolutely LOVE and want to see more of?