Daily Prompt, Stories, thoughts, writing

Blogging Don’ts

Promote your blog

Promote your blog

Do a Google search for something like ‘promote you blog’ or ‘blogging tips’ and you’ll get a hundred responses of suggestions about what to do to make your blog stand out from the rest.

Promote your blog

Promote your blog

Read enough of them and you’ll quickly realise that not only are many of the ideas they offer as ‘certain’ steps to become popular nothing more than personal preference but nearly every site is offering the exact same steps. So where is the Zing!? Obviously not in reblogging.

One thing blogs have done for people is made them lazy, especially those who seek popularity and seek a page of compliments. Content is and always has been king on the web but too many bloggers these days rely on the power of re-blogging rather than the power of creating. Too many also rely on rewording or adding a few lines of text to an already written piece in the hope that ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ increase. Re-blogging may have benefits for a community but re-blooging for the sake of approval benefits no one.

The ‘promote your blog’ style of sites are just one type of site where a thousand writers have produced a thousand words, but those thousand words mean less and less the more people reproduce them. So with that in mind I made up a list of things I think make webpages and blogs annoying.

My Opinions

My Opinions

A few questions answered before I start.
Does my opinion hold any more value than any other site? No.
Should you follow my opinion? No.
Do my website and blog ‘don’ts’ appear on other sites? Of course they do some even appear on sites that suggest they are certain ‘dos’, but at least they are my own words.
Have I got a reason for writing this? Not really I was just bored and noticing too many sites that annoyed me.
Does anyone else share these views? Of course they do, it’s the internet finding someone to agree with you is not that difficult, finding someone to vocalise that agreement is harder but still not impossible.

My Top 10

My Top 10

So here we have my top 10 list of things that annoy me about many current websites/blogs so therefore you shouldn’t do them just to keep me happy!!

1. Pop-up ads (yes they are ads) to remind me to sign up to your site, or follow your site.

Subscribe Pop Ups Suck!

Subscribe Pop Ups Suck!

Even when these are timed to appear after a set time pop ups are annoying. They interrupt my reading and if you want to engage me there is zero chance of that happening if I have to close an annoying ad

2. Unreadable fonts.

Select your font

Select your font

Yes your fonts are pretty, but make sure they fit the purpose. Using fancy fonts as heading is a good thing, it makes them stand out, makes the site pretty. But check your font sizes. A font too big is ugly but a font too small using a cursive script can be unreadable and a font using fancy script as the body of your text just plain sucks.

3. Websites the claim they know the product but don’t.

Know your product

Know your product

If you are going to focus on a product, or if you are going to use a business name (that can be found easily on the net) make sure you know the product. I came across a WordPress site the other day using the name of a book editing service. Three out of the four posts I read had grammatical errors, had typos and were poorly written. However the best mistake was choosing to write one post entirely based on a single word but getting the definition of the word wrong. I can make all those errors myself I don’t need my book editor to do it for me!

4. Links that don’t open in new windows, (especially external links)

Open New Window

Open New Window

Think of your blog as selling a product, you want people to stay on your site as long as possible. That’s a hard job in itself, why offer a person a link that not only takes them away from your site but replaces your site in their browsers. Sure opening a new window may annoy some people but there is plenty of studies that prove that keeping viewers on the site beats letting them go and hoping they come back.

5. Walls of Text

Wall of Text

Wall of Text

There is no hard and fast rule for how much is too much but consider adding white space, consider adding images. Not that my studies are definitive but I have tried using walls of text and breaking text up on multiple posts and there is a clear winner when it comes to views, it’s not hard to figure out which.

6. Sites that aren’t responsive.

Responsive?

Responsive?

Is yours? Do you know how many potential readers you are turning away if it’s not?

7. More widgets than text.

Too Many Widgets

Too Many Widgets

Not all posts contain thousand words but it’s annoying to see a side bar scroll ten times further than the text on the screen. Consider what you really need to show off and what other people really care about seeing there. As opposed to what you think people want to see.

8. Bad Navigation.

Bad Navigation

Bad Navigation

Nothing stops viewers quicker than bad navigation. It could be a bad main menu or a bad secondary menu it doesn’t matter get your navigation right and you’ve got more chance of viewers looking at more of your site. Also consider the breadcrumbs and other such links on your site. If they have a purpose make sure that purpose is clear, if they don’t get rid of them.

9. No auto music, auto video, auto anything.

No Auto Loading

No Auto Loading

This is similar to number 1. Opening anything automatically has been taboo since the 90’s and for good reason.

10. Reposting the same post multiple times.

Stop Reposting

Stop Reposting

This is extremely prominent and annoying in the WordPress reader. I’ve stopped following three people this week because of the way they post the same thing multiple times during the day. One user reposted the same post eight times over three hours. Sure there is a time and place for reposting SOME posts but not multiple times in the same day.

So as I stated this is personal opinion only, I don’t expect people to agree or even change their ways because of it. However the one thing all posters who do want to be popular should do is consider those who do follow them. How many actually read what you post? Going by most advertising stats probably as low as 10% but rarely higher than 40%, so how many can you really afford to offend?

16 Comments

  1. Very helpful for new bloggers (like me) and probably for older ones. Thank you! I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. lostpropertyrepository

    You’re welcome. If you take nothing else from it just remember it’s an opinion piece as are the thousands of other pages out there with opposing opinions 🙂

  3. I think you’ve done an excellent job. The points you advance are pertinent and will help any blogger who takes them into consideration. Although you are modest about the post, I think it’s a great one.

    • lostpropertyrepository

      Thanks. The modesty is because I don’t want to come across like so many others that appear to preach their way is the only way (even when they have copied it from someone else). There is always more than one way to do things and your audience is always your best judge whether it’s a blog or an e-comm site. Too many people look at websites and if they see more than three sites saying the same thing they just agree with it and give up researching. That’s not productive for anyone.

  4. Ha! Well you got me on two. I don’t know if my “theme” will let me change links to open in another tab; just checked and saw no easy fix, but will explore, since you are right and it’s important to keep folks on the page and not off to youtube where I just sent them. And, I’m a widget weenie (maybe that should be widget wonder?). Maybe I’ll make them smaller so they can be side-by-side.

    I also agree. I get a wee bit annoyed by the pop-up that comes in the middle of reading. I would love it if folks had a “follow” tab for wordpress and not just a follow email. I’m not going to follow someone by email. It’s extra work. (That’s pathetic, I know.) 🙂

    Liked the post. Sorry for all of the above words you forced out of me. 🙂

    • lostpropertyrepository

      Opening new sites is a real bug bear, but rather than just a youtube site consider you’ve written a brilliant piece about your chosen topic and then you link to someone that you agree with but has more information, If you navigate them away from your site what incentive do they have to come back? Far better to open a new window. I do agree that some themes make certain things difficult. I manage a few sites and the restrictiveness of each theme is ridiculous, thankfully I know how to edit themes down to code level but I understand many people don’t and that makes it difficult.

      I agree that more needs to be done to get follow and reblog buttons on self hosted sites. I’ve seem some self hosted sites with reblog but haven’t had time to look into how they work and Press this does kind of work but it’s not the best option.

      Oops what was I saying about words of text? I better find an image to put in my comment 🙂

  5. Hear! Hear! Totally agree. Should I reblog when I agree?

    • lostpropertyrepository

      Well I did, but I was just playing around with PressThis when I did it….honestly I was 🙂

  6. You know that old saying about something being right in front of your face and it could jump out and bite you (was that one saying or did I scramble them up, she asked egging anyone on)? It was in the link window. Thanks. I don’t think I would have looked for it or eventually found it w/o your post.

  7. Haha! This is a great list. Totally agree! Nice post

  8. I agree with some of them. thanks for the tips.

  9. This is great. I think I might reblog it 😉

    • lostpropertyrepository

      That’s a great idea, then next week post a new post saying exactly the same things and then put a link back to your reblog of my post 🙂

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