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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
Is yours? Do you know how many potential readers you are turning away if it’s not?
7. More widgets than text.
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.
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.
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.
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?