This post contains 11 of my pet peeves that guarantee a blogger will lose me as a reader, and it also invites my readers to discuss their pet peeves.
(1) Banner advertising
I come to blogs to read high quality blog content and I expect to find that content above the fold. If you have banner advertising you are compelling me to scroll down to find the actual content in your blog posts.
The message is that your advertisers and any income you gain from clicks on the banner is more important to you than readers are.
(2) Too much advertising everywhere
An excessive amount of advertisements above your posts , between your post titles and the text in the post, at the end of the posts and in your sidebars increases page loading time, makes it difficult to find the actual content, and distracts me from away from reading the content found in your blog posts.
The message is that your advertisers and any income you gain from clicks on the advertising is more important to you than readers are.
(3) Too many embeds, widgets and gadgets
An abundance of animated icons, embeds, widgets, gadgets and other useless “tat” like annoying auto-play music, chat boxes etc. on the front page and in the sidebar increases page loading time, makes it difficult to find the actual content, and distracts me from away from reading the content in your blog posts. If a blog that is not in the music blog niche has auto-play music that I do not have a choice of clicking on to hear or not – it’s the kiss of death.
The message is that you are not a serious blogger who has put their readers first. Your blog is your own personal playground and it’s perfectly equipped for you.
Why having a well designed blog is important
Widgets: less is more
(4) Broken links, links to “bad neighbors”, links to unrelated sites
Nothing is more annoying than clicking on a “404” (not found) link. Although broken links checkers are available the message is that either the blogger isn’t aware of where to find a broken links checker or just doesn’t care enough about their readers’ experience to locate them and fix them or delete them.
If you have linked to “bad neighborhood” sites this tells me that you either don’t know how much about which sites to avoid linking to. Either the blogger is not aware that there is a bad neighborhood checker or doesn’t care that their blog is linked to drug peddling, prono, casino or link farm sites.
Links in your blogroll are made accessible for reader use. They signify the relationship between “related” blogs. If a blogroll contains many links to unrelated sites, then I question whether or not that blogger clearly understands what linking is all about.
Quality reciprocal link exchanges in and of themselves are not a bad thing, but most reciprocal link offers are of low quality. If too many of your links are of low quality it may make it harder for your site to rank for relevant queries, and some search engines may look at inbound link and outbound link ratios as well as link quality when determining how natural a site’s link profile is.
Understanding Reciprocal and Non-Reciprocal Links
SEO Basics for on Page Optimization
Getting the perfect link
(5) Inappropriate use of anchor text “click here”
I will grind my teeth and try to find a way to teach you how to use anchor text properly and if you don’t respond then you will lose me as a reader.
(6) No About page and/or blog description and/or contact information
Personal profiles are a cross-section of your life intended to will intrigue readers and make them want to find out more about you and your blog.
A blog description is a brief description highlighting through the use of keywords the main topics that you write about. Space permitting you may want to outline what you hope your readers will learn or gain from reading your blog. Search engines show up only 160 characters in the search results, so it would be better to keep your blog description under 160 chars.
Contact information is essential to readers who want to ask questions and share feedback that is not post-specific.
I find it hard to believe that a serious blogger who is attempting to promote their blog would fail to take the opportunity to provide basic information. A brief introductory biography, a blog description, a statement that clarifies the purpose(s) for the blog are the means readers use to determine what your level of expertise in your niche is, is and what to expect in your posts. If you fail to provide this basic information you will lose me as a reader.
(7) Busy, loud or black backgrounds
I’m visually challenged. Dark backgrounds, busy photo or fabric like backgrounds with fonts that lack enough contrast to be easily read are not reader friendly cause your content to become difficult to find and to read. Loud neon colored fonts are likewise visually challenging.
Blog Design: Which colors do you use and why?
Blog Colors on Different Browsers and Monitors
(8) Rant skillfully with style and integrity or not at all
A talented wordsmith can use language in effective ways to point out shortcomings and to put forward convincing alternatives. Blogs filled with posts and comments that are not linked to authoritative sources and are focused on impugning the character of others such as politicians, business leaders and fellow bloggers by featuring rants filled with cursing, bathroom humor and/or sexual humor and/or sexual innuendo appeal to some readers – I am not among them.
(9) Bloggers who pretend they are journalists
Although an increasing number of journalists and media outlets do have blogs, most bloggers publishing on current events are not journalists. Bloggers who have no first hand knowledge of the events they blog about, and who make no attempt to research topics as fully as possible prior to writing and publishing, and who do not include authoritative links so their sources, and/or who do not employ valid reasoning, will lose me as a reader.
How to Become a Better Blogger 3: Ethics and Links
(10) Too much “insider lingo” in posts and/or comments
The use of insider lingo or jargon assumes that I have been a reader of a particular blog in a particular niche forever and that I “get” all of your inside jargon and humor when I don’t. As you have failed to make your content and discussion welcoming and inclusive you will lose me as a reader.
(11) Too many personal inclusions
Too many injections of personal information and family goings on posted into blogs that are not in the “personal” niche means you will lose me as a reader.
Related blog post: onecoolsite: tips from a reader
Question to readers:
Do you have pet peeves that you would like to add ?