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All About Blogging: 5 Blogs Turn-Offs or Why I Stopped Reading Your Blog

Bilin­gual Stop Sign, Ottawa

I love read­ing blogs. Seri­ously, I do. And I don’t “force” myself to fol­low blogs I’m not inter­ested in just out of polite­ness. If I leave a com­ment, it is because I have some­thing to say. If I added your blog to my feed, it’s because I enjoy it.

From time to time, I scout the web for new inter­est­ing blogs related to travel, pho­tog­ra­phy, life abroad—the kind of top­ics I’m into. For instance, I check Expat Blog to see what’s new. I read the blog descrip­tion and open it in a new tab to take a look.

Will I sub­scribe to the feed? Maybe. But def­i­nitely not if your blog has one or more of these “blog turn-offs”.

What’s the topic, exactly? — Most peo­ple start a blog for a rea­son, and that rea­son usu­ally becomes the main theme of the blog. For instance, I started a blog because I wanted to share my expe­ri­ence immi­grat­ing to Canada. As time goes by, most peo­ple don’t stay 100% on topic. New sub-themes are devel­oped. For instance, I got into pho­tog­ra­phy, I still love trav­el­ing and I’m inter­ested in immi­gra­tion top­ics. This is what cat­e­gories are for—to orga­nize your sub-themes. Now, sub-themes should be some­what related to the main theme and you’re not sup­posed to have hun­dreds of them. Well, some blogs have and it’s pretty annoy­ing. For instance, I recently sub­scribed to a blog because I read a cou­ple of arti­cles on liv­ing in Mon­tréal. But then, the blog switched to OS sys­tems, YouTube videos and cars. Err… no thanks, I unsub­scribed. Same goes with blogs end­lessly repost­ing videos and memes. You need some orig­i­nal content!

Gram­mar, peo­ple, gram­mar! — A lot of blog­gers are not native Eng­lish speak­ers but choose to write in that lan­guage, includ­ing me. I’m sure I make my share of gram­mat­i­cal mis­takes and I often won­der what I sound like to a native speaker. To make sure read­ing my arti­cles is as pain­less as pos­si­ble, I use spell-check and I review and proof­read every­thing. So what if the occa­sional mis­take slips through? I’m pretty con­fi­dent you under­stand me, right? Yet, some blog­gers, includ­ing native speak­ers, choose to ignore the fun­da­men­tals of lan­guage, like para­graphs and punc­tu­a­tion. I don’t know how you feel about it but I have a lot of prob­lem read­ing huge blocks of text when there isn’t a sin­gle punc­tu­a­tion mark, includ­ing caps. You want peo­ple to read you? Then make it easy for them.

Too much ads, no con­tent — Like I recently wrote, I do mon­e­tize my blog. I have a few ads, hope­fully rel­e­vant and non-intrusive. Most of us do have some kind of adver­tis­ing pro­gram going on. After all, blog­ging takes time and energy and we are offer­ing a ser­vice. That said, I don’t think blind­ing your read­ers with ads is wise. I per­son­ally stay away from any blog that uses pop-ups. I sim­ply hate when a web­site dis­ables the back but­ton to force you to stay on that page—it’s a cheap trick. And if you start hav­ing more spon­sored posts than gen­uine arti­cles, don’t expect me to tag along. I want to read arti­cle from a real per­son, not cor­po­rate speak.

Am I talk­ing to a wall? — Blog­ging is about inter­act­ing, and blog­gers should never for­get that their suc­cess depends on read­ers. If a reader made an effort to add to the dis­cus­sion, please acknowl­edge it. No one is per­fect and, like I said before, I reply to all com­ments but it some­times takes me a lit­tle bit of time, and occa­sion­ally a com­ment slips through. If the num­ber of com­ments is over­whelm­ing, some blog­ger chose to “talk” to their read­ers in a follow-up arti­cle. It doesn’t mat­ter how you do it, but please, do acknowl­edge your read­ers. There is noth­ing worst than talk­ing to a wall. In short, don’t encour­age com­ments if you don’t care about them.

Wow, that’s some bad design! — Blog design is a per­sonal choice. You sim­ply can’t please every­one: some like it min­i­mal­is­tic some like to make a bold state­ment, some blogs put a lot of effort into design and oth­ers use stan­dard tem­plates and themes. That’s fine! Now, you still want to make sure users can actu­ally read your blog. For instance, I’d love peo­ple to real­ize that green font on black back­ground equals headache. That the dozen of wid­gets you stacked at the bot­tom of your page make my browser crash. That I really don’t want some music to start auto­mat­i­cally when I open your blog.

What are your blog turn-offs? What makes you click the “unsub­scribe” button?

20 comments

  1. Hello! I read your post. I am curi­ous to hear your crit­i­cisms about my web­site. Would you care to take a look and pro­vide some inputs? I def­i­nitely agree with you about the designs of the website/blog. How much is too much or too lit­tle? Hope to hear from you! :) cheers!

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