As a blogger, reader, and Internet addict, I spend many hours of my week perusing social media sites and blogs. Essentially, I am your audience – you can easily find me, it doesn’t take much to convince me to visit your website, I’m open to learning new skills, and I enjoy reading other people’s experiences. However, you can lose me (and the rest of your targeted audience) just as quickly as you reeled me in. So I’m going to let you in on why I hate your blog.
- Incorrect grammar or spelling. I know: this one is so picky and snobby. Why should I even care if I understand the message? Actually, your gross spelling and grammar errors are a huge distraction to readers, and often, it does get in the way of your content. There have been many times when I’ve determinedly reread blog entries because I didn’t understand them, but I wanted to know the message. It also conveys unprofessionalism on your part – it is so easy to spell check on a word processor, or have a friend proofread your writing. If you don’t have a proofreader around, just read the post out loud to yourself. This should alert you to any terrible problems. Not polishing your finished product shows a lack of concern for your audience.
- I just can’t read it. For some reason, bloggers decide to color their words yellow on a white background. Are they teenagers? Cluttering your blog, using illegible colors or cutesy fonts, or having your content all over the place makes your blog posts impossible to read. I’m 22. If I can’t make out your neon words, 99% of your audience won’t be able to either. Don’t sacrifice content for aesthetics – ever!
- Too many pictures. “How to” tutorials that mix pictures with instructions can be really helpful. It shows me exactly how my product should look each step of the way and eliminates any worries I have that I’m doing it wrong. Too many pictures are unnecessary and take an annoying amount of effort to scroll past. I’ve created many different recipes that I’ve found on various blogs, and I appreciate that many make following directions very easy. I can’t stand the ones that take a picture to show the bowl after they’ve cracked eggs, then show it again after they’ve added salt, and so on. I know what cracked eggs in a bowl look like! Calm down with the pictures!
- Making promises you can’t keep. Bloggers have caught on to the fact that engaging pictures on Pinterest will boost traffic to their website. As a Pinterest user, pins with the blog post title on the image are very appealing to me. I have followed “exciting date ideas” and “organize your home really quickly,” and many other promises created both on Pinterest and in the blog title itself. Attention-grabbing headlines are important, but don’t make promises that you don’t intend to keep. I could have thought of those date ideas by myself. Most of them are repeats of each other anyway. Just because you wrote down 100 ideas doesn’t mean you deserve my attention.
Even though these are reasons why I can’t stand certain blogs, I think making these changes can dramatically improve the reading experience for all of your audience.
Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to blogs?