For Thoughtful Thursday, I decided to do something I rarely ever do–hand out blogging advice. I’m no expert or self-proclaimed “guru”, but I am a blogger, and more importantly–I am an avid blog reader. I read more blog posts than I can keep track of during the week, and I comment on at least half of these. As a consequence, I’ve developed certain preferences over time.
During my weekly blog escapades, I find new blogs I love, some blogs I like, and others I stop reading altogether. A number of circumstances influence my decision to totally abandon a blog, but here are 10 reasons I will stop reading yours:
1. You are Annoying.
You “mention” me or “DM” me on Twitter with your latest post link almost every day, you constantly “stumble” your posts my way, you frequently ask if I’ve read your latest post, and you generally do everything you can to shove your blog down my throat. Sometimes your intensity is frightening, and I wonder if you are more stalker than blogger. I don’t care if your blog is the next masterpiece on the interwebs, if you do crap like that, I will hate your blog.
2. You are completely self-centered.
You implement some of the same annoying practices outlined in #1, but when I ask ONCE if you’ve read my latest post or if you can comment occasionally, you pause for a long moment before claiming you haven’t, promising to “check me out” later. Later never comes, I realize you’re completely self-centered, and I drop your blog like a bad habit.
3. Your blog adds no value.
This one is extremely important. I read blogs for one of two reasons; to seek expertise on a topic or for pure entertainment. If you offer a little of both, I will probably love your blog and visit frequently. With so many voices clamoring to be heard in the blogging arena, you need to be doing one or the other, and doing it well, to rise above the masses.
4. You don’t allow comments.
If I visit your blog and you have comments disabled, I am automatically suspicious. People who disable comments generally fall into one of two categories: They either think they are too awesome for feedback, or they are too cowardly to allow feedback. Either way, disabled comments is a blog repellent.
5. Your blog has no community.
I’m a very social creature, like most human beings, and I like to connect to the person or people behind the blog. It’s important to create some sort of community on your blog to attract loyal readers, and it isn’t that difficult to achieve. Ask questions of your readers, reply to comments, or otherwise encourage interaction. If your blog has no community, I seek others that do. (I am not alone in this sentiment, and I know this because I’ve been busy and neglected my own community this past month. As a consequence, my readership has suffered.)
6. You cuss too much.
Cussing doesn’t offend me, and I’m far from a prude, but using the F-bomb or A-hole in every sentence is ludicrous. It indicates you are either trying to shock your readers in a contrived manner, or you are a weak writer lacking creativity. Language is art, and I tend to cleave to blogs that render the written word more artfully than their potty-mouthed counterparts.
7. You are all about giveaways and coupons.
Some giveaways are fine and maybe even a necessary part of your marketing campaign, but hosting giveaways too often is irritating. I’m not willing to jump through a lot of hoops–which is usually required– just to win a $10.00 Amazon giftcard or stuffed animal for my kid. Just seeing the words “Rafflecopter giveaway” makes me cringe. In regards to coupons and discounts, I’ll seek out deals relevant to my current needs or wait for my daily email from Groupon. I don’t need to visit personal blogs to find deals.
8. You are too whiny.
I’ve been by your blog a few times, and maybe you’re even a great writer, but if you whine all the time, I’ll stop visiting your blog. Nobody wants to see the same, “My day was horrible, wah, wah, wah, life just sucks, blah, blah, blah,” and I’m no exception. Being heartfelt and open is one thing, but if you never have anything positive to say about your life, you might need to spend more time in therapy and less on your blog. Your circumstances might be terrible, and I do sympathize, but I’m not going to read that depressing crap all the time. I don’t even watch the news often for that very reason.
9. Your content is amazing, but your layout is atrocious.
The many colors of the rainbow are indeed beautiful, but some of them don’t belong on a blog. Bright yellow backgrounds with white text, black backgrounds with dark text, or any other color combination that is headache-invoking or requires squinting to read, isn’t going to get the “blog love” it might otherwise deserve. How do I know it’s true? I’ve been there, done that–especially when I first started blogging. (Does anyone remember my awful psychedelic theme phase?)
10. Your layout is brilliant, but your content is terrible.
You might have the most polished, appealing, user-friendly layout online, but if your content is awful, I’ll never visit your blog again. I’m not grammatically perfect myself, but I expect to read blogs where some attention is paid to sentence structure, and there is evidence of a spell-checker in use. Anything less is pure laziness. Also, if you write the same regurgitated content found everywhere else and you lack your own distinct voice and opinions, it’s not worth my time to read.
Those are my top ten reasons I’ll stop reading your blog, and while this does not mean I’m “full of myself”, I do know what I enjoy.
How about you? What makes you stop reading blogs, and what would you add to the list? Tell me in the comments.
That’s all I have for today, but I’ll be back on the next scheduled day with my customary cheer and goodwill.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to single out any one person, blog, or genre in particular. If anything on the list above pertains to you, it’s up to you to fix it or ignore it, but you don’t need to defend yourself to me. After all, I am only one reader of millions.
If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one: Hiking For Exercise and Adventure. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog through the available RSS options or via email. I’d be grateful if you took advantage of the sharing buttons located at the bottom of the post, and if you enjoy this blog, please click the “like” button to the right for my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.