It happens to all of us.
We click on a link to a new (or sometimes familiar) blog with high expectations.
Perhaps you’ve heard great things about the post. Perhaps the title seems interesting. Perhaps there is buzz regarding the author. Whatever the case may be – something brought you to their site.
You are excited, and looking forward to checking out their content.
And then the page loads… and you want to pull your hair out.
We each have different pet peeves when it comes to blogs. Something about mine undoubtedly drives someone crazy. It happens. I, for one, would like to know what those things are.
This post highlights 10 things that just might be driving me crazy about yours.
You Autoplay Background Music
While I appreciate your love for Cee Lo Green, I do not need to hear the uncensored version of “F— You” as soon as I visit your blog page. Especially if I happen to be visiting your blog from work.
The same applies to just about every. song. imaginable.
I don’t mind if you have a playlist we can choose to click on, but autoplay is different. Instead of singing along, I find myself searching frantically for the browser tab that is the guilty culprit and exiting your page quicker than you can say “F— You.”
You use Newsletter Subscription Pop-ups
Let’s think about the days before we had browser pop-up blockers for a moment. Remember how much we despised the pop-up windows that would open each time we visited a website?
So why do bloggers feel the need to use built-in Newsletter Subscription pop-up windows? I understand that many of your readers don’t see them because they check your blog through an RSS feed, but what if they click-through via twitter? Facebook? What if they – god forbid – type your website address directly into the browser? What if I they are a new reader?
The last thing I want to do is click-through to a blog and be greeted by a pop-up that I have to “x” out of. That is not what I came to see. Your content is what I came to see.
You use the Dreaded CAPTCHA
This is something that ends up on just about every commenting pet-peeve list imaginable. No one likes spam, I know that. I never liked the canned kind, and I certainly don’t like the comment kind. Half the time I can’t figure out what the word is and I have 20/20 vision!
There are ways around having to use CAPTCHA word verification.
If you use WordPress, install Akismet and something like Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin (G.A.S.P.). With G.A.S.P. all a reader has to do is click a button that indicates they are not SPAM. Same effect as a CAPTCHA, with no crazy word verification needed.
You don’t want me to share your content
If you don’t have any share buttons visible on a post you must not want me to share it. Right? Otherwise, that would imply that you want me to do all of the work.
Instead, because I absolutely loved that post you did about Tom Ford, I:
- Search for a way to share it with everyone;
- Sigh with frustration that I can’t find one;
- Copy the link to your post;
- Go to a site like bit.ly to shorten the URL;
- Go to my social media dashboard and compose a tweet, only to realize I don’t know your twitter handle;
- Sigh again and pour myself a glass of wine;
- Go back to your page and search for your twitter handle;
- Go back to the tweet I am writing and add your handle;
- Hit send.
- Rethink ever sharing your content again because that was a lot of work.
But you must not like it when people share your content. That’s cool. Next time I might not.
You don’t use URL Shorteners/set-up Tweets
Some people are ahead of the game and DO have social media sharing buttons installed on their blogs. Great. I love them already.
I’ll love them even more if they take a few minutes to set-up their sharing buttons to be more efficient. Most of these share buttons include options to personalize the tweets/messages that result from using them. Check if your chosen share method does, and if you are able:
- Add a URL shortener (I use bit.ly). This gives the person sharing your post room to SAY something about it.
- Add your twitter handle so that it is automatically included if someone tweets your post.
- Add the title of your post, so your reader doesn’t have to.
I understand not everyone is able to do these things, but many do have the capability and simply don’t.
You are a Twitter-less Blogger
Not everyone is big on social media, I get that. But I honestly don’t understand why some bloggers don’t at least use twitter to promote their blog posts. In my opinion, it is the one platform everyone should utilize. It’s a great way to build your network and promote others in the fashion blogosphere.
Every week when I post the latest Link Love roundup I include some tweets about who is featured. Every week I run into a blogger or two that seemingly has no twitter account. Occasionally they do have one, but there is no easy way to find it on their site.
So here I am, trying to share some Link Love, and I am limited in that I can’t tweet about them effectively. Who does that hurt? The blogger, really.
Please, please consider using twitter if you aren’t already.
If you do use twitter, please make sure that your twitter handle is easy to find on your blog homepage.
Your Comment Link is in a strange Location
I confess that sometimes when I read a magazine, I actually start at the back and work my way forwards. That being said, I have never started reading at the bottom of a blog post and worked my way up. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think most posts would make sense like that.
Since we read from top to bottom, doesn’t it make the most sense to include your “Comment” link at the bottom of a post? Why make your reader scroll all the way to the top again in order to comment? Don’t you want to make the process as easy as possible?
Your blog hurts my eyes
The design of your blog is key and simple is the way to go:
- A white background with dark text is alwaysthe easiest to read.
- If you must have a black background, make sure the font you chose is large and easy to read.
- Keep your sidebars as uncluttered and organized as possible.
- Keep your header at a reasonable size.
- Don’t use a header that takes up half of the page. I would say 1/4 to a 1/3 is a good size.
- When someone visits your site, they should see content right away.
- Never, ever use more than 3 columns.
Nothing will get me to leave a blog page faster than poor design. Except maybe auto-play music.
You have never heard of spell-check
Spelling mistakes happen to everyone. Lord knows, anyone who follows me on twitter knows that my brain types faster than my fingers.
However, when it comes to your BLOG, you need to make sure that you spell-check your content. I don’t care how pretty your images may be, if every other word in your post is spelled wrong I am not going to be visiting again.
Grammar is also key, people. Just because you try to keep your blog conversational, that doesn’t mean that your grammar should be all over the place.
Your site loads slower than molasses in January
The majority of fashion blogs are highly visual which can mean heavy load times for a visitor. Most people – especially new visitors – aren’t going to stick around for 15 seconds as your site loads.
Make sure that you make the load time as fast as possible. Here are a few quick things to consider:
- Make sure your images load quickly. Consider reducing their size if they don’t.
- Deactivate any plugins that you are not using.
- WordPress users:
The faster your site loads, the more likely people will be to stick around and read what you have to say.
As I stated above, each of us has our own pet peeves when it comes to this subject, and these are mine.
Now tell me, dear readers, what are some of yours?
Is there anything about Beautifully Invisible that drives you crazy?
Disclaimer: this post is not directed at any particular blogger or bloggers. Any similarities are purely coincidental