It’s not you. It’s me. Well, actually, in all honesty, it’s not me either. It’s your blog. It’s not your blog’s content. (Well, not necessarily. Sometimes it might be.) But never fear. I want to help. Here are the five ways to make me hate your blog. Fix these and we’ll be in love again. Promise.
I’m one of those people who will pull up a few dozen websites in different tabs at once. Videos and audio that autoplay tend to take a few seconds to load. That means it might take me several minutes to figure out where the sound is coming from. And heaven help me if I manage to pull up more than one site that has something on autoplay. Instant mashup=instant headache. Don’t get me started on autoplay audio and video that’s set on endless loop…
I know I can turn off my sound but that means not getting to hear notifications for things like my email. Or being able to listen to music. Or basically anything else. Autoplays also slow down everything on your site, which in turn slows down things on my end. Slow’s no good on the internet!
No one likes things that autoplay. No one. I’m pretty sure even the bloggers who have autoplay widgets on their site don’t like them. They have them because they’re getting paid. I want you to get paid. I know blogging isn’t free. How about a compromise, though. Why don’t you see if they’ll let you install it but not on autoplay. Then we’re all happy.
The only thing that should pop up is a toaster. Or a jack in the box. Or…I don’t know… Other stuff. Not unlike autoplay, I’m pretty sure no one likes pop ups, either. (Especially pop ups when I’m browsing on my phone.) You might have gotten a 32% increase in newsletter subscriptions since you installed that pop up…but you’ve also got a 100% chance I’m clicking out of your site without reading.
What do you need those pop ups for, anyway? Is it an ad? Are you really getting enough money from that ad to make up for the people who are clicking away? Maybe it’s to sign up for your newsletter. You can put reminders to sign up in your header or footer for each post. Much less annoying but just as visible. I promise!
Messy layout and navigation.
A clean and easy to read blog is a happy blog. Or at least it makes me a happy blog reader. If you have lots of widgets, ads and other stuff at the top, bottom and sides of your blog you’re stealing my eyes away from your content. Messy layouts are distracting. Keep it clean and simple. Don’t fill your sidebars with things that you don’t really need.
And please make it easy for me to navigate your site. I need an easy to find search box. I want to see clearly labeled tabs to find similar content. Think about how you navigate on other people’s blogs. Figuring out what you like and use on other blogs is going to help you figure out what you need (and don’t need!) on yours!
A lack of non-sponsored content.
Hey, I like sponsored content. Who am I kidding. I love sponsored content. Getting paid to do something you love is always a good thing. But is that the only thing I can find on your blog? That’s no fun. It’s like you don’t want to talk unless you’re getting paid for it. (And I thought we were friends…)
Look, writing non-sponsored content is a great way to get more chances to write sponsored content. Blogging is just like any other job. People want to see that you have experience. Isn’t that why you did all those internships and spent time volunteering when you were in college? (Of course you wanted to save the world, but you also wanted experience for when you were looking for a job, right?) Keep active on your blog and make sure you’re sharing, even when you’re not getting paid to do it!
Not keeping it Real.
If you’re talking one day about how you only feed your family organic foods and then the next day you’re promoting a processed food product full of chemicals? Not cool. Not cool at all…
Now I know there are plenty of people who do organic occasionally and processed foods from time to time. I’m just saying you need to keep it real. Let people know your philosophy on these things are you write about them. Mention in your post how you like organic when you can but sometimes you do select options that are convenient or easy. Otherwise you’re going to come off disingenuous and lose your credibility with your readers.
Of course I’m just using organic versus processed as an example…but keep it real across the board. Don’t let it look like you’ll say anything just because someone’s paying you to say it.
Hopefully that wasn’t too painful. Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!