I’ve been reading blogs ever since they became a thing many years ago. I read them all the time, almost as much as I read Medium. But there are a few things that disturb me so much they are a dealbreaker for me.
Bear with me here, because these tips can help your blog. I am not the only person to be seeing these things and getting irritated.
If I come across one of these dealbreakers, I’ll often try to give the blog owner a fighting chance. Sometimes I even send them a little note and let them know I found an error. But sadly I’ve found, more often than not, if they make a few deadly mistakes up front, they often make more.
There have been lots of times when I am having such a miserable time on a blog that I have no choice — I have to leave.
Sometimes, it’s that bad.
Does your blog contain these dealbreakers?
I had to sit and really think about the reasons that would cause me to leave a blog in disgust. These reasons are not subtle, they are right out there in your face. You may not agree, but remember, I may not be the only one who has these opinions.
After much deliberation, I came up with these five issues.
1. Too Many Ads
I don’t like any ads. If you have followed me for a while, you’ll know I am quite vocal about it. You will find there are many people like me surfing the web. Why else would ad blockers be so popular?
Speaking of ad blockers; I don’t use one. I don’t feel I should have to. I should be able to enjoy the experience of viewing as the website/blog builder intended me to.
It’s one of the reasons I like Medium so much.
If someone puts so many ads on their posts that I can’t even read their content, they don’t deserve my readership. One or two ads are fine. Hey, we all have to make a living, right? But when the ads are so intrusive that I cannot read for more than a few seconds without interruption, there is a problem.
Many times, the ads themselves are not even letting me click on the navigation.
If you feel the need to put that many ads in place, I know you don’t own a blog to provide value. You own a blog because you want the ad revenue. You could care less if I read the content as long as I click on an ad while I’m there.
Not everyone who uses ads is doing a bad job. There is a way to be tasteful and classy with your ads and still provide value to everyone.
How to Fix It
Use ads sparingly! You want your content to be readable and your blog to be usable. One or two ads in the body of your content (small ads), and one elsewhere are acceptable.
Yes, your revenue may be lower, but make up for it in other ways. Try affiliate marketing if you are not already doing it. Try creating better content and driving the reader to a few special offers. There is a lot to be said for making display marketing scarce. The less you do it, the more impact it will have.
Instead of 100 ads or offers that make pennies, you have one or two that make a bundle!
2. Email Opt-ins
We all have to build an email list. I even have one for my blog.
The problem comes when you hijack my screen with a popup after I’ve only been on your blog for a few seconds. How can I have decided if I like your content yet? Why would you ask me now?
The worst offenders don’t even give you obvious ways to close the popup. Most times it’s a small, vague option at the bottom, like “NO, I don’t want to save 1 million dollars!” in a tiny font.
Stop it! Just stop it.
How to Fix It
Popups are okay — but set them to trigger when the reader is leaving your blog. By that time, they are either happy with you because they’ve found what they want, or they don’t like you. If they hate you, they won’t sign up for your list anyway.
Either way, you won’t irritate them.
3. Too Many Errors
It’s a given that we should be checking our blogs for errors and fixing them when they come up. We should also pay close attention when one of our readers takes the time to let us know they encountered a problem.
Nothing says amateur like having a blog full of errors. Broken links, missing images, spelling errors, grammar errors — these are a few of the things that could be turning people off.
How to Fix It
Have a set time at the beginning of each day to take a quick run-through of your blog to check for errors. Pay close attention to the posts you have published recently because they may contain the most.
If someone brings something to your attention, thank them and fix the problem immediately. Remember, you want to delight your reader, not disgust them.
I’ll admit this is not as much of a deal-breaker as some of the other things, but it is still important. Try not to clutter as much stuff as you can on your blog. I hate to complain about ads again, but most people put way too many ads.
How to Fix It
Pay attention to the white space on your blog. There shouldn’t be too much, but there should be enough. How much is enough? It varies. But, if you get stressed out when you visit your own website, you don’t have enough.
We all need great headings and titles, right? How else do we get people interested enough to read our content?
There becomes a point when great headlines turn into clickbait. If your website looks like Buzzfeed, you might have a problem. The biggest issue is when you promise something in your headline that you don’t provide in the content.
How to Fix It
There are many ways to create great headlines without resorting to clickbait. In a few minutes, I found three articles on CopyBlogger that talk about creating good headlines:
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines
- 10 Sure-fire Headline Formulas that Work
- 9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like Crazy
Keep Getting Better
There are more reasons people are leaving your blog, but I’ve given you enough to think about for one day. The best thing you can do is to keep getting better at blogging and it helps to pay attention to detail. Always improve. I know I’m not perfect, but I will always try to be better tomorrow than I was today.
If you improve, you will start to see your bounce rate go down, and the user time on the website will be longer and longer. If we pay attention to the little things, we won’t drive away the traffic we worked so hard to get.
Good luck and see you on your blog!