SEVEN THINGS THAT STOP ME READING YOUR BLOG

THERE are millions of blogs out there.

Millions.

Millions of people sharing their stories, giving intimate glimpses of their lives and hoping to be noticed.

It’s hard to get your blog out there. It takes time, effort, resilience, creativity and bags of determination.

But if you’re not careful, a couple of bad moves (or one if you’re unlucky) and all that hard work of yours can go to pot.

Attracting people is easy. (Kinda).

But hanging onto readers, getting people to comment, share and love your stuff is far from it.

There’s so many reasons why I visit the blogs I love time and time again. But today, I want to talk about the other stuff. The other side of the coin.

The stuff that drives me nuts, puts me off and absolutely makes me stop visiting a blog.

Here are seven things that are a sure fire way to lose my interest. (And quite possibly other peoples too.)

 

seven things that make me stop reading your blog

 

RUDENESS

I’m a stickler for manners in all aspects of life, but when it comes to blogging nothing turns me off a blog or blogger faster, than when someone is rude.

Examples?

When someone asks you to RT a tweet with a link, even though they’ve never spoken to you before (or shared anything of yours). When someone spams a large group of people with the same message, asking for their time or attention, but gives little back. Bloggers who never ever respond to a tweet or comment that you’ve kindly sent them.

And the biggest one? Bloggers who are just plain rude in real life.  (We’ve all met one of those.)

To care about your blog, I need to care about you. And that’s never going to happen if you’re rude or don’t give people the time of day.

 

LACK OF SPACE

When I’m reading copy, your copy, I need you to give me some space. Not a lot necessarily, but a little.

Enough for me to pause, take in your words and connect with you and your message.

As a trained journalist, the use of space was drilled into me from an early career age and with good reason too. Because too many words crammed together and too many long paragraphs just. puts. people. off.

You could have written the most magnificent blog post known to mankind, but trust me, if your copy looks crammed or doesn’t have space, then I will not get past the first sentence or two.

Space encourages engagement and lets your words shine. So use it wisely and use it often.

 

BEING INVISIBLE

Behind each blog, is a person, which means… I need to see you. And I need to know your name.

Who are you? What do you look like? How do you sound?

Call me nosey but these are the things I need to know.

Logos are wonderful but when it comes to avatars, I want to see your beautiful rosy face. And when I pop on your blog, I want to know what you are called. Hell, I’d even love to hear your voice!

And if I can’t?

Well then you’re almost invisible to me. Why? Because I need a human being to connect to.

Yes, you can have an anonymous blog, yes, you’re entitled to share what you want to share, but for me, when I’m reading a blog or getting to know a blogger, I need to know who you are as a person.

Otherwise you just become another blog in a crammed blogging crowd.

 

TOO MUCH SELF PROMOTION

Bloggers have to self promote, I get that, otherwise how on earth would people find our work? And make no bones about it, I do self promote and pretty often too.

But there’s a level where if we’re not careful, it can become a bit too much.

Self promotion is wonderful. You should be putting yourself out there and singing your own praises.

Self promotion is needed. It entices people, is free PR and showcases your success.

Self promotion is necessary.  It’s part and parcel of being a blogger, freelancer or creative.

But. (You knew it was coming right?!)

Too much self promotion, too much ‘me, me, me’  is one of the quickest ways to turn me off.

Finding the right balance with this is tricky and in all honesty, I’m not exactly sure what that is or what it looks like. I’m also pretty certain I’ve overstepped the mark on occasion too myself. (Sorry about that.)

But I would say, if your social media feeds are continually all about you or if you feel like you’re always talking to, rather than with, people a lot, it may just be time to take it down a notch.

It’s true what they say.

No one cares about you or what you’re up to, quite as much as you think or hope they do. (And the same goes for me.)

 

LACK OF CONSISTENCY

I’ve made this mistake myself so will hold my hands up on this one, but when it comes to blogging success, consistency is one of the keys to achieving it.

People need to know when you are posting and they want you to post regularly. They want to know that when they visit your blog, there will be a new blog for them to read or a new vlog to watch.

Life is busy. Folk need to know where they stand!

It’s not always possible to be consistent with content. And hey, we all deserve a break. But nothing will make you lose readers quicker than failing to deliver new content on some kind of regular basis.

And I can tell you that from personal experience.

 

HIDING BEHIND A FACADE

One of the reasons I firmly believe blogs have become so successful over the past few years, is because they deliver authenticity.

And trust. Invaluable trust.

Being ourselves, finding our own voice and if possible, our own niche, is the only way to carve out a place in the blogging world. And yet often, I find myself thinking with some bloggers: “who are you?” Or “what on earth are you all about.”

All blogs are different that is true. And I’m not saying there is no room for fantasy or escapism. (Because there most definitely is.)

But if I feel like a blogger isn’t being straight with me. If I feel like a blogger is pretending to be someone that they are perhaps not. Or if I feel like a blogger is trying to pull the wool over my eyes…well, then that trust can disappear very quickly.

You may not want to deliver reality. You may not want to bare your soul. And you absolutely don’t need to.

But you do need to be authentic. And you do, need to just be yourself.

 

BAD WRITING

You know what I mean.

Writing that makes no sense or lacks proper punctuation or grammar. Bloggers that waffle or use ‘big words’ to impress or just talk nonsense.

As a reader, I want to connect with you. I want your words to speak to me. I want to hear your voice.

I want you to entertain, to soothe, to inspire.

I want to share your posts and leave you a comment.

I want you to leave me in absolute awe!

But I can only do that if I feel the love in your words. I can only do that if you communicate well. I can only do that if you care.

So keep things simple, give me some space, show me who you are and chances are, you – and your blog – won’t ever be able to get rid of me.

 

———

Quite a list huh?! Like I say, I’ve made some of these mistakes myself and all of these things are only my opinion as an avid blog reader and blogger…so fellow bloggers, on to you!

Do you agree with some of these? Or have you got your own bugbears to share? 

 

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

 

 

 

 

 

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56 Discussions on
“SEVEN THINGS THAT STOP ME READING YOUR BLOG”
  • This is great, thank you! I completely agree with all of this. One thing I would add is that the use of pop-up adverts on blogs is something I really dislike. They can render a blog almost unreadable!

  • Great post lovely, I think I have probably committed all of these sins if I’m being honest Kate! Apart from asking people directly for shares, I don’t do asking for help very well and I’m not sure that’s a good thing either. The things you listed (and I’ve done) are also the things that absolutely bug the hell out of me too. Weird that isn’t it?

    It’s such a hard balance to strike, I feel, to be yourself and be vulnerable whilst still protecting and conserving something of yourself. Wholeheartedness is what I’m aiming for.
    I want you to know me, I really do, being authentic and real is a journey I’m on, wrestling with how I was brought up (closed book kinda family) and being vulnerable is not the easy route to take.
    I love reading your blog and can’t wait for your book Kate, so glad you are feeling better.
    Lizzie xo

  • Self promotion is probably the biggest turn off for me. People who shout their posts a million times on twitter. Getting the balance right can be hard, but I am not very good at selling myself and I hate it when other people over sell themselves!

    My biggest bugbear at the mo is magazine type ones where you can’t find out which is the latest post. I’ve usually seen something I want to read earlier in the day, go back to the site and then can’t for the life of me find the right post!

  • I absolutely agree with you. I’m actually trying to find a photo of myself that I don’t mind to change my avatar to a picture of me rather than my logo and to include in an ‘about me’ box; yes I have an ‘about me’ page but not many people read those any more. As for consistency, that’s something I really need to work on personally, I know that it’s probably one of my biggest downfalls as a blogger.

  • Great post :) And I am sure I’ve done all of these at some point. Consistency is my bug bear – sometimes it just is not possible to find the time to blog :( With regards to space I fully agree, although sometimes people do take it to the extreme, and when nearly all sentences have space around them it becomes just as hard to read. You know, there is just too much pause, and the space loses it’s effect. A happy medium with that is the best :)

  • Thanks so much from dropping some real talk on the blogging game. I see far too many of these mistakes being made on a regular basis … and as a self-proclaimed “young and up and coming blogger,” it is quite frustrating. Nice to see that it is the exception and not the norm and there are awesome peeps out there keeping it real.

  • Agree with your list! I have a real bug bear with bad writing / grammar too, especially when commas are used all arse about face and loads of double space! Sometimes I can see past it though, if what they’re saying is good, or I actually really like the blogger in person. I hate moany posts too. That’s probably mean, but I read to be entertained, not depressed : )

  • Wise woman! I’m with you on all of these. I get particularly put off with large chunks of text as when you’re reading off a small screen like a phone it is very hard to focus on the content if it’s too bulky. I think bloggers need to write with this in mind for sure.
    And bad sphelling and punkchewation really turn me away! I can’t help it. Call me a snob if you will!!
    Lush post from a lush lady x

  • You made lots of good points. I really don’t like posts with lots of misspellings or slang words. I probably make spelling errors sometimes but I lose interested if trying to translate what someone is trying to say. I wish I was more consistent with posting schedule. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Brilliant post lovely. I still really struggle with consistency. Hopefully, this will be easier once Little Miss H is in pre-school. I also struggle with blogs that are really controversial. It is good to have opinions. But pitching for a fight is not good. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Poor writing and bad grammar really gets to me. If people want you to read what they write, then at least they need to make it readable, otherwise don’t host a blog, just do Facebook. Sloppy writing puts me off too – check it for typos and mistakes before you post. It doesn’t have to be prize-winning literature, but it does have to look like you at least made an effort.

  • Agreed, lovely Katie! Poor spelling and grammar, as well as a waffly writing style can put me off. Rudeness is never acceptable either. I also think that while a rosy, perfect view of life can be offputting – unrealistic! – as can constant moaning and negativity. xxx

  • great post! I have to agree with all of these reasons. I do struggle when someone is invisible to connect with them, yet at the same time as you say someone who only talks about themselves can appear cocky and overconfident. There is a fine line and something we all need to consider as bloggers.

    Angela from daysinbed

  • Most of these I agree with, like too much self promotion and bad grammar, but as I prefer to stay anonymous for various reasons, I hope it doesn’t put people off too much that they can’t see my face. There are several anonymous blogs out there that I enjoy and read regularly, so I don’t think a good blog has to have a recognisable face behind it.

  • Yes! Bad writing particularly drives me crackers. I’m a teacher, which unfortunately means it’s my job to spot mistakes & I find it particularly hard to read poor quality writing on blogs. They said it does mean I’m also hyper aware of talented writing too!

  • Kate, a brilliant post and some I am guilty of so will take those points away and have a think about what I can do and should do better, the key one for me is consistency I always struggle with that and guess I just need to plan better!!

    Thanks for the post very helpful!

    John

  • Oh I always love reading your posts and this is no exception!

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips, they’re incredibly useful and I can admit that I’ve done most of these (aside from the RTs and the self promotion, I need to self-promote more and learn to actually SCHEDULE social media updates rather than inconsistent ‘as and whens’)

    The space issue is also a big thing. I’m picky too when it comes to reading long posts but I’ve just looked at my own and goddamnit, there’s not enough space ;( How hypocritical am I being then? Urgh.

    I also agree that I need to see people and connect with them. That’s definitely something I need to work on myself.

    I love how you and Vicki (HM) always have such gorgeous photos on your blogs of you and your lives. I’d love to do this!

    Here’s to daily posts now on and more ‘me’ on show ;)

    Thanks for the motivation lovely!

    Xx

  • Very good points there Kate. I agree with all of them. What gets on my nerves are bad grammar and spelling, millions of photos with very little interesting text in between and repeated posts about how hard life is.

  • I had to read this to see if I was an offender of any on your list. I think I am. Although there’s absolutely no facade on my part, I can never quite summarise exactly what my blog is about. I don’t know if my posts speak for themselves. I don’t know if it’s clear what my interests are, and that I’m keen to write about them.

    The trouble is, I like so many things. I can’t commit to just one topic – say jewellery – because I love driving too much. But can’t commit to that alone, because I love to talk about causes that are important to me.

    You see my issue?!

    On a different note, bad writing skills are an instant turn-off for me. And anonymity is also up there. I want to know who I’m connecting with! (Call it nosey if you like!) I make allowances for self-promotion because it’s gotta be done, and I can choose to switch off from it if I don’t like it.

    All in all my lovely, this is a comprehensive list. I like! Xx

  • Great post lovely :) Taking all this on board…! I am still finding my feet (and voice) within my blogging – it’s been 18 months and I have changed SO much. Plus I am still learning all the time…but I definitely am enjoying it all thoroughly which I know people see. Jess xx

  • Great post – I don’t like rudeness either, and can’t stand when people tag me time and time again to RT stuff…if I haven’t for the last few weeks, please respect its not my scene!

    My punctuation deffs needs improving ;) THANKS x

  • It’s so good to read feedback like this about what people like and what they don’t! It’s funny as I have been considering changing my avatar of my face to a logo but maybe I won’t now. I agree, I do like to see a person on their blog so I feel like I get to know that person a bit. I found a gorgeous blog the other day and there was no pic of the writer, and I was a bit sad! So nice to meet you the other day xx

  • Really helpful post. Really taking on board about the spacing – hadn’t thought of it like that but I am now a bit paranoid that I don’t have enough space in my posts.
    Maybe I need to get a photo of myself up on my sidebar too….

    Thanks for sharing these points – really, really helpful x

  • I completely agree – I hate rude or selfish bloggers that keep tagging you to look at stuff but don’t even try and actually CONNECT with you – I definitely need to add more space to my posts – I can get very paragraphy ! thanks for sharing these they were a great insight :)

  • I’m reading this and immediately thinking of lots of things I need to do differently. I’ve only just started out and realising quickly that this is a real art to blogging. To blogging well, that is. I’m going to start with the space thing. Just reading your post and realising how easy it waste read was quite literally an eye-opener! #thelist

  • I completely agree – you make many of the same points I did in a similar post I wrote earlier this year. While content *is* king, there are so many things that can put me off even a well-written post – after all, time is a precious commodity and I have to prioritise what I read somehow (as do we all).

    I’m a great believer in ‘less is more’, so your points about space (white space is a writer’s friend) and excess waffle/big words (‘be focussed, be brief, be gone’) ring particularly true with me. Unless you’re writing a novel (and even then, it applies to a degree), great writing typically paints the most vivid picture with the fewest words. I do think that the biggest mistake newbie writers make (and I have been guilty of this too) is to over-egg their prose. Use the right words to convey the right emotions, and you don’t need a lot of them.

  • A great post. I hadn’t thought about space but have been gravitating towards it as my blogging imoroves. Something that really bugs me are people moaning on Twitter that not enough people are following their blog, yet they don’t take the time to read and comment on other people’s blogs. I’ve found such a fab community of people through reading and commenting on blogs. Don’t do rudeness and usually on food blogs if I see a 28 day meal plan I skip straight over it!!

  • Totally agree with this list. If I can’t find someone’s name on a blog I get really frustrated, I want to feel like I am talking to an actual human and not a computer..humans have names, I also get put off if paragraphs are too long, I try and make sure I only write short paragraphs and use photos often to brake up the text. This is a great list xx #TheList

  • Your totes right about all of them. Even though I’m pretty sure I break the rules for the second half of the argument – but I’m polite to others (on the whole) so I feel that makes up for for my inconsistency and duck photo. Though probably does bugger-all for my stats! #thelist

  • Hi,

    thanks for your tips. I agree with all of your points but am guilty of a few of them myself. I am not consistent – i know that and I am also anonymous and that isn’t going to change.

    I couldn’t agree more about spelling and grammar. I am a stickler for it and you can really tell which posts haven’t been re-read before posting. I can see that your posts have been re-read and checked before publishing by the way.

    I personally like posts that have been well considered and researched before posting or have a unique angle or point of view on a particular subject. I also like humour and wit, probably because I don’t have a great deal of it in my own posts! This to me is more important than consistency. There are a few bloggers who I follow religiously, who are totally inconsistent and whose posts I get really excited about when the unexpectedly drop into my inbox.

    thanks Kate xx

    #SundaysStars

  • Great list with great advice too… I totally agree with all of these as that puts me off reading other blogs again. Additionally, what put me off are some blogs with swear words on it, others might find it acceptable but not me, just my opinion though. Lovely post! #sundaystars

  • Such an interesting one to read and I find the same things off putting, though the face and name one bothers me less. The space one is a biggie for me, all writing with no space and no photos and I’m out. Interestingly I read all of this with no photos and didn’t notice, spacing is right and content made me forget about my need to absorb through a picture.

  • Very useful post. It’s funny because I’m just struggling with the balance between anonymity and invisibility at the moment. I thought I’d struck a good balance but now I’ve been recognised in real life and I’m not sure how to move forwards.

    #SundayStars

  • Great and very useful post. Bad writing is a really fast turn off for me. What you say about space is very interesting and something I definitely need to be more aware of! #TheList

  • Fab post and completely agree with all your points. :)
    I can’t handle lengthy posts.. I get lost/my patience goes.. I feel bad sometimes as they may have put a lot (or not) of effort into it, but my brain, it just can’t. As a journo’s daughter, my mam always said that your first paragraph should contain the 5 W’s, who what where when why. That first paragraph needs to capture people. Although I know this, I have to admit I probs don’t do it! Ha!

    Caroline.x

  • Totally agree with you on the overpromotion part. I can’t stand seeing peoples twitter feeds full of links and nothing else. I miss twitter being somewhere to chat and get to know people, now it’s just somewhere to link dump. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars x

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