Why I Don't Read Your Blog

I'm going to make the bold assumption that many folks reading this have their own blog and read other like-minded bloggers. And even if you don't write, I'll presume you read other blogs besides this one. And that means you, dear reader, must have some way of determining which blogs end up in your reading list and which get the delete button treatment. This is mine.

Impossible to navigate


I hate having to search for an "about me" section or hunt down a list of categories. I also appreciate when the archives are easy to find and have a drop-down menu (rather than a list of months/years). Another favorite of mine is to be able to see a list of popular posts in the sidebar; that usually gives a good indication of what the blog is about and whether or not it would interest me.

No easy way to get to their social media accounts


I "like" a lot of other blog's Facebook pages. In fact, that's typically the only way I will ever actually read a blog . . . if it has a FB page and a new post shows up in my newsfeed. Lately I've been more into following bloggers via Twitter and Instagram, too. But if I have to hunt you down on social media, I won't follow your blog no matter how good the content.

Spreading anti-science nonsense


I like science and dislike woo. If a blog posts regularly about woo-ish things I probably won't follow it. Sometimes I make a teeny tiny exception if I have already been following them for a long time. For instance, I have one blog I follow simply because I really like the woman who writes it, even though about 50% of her posts are anti-GMO and gluten free gibberish. I don't delete her because she interacts with my page and there's a history. I also suspect that a few of the writers I follow do not vaccinate their own children, and may even consider themselves anti-vaccine, but they don't post about it at all, nor do they share misinformation via links to anti-science websites.

Proudly advocating something I strongly disagree with


While this is not necessarily a deal-breaker, if I go to a new blog and see that they talk about or link to things I am just really, truly not on board with (e.g., sleep training, scheduled feedings for newborns, spanking as "discipline") I probably won't dig any further. If it's just a mention in a random post ("out of desperation I let my baby cry for 45 minutes last night") I might still stick around. If the blog has prominent tabs at the top linking to Babywise-ish tips, probably not so much.

Silly commenting guidelines


I know Really Big Bloggers need to include disclaimers and rules for how commenting is handled. But seriously, in most cases I think you can just delete anything you find inappropriate. I know a lot of my favorite blogs—big and small—have these policies listed, not singling out anyone here, more of a general peeve.

{My personal favorite: I once followed a link to a blog who outlined special reading and commenting guidelines addressed to—no kidding—atheists and liberals (because that's a homogeneous group, right?). It was even called something like Dear Atheists and Liberals and went into great detail about how they were welcome to share their crazy thoughts, but they wouldn't change anyone's mind, and they should be prepared to be engulfed in flames by regular readers. I may have taken some liberty in interpreting that last part.}

Too cluttered


I don't want to weed through all 100 buttons you feel compelled to display. And while gadgets are a great way to conveniently show info on your blog, you don't need to use all of them. I'm sure it goes without saying I also have strong feelings about music and anything that blinks.

Too plain


I know I just grumbled about not wanting too much muck to muddle through. I'm never happy, what can I say. But if there are no pictures, no graphics, no color . . . I'm probably going to close the window then, too (if I don't die of boredom first).

Asking for marketing help


I just clicked on a blog recently—and immediately moved on—where the very first thing I read (as in above the fold, before any bloggy words could even be seen) was a plea to mention said blog (and the stuff she sells!) on my Facebook page or website. Now, I'm not opposed to requests for sharing . . . I do this myself sometimes. But I don't want the first thing a new reader to see when they click on my blog to be "do something for me."

Major typos and misspellings


I know it's impossible to make things perfect, and few bloggers have someone copyediting for them, but please . . . read it before you publish it! (I know I have guaranteed myself at least one typo in this post now that I mentioned it.)

I followed you, now you have to follow me demands


I just can't even with this one. Typically I follow other bloggers from my blog Facebook page, not my personal Facebook page. This is not a malicious decision. I'm not out to get fellow writers by only offering the dreaded like that doesn't count in your total number of likes. I simply want to be able to separate the people/pages I follow. My personal page is friends, family, news, local pages, celebrities I stalk follow, and Disney-related blogs (because, Disney). My blog page is other bloggers, education, writing, science, parenting, and homeschooling resources.

34 comments:

  1. My blog pet peeves:

    -music starting when I open the page
    -badly sized pictures that mess with your margins
    -grammar and spelling errors
    -people who completely stomp on something I'm passionate about and call people names if they disagree

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    1. Oh yes... I don't have a Facebook page for my blog (http://grace-filled.net) because I'm a pastor's wife and I've had parishioners use my blog against my husband and I.

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    2. It's awful that people would do that. That whole Internet anonymity thing can be vicious.

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  2. In addition to most of what you've mentioned, one of my biggest pet peeves is feeds that make you click through to the post to read the full article. I do most of my reading in a feed reader, clicking through only when I have something to say (like right now, here!). I hate hate hate being forced to click through just to read something that I may or may not be interested in. I have deleted nearly every single one of such feeds (including both some major blogs and some blogs that I really quite enjoyed). To be perfectly honest, I find it...what's the word. Pretentious, maybe? Self-important? That's not quite it, but something along those lines. Perhaps there's a good reason for it that I am not aware of (besides the obvious benefit of more accurate stats), but for me as a reader, it's not worth the hassle.

    Anyway. Thanks for letting me rant here. Feels good to get that out. ;)

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    1. Oh, yes . . . the read through thing bugs me, too. And I have also deleted blogs because of it, but it's not a total deal breaker. Although, I do use it myself when I write my bimonthly posts for Connected Mom, so that I have a paragraph or two on my blog with a link to click to their site to read more. I can't think of a better way to do this in that case. Hmm.

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    2. Oh no, I absolutely do that to, just a little "hey, I wrote something over here, here's a blurb, come check out the rest". That's completely different than chopping every single one of your feeds so that those of us who use feed readers are forced to click through to the site to read.

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  3. First, I'd like to proudly announce that I'm fairly sure that I'm not guilty of any of your pet peeves (what, you dont like shameless self-promotion either??).
    I hate- no 'about' page; test sentences such as 'this is an example of a wordpress page' that the blogger hasn't bothered to personalise, and bloggers who don't reply to any comments.
    Grrrr. I'd never realised I was so full of bloggy resentment!

    Eva

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    1. It's okay; let it out. You're safe here, LOL.

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  4. Bad spelling, bad grammar, bad punctuation.
    Poor grasp of how to write an article (wandering from the point, or not having a point, or not being sure themselves what their point is).
    Factual errors or sweeping statements.
    Overuse of profanity, ie limited vocabulary.
    Misleading titles- OH how I hate misleading titles that are only designed to make you click through!!!

    In short, anything that is bad writing technique will peeve me and cause me NOT to follow. A good blog is like top quality journalism in a respected newspaper- a bad one is like a cross between tabloid journalism and vanity-published poetry.

    Oh, and I hate gimmicky fonts and multiple font changes and a million underlinings and bolds. Just let me read, already!

    Fussy, aren't I? ;D

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    1. It all sounds totally reasonable to me. In my pre-parenting life, I worked as a copyeditor for eight years. All of these things make me batty as well.

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  5. Lately I'm really annoyed with pop ups that ask me to join a newsletter before I've even read the post. Why would I want to subscribe if I don't even have the chance to read your words first?

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    1. Ack! So true. I hate anything that pops up at me. Especially the "like me on Facebook" or "sign up here" boxes that appear seemingly out of nowhere, before I can even focus my eyes on the post. I don't mind the options, I just prefer they be at the bottom of the post or in a sidebar.

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  6. I love this… I was really wondering what it would say when I clicked on it from the link up. It is really just great advise! Thank you for sharing… I might just have to pin it and share it with friends :)

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    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. So many of yours are mine. One thing that is becoming a nuisance right now when I click on a new blogger, the feed sidebar. I am a fast reader and if I continually have to scroll down every sentence to see the beginning, I am out of there! Another one, is logging in to whatever just to leave a comment. Everyone has their thing about what chooses them to follow or not, read or leave, etc. Personally, I like those that keep it simple!

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    1. Yes, the sidebar thing! Why isn't there a way to "hide" that? I used to have the thing where you have to type in letters/numbers (code?) before you could comment, and I took it off because I realized that it bugged *me* when I went to other blogs.

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  8. My biggest one is when bloggers have a "subscribe to get the newsletter, or email" pop up in your face. I usually just click out of the blog and don't come back.

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    1. I despise pop-ups of all kinds. Especially the ones that keep coming back every time you go to a new page.

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  9. Same as Tiffany, the subscribe popup is the worst! Especially the ones that pop BACK up after you close them. Poor grammar/lots of typos gets me too!

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    1. Yep. I can understand an occasional typo or whatnot, but overall bad grammar and spelling makes me think they just don't care so why should I?

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  10. YES that last one especially! :) I never expect people to follow me just because I follow them. Loved this post, stopping by from the shine blog hop! :)

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    1. Glad you stopped by. I used to assume that the people asking "why aren't you following me" we're just new to blogging, but I have had folks who have way more "likes" than I do come to my page and basically tell me "I'm going to unlike your page because you didn't follow me back." I mean, what the?

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  11. Visting from the Shine Hop

    For me one of the biggest things is disply, if I can't read the font easily, such as light gray with white font. I have gray font color but it is darker than some of the font colors I've seen on blogs.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

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    1. Oh my goodness, yes. It's completely unreadable most of the time. I'm also not a fan of fancy fonts that look like script or centering the text. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. These are on point. Especially the ones about navigation and social media icons. I share a lot of content from the blogs that I read, but if I can't find your social media icons, I feel like my time is wasted. Same goes for navigation. Leaving a comment with your actual name is something I make a habit of doing, so your about page is the first thing I go to. If I can't find it, you lose me as a reader. Thanks for sharing these valuable points, Valerie!

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    1. I know I replied to this, but it disappeared? Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for stopping by, and I am totally with you on feeling like time is wasted if you read all the way through something and then can't find easy share icons. I also struggled with my About page for a long time, but now I try to keep it quasi-updated because like you it's the first thing I go to on other blogs.

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  13. I think we are all on a learning curve here. I've been blogging long enough that I've managed to weed out most of your pet peeves, but I know some people are newer and still learning. My pet peeve is the pop up thing (I never click on them) and they are SO annoying! I do have just a tiny one, but I don't think it works much as my subscriber list is still pretty anemic. My other pet peeve - TMI posts. If it's about potty training, your sex life, or anything that goes on in the bathroom, I'm outta there. Sheesh people! I've seen posts that would make an MD blush... Ew.

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    1. Everyone seems to have such strong feelings about pop-ups. I can only assume that the folks who install them on their own blogs have a pretty good return on investment as far as likes/subscribers? I am totally guilty of TMI posts, but I usually warn the reader at the beginning! Thanks for visiting, Adrian.

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  14. These are pretty good! I have a major thing with ads that start videos as soon as you open the page. Because a lot of times you can stop the video but when you start scrolling down and away from it, say to comment on a post, it will jump the page back up towards the video and it will be playing again!! Ugh. I do have a pop up that comes up if your a new visitor to subscribe, and to be honest, ever since installing it, it's had a pretty good return on it. Although I don't like those kinds of popups either.... :-/ I do understand now why me and so many others have installed them. I also don't like music playing as soon as you enter a blog. I also hate trying to locate social media icons within a post. I want to share your stuff when I read it and if I like it. Oh and I want the bloggers social media icons to their pages within first sight of opening page. It makes it easier to follow them. I also don't like so many sponsored posts. At the moment I do one a week, and if I ever do more, I will hide them. When you start doing them all the time it seems that your a sell out, a big ever changing billboard. Hmmm, I think that's about it. :-) Have a wonderful 4th!
    Joanna

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Joanna. Have a great day.

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  15. Pop-ups and music! One has me rushing to mute it and the other has me rushing to leave!

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    1. Yep and yep. :-) Thanks for visiting, Crystal.

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  16. Thank you for this...have just bookmarked! :) Found you on the SHINE Blog Hop!

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  17. Thank you, Elizabeth. Love to see #SHINEbloghop friends here.

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