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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog

I get a lot of questions about how to make a blog better, so I thought I would look at it from a different angle and tell you what I don’t like about some of the blogs that I see out there.  If you think you fit into one or more of the categories, don’t take it personally.  Just take it to heart and learn from it.

Trust me when I say that we’ve all been there — yours truly included, and I’m still learning every day.

1. Your blog looks like everyone else’s.

Answer: Learn a little HTML, CSS and Photoshop skills and convert that canned template into your own. Spruce it up a little. Change the colours, make a new graphic for the banner, or put the sidebar on the other side. Whatever… as long as it looks unique and like YOU.

2. Your blog is too hard to read.

Answer: Your fonts are too small, your template colors clash, there is not enough white space, your navigation is confusing or maybe you just can’t write and should consider just tweeting or something. I hear Facebook is doing well.

3. I ran out of patience waiting because your blog takes forever to load or is slow to respond.

Answer: Get rid of some of those javascripts running in the background, that dumb looking landing page, annoying opt-ins and pop-ups, or trim some weight off those bloated graphics that take forever to load and soak up way too much bandwidth. And while you’re at it get rid of those old school HTML tables. Use CSS stylesheets. It will be time worth spent.

4. Get rid of those useless widgets.

Answer: Some widgets are useful, but most are just plain useless and offer no value to your blog. They can also hurt your blog because they use javascripts which can slow down your site (read #3 again). Remember - content is king so get rid of the fluff. I will visit your blog if you have something interesting to say - not to see what the weather is in your home town.

5. I won’t leave a comment on your blog because your posts sound too arrogant, boring or argumentative, you force me to login, you never responded to my previous comment, or you shot me down the last time that I offered a different opinion. Shall I continue (as I pause to catch my breath)?

Answer: Learn to write in a style that is non-confrontational, lively and conversational. Don’t be a know-it-all and write to entertain, not drain. Above all, make it easy to leave comments, be courteous and try to respond to commenters that took the time to write. Cultivating a community spirit will do wonders for increasing your traffic.

6. You don’t seem to have any opinions about anything.

Answer: Some bloggers are afraid to speak up because they are afraid of being flamed. Heck, sticks and stones… remember it is your blog and you can delete those unsavoury trolls if you wish. So don’t be a wussy, and above all don’t be a bore. We have TV for that.

7. Your blog is on Facebook or Google Plus. 

Answer: Nuff said. Ok, maybe that sounds arrogant but the fact is there are a lot of bloggers out there that won’t even look at Facebook. Although Facebook and Google + might have pseudo-blog features they aren’t really blogs. So if you want to be a serious blogger (which is why you are probably reading this post) then you should seriously reconsider that ’blog’ platform you are using.

8. You don’t post consistently.

Answer: Nobody wants to visit a dead blog. There is a controversy in the blogosphere about how often you should post, but the bottom line is originality, quality and consistency are the key when it comes to posting. So before you sit down to write put some thought into it and make certain that you have something interesting to say. Try to write regularly with a schedule that works for you. But don’t feel obligated to write every day.

9. Your blog discusses controversial topics that are not to my liking.

Answer: I’m a firm believer in having a niche topic for your blog, especially for business. Controversial topics run the risk of turning off potential readers — especially politics or religion for example. If you want to speak your mind on controversial topics then you should consider creating a separate blog for that.

10. You don’t link.

Answer: Commonly known as link-love there are several reasons why you should link. Firstly, when you cut and paste from another source you absolutely MUST provide a link back to the source. Nobody likes plagiarism. Plagiarism covers more than just copying and pasting. Just saying.

Secondly, if I have linked to your posts and you never returned the favour, well… let’s just say that I’m put off and I probably won’t be linking (or visiting) back at ya again. Or the least you could do is email me a thank you or leave a comment on my blog. It’s just common courtesy.

There’s another even more important reason for linking. That is how Google ranks websites/blogs, and the more seed that you sow, the more you will also reap. That’s not only for good SEO but it is a spiritual law as well.

*This post has been updated since it’s original posting on August 10th, 2006. This has been one of my more popular posts and years after I first wrote it I still get regular hits every day.  I’m not sure why it is so popular but it seems to have struck a chord with my readers.  What’s also amazing is the blog tips are still as relevant today as it was then and stood the test of time.

I thought I would feature it again and I’m preparing a sequel that should be available shortly.  So if you have already read it before then consider this a refresher course as it covers quite a few areas that we all need to review every once in awhile.  For my new readers it should be an eye opening experience and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did writing it.

Written October 2nd, 2008 by | 307 Comments | Filed under: *Best Tips, Blog Tips, Favourite Blog Tips, Featured Tips , , , , ,

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307 Responses to “10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog”

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  1. 1
    dave Says:

    an excellent post

  2. 2
    josh Says:

    Yes, a lot of good things to remember in here. Great post Bloke.

  3. 3
    Ramani Says:

    Doesn’t google pagerank depend on the number of pages that link to you and not the number of links that your page has?

  4. 4
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Hi Ramani… this is from Google:

    “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B.”

    So if I link to you and you link to me, we both benefit. But of course it’s not always that simple and Google’s algorithms also take into consideration other factors such as relevance.

  5. 5
    Mike Says:

    Another great post, Blog Bloke. One of the reasons I cross blogs off my list is the comments issue you raise in point 5. I’ve had it in the past where I’ve posted a comment in a jokey style and got shot down in flames. A sure fire way of me not returning.

    Whilst on the subject of comments, what’s your view on the best way to prevent comment spamming? As soon as I see a blog which forces me to log in to comment I’m generally out of the door unless it’s a blog I’ve visited previously (such as this one, for example). Full comment moderation by the author can sometimes lead to a time delay which can turn the reader off. I’m loathed to turn off moderation for fear of being spammed mercilessly.

    Any advice, oh Guru of all things Blog?

  6. 6
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Hi Mike. I don’t appreciate being forced to log in for the same reasons that you mention. As a blogger, a reader of blogs, a father, a husband and a mediator — that makes me a pretty busy guy, and I don’t need to be hassled just to leave a comment on someone’s blinkity-blank blog.

    If the owner of the blog really appreciates me as a reader, (and if I am willing to take a few moments from my busy schedule), then as far as I’m concerned the blog owner should at least make it as easy as possible for me to comment.

    I look at my readers as I would a client. They are my reason for existence as a blogger, for without them I am just blowin’ in the wind. I should therefore treat them with the same dignity and respect as I would expect if I were shopping at my favorite store. So like you, I generally won’t leave a comment if required to log in.

    Another reason is I’m suspicious of anyone that requires me to register an account. Perhaps they intend to use that information to spam me? Who knows? And while I’m on the topic, neither do I like blog platforms that insist on me disclosing my email address. I mean, DO they really think I’m dumb enough to leave my real address? Does [email protected] sound at all familiar? Good luck in trying to reach me if you dare.

    Having said that, neither am I a fan of comment moderation because it is a pain in the buttocks forcing me to log in to my dashboard to accept or reject each and every comment. What a nuisance. Who needs the hassles? Not me that’s for sure.

    Neither do I like comment moderation for the reason you mention. It is very disconcerting to say the least if after leaving a lengthy comment only to be told that it is waiting in the queue and might not even get posted. I will think long and hard before posting at that blog again.

    Some bloggers may consider it a technique to increase traffic because it encourages commentors to come back and see if they were published. But I don’t think surreptitious methods that importune readers is a good method to build a thriving community. Over the long run it will probably hurt your blog and come back to bite you in the behind.

    For me using comment verification is the best option. It only takes a moment for the commentor, and is a fair trade-off to minimize spam. It’s not 100% percent fool-proof, but then again what is.

    Thanks for the comment Mike and to everyone else as well.

  7. 7
    Reeholio Says:

    Hi Blogbloke, thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment at A World of Reeholio. Until I read your 10 reasons… I didn’t appreciate the importance of replying to comments. I do now, and have been polite enough to answer yours and the others there. Thanks for more great advice in this article.


  8. 8
    philipge Says:

    i did a search on blogsearch by google with a keyword ‘i’m a simple blogger at heart’ and viola 10 thing why i don’t like your blog! so much to learn here

  9. 9
    Mike Says:

    Thanks for the great advice as ever, BB. I will make the necessary changes on my site and install a verification app.

    P.S. Yeah…I thought I’d seen that email address somewhere ;)

  10. 10
    Blog Bloke Says:

    My pleasure Rhys. The blogosphere is a “conversation” and using comments properly is necessary for building your blog into a community. Otherwise we are just another blowhard sermonizing from the mount.

    Mike — here’s my new tel number: 1-800-blogs-r-us. But please keep it to yourself ;-).

    Philipge, thanks for the kind comments and I’m gratified if it helped.

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