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.
4. Get rid of those useless widgets.
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.