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Written on October 2nd, 2008 by | 306 Comments

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog

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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.

Filed under: *Best Articles, Blog Tips, Favourite Blog Tips, Featured Articles blog niche, blog tip, Blog Tips, Blogging Tips, plagiarism, Wordpress Tips

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

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  1. 21
    Brad Isaac Says:

    Great post!

    I am not sure which category I fall into. Whether I am sermonizing from the mound or too authoritative. I get lots of traffic, but very few comments in comparison.

    Anyone care to take a look at my blog and speculate on what’s holding back the comments?

  2. 22
    Brian Connor Says:

    I actually got a useful bit from your blog that wasn’t on the list. I’m now going to have the title of each entry be a link to the post on a standalone page.

    Also, a question. When linking in your posts, what is your stance on opening a new window? I’ve heard that it’s good because then the visitor is not directed away from your page. I have also heard that it’s bad because if the user wants another window open they’ll open it themselves.

    Currently I have the links in my posts open a new window because I find that is what I prefer most of the time.

    Thanks, and good advice.

  3. 23
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Yes Razib, it seems that flaming goes hand in hand with blogging, but it shouldn’t have to be that way. There’s constructive criticism, and then there’s destructive. Some folks just haven’t figured that out yet. It’s also a reason why I don’t post at Blogcritics anymore.

    Thanks for the kudos Brad. I will take a look at your blog, but I can tell you that one of the things that turned the corner for me was reaching out to other bloggers by commenting (politely) on their sites and they reciprocating. The blogosphere is all about the ‘conversation’ and networking.

    It seems to me that everyone wants traffic, and all too often we focus on trying to bring traffic to our blogs and forgetting about returning the favor.

    Good catch Brian. By making post pages and the title into a link you will improve your pagerank as well as the way it gets listed in the search engines.

    Regarding opening links in a new window, most web aficionados frown upon doing so because it disables the Back button which is the normal way users return to previous sites, it hijacks their browser so to speak and soaks up unnecessary resources.

  4. 24
    maxel Says:

    Thanx! Very useful information.

  5. 25
    Brad Isaac Says:

    Thank you for stopping by Blog Bloke. It’s interesting you say that. I normally don’t have a lot of time for surfing around too much. But I’ll try it! :)

  6. 26
    Blog Bloke Says:

    My pleasure maxel and thanks for dropping by.

    Yes Brad, I agree with the time problem but it will reap rewards ten fold.

  7. 27
    Brian Connor Says:

    Thanks for the help and the comment on my blog Bloke, may I post a link to your blog on my sidebar?

    P.S. I’m still tweaking all kinds of things on my blog so it may be an adventure for the next little while. I just tinker with it when I can find the time.

  8. 28
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Of course Brian.

  9. 29
    Raquel Says:

    Hi Bloke,

    Just blog hopping until I found your blog.

    Your blog is very informative! Can I link/post this entry to my blog?

  10. 30
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Sure raquel. Go ahead.

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