Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My 9 Blogging Pet Peeves | What not to do on your blog

Hi y’all! As you know, I’m a baby blogger. No, I don’t mean I blog about babies. As of the time I’m writing this, I haven’t even reached my one-month blogiversary. Weird, right? By the time I post this, I will have been blogging for about a month, so definitely still baby status.

Even though I haven’t been blogging long, I have been reading blogs for years. I know what I like, and don’t like, to see in a blog. I’m not talking content, I’m talking visuals here. I’ve noticed several things over the years that annoy the hell out of me. Some things that make me leave the blog without even bothering to read the post I came there for. No one wants a reader, and potential subscriber, to leave their blog without giving it a chance. Some of the offenders are huge blogs that have been going for years.

I’ve written a list of 8 of my biggest blogging pet peeves. I’m writing this as a sort of advice-y, “what not to do” post. I don’t mean to offend anyone that has done this, just share my thoughts on the matter.
1.       Popups. So. Many. Popups. I’m not saying that some blogs have an abundance of popups, I’m saying a lot of blogs have one or two popups and it’s a trend I see often. Most of the time they’re “subscribe to my newsletter” or “follow me…” and they pop up immediately when I click the blog. Please stop this. I haven’t even had a chance to read what I came here for and you’re already asking me to follow you? What if I don’t like your content? It’s so annoying.

2.       Share buttons that cover the text. Ugh. I’ve seen two reasons the share bar covers the text: the text is too tight to the left margin, or the bar is too big. I know you can minimize most of these bars, but I’m lazy. I don’t want to minimize a bar just to read your content, or constantly be scrolling around it.

3.       Ads. Ads everywhere! I get it; ads are a tool that people often use to monetize their blogs. I’ve heard good and bad things about ads. I’m not knocking you for having ads. However, I was recently on a blog that had a total of thirteen ads on one single page. Thirteen! On ONE page. What. The. Hell? Some of the ads were even blocking the text and header logo on the page. Just stop.

4.       No other way to follow except email. I understand wanting people to subscribe to your newsletter. But when we have things like Bloglovin’ around, that keep all the content I want to see in one place and gives me notifications of new posts, newsletters aren’t the way I want to be following people. My emails are so clogged, you have to be really special for me to subscribe to your newsletter. No offense.

5.       Enormous header logos or ads at the top of the screen that take up an entire page. Ugh. I hate that. It makes it take FOREVER to load, especially when I’m looking at your blog on my dinosaur at work (we’re still running XP, can you imagine??) Also it’s just not aesthetically pleasing. What makes this worse? When your ad scrolls with the page. Stop.

6.      Text too tight to the margins. Or even too tight to the sidebar. Or itself. White space can be your friend! There is such a thing as too little white space, and honestly it’s worse than too much. As a graphic designer, I hate it as much as I hate Comic Sans. Keep your text closer to the middle; it will make your blog look more cohesive.

7.      Too cluttered. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re text is too tight or that you have too many ads. This just means that you have too much stuff in general. Condense your sidebar into a few gadgets or lists and have them expand to show more. It will make your blog look much more put-together and less amateurish.

8.      Slideshows. Fuck slideshows, seriously. I hate them with a burning passion. And I see these so often on huge blogs. Just stop. List posts can look amazing without having to be a slideshow. Need I point out the obvious exhibit A here?

9.      Bonus pet peeve that I came up with while typing this out: No pictures. In this age of Pinterest, why on Earth are people still not adding photos, especially pinnable ones, to their posts?? The best way for me to save a post for later, AND for you to get your blog some exposure, it to make it pinnable. Make sure your posts have images, and try to make them pretty. I’m still working on taking pretty pictures, but my design shouldn’t be bad. (Please let me know if I’m delusional and you HATE my pinnable photos! I love constructive criticism!)

So, there you have it, my 8 9 blogging pet peeves. Have you seen these things? Do they annoy you as much as they annoy me? Am I guilty of one or more of these, or do you have your own pet peeve I’m guilty of? Let me know in the comments below!

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