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3 Things About Your Blog People Hate

September 1, 2012 · 19 comments

in Blogging

why they hate your blogOk, so you spend a lot of time thinking up of great ideas to write brilliant blog posts on, and then you spend even more time marketing your blog. The sad truth is that after all this effort you put into getting relevant traffic to your blog, you probably are immediately losing a huge chunk of the traffic because some of the aspects of your blog are annoying. Here are a few things people really hate about blogs.

Popups

There is no reason why you should have popups. There are better ways to make money from your blog, that will annoy your audience a lot less. If I see a blog with any popups, I immediately feel that it is unprofessional and I generally tend to leave ASAP.

The only semi acceptable kind of popups are the ones that ask for you to subscribe via email. I personally stay away from these as well because I think these are just as annoying if not more. However, they do drastically increase your subscription rate.

One way to use these popups without losing too much new traffic is by only showing them to returning visitors. If you keep from displaying the subscription popup to search engine traffic and social media traffic (people who are generally finding you for the first time), you will have a much lower bounce rate, not to mention, once they already like you a little bit and decide to return to your site on their own, you are much more likely get them to subscribe anyways.

Not Being Sharable

This is just bad manners at this point. There is nothing people hate more than not being able to easily find social media sharing buttons. This is the age of the social media people. If you still do not have easily visible share buttons, you not only look unprofessional, but you are also hurting yourself. Why go through all the trouble of creating great content and then keep people from telling their friends about it.

We are naturally social creatures, so if we find something that is even a little interesting, we want to tell others about it, and on the net we do this by sharing, liking or tweeting about it. Let your content work for you. If you are using WordPress, the simplest way to do this is by getting Sharebar. I suggest taking it a step further and getting a social media monitoring tool to help you get even more out of your content.

Using Multimedia

But wait, isn’t multimedia a good thing? Yes, it is and it can definitely help make your content more enjoyable but if you use it the wrong way, it can end up hurting you.

Auto playing videos of any kind. These are just annoying, especially if you have already seen the video. Now every time you go back to that page to see someone’s reply to your comment or reread some content, you have this really annoying video immediately playing. Trying to force visitors to watch something like this will only make them leave.

Too much clutter. Even if you thought everything through and it is all there for a reason, having too many animations, images, videos and widgets will only annoy the visitors. It shouldn’t take someone more than 3 seconds to understand what is happening on the page. If you have great content but you have a high bounce rate then maybe it’s time to take a few things down. When it comes to web design, less is generally more.

Heavy media. By this I mean anything that takes too long to load and in turn slows down your page as a whole. This is perhaps the biggest no-no. If your page is taking more than five seconds to load, most people won’t stick around to find out what is going to show up. Speed up your site and you start getting many more returning visitors.

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Mark Trueman is the founder of multiple online businesses and enjoys creating and sharing useful content with his fellow webmasters at ZenSpill . Mark has been acquainted with the webmaster world for many years and is an addict of everything and anything SEO, CRO and Social Media.

Mark has written 1 awesome articles for us at Opportunities Planet

Twitter: @ZenSpill | | Blog → ZenSpill

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan Biddulph September 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Hi Mark,

Pretty much bang on information here!

Any add on which diminishes the user experience should be removed immediately.

I’ve been guilty on most levels – pop-ups, loud, auto-play video, and a bit too much clutter – but I maintain a simple, neat, non aggressive design these days.

Watch your vibe. Do you overload your blog out of desperation? Afraid that people won’t opt-in, or won’t click on an image leading to your squeeze page?

You will scare away readers. Either by your energy, or by overloading your blog with images, pop-ups and obnoxious graphics, repelling people who feel your desperate vibe.

Easy does it. Keep widgets to a minimum.

Focus on creating helpful, usable content. Content is the best call to action I know of.

Thanks!

RB
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Mark Trueman September 2, 2012 at 1:10 am

Hey Ryan,

Thanks for the input. Pretty much agree with everything said.

There is no reason to use “pop-ups and obnoxious graphics” to lead people to your squeeze page. The best way to improve conversion rate is by building trust by giving them quality content.

Once they value what you have to say, a simple “check this out” will send a lot more traffic to your squeeze page than a popup ever will.

- Mark T
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Jeet September 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

@Mark: Some great points here. I think classification of email subscribing pop-overs as semi-annoying but highly effective is very accurate, I use Aweber and I don’t think they have an option to present the popups ‘only’ to returning visitors (I will have to go back and check again).

With Digg gone, bloggers don’t have to keep yet another social button, though Google+ probably substitutes Digg in most such list of social sharing sites. I see both a sidebar and a Wibiya footer bar on OpportunitiesPlanet, do you think it’s an overkill? Won’t one of them be sufficient?

Autoplay: Oooh, that’s definitely the most annoying one and yes, I have faced the exact same issue when I go back to the post to find a resource I liked or when I write a comment. Autoplaying videos should be declared a sin. ;-)

Another think that I don’t like (it’s probably not as irritating and that’s why it didn’t make it to your list) is articles written by Admin. :)

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Mark Trueman September 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Hey Jeet,

Yes email subscribing pop-ups are a bit of a double edged sword.

Yes Digg has become a bit of a relic of the past, but Reddit is fast approaching to take its place. I have never personally liked the Wibiya footer bar because i found that to be a little too in your face but it does tend to get noticed. I guess it is a bit like the email subscribing pop-ups in that sense :P

haha and I am glad to see I am not the only one who thinks “written by Admin” is dumb. :)
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Wenie Langacre September 3, 2012 at 6:04 am

For me, pop ups and and heavy media are some of those things that I really hate about a blog!
Well, blogger must know about these things.
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Mark Trueman September 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Definitely. I think most bloggers do realize that their visitors hate these things. I just don’t think they understand that it is sending so many of them away.
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Felicia September 4, 2012 at 11:32 am

Hi Mark,
You definitely hit this one head on. When I visit websites or blog for topics I like, I personally really don’t like seeing videos that I have to watch just to get a gist of the information I need. If I want to know about certain topics, issues, or subjects, I want to read and not watch because reading allows me to quickly skim through its content thoroughly… and if I wanted to watch some video, I would have gone to and searched in YouTube in the first place.
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Mark Trueman October 14, 2012 at 12:38 am

Exactly, whats worse is that a lot of times you do not have a choice and the video starts playing automatically.
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Susan Cooper September 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more. Many times the reason an individual has, does or doesn’t do something is because they are told it will help their blog when in reality it has the exact opposite effect.
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Mark Trueman September 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Agreed
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Kyle Clouse September 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Auto playing videos is always an annoyance. Put yourself in the shoes of the person visiting your site. They go to your site, their speakers are turned up and the next thing they hear is your video blasting over their speakers. They instantly click out. It still shocks me to see people using this.

We have a video on our site that is accesible through a drop down on our home page. The button that goes to the video says “PLAY VIDEO” so that when the user clicks that they know a video will be playing.
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Mark Trueman September 10, 2012 at 2:25 am

Hahaha that’s the worst. Not only are you disturbing them, you are also showing them you are not professional enough to respect their choices. Your audience should be able to CHOOSE to play the video.
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Alexander Collins September 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I really hate popups. However, some people say that it deliver more new sign ups than static form in the end of blog post.
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Mark Trueman September 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

Exactly :)
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Geoff October 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I have to agree with all 3 points. I really can’t stand popups. I can’t remember ever clicking on one (I just hit the close button) straight away, and feel annoyed.
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Mark Trueman October 14, 2012 at 12:39 am

Hahah thanks Geoff!
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Erica October 15, 2012 at 3:28 am

You hit the nail on the head. It drives me crazy when I arrive to a site and it has videos or other audio automatically play. Most times I close out of the site without even finding what I came there for.
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Pauline December 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Great list. On top of identifying the social buttons, I hate when the URL is not shortened and the twitter handle not displayed automatically. Most times I don’t RT.
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Belinda Summers December 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hi mark!!
I really hate pop ups, its so annoying and disturbing especially when you are concentrating in the content of the blog and eventually something will pop up. No need to put heavy media. Make it simple and attractive.
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