Friday, August 5, 2011

Things that make me leave your blog even if I like the content...

I'm not a blog snob at all (is that even a phrase!?). I love blogs. Especially homeschooling blogs. Small blogs, big blogs, medium sized blogs, if you are interesting, I'll follow. I've been going through this extremely long, but interesting (!), blog roll lately, and have found a bunch of homeschooling blogs that interest me. But, I've only followed a few of them. Why?

Here are some things that make me leave your blog and not return, even if I like your content:

1. Black screen, white or bright (think neon) words OR using italics or some other crazy font for every post. My eyes can't take it.

2. Follower button is not there or is far down on the page. I don't want to have to search for a way to follow you. Put it at the top, please!

3. Too many reviews and no personal content. I may be guilty of this at times due to being on a review team. But I really try to intersperse personal content with reviews. The reviews may help some people too, but a blog that is all reviews on the first page will not prompt me to look at older posts.

4. Showing only 1 post per page. Whose idea was this?! Yes, your pages will load faster, but I have to click through six pages to get an idea of what you post about.

5. No search option combined with no labels. It's not helpful to me to see how many posts you've done each month if I don't know what the posts were about. I want to ideally be able to read what kind of topics you post about AND be able to search for particular topics.

6. Slow loading pages because you have a bazillion buttons in your side bar. My laptop is newish, but it is tempermental. Don't make it or me work harder than necessary to view your content. Pare down the side bar.

7. Avoiding "real" blogging. If you have something on your heart, don't be afraid to write about it. I like seeing some "real person behind the computer screen" posts once in a while. I don't always want to read about craft projects and book reviews. I want to know who you are too! :)

And here are some things I think newer bloggers worry about that aren't all that important (to me at least) for gaining readers:

1. Being like the "big" bloggers. If you've been lurking on homeschooling blogs for a while you know there are a few big name bloggers who everyone knows about. You don't have to write like them, use their curriculum choices, or be like them in order to be interesting. Be yourself.

2. Perhaps the biggest one is an obsession with getting followers. If you are interesting and relatively active on your blog, you will slowly but surely gain followers who actually care about what you write about. I'll read your blog whether you have 10 followers or 8,000 if I like your content.

3. Providing something for free (printables, pdfs, etc etc). This is not important to me. I want people to read my blog because they like it and are interested in it, not just because they can get something for free. If you want to share, please do, that's wonderful! But if you don't know how to share pdfs and you don't write your own curriculum, that's perfectly okay too!

4. Super fancy blogs. You don't have to have a drop down menu and a custom header and discus comments and be a part of every social media site out there to be interesting. Just be you!

5. Worrying about blogging You don't have to. I used to think I'd lose readers when I didn't find something to write about at least 5 times a week. Not so. I have lots of long time readers who come back. And it holds true for me too; I visit the same blogs over and over even if they don't write alot because I know their content when they do write is always interesting to me.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. What about you? Do you have pet peeves when it comes to reading blogs? Do you have certain things you wish every blogger would incorporate? Do you have blogging anxiety (lol) about your own growing blog?

I'd love to hear from you!

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Annette W. said...

I also don't like one blog post per page...or just reviews...or pale/neon fonts...even for links.

Good thoughts!!

Desiree said...

This is so helpful to me! I like how you say that you like the personal stuff too. I'm always trying to find a good balance between homeschool posts and family/personal posts.

Rachel said...

Great post. Authenticity is so important to me. And maintaining a balance between reviews and real life. :)

Blessings to you.

from the crew

Evenspor said...

The one thing that turns me off of a blog more than anything else is the music list. It's nice that they want to share their music, but it's annoying if I'm multitasking. If I have my sound on, it's because I'm trying to listen to something specific, so to be listening to something, then have a page I pull up suddenly blasting music at me... I hate that.

Kris said...

My blog isnt big but I have some followers that do read my blog...I try to make mine simple and easy for everyone including me...I think like you said the more real a person is on their blog the more people will follow it or read it...I too dont follow every blog I read...I dont have that much time to scroll down all the posts...I am glad you blogged this though it helped me see that someone else out there is the same way I am about blogs(:

Deborah said...

I agree, I will follow a blog regardless of how big or little the followship is and I really struggle with reading crazy font choices.

Noteable Scraps said...

I'm surprised no one here has listed correct spelling and grammar. We all make mistakes in personal writing, but many of the blogs I read are either from homeschool educators or scrapbookers with professional businesses. It would be nice if they could be professional enough to take the time to proofread before they publish.

Vicky said...

I could not have read this at a better time. I just started a new blog this weekend and have been a bit overwhelmed but this really puts it in perspective. Thank you!

Jennifer said...

Vicky, your blog is adorable! I tried to comment, but it isn't letting me. I know some people were having problems when the comment box was directly below the post with blogger. You might want to change is to the pop up window comments. That did seem to resolve it for people.

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