I pick up a little side work as a social marketing consultant here and there. Today I was working on a project looking for relevant bloggers to network with in a niche space. I went to alltop to find the blogs they have listed for this topic and opened all of them in tabs so I could see if I liked them.
I was specifically looking for people who had street cred as a blogger in that space. I found a bunch that I liked. I was also reminded of things I hate. Here’s my hate list:
- Very dark background, very light font. Think black background, white font. IT SUCKS. I hate this. I have bad eyes, and I’m in front of a computer about 10 hours a day. When I get to a site that has black background with white font I find my eyes hurting pretty quickly and I just have to go away. (surprisingly, many people have this sucky color scheme on their Twitter bio area. Do they not realize it SUCKS?)
- Funky font. Bright colors. Really big text. Different font types throughout a post. Look, I get it… you want to somehow accentuate something, right? Bring out a big idea, or whisper or something… my heavens, don’t do it by making the font 8 times bigger than what it should be.
- Too many linked distractions. I like to read blogs without a lot of noise. Don’t have dozens of links all over the place. Here’s an example – don’t put a link to a community or forum unless you have enough people (that is: more than you) in that community and forum. Work up to it, but don’t lead me all over your site to places that have tiny bits of information, but none of them have any real substance.
- Too little information. I want to know about YOU or the topic. Don’t doodle in blah blah blah. I’m amazed at the contrast between a very strong, on-topic blogger compared to a blogger that wanders all over Boringville and never makes a relevant point.
- Lots of off-topic posts. I know you like your kitty cat. I know you like your spuds, flowers, car, favorite pair of jeans, etc. But if you have a topical blog (that is, not a personal here’s-what-i-ate-for-lunch-this-last-month blog, then severely restrict your off-topic posts. If you want to have a following for your topic and you talk too much about junk you’ll lose people.
- Cussing. You are a big boy or a big girl, I get that. But the more strong language you use on your blog the more you are going to turn people off. Or maybe you don’t care… that’s fine. Your blog is more about venting your feelings than about developing an audience and a community – that’s fine. But I can’t follow you much if you are constantly offending me. Prude, I know.
- Link bait, or dropping a lot of keyword searchable words. I don’t want to read your blog because I’m a search engine, I want to read it because I’m a human being. It’s okay to put the link stuff in there, and put keywords in there, but can you at least work it into proper grammar and have it relevant to what you are writing?
- Widgets. Kill most of them. If you are widget crazy I won’t even wait the three minutes it takes for your blog to come up… I’ll just close the tab and not come back. Seriously, don’t YOU have something more value-add on your blog than 18 widgets? You are better than that (I hope). Don’t distract me with useless crap.
- Google Ads, if you are a legitimate business/blogger. I’m amazed at the sites that have Google ads on their site. I’m quite biased against google ads because the goofballs at Google shut down my ad program (lame story). But here’s why I don’t recommend it: (a) it is a distraction that you can’t really control, (b) if I click on the ad, I GO AWAY from your site, and (c) I wonder why a business or legit blogger would ever sell valuable real estate on their blog for $18/month (what I’m guessing most bloggers are getting). Seriously, figure out something more value-ad to give to your audience. Google ads to me says “I don’t care to build a community, I’m just hoping the brainless drone who happens to come to my site will be dumb enough to realize I don’t have any value for him/her and they’ll click on the Google ad so I can make five cents.”
- ______________________________________. What’s the thing you hate to see on a blog?