Ten Things That Make Your Blog a Hot Mess
Is Your Blog a Hot Mess?
I love the blogsphere. I have met some amazing bloggers in my 9 years and I have read a lot of posts on a lot of sites. I have changed my own site a hundred times and my goal for 2014 is to have a new site designed that I promise that I won’t touch. I’ve looked at so many sites over the years and have really been paying attention to designs lately so that I can find the elements that I really like for when that new design happens. I’ve seen some amazing sites that I love and I have seen some that are really, really bad and a whole lot that fall in the middle. But there are a few things that drive me crazy and I don’t understand why people put them on their sites. Or maybe it just bothers me?
Here is my top ten list of things that will make me leave your site:
You have too much crap there – You my friend, have a site that looks like Tammy Faye Bakker herself designed it. You have buttons and banners and widgets and ads EVERYWHERE. My eye has no clue where to go first but I can tell you where it’s NOT going… to your posts. If you have to have all those things on your site, consider spreading them around and reserving the most important things for above the fold (the part of your site that you see when you first get to your site). Use your footers for your badges and button swaps.
I can’t find your social media buttons or worse – you have none – These are one of the things that SHOULD be at the top. I would say 90% of us instinctively look for these in the upper right hand corner. Make them attractive and make them blend with your site. There are a crap-ton of sites out there where you can get social media icons.
I can’t figure out how to subscribe to your blog – Another “above the fold” item. I’ve been using BlogLovin’ for the past few months, but I also have an email signup form and an RSS feed. You don’t know how people want to get their posts from you, so give them at least a couple of options. I will say this – don’t have more than one “email” option.. I did and it made me crazy trying to get accurate numbers. Now I only have one and it’s thru MailChimp.
You make commenting hard – Have you ever read a great post and you were ready to leave a comment only to find you either couldn’t or you had to jump thru hoops of fire to do it? Make commenting easy for your visitors. I mean.. it IS what we are all clamoring for, right?? More visitors and comments? I use CommentLuv but other good ones are Disquus and LiveFyre. I’m seeing a lot of bloggers with Facebook and G+ comment platforms which is great but I wouldn’t use a combination of them. Pick one and use it.
Obviously commenting is hard for you, too - Hands down, my biggest pet peeve are bloggers who don’t respond to comments left on their blog. I don’t mean a response to “nice post” but if I take the time to read and post a thoughtful comment, you should at least respond with something. I have stopped following bloggers because of that. I’ll give my comment love to someone else.. believe me – there are plenty of worthy ones out there.
Your writing sucks – You know when you see someone in a really bad outfit and you wonder “do they OWN a mirror??”. This is the equivalent. Please read what you write. I know it’s more effective to just write and not edit, but when you’re taught that – they don’t mean NEVER edit. They just mean while you’re writing. If you read your post and it doesn’t even make sense to you, how in the world am I supposed to understand what you’re trying to say?
Your spellcheck is broken – Oh. My. God. Y’all.. when you’re writing and you see your words underlined in red, that means it’s SPELLED WRONG. Granted some words are spelled incorrectly on purpose, but that’s not what I’m referring to. If you’re blogging, most likely you’re hoping that someone will come along and offer you some money or products which means it’s a business. Treat it like one and put your best foot forward.