I blog hop a lot. And there are awesome sites out there. And there are sites I never return to again (even though they are awesome). It took me a while to realize the sites I avoid have the same things in common.
I also realized I’m guilty of a lot of those things. As bloggers/writers, we tend to do the things that would totally turn off anyone (including ourselves) if we found it on another site, and often don’t even realize it. Today I tried to look at it from the visitor’s perspective.
So, what would make a person run screaming from your site? AKA: How To Write A Bad Blog Post:
2. Put lots of ads in the post. Breaking up the post’s flow with lots of adsense text or other ads makes a site look spammy.
3. Don’t add any pictures. A short post without pictures is fine, but if the post is long and nothing but text, without photos or being broken off into sections, it’s an eyesore.
4. Rant on in run on sentences. Talk too much about nothing. Go off on tangents. Tell a backstory to “share” that totally detracts from the main theme of the post. Like my friend Michelle does whenever…. (what, you mean you don’t care about my friend Michelle? But you’ll LOVE this story!)
5. Create a poor layout/outline. First start the post with all your opinions. For a few paragraphs. Of 15 lines each. In the middle of each of these paragraphs, bury the relevant content. Readers who find it win a prize.
6. Use obnoxious colors. Black on white is boring. So is white on black. How about brown on cream? That would be AWESOME! Hard to read, but it coordinates and are your favorite colors.
7. Make the content hard to find. Forget a disorganized post, let’s see if the readers can find the post at all. Put it more than halfway down the page, or better yet, make the reader figure out which link will take them to the full post. A little scrolling/scavenger hunt never hurt anyone.
If you are guilty of most or all of these things (I sure was), it’s not a bad idea to fix them.
If you err in just one or two areas, it’s probably not a big deal, and if your traffic is already awesome, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. But for everyone else- if you don’t like seeing it on another site, don’t do it on yours.