This could be one of your blog readers.

Are you unknowingly annoying your readers? Well, if you are making these 11 mistakes, you might be turning them off. Keep on reading…

annoyed

Annoyed reader photo by Jonno Witts

1. Writing in gigantic blocks of text

Big text blogs are easy to get lost in. They also strain eyes and make reading difficult.

Because it’s hard to scan. Let alone read.

In fact, a study shows that only 16% of your readers read word-by-word. The rest mostly scan. So at least make it scannable.

I suggest keeping paragraphs 1 to 7 lines long. Then your readers would read your post relaxingly and enjoyably. Ahhhh… 8)

2. Eye-straining text

eye No matter how good your writing may be, if you write in teeny weeny text, people are going to be annoyed and read with squinty winty eyes.

Or scan abruptly. Or not read at all.

Also, make sure the lines are not squeezed too tightly together, like…

This paragraph is an example of hard-to-read text, hard-to-read text, hard-to-read text. This paragraph is an example of hard-to-read text, which readers can’t stand and move on to the next. So, make reading easy so the poor eye can rest.

5 easy steps to make your text easy to read

1. Go to your theme’s CSS in your admin area. For WP users, go to the theme editor. Then, on the right, there’s a list of files. Make sure you are on style.css.

2. Find #content (the part of the blog post).

3. Add this line to the code. Below are the settings I use for my blog Gloson Blog, but you can customize it. :-)

font: 15px/25px;

“15px” = text size.

“25px” = space between lines.

4. Customize the sizes (if you want). It’s important to consider the blog width, the blog post width, the sidebar width, and the design. Then update the code!

5. Clear-cache-reload (Ctrl + F5) your blog and check out your comfortable text. Aaaahhhh….. 8)

If you need any help, just leave a comment and I’ll help out :-) .

P.S. If you have the WP Super Cache plugin, go to another page to see the changes.

Photo by Daniel Y. Go

3. MR. ALLCAPS X. MARKS!!!!!!!!

To most people online, ALL CAPS IS SHOUTING and if used with exclamation marks, it’s EXTREMELY ANNOYING!!!!!! REALLY!!!!

It also looks unprofessional and is hard to read. So don’t write in all caps.

Of course, you can use it occasionally and appropriately if you want to emphasize a word. :-)

Photo by toddheft

4. Where’s the about-me page?

Your readers have read an ammmmmmmmmmmmmazing blog post on your blog!

And now, they are heading to your about me page – They want to know more about the awesome guy who wrote it!

But if they discover that you don’t have an about-me page, they are going to get confused, frustrated and annoyed, especially loyal readers.

So, make sure you have an about me page. It makes the blog more personal!

Don’t forget to put up an image of you too! It really helps the readers to get to know you better and also builds your name and brand on the Internet.

5. Writing like a robot with no personality

Readers don’t like to read writing without personality. It feels as if you’re reading from a robot! Or even a impersonal “professional” commercial site!

Instead, write with your style and personality–who you are. That’s blogging. Readers love to read posts that are written for them and by you.

In other words, don’t ever write like Wikipedia (We don’t read their articles, unless we badly want a certain information, right? Their long paragraphs strainnnn eyes too! Arrgh!). :P

The cat photo? mis. tuh.-..purr. suhn. al. it. ee

And it’s taken by swanky

6. Reading…reading…reading…GAHH! Music!

Imagine you sitting at your computer then BANG! Music bursts out your musicspeakers! Yikes! *Finds the stop button in panic!* Phew!

Music, especially autoplaying music, is extremely annoying to unsuspecting visitors.

I’ve read from many people that if they visit a blog with autoplaying music, they would leave immediately.

But if your blog really has to include music, just don’t set it to autoplay and you’ll be fine. :-)

Photo by greggoconnell

7. Here an ad, there an ad, everywhere an ad ad

Advertising is really a very good way to monetize your blog!…if it is not overdone.

Too many advertising distract and annoy readers a lot, and they’re going to be turned off very quickly.

So, don’t fill your blog with too many or distracting ads (animated ones). Making money the smart way is much better than the “quick and easy” way.

8. Complicated, sophisticated commenting system

Don’t ever require commentators to login. No reader wants to go through all the effort to create an account for one single comment!

Mind-exploding Captchas are not a very smart way to prevent spam either. It drives away potential commentators more than it prevents spam.

Instead, install Askimet the spam exterminator. Mostly no spam gets past it.

If a blog requires people to login or enter a Captcha to comment, then it’s missing a lot of potential commentators.

Photo by mag3737

9. Really, really bad design

Don’t judge a book by its cover,” they say, but that’s the problem. Most people judge a blog by its design.

If your blog has a poor design, it will give new visitors a bad impression and it isn’t very nice to look at, anyway.

So, make sure

  1. typography easy to read
  2. navigation easy to find
  3. design doesn’t distract reader from content
  4. design doesn’t look like a website from the 90’s
  5. colors look cool 8) .

And lastly, make sure your design never ever ever looks like this:

Designer’s nightmare

Caution before clicking: Autoplaying Music

Ouch… my eyes hurt.

For some inspiration, here are 50 Beautiful and Amazing Blog Designs compiled by Smashing Magazine.

10. Snail loading speed… dot dot dot… *Yawns*

If your page takes 10+ seconds to appear, visitors lose patience and will click away before your page has even appeared.

To improve loading speed,

  1. reduce the number of posts on homepage
  2. reduce the number of images
  3. reduce the size of images
  4. reduce your coding

In conclusion, to improve loading speed a lot, remember the 3 R’s.

Reduce, Reduce, and Reduce.

To test loading speed, head over to Pingdom Tools. It gives a detailed breakdown on the loading speed of certain elements, so you know which one slows down the loading.

Here is one popular plugin to help boost your loading speed a lot > W3 Total Cache.

Photo by jpockele

11. Turn off comments, turn off readers

The blog community is made out of 2 things:

1. the blogger

2. readers

So, if you turn off comments, you turn off readers.

Readers like to voice out their opinions on your blog. It’s where they can converse, discuss, and have their say.

So, don’t ever turn off comments! (Unless you have serious spam issues and have put your reason in the comments section.)

Photo by Marc Wathieu

__________

Phew! That’s quite a list!

Don’t forget to share the things on blogs that annoy you in the comments below! If I think the point you shared is really annoying, I’ll include it here! :-)

So, are you guilty of any of these? :-)

Cheers!

Great Tips from Commentators (Thank you guys!)

Kristi

Great tips! I would add that in addition to having an about me page, you should have some small blurb on your sidebar that describes you and your blog for new visitors so that people know what the overall gist of your site is.

Susan Cooper (BuzzEdition)

Great post Gloson! But may I add:

Please don’t load your blog with so many ads that you have to scroll a full webpage to see the content

Josh

Gloson,

Awesome post man, these are some great pointers for anyone getting a blog started or needing to ‘spruce’ things up a bit.

I can’t tell you how many times I hate going to a blog that has an interesting title that loads sooo slowly.

Another thing that really annoys me is widgit overload! Too many widgits makes for a very busy page. Great Job! :)