Every once in awhile I like to post something about what I do/don’t like about blogs, what I’d recommend for bloggers, etc. and I realized it’s been awhile since I’ve posted something like this. I’ve seen a lot of fellow bloggers talk about what you should do on your blog or what makes them interested in your blog, but I haven’t seen quite as much on the opposite side of that. So I decided to put together a list of a few things that discourage me from following your blog aka things that I don’t like to see on blogs/see bloggers do.
Before I get into this, I want to make it clear that a lot of this just comes down to personal taste. There are things that I may not like and that may make me uninterested in your blog, but that doesn’t mean that no one will like what you do. I’m certainly no authority here; just because it’s something that I wouldn’t like doesn’t mean you need to stop doing it. But with that said, let’s get into a few things that are likely to make me uninterested in your blog.
This one isn’t something that will immediately make me say “no way” to following your blog, but depending on how frequent and how bad it is, it definitely can have an impact. I understand a lot of bloggers aren’t native English speakers and that even if you are a native English speaker, you may have a learning disability that makes it difficult to always have perfect spelling and grammar so I tend to be fairly lenient with this as long as I can still understand what you’re trying to say. A mistake here and there isn’t that big of a deal. However, there have been blogs that I’ve either decided not to follow at all or that I’ve unfollowed after awhile because the spelling and grammar mistakes are just way too much and make reading posts too difficult. If I have to spend too much time trying to decipher your posts, then visiting your blog just isn’t fun for me. Moral of the story: proofread your posts! If you know that spelling and grammar are something you struggle with, I recommend having someone else look over your posts if you can or installing Grammarly. Grammarly is an extension you can get on Google Chrome (I’m not sure about other web browsers) that will point out mistakes you’ve made and help you fix them. It’s a lifesaver! (Although fair warning: it’s not always 100% accurate.)
I want to make it very clear that I’m not talking about negative book reviews, posts that are discussing the issues in the publishing industry, etc. I’m talking about bloggers who repeatedly complain about everything in their posts. Admittedly, this point made the list because of a very specific experience I had a few months ago that just really turned me off of a blog. I was using the Top Ten Tuesday link-up to find new blogs and came across someone who spent two paragraphs complaining about the topic that was being used that week. I understand that not every TTT topic will appeal to every blogger. What I don’t understand is why you would spend half of your post complaining about how much you hate that topic instead of just skipping that week. There have been plenty of times where I’ve simply skipped a week because the topic was too difficult or because it just wasn’t something I really wanted to talk about. It’s not the end of the world. Reading this negativity really put me off the blog because 1.) being overly negative just isn’t something that I feel is well-suited for a blog (maybe keep that on Twitter, haha) and 2.) there’s a lot of work that goes into things like running memes and to be so dismissive and overly critical over such a small thing seemed really petty and rude to me. Try not to post things that may be seen as unappreciative of others’ work and/or that will make your readers feel like you do nothing but complain.
Not Writing In-Depth Posts
I don’t expect every post you put up to be super long and I understand that sometimes you’re short on time and don’t have hours to spend writing a really fleshed-out post. BUT I get really annoyed when people write lists (things like Top Ten Tuesday or Top 5 Wednesday) and all they include in the post are the titles of the books. Try to make your post a little more personal by explaining why you chose to include those titles rather than just listing a bunch of books. I know you may not always have a lot to say about each book, but trust me, it makes your post seem a lot more thoughtful and makes it much more interesting if you add even just one sentence per title. This same issue can be relevant to other types of posts too. I’ve read “discussion” posts that end up being a paragraph and one question. It just seems kind of rushed and thrown together without much thought. This isn’t good for stimulating discussion or making people interested in reading your posts.
Never Acknowledging Comments
This is something that’s more likely to make me unfollow you rather than avoid following you in the first place, but it really does have a big impact on my decision on who to follow and/or put time into interacting with. Simply put, it makes no sense for me to spend time typing out thoughtful comments and trying to start a conversation with someone who can’t even be bothered to give my comment a “like.” Again, I understand that people get low on time and that you may not always have a lot to say in response to every comment you receive, but if I’ve been following and commenting on your blog for months and you’ve never responded? I’m highly unlikely to keep putting the effort into trying to talk to you. At that point, your blog would have to be really good for me to stick around.
Not Posting Any Original Content
This is another one that I’m a little more lenient with simply because I understand how difficult it can be to consistently come up with original post ideas. However, original content is what separates your blog from others and what makes your blog appealing in a sea of thousands of other blogs. There have been blogs that I visit and all they post are book blitzes and memes. While those posts can be fun to read, I wouldn’t base your whole blog around them. Some memes, like Top Ten Tuesday, allow for a bit more originality in each blogger and are more interesting to read, but others can end up feeling incredibly repetitive or just boring to read from a lot of different blogs. Posting original content gives readers an incentive to come to your blog and makes your posts interesting to read. You’re offering something that no one else is.