4 Common Barriers To Blog Engagement

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One of my favorite things to do when I have some free time is blog hop and try to find some new blogs to follow and keep up with. There are always new blogs popping up and each blogger brings something new to the table, so it’s only natural that I want to find some great voices to follow and listen to in the community. However, it’s not uncommon for me to want to read, comment on, or follow a blog, but not be able to for one reason or another. And even though it happens pretty frequently, it breaks my heart every time. So today I wanted to talk about some of these barriers and give some advice to bloggers. A lot of bloggers are probably only getting a fraction of the views they could and may not even be aware of some of the barriers that are standing in the way of them and their blogs getting more views. So I’m here to help!

A quick disclaimer: all of this advice is based on my own experience. These are things that have stopped me from reading, commenting on, or following blogs. This is not meant to be a complete list nor are these barriers going to discourage everyone from commenting/following/etc. 🙂

Make Your Recent Posts Easy To Find

Without a doubt, this is my number one pet peeve. If you have a static front page (i.e. a page that doesn’t change, such as an about page) or your front page shows specific featured posts, make it easy for readers to find your blog roll (like my blog’s front page, where all of your posts are there, with the most recent at the top). Sure, there are plenty of readers who won’t mind only being able to find some posts, but many of us want to be able to easily find the most recent things that you’ve written and shared. If people can’t find your recent posts, they won’t know what types of things you share and therefore, are less likely to follow you. Some bloggers will have navigation at the top that brings readers to specific types of posts (for example, reviews or memes) which is fine, but please, please, please also have a page where people can click and have all of your posts appear with the most recent post at the top. Trust me, it will be easier for a lot of people and you’ll be much more likely to gain new followers. After all, people aren’t going to follow you if they can’t even figure out what you post about or how frequently you post.

Make It Easy To Follow Your Blog

I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve wanted to follow a blog and haven’t been able to because I physically can’t find a way to do it. I recommend having something in your sidebar that will allow people to sign up to follow you. And make sure your follow options are not all restricted to certain platforms. For example, if you’re hosted by WordPress, make sure you have an option for people to follow you even if they don’t have a WordPress account. I personally recommend having an email available option because this allows anyone to follow you, even if they don’t want to sign-up for another website like Bloglovin’.

Make Your Theme Easy To Read

This is not really related to my former points, but it’s just as important. If your blog’s design makes it difficult for people to read your posts, I guarantee many people won’t even bother trying. Having all light colors or all dark colors can make it very difficult to read the text because it’s hard to tell the text apart from the background. This can be a huge problem for people who, like me, have eyes that get strained easily. My recommendation is to have a very light background with very dark text (like white and black). Having light text on a dark background can be difficult for some people (again, like me) to read, so having a light background and dark text will make your blog readable for most people. I’d also recommend avoiding tiny font sizes or having the majority of your text in some fancy script. I’d say minimum text size should be 12pt font and if you want to use a script font, use that only for headers. It can be difficult for some people to read blocks of text that are all in fancy script writing, so a regular serif or sans serif font will be best.

Have a Name/URL Comment Option Available

This tip is specifically included for blogs hosted by Blogger, but this is a good tip for self-hosted blogs, too. This isn’t an issue on WordPress blogs since readers who don’t have a WP account (or aren’t logged into WP) are automatically faced with a name/URL option. I’m pretty sure you’ll have to physically change your settings, but trust me, it’s worth it. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to comment on someone’s Blogger blog, but haven’t been able to because there was no option available that would work for me. Blogger’s WordPress commenting option is notorious for not working (I’ve literally never been able to comment that way), so that really shouldn’t be relied upon. The other default options are not ones that I use either. PLEASE just make it much easier for everyone involved and enable name/URL commenting. I believe the picture below shows you how to do this (here’s the link if you can’t see the picture).

changing comment options blogger

These are some tips to increase engagement on your blog. Do you have any others?


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21 thoughts on “4 Common Barriers To Blog Engagement

  1. I’ve never thought about the background color. Mine is dark, so now I’m wondering if it’s hard for people to read. 😦 I just liked how it looked. Thanks for posting this. I’ll have to see if it’s an issue for people. So far I’ve had comments about how nice it looks, but maybe it doesn’t work well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, yes, yes to the name/URL option in Blogger. I complain about this on Twitter like once every two months. I literally cannot comment on most Blogger blogs because it’s so glitchy, and I’ve given up even reading a lot of them because of it. I don’t want to read a blog I can’t comment on when the post is interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! The Blogger commenting is so frustrating and almost never works. And the dark background/lighter text. That’s an issue for me on some blogs, especially when it’s something like a black background and then a neon or primary color for text. Another thing that bothers me is super tiny text. I don’t see that much on other platforms, but I see it a lot on tumblr blogs and I have to zoom to like 200% to be able to read anything :/

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. The amount of blogs that have static front pages and no easy to see ‘blog’ option to find new posts, astounds me. I usually give up and never visit that blog again! I love the whole idea of a static page, but you have to make sure your readers can find your blog roll easily!

    I think layout appearance is huge. If the blog is hard to read, I never visit again. If there’s ALOT going on, I will never visit again. If there are blog posts aren’t set to ‘excerpts’ or just the feature image (Like my own blog), and you have to scroll so far down to see each blog post cos the full post is showing, I will never visit again. It’s so annoying and makes it hard on the reader!

    I always get so confused when blogs don’t have their social links in an easy to see place! I always recommend bloggers to put their social links in more than one place, so your readers can easily find them. I have mine permanently on the top left of my layout, then again at the top of my sidebar which is only visible when reading a post, then again on my about page, and my contact page. I may be over killing it, but that’s how much I hate it when I can never find a blogs follow buttons! I want to make sure anyone can find my social buttons.

    Arghh omg, it kills me every time when blogger blogs DO NOT have the Name/URL option when commenting! I don’t know why it isn’t the default option. Half the time I actually just cannot comment on that blog because of it. It’s so frustrating.

    Awesome post Kourtni!

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly!! I like static front pages too, but you definitely need to make sure that it’s easy for readers to find your blog roll. People don’t want to have to click fifty different links just to try and figure out what your most recent post is. It’s exhausting!

      The excerpt thing never used to bother me until I started using excerpts on my own blog, haha. I used to like not having to click another link just to read the full post, but now it frustrates me if I have to scroll forever just to see their second or third posts.

      I completely agree! I have my social links in my sidebar and at the bottom of every post. I want to make it easy for people to connect with me on other platforms – especially since some of those are a lot easier to have a casual conversation on!

      Yuuuup, same here. It honestly makes me feel so bad because a lot of the time, I’m there because the person comments a lot on my blog and I want to interact with them, but then I physically can’t because there’s no user-friendly commenting option for me. So frustrating!!

      Thank you, Jordon!

      Like

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