6 Reasons Why I Won’t Read Your Blog

wont-read-blogWhat do you look for in blogs?

When you’re surfing the net, reading up on your favorite topics, what makes you read the sites you visit?

Why do you stick around?

These are very important questions to ask yourself, because when it comes to getting people to stick around, you’re not much different than the people visiting your site.

Here are the 6 things I look for.

Rather, here are the 6 reasons why I won’t ever read your blog – or even think about subscribing.

1. Corporate Look & Feel

I’ve landed on sites that are written by ONE person that feel like there’s an entire corporation behind it.

Unless that’s what you’re going for (which I doubt), don’t do it. Don’t write blog posts without personality. They’re boring and they’ll make me want to leave.

You’re not a robot, and the people reading your content aren’t robots neither. Write for people. Connect and empathize with them. They’re the ones who are going to spread your message in the end.

2. Your Design Hurts My Eyes

I’m sure you have a few horror stories about a time you visited a site that literally hurt your eyes. (tell me all about it in the comments)

Seriously… If your site uses colors that clash and don’t mix well, it’s going to show in the design. Bright red should never be used on the same page with bright blue. It doesn’t work.

To get an idea of which colors can go together without clashing, check out the Color Scheme Designer 3.

3. Headlines Aren’t Pulling Me In

I can talk about headlines all day long. I’ve written two posts on headlines that you might find useful. Here they are:

The point is that if your headlines aren’t compelling, I’ll walk right by and not get pulled into your great content. If I don’t feel your content is worth reading, then I’ll keep it moving.

4. Your Content Sucks.. Plain & Simple

Now… let’s say your blog was personable and welcoming. Let’s say your design was awesome and your headlines grabbed me by the neck and made me want to read – your CONTENT might still mess things up.

This is why I talk a lot about the art of writing useful, inspiring, or entertaining content. There’s an entire page dedicated to it here..

Having a great looking site won’t make up for having crappy content that doesn’t help, inform or educate anyone. You can dress up a pig in a ball gown, but it’s still a pig.

5. Your Content Goes On Forever Without Breaks

Imagine if I wrote like this. All the content mushed together. No paragraphs. No line breaks. No sub-headlines. No way for you (the reader) to scan the content before reading it. Wouldn’t that annoy you. Now imagine visiting a site for the first time and having to read content that seems to go on forever. Where are the bullet points. Where’s the emphasis? How do you remember what you read if it’s all one big long paragraph? You can’t do it and it makes content a lot harder to read. I’m sure you’re realizing that right now. So the point is… don’t do it. Craft your blog posts the right way.

6. Lack of Planning, Preparation & Effort

I can tell when a blog owner puts effort into a blog post. I can tell when the site owner cares about design. I can tell when the owner cares about the reader.

This all boils down to planning and preparation. How much time are you spending on research before you post? How much time is spent making sure your blog works the way you want it to?

When you add images, do they make sense? Are they relevant? Do you finish off your blog posts in a way that engages the audience?

You should..

On To You…

Tell me.. what do you look for in blogs? Why do you read mine?

  • http://www.PublicityHound.net Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound

    Thanks for mentioning Item #5 above. When I land on a blog post, I immediately skim it to decide if it’s worth reading. A big block of gray is NOT worth reading.

    Give me sub-heads. Give me boldface type. And bullets. When I immediately see those, I know the writer is making it easy for me. That’s when I start reading.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      That’s exactly right.. we need to provide great readability if we want to get read. Still surprises me how many people write on blogs like they’re writing a college paper.

    • http://www.creativebloggers.net/ Rob.G

      Hello Joan you make some very good points and I think most people feel the same. I for one won’t even look at a page were the colors are hard on the eyes.

  • http://www.hungouttobuy.com elizabeth traub

    I am reading your blog, because a twitter dude @NealShaffer is consistently posting helpful links and information that is useful to me. I kept reading because I am brand new ( 3 months in) to blogging for real. I have had a personal blog for years, and never worried about content or followers. I figured my stats said an average of 1500 people visit each month. I did not mind if it was one person clicking 1500 times or 15 people 50 times.
    Now that I am in an online business forum, I need to really pay attention to writers like you, who have your experience and wisdom to lead people along like me. Very good information. Thanks. I am going to visit some of your other posts too. Blessings, Elizabeth

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Well I’ll have to thank Neal for sending you over. Thanks for stopping by. Welcome!

  • http://www.thewritingbase.com Samar @ The Writing Base

    Messy sidebars break the deal for me – and pop-ups. The only ‘x’ I’m going to click on when I see a pop-up is on the browser tab.

    That said, there are some sites that have stellar stuff despite messy sidebars and pop-ups. I just follow them via RSS.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      That’s also true.. the content needs to be amazing for me to look passed the messiness lol

  • http://www.CopySean.com Sean King

    Hey Hector,
    Just found your blog recently and love your style. I’ve already gone through your massive list of “worth a look” posts – definitely worth the look, and more!

    You’re spot on with the corporate look and feel. Any blog that’s too formal and look like they just want money from me is a huge turn off.

    Also thanks for the headline links. It’s something that I’ve always known I need to work on, but finally getting around to doing something about it.

    As far as ugly sites, I would say the biggest turn off for me would be a site with a bunch of ads. I don’t mind the occasional header and sidebar ads.. but anything more than that really rubs me the wrong way.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Hey Sean.. glad you’ve been reading up on past articles. If you have any questions about any of it, be sure to ask me.

      Headlines are super important – I might be writing up a few more posts on headlines alone since they’re the key to getting your content read and spread.

  • http://www.truthaboutjobhunting.com/ Gerry

    Harsh heading, but very true, I apply these principles when I read other peoples blogs so of course I should be looking at my own through the same eyes

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Yea.. it’s a bit harsh, but the goal is to grab people’s attention, then teach them something useful. You think I accomplished that?

  • http://www.internetnewbieincome.com WillieR@internet newbie income

    Hello Hector,

    A big turn off for me is to come to a blog and immediately be hit with a great big pop up or pop in window asking me to subscribe before I have even had a chance to review anything on the site.

    Last year I watched a video where blogging great Scott Stratten spoke at the blog world conference in October 2010. He touched on the subject of why it’s not good to have your pop up widget show immediately, saying it was rude to your site visitors.

    Hope you want mind Hector if I share the below link, it is very informative for bloggers.

    If I am out of place, please accept my apology and remove the link, (just wanted to share.)

    People can view the video at >> http://www.blogworldexpo.com/2010-las-vegas scroll down to the link saying Keynote Videos From BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2009 and look for the video that say’s Scott Stratten.

    Also, on the same subject, I remember marketer Nicole Cooper relating how she recieved an email from a visitor to her blog, at the time she was using a pop up/pop in widget.

    Anyway, the guy kinda lit into her, in a nice way, saying he was offended being hit with a pop up to subscribe to her blog before he had not even had a chance to read any of her blog content.

    Being the savvy marketer she is, Nicole immediately changed her approach and now her pop up comes up after a few minutes of being on her blog and she also wrote a post about that experience to enlighten other bloggers they too may be running people off there blog with pop ups and to many ads.

    As for color schemes, I find it hard to read some blogs that have a black theme.

    Thanks for this very informative post and sharing with others how to get better at our blogging.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Not out of place Willie. thanks for sharing that. I agree, I was once using pop ups and noticed a much better response when I delayed the ‘pop’. Same here.. I like white or very light gray backgrounds. That’s what I use on all of my sites.

  • http://growwithstacy.com/ Stacy

    Hi Hector,

    Those are six very important things to keep in mind when blogging. I like your first point about the corporate look and feel when it’s one person’s blog. The great thing about blogging is the personal aspect!

    Stacy

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      That’s exactly right Stacy.. it defeats the whole purpose of a blog when the posts have that corporate feel to them. We don’t want to connect with companies or logos.. we want to connect with people – people that tell great stories – people that can inspire us – people that can make our lives better somehow.

  • http://wealthbiznetwork.com Rachel Williamson

    Hey Hector,

    Found this post most interesting. I struggle with the ‘corporate’ thing…too many years of uptight bosses telling us to ‘be more professional’ and ‘keep your personality out of this’.

    If you wouldn’t mind doing me a favor, take a look at my home page and tell me if it’s too starchy? I’ve changed it up three times, but still concerned.

    I keep finding good tidbits here…keep up the good work! My blog is at http://wealthbiznetwork.com if you care to take a look.

    Thanks again,

    Rachel w.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Hey Rachel..

      I know exactly what you mean. Same thing with the education system. Introduction.. Body Paragraph.. Conclusion.. – you can break those rules when blogging..

      As for your blog.. it looks very personal – which is good. I recommend cleaning up the sidebars and footers just a bit. Remove the categories, TAGS, Recent Comments and Archives widgets because you already have 2 navigation bars and additional resources on the side.

      Less is more… hope that helps

  • http://www.sharpbizimage.com Rebecca Olkowski

    The thing that turns me off a blog fast is if it has so many things going you can’t even move down the page because it’s slow loading or even stuck. This gets very frustrating. Of course that has a lot to do with pop ups, ads, wacky plugins or widgets that don’t load, etc. Of course valuable content and personality makes a huge difference as well.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      OOoooohhh how I hate slow sites.. Part of problem might be their hosting company.. but you’re right. Most of the time it’s all the stuff they have going on. If InboundPro doesn’t load in 3 seconds, I start to get cranky.. lol

  • http://themummyadventure.com the mummy adventure

    Excellent list, I am trying to abide by all of those!

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Thanks.. hope it helps

  • Corinne

    Spot on, especially agree with no. 2. In addition to garish colour schemes, I don’t like sites that look like they were created 15 years ago, and the design was never updated. A few things I would add are:
    1. Having hundreds of ads for other companies in the sidebars. Two or three: OK; ten or above: desperate. It gives me the impression that these people have no faith in their own stuff, and it just gives off a ‘spammy’ vibe.
    2. Being redirected to a landing page. I know a lot of ‘business blogging’ websites advise this, but when I’m on the receiving end, it’s infuriating, especially when I can’t find a way to get onto the main website without signing up for something!

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Design from 1999 – check

      A ton of ads – Check

      Landing pages are important, but I get what you’re saying. You can’t even read a post without giving them your email. That’s not cool – and that’s not blogging in my books.

  • http://DesignByKiltz.com Christy

    Your list is great – I hate posts with generalities that end up just wanting to push a product. If your headline is full & meaty, your post needs to measure up. You covered it, I’m seconding it b/c it’s a huge pet peave of mine.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Thanks Christy.. glad you liked it.

  • http://www.broadband-expert.co.uk Lesleyanneyp

    You definitely got it right! these are valid reasons why blogs do not attract much readers.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Thanks Lesly

  • http://www.logallot.com Sonia

    For me it’s a thousand banner ads on the side bar and silly loud colors. I love blogs with a clean look and it doesn’t have to be white either. Blogs with some type of direction also helps because if they want me to read a particular post, make it easy for me to find.

    I also can’t stand it when I constantly get hit with a pop up for me to subscribe to their newsletter or RSS feed. I am fine with a simple optin box on the side of your blog. But the one pet peeve of all is a lack of blog posts. If they post infrequently, I won’t be back.

  • http://www.alspaulding.com Al Spaulding

    Pop ups do it for me. I can’t stand them. Also unless it’s a video blog I can’t stand reading words on a black back round.

    Thanks for the post Hector. You pointed out some good tips to keep in mind.

    suave,
    ~AL

  • http://RikLepine.com Rik

    Great post! Call it inexperience or whatever, if your site, content and writing style is not attractive, what’s the point? Be authentic, provide value, solve a problem for your reader.

    Rik

  • http://SingleMomWeekly.com/subscribe April Storm@Single Mom

    It’s interesting to see the collections of headlines that are winners. They almost all have a clear structure that can be easily duplicated or at least adapted to our business model. This is what gets magazines bought and emails opened!

  • http://inspiretothrive.com Lisa

    I know what you mean about colors – there is a blog I like but cannot stay on it long because the color scheme gives me a headache. I do not like pop-ups either. Too intrusive. I like you advice on keeping in real and having personality – a really good point. I found you from Logallot – A blog I read often. Glad she shared yours today.

  • http://www.word-works.co.nz Andrew Healey

    Hi Hector, some good points. I often find when I visit ‘create’ type companies, the design can be a real hassel. Sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to find out just what they do. Flash can also be a pain. I hate it when the site seems to take for ever to load and reads, 10% loaded, 25% loaded, 30% loated, etc.

  • http://www.word-works.co.nz Andrew Healey

    Hi Hector, good post. I often find when I visit ‘create’ type sites that the design can be a pain. Sometime it’s nearly impossible to find out just what they do. Flash, in particular, is a hassel when it takes ages to load.

  • http://web.me.com/tournesol_bp/The_French_Village_Diaries/Blog/Blog.html Jacqui

    Hi, I’ve been blogging a while, but happy to keep learning and there are some great points here. Thanks.

  • http://www.geniusstartup.com/ Caimin @ Genius Startup

    Posts that have no opinion, are too wishy-washy and have no practical information. Tell me what you think I should do and why you think I should do it!

    Thanks, I feel better for that :)

  • http://unwireme.com Rich Polanco

    Oh, come on Hector. You’re killing me! I thought I was being patriotic with my red/white/blue theme :-(

    Good stuff :-)

    -Rich

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      LOL.. your site actually looks really good. You’re using those colors in good taste.

      • http://unwireme.com Rich Polanco

        Thanks for the feedback brother! Much appreciated.

        (Seriously, e-mail me if you want to spare me the public beating. Gotta learn from the pros ;)

        -Rich

  • http://pickmedarlin.com Venita

    Hi Hector
    Thanks for bringing the corners to neatly together. Apart from annoying pop-up I find flicking text will make me immediately leave a site. Yes I know we are all suffering from tunnel vision but irritating remains irritating.

  • http://www.holidayvillasinternational.com/ Luxury villa holidays

    Hi , good post. I often find when I visit ‘create’ type sites that the design can be a pain. Sometime it’s nearly impossible to find out just what they do. Flash, in particular, is a hassel when it takes ages to load.

  • http://www.blogengage.com/blogger/how-i-earned-1700-online-for-one-day-tips-for-newbie-bloggers/ Jena Isle

    Hi Hector,

    I enjoyed reading your post. First you followed the pointers you mentioned. Cool. I’m having problems with my blog’s theme because I still can’t decide which one to use that is professional-looking and user -friendly at the same time.

    I laughed when you mentioned about pigs being pigs even if you dress them up. :D

    Interesting post. By the way, I found your link from Blokube.

  • http://thrillseekingbehavior.wordpress.com/ mirabelle

    because you ask, i’m not going to read your blog. because despite the snappy headline, the bullet points and the call to action– there’s nothing here that hasn’t been posted a million times on a million more interesting, more personable pages.

    • http://www.inboundpro.net/ Hector Cuevas

      Wow.. then you should read those blogs instead. thanks for the comment. =)

  • http://www.xaviergraphics.com Xavier

    Fantastic post! I love your blog in general.

    You mentioned the site Color Scheme Designer 3 to assist people with their color woes. Check out Adobe’s site https://kuler.adobe.com/

    Its updated by a strong community of designers and users. I think that this fact helps people that may not be so confident in their design abilities find a quality color scheme to their tastes.

    Thanks again for the great post.

  • Pingback: TGIF Round Up – April 2012 – Week 2 - LogAllot.com