July 7 2007

3 Ways To Get Me To Not Visit Your Blog Again

As part of Daily Blog Tips Blog Project:Three contest, I thought I would give a short list, three items to be precise, of ways to get me to not want to return to your blog. Consider these helpful hints to keep your most precious commodity, your loyal readers, coming back.

1. In-Text Advertising – There is nothing I hate more than seeing those infernal double lines under random words in a blog post. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with monetizing your blog, I do it myself, but I think anything that pops up and obstructs your view of the actual post is a bad idea. I have never once clicked on one of those ads, and I never will. Your content is king; an ad popping up and covering your content makes no sense.

(PLEASE NOTE:This is a static image put here as an example, it is NOT an actual in-text ad) 
2. Navigation – Does your navigation make sense? Is there an easy flow? Do you break in the middle of stories for advertisements? Do you hide two sentances behind a “more” command?I chose my current theme for the compartmentalized nature it offered. The left column is for site business, the middle for the entries, and the right column for ads and random nonsense. I try to keep my cuts to a minimum, and also make sure there is an easy flow nature to everything I do. Don’t make the reader hunt through your million ads for your content.

3. Frequency of updates – If you don’t update frequently, why should I bother coming back to check? If you can’t take the time to make an update, why should I continue checking for one?

Just a few tips to make sure your readers have an easy, and pleasant, time reading your blog.

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  • Jan

    If you don’t like “in your face” advertising you should look at getting rid of the intelliTXT ad that popped up when I wanted to browse your article. I could not even get it to go away when clicking the X and it did not respond to my accidentally clicking on it either so it seems pretty useless.

    Sorry for leaving a somewhat negative remark in my first comment on your blog, but you speak out against your own practice twice in the post so I thought I would let you know how a new visitor feels as you probably don’t see the adds yourself.

  • Interesting… To be honest, all three seem to be common sense to me.

    In-text ads do look “kewl” for a couple of minutes, but then, they start to annoy almost everyone on the net. They’re like a fly that doesn’t leave you alone while you’re sitting outside enjoying your ice cold beer!!!

    Easy navigation is also a necessity. Nothing annoys me more than MySpace!!! Though, a clean interface in general is more important than strait forward navigation only.

    And of course, update frequency. That deppends on the main reason a blogger blogs. If it is “because I can,” then, once a week is more than enough! But if the reason is “because i want to,” everything will be fine.

    On a side note, something seems to be wrong with your header and footer background image. Maybe it’s because I’m using a wide screen monitor…

  • Jo

    There is one blog I don’t visit at all but through the RSS feed because each post is nothing but one giant ad and you have to look closely for the “one line” of the post. I even told her that but nothings changed. Maybe I’m the only one that complained.

    I have stopped pushing to post daily, but yet doubt I’ll go more than a couple days without posting something. I do find when I go through Blog Explosion several blogs for some reason are there but haven’t had anything put on them for months!

  • Yeah… inline advertising sucks.. but for frequency update, I think RSS is here to do the job. Why bother visit blogs over and over?

  • Jan – You couldn’t click it because it’s a static image put there as an example… I have now added a disclaimer above the image.

    Jimbo – Thanks for the screencap! Yeah, I think it is your monitor. I have viewed the site on numerous screens, in just about every browser out there, and I have never seen that pop up before. I’ll see if I can figure it out.

    Jo – Even once or twice a week is great, but if they go months, I just stop going.

  • Jan

    Thanks for the email. I would probably have forgotten to check back otherwise. You should consider adding a “subscribe to comments” option though as people are then automatically mailed when something new is posted. They can opt out anytime of course.

    I guess that makes me look pretty silly doesn’t it :-) That it is an image I mean. To be honest I have seen even worse practices so I didn’t even stop to think about it. Luckily I had myself enough in grip to stay diplomatic I think.

    PS: Your design looks alright to me (Firefox on OSX), but I would cut some of the content of the right column which is considerably longer than the left and thus goes beyond your footer.

  • Jan – No problem on the image confusion:) I will cut some right content today, I had been considering it any way. As for subscribing to comments, I have an RSS for it, but I’ll see if I can’t find something simpler today.

  • I couldn’t agree more about the in-text ads, but they seem to be everywhere, so I assume some bloggers are having success with them (at least financially speaking).

    I never worry about the frequency of others’ blog updates; when new content is posted I’ll see it in my feed reader. Plus it allows you to keep up with more blogs (assuming you want to).

    I subscribe to the RSS feeds of several blogs that update very infrequently, but when they do post, it’s worth it.

  • Can't disagree with these!

    Here are 3 more:

    – Autoloading music

    – Frequent profanity

    – Too much metablogging (blogging about that very blog)

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  • Very reasonable list, Sean One more reason that I would add is I don’t return to blogs where the blogger doe not engage in comments. If I’ve taken the time to add a useful or insightful comment or even a question in a comment and the blogger doesn’t respond or interact, I assume they could care less whether I read another post or not.

  • Sheila – Thank you SO much for that comment! There are times I feel I am over responding, but what you said is the exact reason I do respond so much. I feel if you took the time to comment, then I should do so in kind.

    Juggling Frogs – Autoloading music should be banned from the internet as far as I am concerned. I want to listen to iTunes while I surf, don’t have YOUR musical choices infringing on mine. Profanity, I try to keep it the barest minimum, and will go months without it, then when I do use it, I try to warn folks. Sometimes it just can’t be helped.

  • Sean – You “get it”! Thanks!

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  • Totally agree with all your points especially the advertise one

    On top of navigation, I think it should also be clear navigation in way it is found, read and clicked on..

  • Jermayn – Exactly. Navigation should be one of the simplest things to use. Don’t make me guess how to navigate your site.

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  • Good that we agree Sean :)

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  • I voted for you, good luck

  • Jamaipanese – Thanks! And to you!

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  • Hey, nice post, how come you get sooooo many comments, when you’ve only got 14 RSS subscribers? Amazing!

    Meanwhile, in Firefox I cannot read your Navigation never mind see whether it makes sense. I think there’s something screwy with your CSS rendering (possibly) as there is a little bit of gray on what I assume is the “home” link but the other links are not quite clear.

    By the way, I’m running a feedburner competition. Double your RSS subscribers and win a free link on a PR5 homepage (no smut and starters at a minimum of 20 subscribers please)


  • David – I’m in Firefox right now, and it appears fine. I will try it from another computer and see what I come up with.

    Yeah, the number of comments on this post really threw me, but I’ll take ’em!

    I’ll check out your competition:)

  • Hi

    I did a screengrab and was going to send it to show you what I meant, but when I navigated off to your contact me page it came up sweet and readable…sorry for the fuss!


  • David – No problem, thank you for taking the time!

  • How do you feel about snap preview anywhere? It puts those types of popups on external links with a preview window so readers can see if they want to go to the outside link.

    I’d like to enable full RSS feeds but Joomla mangles my RSS output, do you know anyone with a Joomla site with a full feed you could point me to?

    Sorry for being late to the discussion.

  • Kacey – Snap is just as bad. I used it for a couple days, but very quickly dumped it.

  • Thanks for the feedback Sean, I just removed snap and left a note about the new Snap browser extension, that way only those who want it are bothered by it. Page load time has sped up of course too!

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  • Well this is very interesting indeed.Would love to read a little more of this. Great post. Thanks for the heads-up…This blog was very informative and knowledgeable