I am far from a blogging expert, but I do visit many many blogs every week. And, my dear fellow Blogger, I have to tell you, some of you are driving me crazy! This is not going to be a Wall of Shame post. I am not trying to be mean, even thought I am tagging this as a “rant”. Instead, consider it a suggestion list from a reader of five blogging basics I wish every blogger would do.
Easy to read colors and fonts
Yes, pale pink is pretty, but not for a font color for an entire post on a white background. Script fonts are lovely, but so hard to read. Text on a busy background is not only visually unappealing it can be unreadable.
- make sure you have a good contrast between the background color and the font colors. Light on dark or dark on light.
- save the script for graphics
- tiny fonts are hard us on old folks
Jess over at Babi a Fi has a great post on Digital Inclusion, which is intended for those with disabilities, but naturally makes a blog easier to read for everyone.
Ads should not cover your post.
Pop ups and ads that slide over the post are annoying!
I know there are experts that insist you must have a pop up to encourage subscribers, but can you at least set the timer to let me read a little first before begging me to join. Do you want a salesperson asking if you are ready to check out as soon as you walk into a store? I don’t know if I want to subscribe, I haven’t read anything yet.
A new one I have seen lately is the ad that slides over from the left. Which is okay, if you have a narrower theme. But if your theme goes across most of my screen I have to wait for the ad to load completely so I can close it so I can read your post. C’mon, do you want to do that just to read an article?
Easy to find Social Media buttons.
I love your article, I want to follow you on social media. Where are your social media buttons? On your about page? Halfway down the sidebar? Readers don’t want to work that hard.
There is a debate as to the most effective placement, in the header or near the top of your sidebar. I have both just to be safe.
But wait, there’s more: if you know you have social media buttons, are you sure they work? I have seen three bloggers this month that put the buttons on their page but they point to the wrong place (e.g. Facebook goes to Twitter, the link goes nowhere, or the link is actually to share the home page).
Easy to comment.
If it is too hard to comment, I won’t. I don’t want to be forced to join your site or a third party site just to say “I loved your post.” I don’t want to type some mystery code or do a math problem.
Personally, I am not a big fan of posting to Facebook or Google+ to comment. Why? My mother stalks me on Facebook and I don’t want her to see every single thing I do and say. 🙂
If you are really worried about SPAM comments, install Askimet (not a sponsor, just an awesome product) and review all comments before they post. Mine is set to review the first time someone comments only.
Easy to share.
I’d love to share your post on all of my favorite social media channels. Please make it easy for me. These days every post should allow you to easily share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, at a minimum. The default Blogger and WordPress sharing options are better than nothing. You can get fancy and add a plugin like Shareaholic (not a sponsor, just the one I use). But, at least have something.
If you want to step up your game and Be a Social Media Boss I have a post over on the International Bloggers’ Association about fine tuning your blog to help your message be shared.
Your turn: what are your blogging pet peeves? You don’t have to name names. But, if you could tell a newbie blogger something to look out for what would you tell them?