Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jun 18, 2011
On the last day of May I wrote a long guest post for Ileane of Basic Blog Tips called 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. For whatever reason it turned out to be pretty popular, probably because Ileane has a larger audience than myself. The funny thing is that almost everyone focused only on one thing I mentioned on that blog, that being popups that we seem to encounter more and more each day. Hopefully some of the folks that have popups read that and will eliminate them, although I noticed no one supported popups, which means those people that didn’t comment were probably the ones with popups. lol
Near the end of that article I said that I had more things to address, but decided to stop because that article was getting way too long. I’m going to add 5 more things here, but I hope not to make it as long as the guest post. By the way, that guest post was proof of what people say in that if you’re going to write a guest post, you need to give it as much attention as you would a post of your own. And here we go.
1. Test your comment system. You know, I visit lots of blogs, and I leave a lot of comments. I don’t receive close to as many comments on my comment. Most of the time I had figured that the writers just aren’t interested in replying to whatever I’ve had to say, but then I noticed on some return trips that indeed they had responded, but I never received any notification.
That’s just irksome. With each new blog I’ve created the first thing I did after writing my first post was to pull up another browser and do a test comment to see if I received notification of it. Then I’d comment on the comment to see if the commenter was going to receive a notice from me. Obviously many people aren’t doing that because they don’t know people aren’t receiving their comments. I hate to say it but some of you that comment here often don’t have your answers to comments showing up via email. I’m not going to call anyone out here, but I will encourage you to test your system. You could ask people, but if they’re not getting your email responses then it’s a useless effort.
2. Pick a comment system then leave it alone. Some folks are consistently changing their comment systems. I understand doing a quick test of a system, but I don’t think you’re actually testing it but adding it then leaving it alone for awhile to see what happens.
Here’s the thing. Y’all know I’ve mentioned that there are some blog types I’m just not subscribing to, and it’s because of the commenting system employed. A few I’ll just grin and bear it, but if I don’t already know you well trust me, I’m not subscribing because I’m probably not commenting.
Thing is, every once in awhile I get roped in because the commenting system is one way, and suddenly it’s changed to something I don’t like such as Disqus or Intense Debate or something else of that ilk. If I unsubscribe because I don’t like those and then you realize you don’t like it after awhile and change it back, I’m probably never going to notice and neither are other people that don’t like it. Of course some of you don’t have to worry about me unsubscribing if I already like you, but I may not comment all that often.
As Sire discovered in his post asking people about Disqus, nearly 50% of responders said they wouldn’t comment on a blog with it, but around 50% of those who said they would indicated they’d do it only if they knew and liked the person that wrote the blog. I’m just sharing…
3. Don’t have stuff start playing when I arrive at your blog. Man, I hate when I visit blogs or websites and suddenly I hear music or some video starts or some person walks into the picture and starts talking to me or the main blog page is flash instead of the article I came to see. When people click on your link, they have an expectation of what they’re going to see. If you shock people with something else, most of the time they’re not going to like it. Think about why MySpace is failing; we hate the anarchy. Of course this could go back to popups again, but we’ve already talked about those on Ileane’s blog.
4. Toolbars; slow down already! I hate toolbars with a passion.
Having said that, let’s talk about why I don’t like them. I don’t like them because they get in the way. I have my print enlarged on my computer so I can read things easier; I can read smaller print but I have this big ol’ widescreen 22″ monitor so why would I make myself struggle?
The thing is that the larger I make my screen to read, the larger the toolbars get, and suddenly they’re blocking stuff and irritating me to no end. Whether they’re at the top or the bottom I don’t like them. I especially don’t like the ones on the side because as I enlarge the screen, suddenly the printed article is covered up, and for me to read things I have to shrink the screen.
I get it; you read an article saying that adding toolbars helps people promote you better. Personally, I much rather the advertising, which in general I don’t have a problem with to tell you the truth because at least it stays in its place. If I have interruptions in reading your content then I’m not going to read it and I’m not going to comment on it.
Now, even if I don’t like it I might still comment on it, but I’m going to ask you folks that have stuff like toolbars or other things popping in from time to time to test your blog by enlarging everything (Ctrl-scroll your middle mouse button to shrink or enlarge) to see if those things start blocking your content. If they do, decide if you really want to keep messing with your visitors like that just to encourage one or two of them to retweet your stuff.
5. Believe in yourself. Okay, this last one is more of an opinion than something that irks me, but I figured I’d comment on it anyway; those other 4 plus 5 are enough for ranting. I was reading a post on Brankica’s blog earlier today (she’s changed her commenting system so I won’t be writing a comment there, but here will suffice) asking if bloggers are self centered. She was ranting because some guy on Facebook wrote something where he said that he could write anything better than any of the guest posters he’s ever had on his blog. She didn’t like it one bit.
I’m going the other way, but only slightly. If I didn’t believe I could write my blog better than anyone else I wouldn’t write it. I expect everyone that writes their blog believes they can write their blog better than anyone else; I certainly hope so. At a certain point I’d hope that I not only knew myself well enough but started to learn the style that suits both myself and visitors.
A guest blogger won’t have that kind of knowledge. They’re not emotionally invested in my blog as much, so they shouldn’t be. That doesn’t mean that what they write isn’t good; many guest posts are excellent. What it means is that its excellence can’t top anything you write on your own blog, just as any guest post you write for someone else’s blog will never top their excellence on that blog.
People really need to believe in themselves and what they stand for and what they represent. They need to be able to put it out there with all the confidence and boldness they have. They can be funny, serious, educational, ranting, whatever… they just have to be sure of themselves, say what they want to say, and they’ll have an audience that will love them… okay, will like them a lot. lol
And that’s that; I’m done. This isn’t as long as the post on Ileane’s blog, and I’m betting y’all are happy about that. Still, I’m sure you’ll have something to comment on as well, so let’s get to it, being assured that when I respond to your comment, you’ll know it.