5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People; Part Two

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. 😉

37 thoughts on “5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People; Part Two”

  1. Hey Mitch, looks like I’m first one of the rank mate. Must be because I got the track back, thanks for the linkluv man.

    You noticed Brankica changed her comment system too huh. Shame really because I liked reading her blog. Not much point now though if I’m not going to leave a comment.

    You know me, I personally don’t like people who stand up and beat their own chest, I think it came up once when we were talking about Chow, so I’m not one to go around telling people how good I am. Hopefully others will do it for me 😉

    Thanks for the linkluv Mitch

    1. Sire, there’s a point at which we have to talk about ourselves if we’re hoping for certain things. For instance, I want to be a professional speaker when I grow up. If I don’t talk about myself and what I’ve done, in essence promote myself, I’m never going to get anyone to hire me. That’s just how it goes in business; if I don’t show I believe in myself then people who don’t know me won’t believe in me either and then I don’t make any money. Of course there’s a limit, but I always look to Yosemite Sam for more inspiration. lol

      1. I want to be a professional speaker when I grow up

        I thought you were already there Mitch 🙂

        Besides, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t tell people what you’re good at, just that some people go about it the wrong way. They overdo it by blowing their own horn so much people get turned off or just stop listening. Sort of like the boy who cried wolf once too often.

      2. There is a point at which it starts coming across badly, but I know some people hear a person talk well about themselves for the first time and see it as bragging almost immediately. And it can happen. I remember years ago the husband of a bridesmaid in a wedding I was singing at (the bride was one of my best friends) making the statement to me that he always knew the correct answer for every single question on Jeopardy. I hated that so I tested him with 4 questions; he didn’t know the answer to any of them. My wife said it wasn’t nice of me to do that in front of his wife and I said if he was going to say something like that to me in front of my wife, as if he was smarter than me, then he got what he deserved. Yeah, I shamed him, and I never regretted it, but in retrospect it might not have been the nicest way to go at it.

  2. Hey Mitch,

    Good points made!

    I had a toolbar on my blog, and I kept disabling the plugin and enabling it and I finally decided to let it go. Why? It does slow down the page load time and it does get in the way.

    As for commenting systems, I will always keep it simple. When my family members (not computer savvy or bloggers) stop by and leave a comment and it is easy for them to do so, it makes me feel so good. 🙂

    Yes, we must believe in ourselves!

    1. Thanks Evelyn. You’re right, I’ve noticed that both toolbars and popups sometimes load really slowly on someone else’s blog, which just increases frustration. Simplicity really is the way to go when one hopes to encourage participation on their blogs.

      And I believe in you as well, even if you won’t let me just eat potato chips as vegan food. lol

  3. Mitch,
    Great post. I cannot stand DISQUS and actually refuse to comment on sites that have it. I find it runs slowly. Popups, music, sites that take too long to load, excessive advertisements can be irritating. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Thanks Lynda. I don’t mind the advertising as it gives me a chance to see what other people are doing. I’m in total agreement with the other things you mentioned.

  4. OK–this is one of those technical blog posts where I’m CLUELESS.

    What is DISQUS? Never heard of it.

    As far as being notified when someone comments back to your post, I never receive notification when I comment on your blog.

    I pay very little attention to the “cosmetic” side of a weblog and more to the content. That’s probably because I don’t invest a lot of energy or time into understanding all the “tools” that goes along with a blog.

    When I read blogs, I look at color schemes and how easy it is to comment without having to jump through hoops—but other than that, I just comment on blogs I like—like this one—although you force me to read long posts sometimes 🙂

    1. Hi Bev,

      Just asking, but do you check that box underneath the comment area that asks if you want follow up comments? I don’t have it automatically set, but maybe I should make that the default; heck, I hope you see this one.

      Disqus is a comment system on some blogs; you’ll see it on some of them when you go to make a comment. The thing is that unless you sign up for the service, you can leave a comment but you’ll never get a response, and you don’t have an opportunity to even subscribe.

      And yeah, I do write some long posts, but man, I just have stuff to say! lol

  5. Great points. I’ve raised some of these on my blog as well and seen them on many others. Hopefully the points will start getting across. You comment notification system works great–I always see when you’ve responded to my comment and those of others. It’s frustrating and rude when I have left a quality comment and receive absolutely no acknowledgement or anything, especially when I’ve asked a questions. A lot of those bloggers don’t get many comments and that’s probably why.

    Keep putting the helpful messages out there!

    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks Arlee; you know, I have to figure out one of these days why your comments always need moderation first; that’s so weird. And I’m glad you’re getting notification; I knew it had to be working since I’ve tested it. Maybe that needs to be a blog question; should blog owners automatically turn that on or still leave it up to people, which most do. And yes, I always try to respond to good comments; that’s also going to be a later post.

  6. Duh!!! I just noticed that box—and no, I’ve never checked it. Thanks! Not sure if I have it on my site. I think when you comment once, I don’t receive notifications anymore.

    1. Glad you found it, Bev. I respond to almost every comment on this blog by everyone, so if you’d never heard back from me when you commented I wish you’d said something sooner. And I thought that once someone checked that box they get all comments until there are no more unless they unsubscribe, but I’ve never had to go that far with it as far as trying to test it. I hope you get this one.

  7. No I didn’t get a notification that you had responded—but knowing that you respond to the comments made me come back. That’s why I’ve always kept coming back because I knew you would respond. That’s a credit to you 🙂

    And now I see you can pull up my last 10 blog posts. How cool is that?!

    1. Bev, we’ve got to get you a tutorial. lol Anyway, I’m glad you’re getting responses now, as it’ll make things much easier overall. And thanks!

  8. I never check the “notify me” box. I just go back and check the actual blogs that I’ve commented on. I probably make things harder for myself, but that’s the way I roll 😉 I can’t stand when music starts blaring on a site. That shouldn’t be allowed. Ever! I always have problems with the comments on my blog. Either 6,000 spammers get thru a night or all my comments go in the spam box and I have to fish them out in an attempt to save my regulars from being trapped with all of those diet pill vendors 😉

    1. Jess, I can’t figure out why you get that much spam. I don’t get all that much spam anymore, and the bit I do get I can easily handle. As to the rest, we just don’t want our senses being assaulted just because we showed up at someone’s website; quite irksome.

  9. I love it that you also included the disqus commenting system at your article. I have seen sites using that commenting system and it turns out to be broken for their blog theme or template. Simply annoying!

    1. Ron, I’ve hated it from the first time I saw it but even then I used to comment. Once I realized I was never going to get any responses, I left it alone.

  10. First impression is always the most important. I get really mad when I see pop-up of Facebook likes, items or join newsletter/subscribe to RSS. Unfortunately many bloggers do this more frequently. Ah another think which is even crazier, pop-up content blocker until you join CPA offer.

    1. Carl, I’ve just started seeing some of that, and you’re right, I’m not doing it. I’ll just move on to the next blog where I expect the writer actually wants people to see their content.

      1. Another think is comment moderation. Honestly I got pissed this morning when I saw that my comment was changed and mean completely different thing which I have not say on a blog related to internet marketing. I tried to send email to the blogger to delete this “thing”, nicely surprised contact form was not working.

      2. Carl, they actually changed what you wrote? Oh no, that would be a deal breaker for me! I hope you don’t go back.

  11. you got it! i totally agree with the number 3! auto-playing background music is annoying.

  12. When it comes to number five bloggers need to remember that repeat visitors come to their blog to read what they have to say and not a guest blogger. I am seeing a lot of people over doing the guest bloggers just to increase content for the search engines. But is it worth turning off your regular readers.

    1. Hi Arelthia, thanks for your comment. I’m kind of on the fence on guest posting and what’s too much. I’ll go with this; I think it depends on what type of blog one has. For instance, I have a finance blog, and only people who know me know I have it. To me, that blogs purpose is to give information and nothing else. So I accept lots of guest posts on that blog because it’s all about the information.

      Now, on this blog I accept very few guest posts. That’s because this blog is mainly about my opinion, thoughts on things, and every once in awhile if I have it in me I’ll educate on some point. I think it’s a benefit every once in awhile to have someone write a guest post, and except for a couple of times I’ve asked those people to write one. Overall though, it’s my outlet and thus I handle the bulk of the posts. And I just checked; 11 guest posts out of 1,070 and more than 3 years; I can handle that. 😉

      But I know what you’re talking about because I look at someone like Problogger and feel I get more from his posts than his guest posters. However, I’d never discount all guest posters; some folks offer some pretty good stuff, and if I can find someone who can write about something I don’t know as well but feel it’s worth sharing, I’ll go for it in a heartbeat. 🙂

  13. Mitch,

    Thanks for replying to my comment. I agree that you have not overdone the guest posts with only 11 out of 1,070.

  14. Mitch,
    Totally agree on the numerous commenting systems out there. Normal readers (non techie) do not want to learn a complicated comment system but would want to just put there name there and make their point. Asking for website URL itself may be offending for many. Not sure why people are making a rocket science thing out of such a simple thing as comments. And as you rightly thought many (includes me) avoid Disqus or Intense Debate based commenting.

    1. Thanks Ajith. It seems that most people scared to leave a URL are the ones saying the most negative things and they don’t want to be tracked. Not all, but most. Commenting systems need to be inviting if one wishes to get lots of comments. If not, then using what they do will suffice, but I probably won’t be there.

  15. Great post, Mitch. Very helpful stuff. But I’m still trying to figure out what, if anything, I need to do about your first point. I found a setting that says “Enable sending comment replies via email,” and I have that box checked. But that may not be what you’re talking about. Or is it? Do you receive notification when I reply to your comments?

    1. Charles, I never received notification from your writing me back because I’m not signed up for WordPress.com; same happens with Blogger if I want to comment with an email address other than my business email address. Most of my rant is for those folks who actually have more control over their blogs than that, since I know better with “service” blogs.

      BTW, I mentioned you in my post on weird habits; you almost had to expect it. lol

  16. Hi, Mitch.

    Although I hate pop-ups and music suddenly blaring from somewhere, I make exceptions for them when I really know and like a blogger. Much like the use of Disqus and Livefyre. I love Brankica and because of that, I will still continue visiting and commenting on her posts even if she is using Livefyre now. There are other bloggers who have shifted from their old commenting systems to new ones or are using Disqus and Livefyre that I would still follow like Wes from Omnific Design, Dino Dogan, John Falcetto, Nitty Griddy and many others. The value they give to me outweigh the commenting system they use.

    About the email notifications though, I know I had my boss use ReplyMe in our blog, but I haven’t really checked if it works. So, I am taking your post as a reminder for me to do just that. Thanks, Mitch!

    And, because I love this post, I have a huge chocolate cake (RT) for you at Twitter for this. 🙂 Glad to have stopped by, Mitch.


    1. Mmmmmm, chocolate cake! Thanks Kim! lol Actually, there are a few people I will still visit and comment here and there with different systems but they’re very few. I like Brankica’s blog, but I don’t know her well so I’m not fully invested yet; same with some of the other folks. I’ll read & if I like I’ll RT, but I’m not commenting and I don’t subscribe, so I’ll see things in passing. Not sure if you saw a post I wrote either late last year or early this year on decluttering my online life but it explained why I took the position I have; look for it if you have time, as the title has decluttering in it.

  17. OMG! I absolutely agree with everything. I HATE the toolbars – they tend to block the content too – and the music, errrr, and I dislike Disqus too.

    1. Thanks Southpaw. Lately I’m being irritated by these sidebars with all the social media widgets that are so big that they’re blocking content, and they follow you down the page. Irksome!

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