Monday, 23 November 2015

5 More Reasons I Get Put Off Your Blog

What puts you off a blog? Could design, font size, lack of content dates or even colour schemes put you off? Check out what can put me off a blog!

A few months ago, I talked about 7 things or reasons I get put off your blog, and I was surprised to find I was not alone in some of those issues, and trust me when I say that there are thousands, millions of blogs out there sporting things that seriously put me of, so today, I'm sharing another 5 reasons I get put off people's blogs and why I think it's important to look at these elements carefully.

1. Blogs That Don't Believe in Dating Posts

Dates are important. They define occasions and celebrations, they help us plan and schedule and they help us determine how old something is. Blogs that don't include dates with their posts wind the up to no end, and it's all down to the latter. Without a date on your post, I don't know when you posted it, and that's a put off.

I've been picking up a lot of new blogs and adding them to my follow list over the last few months, and you're all aware that every month, I host a Blogger Love feature were I showcase the best posts of the last month for you to check out. Now, imagine the frustration of finding a super awesome new blog with content that rocks, only to find no dates on their posts. I'm left with a dilemma. Sift through the last handful of posts trying to work out a date of posting through the comments, or refuse to feature them in Blogger Love although their content is mega cool. You guessed it. I refuse.

Related: Posts Without Dates Piss Me Off

I don't refuse out of a spite because they don't have dates. In fact, I actually come to follow many of blogs that don't have dates because the content is worth it in the long run, but it doesn't mean I come deal with the annoyance any more easily.

Dates are what shows viewers when your content is posted, and how frequently, and that is extremely important in terms of creating demand, being honest and transparent with your possible followers, and showing that you're serious, committed and want to be involved in blogging. I would much rather come across a blog that had dates showing that they post maybe 4-5 times a month rather than a blog with no dates. I want to know when I can expect you in my feed, and without dates, there's no way of me knowing that.

2. Your Blog Graphics Are Inconsistent

I'm a very visual person, I always have been and I always will be, so it's no surprise that a blog's design is of utmost importance to me. It doesn't have to be an all singing, all dancing design, but your graphics need to compliment it, and each other, and for some bloggers, this is just too much effort, and it shows.

Related: How To Add Value To Your Blog/Business Through Design

Creating graphics doesn't have to be time consuming or stressful, I have two tutorials, one on Picmonkey, and one on Canva, and they show just how easy it is to create graphics that not only look the part, but are siblings with one another. They're attractive and they have impact, but most of all, when you put them all together, they fit together perfectly, look as though they belong together and are consistent.

To get a better idea of just how important consistency is when it comes to your blog graphis, let's take a look at some examples of great looking, consistent graphics, a look at some bloggers staying consistent and what a difference it makes.

Spruce Rd.

Jamie's brand style is so simple, gorgeous and easy on the eye, but the best part is that everyone one of her graphics looks like hers. They may differ in their layout, in their function or in their immediate looks, but when you put them all next to one another, they compliment her style, her blogs design and they all look consistent together. I'm also a sucker for Jamie's illustrations, they're super cute!

Erin E. Flynn

Erin's brand stems from her love of the outdoors, and you can tell how much I love her style by the fact I tweeted about it this week. Her entire design incorporates the outdoors, and the simplicity of white text on such a variety of gorgeous backdrops honestly makes her entire look, and the consistency, breathtaking. I confess, when I found Erin, I read around 30+ posts due to the beautiful graphics!

The Branded Solopreneur

I love Dre's design and graphics for two reasons. Reason #1 is because she's gone for the black colour scheme (and black is such an underused colour in blogs, god knows why!) and reason #2 is because they stand out amongst all the other blog graphics from other blogs. Her graphics compliment her brand and her design, and even when she inverts her colours, the graphics look consistent and smart!

Keeping your graphics looking consistent and stylish makes all the difference when it comes to having a cohesive design, and it makes a difference as to whether I stick around or not. Sure, explore your avenues and try out different layouts, but once you've got a few templates down, stick to them, don't go switching up your graphics every 2-3 months, it puts me off, and it puts others off too.

3. It's All About Your Business and Your Products

For some of us, blogging is a hobby, and for other's it's how they put food on the table, and don't get me wrong, I understand that your blog is your way of marketing to your audience, to me, but sometimes, I just want a quality post that doesn't have any gimmicks, any 'join my mail list, get a freebie' and then be inundated with your marketing, with your '50% off special offers' for three days straight, or be pushed and pushed to join your course, buy your product, use your services. Your blog isn't just a marketing tool, it's your front door to potential followers too, and if I knock and you answer with 'hey, buy this from me, yeah?' I'm going to say no.

That's not to say I'm not interested in your product, I might be, but I'm definitely not going to be jumping onto your $200 ecourse before I know what it is you do, what kind of person you are, whether I even like your blog, I need time to get you know you. I'm like a girlfriend that doesn't want to move in a month after meeting you, I want some date nights, I need sweet talking, I need to know you really care about me rather than what I can do for you before I make a commitment, and that's super important to me.

I've followed blogs and subscribed to mail lists, only to unfollow and unsubscribe after message after message, tweet after tweet of being 'sold' to, and it sucks, because I've LOVED their content, but their selling to me irritates me more than what their content pleases me. Maybe it's not salesy if it has value, but I'm not going to give it a go if I'm being swamped with 'this, this this!' every day.

Your business is important, as are the services or products you're selling, damn, I get that hunny, I do, but for little old me, I'm selfish, I don't want your selling story or you telling me I need something you're selling, I want to make that decision for myself. I want your content, I want to see you, the person I'd be working with, I want to see more on the little things you do and use, teach me the basics so I'll want more, but please, stop making it all about your business and your products. I'm never going to become a customer if all you see are dollar signs above my head. I'm an interested party first, a customer second.

4. When none of your content is actually.. yours?

Some of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog is through guest posts, and when you're busy, guest posts seems like a pretty good route to go, but if you're always letting other peoples content infiltrate your blog, where the heck are you on YOUR blog? Blog Tours and Spotlights are also fine and dandy when you're busy or short on time, but while guest posts can be made to look helpful to others, spotlight and blog tour posts can sometimes come across as fillers, and while fillers are a topic for another day, when none of your recent content has actually been written by you, what's the point?

Image if I didn't post anything by my own fair hand for two weeks. Imagine if every post was written by somebody else, or prepared by a company for me. I suspect that imagining you're doing is a little bit sucky, right? Now imagine you didn't know who I was, what I did, what Nellie and Co. was like, imagine you knew nothing, and then had posts written by other people and spotlight posts for two weeks. Doesn't look good.

If I can see that you're high for guest posts, I might give you chance to impress, but I'm not here to see content I can see on 20+ other blogs, I want YOUR words, YOUR opinions, YOUR experiences, all on YOUR blog, and surely that's not too much of an odd request. If you need a break, take it, it's your blog, you call the shots, and if you need a full on hiatus, go on one, don't risk your content being of lower quality or nothing like you just for the sake of looking like you're still around. I'm not falling for it, and neither is anyone else.

5. I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...

Wait a second, you know don't know Blue (Da Ba De)? I insist you go and check it out IMMEDIATELY.

Now, if you did actually go and listen to Blue, you'll notice that everything is quite a bit, blue. I like the colour blue actually, I think it's a very mature, very universal colour, and sure, when I see people dressing their little boys in everything blue, I feel a bit sorry for them, but generally, blue and I get along. In blogging, we get a long a lot less, and that's an issue.

One of the biggest trends in blogging and business this year as been the colour blue. To me, what feels like every 4-5 blogs I stumble across are sporting a blue design, and as I said before, I like the colour blue, I really do, but there is only so much blue a girl can have if I'm honest. Your header is blue, your :hover actions are blue, your graphics are blue, it's all a bit like going for a swim in the ocean, coming up for air and realising that, god dammit, you're still in the middle of the ocean and you're surrounded by blue.

In colour psychology, blue is perceived as being about trust, loyalty, dependability and serenity. I don't know about you, but when I check out a blog, I want trust, loyalty, dependability and serenity, but every colour has adverse feelings too, and while blue's positives are great, it's negatives; creating feelings of sadness or aloofness, are really not good. For somebody suffering depression and seasonal affective disorder, blue is more likely to trigger negative, cold emotions in me than it is to make me motivated and more productive, or create calm.

Alas, it's not all doom and gloom (although it definitely sounds that way!) as, believe it or not, there are actually a few blogs I follow, love admire that sport a blue design, or a design with quite a few blue elements that show you can be all about blue and still win me over 100%.

Lost In Literature

Lisa and Becca recently went through a redesign, and much like their old design, blue was their primary colour, but take a look, it's not their only colour, and that makes a difference. The light touches of purple, green and brown dotted within their design, especially in their header, give a me a sense of wilderness rather than the ocean, and the use of whitespace really breaks up the blue's and makes them more manageable.

Kory Woodard

Kory's blog not only uses blue sparingly (something I really appreciate) but she uses a lovely ombre style with it in her header, and uses blue as pops of colour in her white style design, and it looks beautiful. It's elegant and classy, and the blue doesn't work playfully like it does with Lost in Literature, but creates a sense of serenity and calmness, a very rare feeling I get when experiencing blue designs.

Blue is not a bad colour, if it were a bad colour, it wouldn't be the most popular colour used this year, but it's not always a positive, learning colour, and for some people, it's a tough colour to digest and deal with, and could be a deal breaker when it comes to sticking with your site, and saying goodbye. Still, that tune is good?

Do any of these things put your off a blog?


  1. Ugh, posts without dates REALLY annoy me. I guess some posts are relevant however old they are, but I don't really want to be reading a book recommendation list from 10 years ago.

    I haven't really got a problem with blue... though I agree that some designs REALLY overuse it. If you use a colour on EVERYTHING - header, content, hover effects, titles e.t.c then it's easy to get tired of.

    I know what you mean about inconsistent blog graphics, though they aren't really a big deal breaker for me. I'm just testing out a load of styles and am trying to see which work best... though I always think a bit of consistency is good. (I LOVE Erin Flynn's blog graphics!)

    1. I'm just not quite sure what the point of it is, if it's the make your blog look nicer, it's just pointless. I think you use blue well too, it's subtly and not everywhere, and that works for me :)

      I do think variety is good with graphics, I know Ashley from Nosegraze varies all her graphics, but if you collected them all, you'd see a style, and it works, and I do think yours is growing in yours too Harvey :)

  2. I definitely like dates! I think it's hugely important. *nods* But variety in graphics and the colour blue don't put me off at all. xD I think it's fine! And I know a lot of bloggers try hard but can't always get there, you know? So I don't like to let design make me unfollow or never interact, particularly if the blogger is uber nice. I won't deny I LOVE beautiful blogs. But yeah. I want to see past that to the blogger as well!!

    Omg and I haaaate being constantly "sold" too. >_> It drives me bonkers. I've definitely unliked twitters and facebooks for this reason. Nunnngh.

    1. Oh yes, I've many a time followed someone with a baaaaaaad design because I loved the blogging (although it is rare, I'm such a magpie for pretty and shiney things..) I like how you sell Cait, you have a fun way of doing it and segwaying into it, but when you're always sold to, it sucks :(

  3. Yes, dates!!!! Dates, dates, dates! I thought it was just me...

    1. It's definitely not hunny! I'm definitely with you :)

  4. Dateless posts and inconsistency in blog graphics annoy me quite a lot, too! I also don't like when bloggers don't have consistency in their formatting of posts.

    1. Oh yes, formatting can be a huge issues for a lot of people. Sometimes your posts just don't go how you want them to sometimes though, and I think I'm more forgiving of that.. Bah, issues Ebony! :(

  5. You're so sweet for including me, Amanda! Thank you!!

    1. You're welcome Kory, I just love what you have on your blog!

  6. I seriously cannot handle dateless posts. I don't want to comment on some post from two years ago accidentally or something and have the person think I am a weirdo, so if I can't be sure it's current, I don't bother. Plus, depending on the post, the date could mean a LOT. I mean, if it is a post about a "current" trend or tip or something, but oops, it's from 2007... well, it isn't exactly relevant anymore!

    I do LOVE blue though ;) But I guess anything in excess is a bit hard to take. I love Lisa and Becca's new design SO much. It's so, so pretty! Oh, and I am definitely guilty of inconsistent blog graphics. None of mine are ever like the others because... I have no idea. I just kind of go with whatever feels right at the time, or what seems to go with the post? But I am also rather.. eclectic, for lack of a better term, so cohesion isn't exactly my strong suit ;)
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. Oh exactly that too, you don't know how old they are, and you don't know how relevant they are either, it's just counter-productive and doesn't serve a great purpose! I think though that varied graphics can still be consistent. Take for example Cait's graphics - none of them are the same either, and they vary so much, but I can spot her a mile off because of the fonts or the regular colours she might use in them, or how she lays them out - they might not look consistent, but sometimes variety is a good form of consistency, so don't worry Shannon, you're doing great! :)

  7. DATES! So important and such an awful trend emerging among bloggers to omit them. I get that there's the move towards more minimalistic than minimalistic but dates are crucial. They give an idea of how relevant the information is. If I don't see a date, I assume it's a billion years old pretending to be new.

    Surely I'm in the minority but one other thing I hate is not categorising or tagging blog posts. I subscribe to blogs via RSS but don't like to be overwhelmed by irrelevant posts I'm not interested in. I subscribe to the entire feed for favourite blogs. For others, I only subscribe to specific kinds of posts. Plus, if a blogger has multiple interests, I can also organise better. If I want to read posts about books today and posts about food tomorrow, then it's much more comfortable to just pull up my subscriptions from that specific category. If a blogger doesn't keep their blog organised, I'll most likely forget about their blog and move on elsewhere.

  8. Lovely post. The only thing that I really differ on here is the graphics. I stick primarily with book blogs, and I love seeing all of the different covers and like to see some personality through the pics.

  9. Yes. Posts without dates really annoy me. I have had a horrible habit this year of going completely off the blogging radar, but I have never felt the need to take the dates off my posts. I think it's better people know that you haven't blogged in a while or you're posting very regularly. Gives them an idea of how often they should check back for more content.

  10. Oh my gosh! I'm so glad I discovered you! I'm a SUPER amateur blogger (I don't know ANYTHING about this world, really), and reading most blogger's posts makes me feel informed, but also a tiny bit depressed because I have no idea where to start coding. ANYWAY, your way of writing is SO helpful and you sound a lot like my best friend, what with the way you cuss and recommend! :)