7/11/11

Why I Won't Read Your Blog

Hey friends! Have you listened to Katy Widrick's 10 Tips for Killer Blog Posts yet? If you haven't, you are definitely missing out! So go do that now and come back. I'll be waiting here, I promise.

Welcome back! How great was that huh? So much of that seems so simple (and obvious) and it basically sums up a lot of the things that draw me to a blog post or even better, a blog. I'll keep coming back for more and more and more (because I'm a blog glutton like that) if I like what I see and read, if you are funny or interesting and I feel like I know you. Accomplish that and you've got a friend for life.

On the other hand...

Yes, I'll just go ahead and say it. There are things that make me stop reading, whether its half way through a post or the entire blog altogether. There are only so many blog reading hours in a day and I want to spend them on all the blogs that I enjoy.

What can I say? I know what I like...or in this case what I don't like.

One Long Paragraph

Katy's mentions the short attention span of readers in her webinar and in my case its totally true. I can't read sentence after sentence after sentence all strung together for what seems like forever. Do that and you've lost me. I will skim, look at pictures and probably just click away.

Don't get me wrong, I want to read what you have to say. But please break it up so I don't lost interest and lose out on all your insight and hilarity!

For the Sake of Posting, Posts

I get it. We all want to post often because we know it helps us build and maintain a readership but nothing is more obvious then the quick "I got nothing to say at all but here's a photo of some toast and a link to an old post because I was too lazy to write anything fresh" post. And I am not interested.

I'd rather read you once a day, or week, or hell month for that matter if your content is interesting and refreshing. I am really so tired of looking at toast with almond butter I could scream!

Now, if you are strapped for time (who isn't) or feeling some writers block and you want to post, what I can say that I like looking at really interesting photos. Putting together a wordless post that captures the essence of a weekend/event/race is still really entertaining and a nice change from the talk, talk, talk everywhere else

Miss I'm So Perfect

There is nothing that is going to lose me faster than a blogger with a perfect diet, fitness routine, family, house, job and hairstyle. Why? Because she is not REAL!

 I don't care who you are, what side of the globe you blog on or what your experience is, there is not a blogger out there who doesn't mess up sometimes. And those are the bloggers I want to know! Give me the girl who skips an occasional workout to go to happy hour, eats candy with breakfast sometimes and fails to brush her hair every once and a while and you've got someone I can relate to.

I refuse to read the blogs that make everyday seem like easy, peasey sunshine. And I don't want to read all about your perfect anything unless you are also willing to post a photo (or at least a story) of that time your dress got tucked in your underwear on your way to meet your in-laws for the first time.

We've all been there. And I know you have too, whether you share it or not.

Get All Preachy

For the same reason that I don't want to read that so-called perfect blog, I also can't stand a blog that is nothing but advice and how to's and "I'm such and expert" blah blah blah. If you're blog reads like eHow.com I'm a goner.

If I wanted expert advice online, I'd turn to Wikipedia...duh!

Be a real person. Ask for help sometimes. Tell me a story of that mistake you made. It's called authenticity and I like it.

Never Post Real Photos

I love photography. It doesn't even have to be great photography for me to love it. What I enjoy is how a photo captures a memory or a moment, can make you laugh or make you cry, but nonetheless brings you in on the story.

Show me your life in your blog. If all you ever use are someone else's images to illustrate your point, I don't feel like there is a real life author behind the message. I want to see your face. Hell I want to see your dog's face! Give me something to look at and I'm gonna hang out, I promise.

Cross that Line.

I am all for a blogger who curses now and then, pokes fun at herself and celebrities and makes the occasional mildly offensive joke.

On the flip side, anything blatantly racist, sexist or homophobic or an attack on another person and I am out. Permanently.

Keep it clean(ish) people, my grandma reads this sh*t. ...Ok, she doesn't, but someone's does. Aim for PG13


A few things that surprisingly enough, don't bother me:

  • Lots of pet photos. If the photos have captions and add to the story, even better!
  • Celebricizing on a healthy living blog...I can snicker at Lindsey with the best of 'em
  • Healthy living turned wedding/baby on the way blogs. If I like you I like your life. Those are big parts of your life so share away!!
  • Spelling mistakes. I'm guilty of that in a big, bad way.


Believe me, I am far from a perfect blogger and I know that but where I lack in one area, I make up for in another.So if there is one thing I know its what will keep or lose my attention quicker than the sellout of the NYC Marathon. But really, this is just my opinion. You do what you do and maybe you'll catch me stalking my Google Reader for a fresh post from you.....


So tell me, what is one thing you HATE about certain blogs that make you stop reading. (Do not name the blog please...let's play nice)
Reactions:

27 comments:

  1. Interesting post, lady! I like it :)
    I agree with you about a lot of them and it's nice to hear that babies and weddings don't turn you off too much. I always am hesitant to write too much about pregnancy because I don't want my blog to turn into a baby blog, so I try to limit it to 1x/week.
    I hate when blogs have no pictures or very poor quality pictures. I know, I know, not everyone has a nice camera, but putting a little effort into lighting or angles can make a big difference. I like visuals!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I agree with every point on your list. I also am surprised at how much I love dog pictures. (Cats--meh, I'm a dog person!) I have been trying to follow Katy's blogging tips since I started blogging and hope I do OK. I skimp on the photos but do try to use real ones when I can (it's mostly a time and equipment issue). When I can't but want some illustration, I prefer to use clip art instead of stock photos, because I get confused when people use stock photos on their blogs (that person running on the beach isn't her? oh ... )

    ReplyDelete
  3. Totally awesome!! I think I pretty much follow all of that! Shew!!!! Thanks for putting it out there though, sometimes it is hard to believe that people atually like to read about my life. So weird yet so freakishly cool at the same time!! =)

    P.S. Guilty of the really long paragraphs sometimes. I need to work on that!! Eesh!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with everything you just said here. I'll make exceptions every once in a while, but in general those are my key 'warning signs'.
    I also don't like when bloggers write "sorry for being MIA" - EVERYONE has those times that they are too busy to blog, it's totally understandable.. and reading the apology over and over again on multiple blogs can get really repetitive.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love your take! I'm checking out Katy's webinar asap. Honestly the ONLY thing that keeps me from reading blogs is attitude. It seeps from within so it's hard to actually pinpoint the reason, but I can definitely tell who thinks they're better than others and will go out of my way to avoid their blogs! Energy vampires, that's what they are :P For the most part I enjoy 90% of the healthy living blogs written, almond butter on toast included :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll usually stop reading someone's blog if the writer starts coming across as eliteist about things. Whether it's about fashion, how fast someone runs, or which diet is the "right" one, some bloggers just come across as very preachy and judgemental. I like it when bloggers recognize and appreciate differing opinions & abilities - and when they acknowledge it's OK to not be the best at everyting!

    I'm OK with long posts (I'm guilty of that myself) but I find it's easier to read when they're broken into smaller paragraphs & include photos instead of one looooong continuous block of text.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry, but I need to argue with you here. Keeping it clean depends on the blog. Mine, for instance, has never been and never will be PG13. It's not meant to be! I am sarcastic, brutally honest, and make zero apologies for what I have to say. It's MY blog. MY outlet. Either you get me or you don't. If not, then move along; I have plenty of readers who appreciate that I'm not a sugar-coater.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ Redhead

    I agree, there is definitely a genre of blogs that the PG13 suggestion does not apply to. Readers of your blog (me being one of them) know what to expect and how it works to set the tone for your stories. It really wouldn't work any other way for yours actually.

    What I don't like (and this isn't you) is the agressive use of expletives or descriptive language.

    Funny and sarcastic I can read all day. Angry, vengeful and hostile? Not even a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I always so the "Would I be friends with you in real life?" test and if the blogger passes, I really enjoy reading whatever they have to write about. It could be 10 posts in a row about their running shoes and it would interest me, because I feel connection/friendship with them.

    That being said, I do enjoy posts that have a sense of humor, great photos, and aren't too negative.

    ReplyDelete
  10. *I always TRY the

    My comments are kind of like my posts: full of typos! Glad you are cool with that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with you but I also post..what I want to post. If people don't want to read, I am not going to worry about it or get stressed or wonder why more comments weren't generated etc. I don't make anything off my blog so I appreciate the people who do read it that much more.

    ReplyDelete
  12. One thing that particularly bugs me is when people make one blog post, then tweet about it all day with different hashtags.

    My Dinner!! #healthy #hls
    Dinner tonight #fitblog #runchat #recipe
    What I ate this evening: #delicious #meals #diet #weightloss

    We get it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If I have to fill out a "captcha" word verifier thing, I'm not commenting on a blog. And I just realized you're guilty of this. Whoops!

    There definitely needs to be pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  14. very interesting. this is why i keep coming back to ur blog!

    one thing i dislike: its those ppl that always eat the oatmeal, etc and have all the time in the world to run at 5 am and to do 5 hour workouts bc they dont have a 9-5 job.
    i mean im all for self employment and love oatmeal, but there is more to life than oatmeal adn most of the population works a rgular job and sometimes its really frustrating and hard to connect with those bloggers.

    great post tho!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for posting this! I am new(ish) to blogging and I like to read tips.
    I do not like long paragraphs either. I am a big fan of bulleted items. I love pictures too!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a great post! I can definitely agree with a lot of your points. I'll admit, I used to be one of those bloggers who would post just to post. Granted sometimes I still do that, I have started to come around to the fact that sometimes life gets in the way. Skipping a day or two of blogging won't stop your readers from reading!

    A big thing for me is that there needs to be pictures. A few posts here or there without pictures doesn't bother me, but if EVERY single post for weeks and months contains no pictures, I get bored! I am a visual person and I need visuals. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post! Always good to know what people like. And I"m with you. I love seeing people's real lives, their faces, their pets, who they really are. Transparency is key. Something I'm still working on with my own blog!

    ReplyDelete
  18. 10 photos of the same bowl of oatmeal but from different angles. And the same oatmeal every day. I get it. It's oatmeal.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love this! Posts like these are the reason I read your blog! :) Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love this post (probably because i think i follow most of the rules), the biggest thing for me is when people are too serious with their blogs, i want to see when you forgot to shut the freezer door for 8 hours (me yesterday) or your sweaty after workout photo, not just the pre workout all made up one
    And negativity makes me crazy, its okay to have a bad day but complaining every day makes me hit the delete button!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am oh so glad you like pet photos, because frankly Daisy is a star! HA! :P

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is all SO true! I love authenticity in blogs (see my post tomorrow for some of that)....I'm all about keepin' it real.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I LOVED this post and have been quoting it all over town. I definitely agree with all 10!
    Thanks for the advice, us newbies definitely appreciate it :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I could do without EVERY detail of "their" day. Or EVERY meal "they" eat. And ya lose me when it gets too long.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love this list and follow most of these as reasons why I wont read a blog or stop reading. I like to think "Would I enjoy a conversation with this person in real life?" and if the answer is no, I don't read, simple as that.

    As owner of a pup, I absolutely love doggie pics. I don't even care if there is a story or words much less, if there is puppie pics, you will have me as a reader!

    ReplyDelete
  26. So glad to hear you're not turned off by spelling. The other day I wrote a post and spelled "portobello" wrong ten times. I have the hardest time with "broccoli" too. I spend forever editing and use spell check but I know I don't get it all. And I really misuse the semi-colon. I'm constantly checking grammer rules. Ah well, It's just support for the fact that I am a total work-in-progress.

    ReplyDelete
  27. GReat post Samantha! I´m a new bloger and after reading your post, I´ve realized that sometimes I´ve been playing expert on my posts (just because I am...just kidding). You´re totally right, I´m actually no expert, I just know a few things that I want to share, but sure, better wikipedia it instead of watching my videos... I don´t have many comments on my posts yet (because I´ve only been bloging for a month), but I will make my future videos more interactive, asking my readers for advise and more feedback to improve the info I´m sharing! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete