I think I’ve been in this blogging business long enough to tell when I see a bad blog. So I decided to round up the ten most annoying things I’ve seen bloggers do that make me hit the backspace key and never visit their blog again. If you blog, I hope you don’t do any of these things.
1. The blogger allows comments, but attacks anyone who disagrees with them. I’m not talking about abusive or trollish comments (which should be trashed or sent to spam anyway), but there are some bloggers YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DISAGREE WITH. You can’t have a civilized debate because even questioning their opinions sends them into the online equivalent of a two year old’s temper tantrum. If you are so certain of your rightness that you must attack those who even suggest a differing viewpoint, why allow comments at all?
2. The majority of the blogger’s posts are hate-filled, trollish screeds against someone they dislike. It’s fine to rant occasionally, but when the object of the blogger’s ire becomes a single-minded OBSESSION, it becomes offensive, especially if it’s meant to slander an individual (who isn’t a public figure). No one wants to read your verbal projectile vomiting.
3. The blogger’s posts are full of typos, misspellings (did I spell that right?) and offensive grammar. Honey, there’s such a thing as spell- and grammar-check. I don’t like grammar nazis either, but what’s even worse is someone who has the writing skills of a second grader and doesn’t bother trying to correct their errors.
4. The layout uses clashing colors, unreadable fonts for the sake of looking “cool,” a typeface/background color combination that’s difficult to read (such as a red font on an orange background), or loud, flashing tacky graphics of the type that used to be called “Blingies.” Viewing a blog like that can cause epileptic seizures. Dude, this isn’t MySpace. Fortunately I don’t see too many blogs like that.
5. The blog is difficult or impossible to navigate. Unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of blogs like this. There’s no list of recent articles, no header tabs labeled by topic, no table of contents, sometimes not even a search bar. How the hell are you supposed to find what you’re looking for? I understand the minimalist look is trendy and and all, but confusing your readers is not cool. When I see a blog I can’t navigate I’m outta there.
6. The blog contains a lot of broken or outdated links. The only time this is excusable is if the blog is no longer active. Otherwise, take the time to update or remove non-working links.
7. It drives me insane when I see a blog that has no original material and every post is a reblog of someone’s else’s article, meme, inspirational quote, snarky saying, or photograph. If you’re so lazy or uncreative you can’t write any original material, why have a blog at all? If all you can do is recycle other people’s material, a social media account like Facebook or Twitter lets you do the same thing. Recycling or reblogging other people’s material is fine sometimes. We all have those days we can’t think of anything original to say or just like something so much we MUST post it on our own blog, but if that’s ALL you can do, I’m sorry but you bore me. Even worse is when I see a copyright protection notice in the sidebar, when there is nothing original to be copyrighted.
8. The blog dwells in negativity, self-pity and hate. This is a bit different from #2, because the blogger may not be on a personal vendetta against an individual (or group of individuals), but every single post they write is a negative, self-pitying, depressing screed about how much their life and everything in it sucks. They hate everything and everyone, including themselves, and their blog is nothing more than their own personal vomitorium. You leave their blog feeling like your soul has been sucked into their vortex of darkness. There’s nothing wrong with writing a rant or spewing a little negativity or self pity sometimes (especially if you’re using your blog as self-therapy, as I am), but if ALL your posts blather on about how much your life SUCKS, and how everything and everyone SUCKS, then YOU suck as a blogger and you need a therapist for your severe depression and anger issues, not a blog.
9. Conversely, blogs that are all sweetness, light and positivity ALL THE TIME also drive me crazy. As bloggers we are human. We have bad days and bad feelings sometimes. Normal people aren’t positive and happy 24/7, 365 days a year. I’m very suspicious of anyone who’s so perky online all the time I feel like I might get diabetes just reading their blog. I feel like they’re hiding something. An occasional rant or admission of failure makes you human. People who are too perky and happy all the time and never admit anything may be wrong in their lives are annoying and boring, not inspirational.
10. Finally, I can’t stand blogs where all the articles are long walls of text, especially if they are in a tiny font. I don’t care if you’re Edgar Allen Poe reincarnated, I won’t bother reading your well-written post if there’s nothing to break up the monotony of your wall of words.