My Five Pet Peeves for Bloggers and Blogging

I’m not an expert on bloggers and blogging. My own blog hasn’t even had it’s first blog-a-versary.  But I spend hours each week looking at other blogs.

Over the past year, I estimate I’ve spent over a thousand hours on other people’s blogs.

That’s enough time to develop a few pet peeves.

If you think I’m talking about your blog… maybe I am. I don’t want to hurt your feelings.  But as a friend, I have to tell you this. Sometimes, I have a hard time reading your blog. I want to. The words are fabulous. But sometimes, the structure of your blog gets in the way.

Here’s my pet peeves for bloggers and blogging.

1.  Stealing.  It’s number one on my list for a reason.  Don’t “borrow” an image without verifying the source.  Don’t “borrow” a post without credit.  For goodness sake, don’t just copy paste someone else’s work and call it your own.

i love your words

2.  Captcha.  I’m sure you’ve heard this already.  Honestly, if I see the captcha box I normally don’t even bother to TRY leaving a comment box.  It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you.  It’s more that I can’t decipher the captcha thing.

Can I tell you a little secret? I don’t use captcha. I don’t have askimet (I”m too cheap). And two weeks ago, I turned off the “moderate unknown commenters” feature.  Part of why I love CommentLuv is that it protects me from almost all of the spammy comments.  I get maybe five comments a week that end up in the spam can.

3. Yourwordsareallcrowdedandneedroomtobreathe.  Let me say that again, me style.  You words are too crowded and need room to breathe.

Look, in another life I was a High School English teacher. I know all the rules that were drilled into your head about how to structure paragraphs.  Think of those more as.. guidelines.

White space on your blog (all the spots where there aren’t words or pictures) helps your words breathe. It helps give focus to your words and ideas and photos that you worked so hard to put on your blog. It makes your content more readable.

4. Logins. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not on Blogger.  A large portion of people who read your blog aren’t on Blogger. It’s so frustrating to go to your wonderful blog, read an amazing post that I want to comment on, and then hit your convoluted login thingy for comments.

Not every Blogger hosted blog is the same way, so I know there’s a solution. But when my options are to either (a) leave an anonymous comment (b) log into blogger  or (c) leave you my Google registered email address — I get a little frustrated.  I’m too well mannered to leave my blog URL in a comment.  But honestly, how else would you ever know that it was a comment from ME and not some random spammer?

ps – When I leave a comment with my Google registered email, I get a popup inviting me to open a Blogger blog.  Every.single.time.  #annoying.

5. Being mobile unfriendly.  Do you know what your blog looks like on my phone or Kindle?  Have you checked to see what it looks like on yours?

Honestly, I do a ton of reading on a mobile device.  Some blogs are almost impossible to read on my cell phone.  It’s not just about reading a post.  I want to be able to comment, tweet, share, and even PIN your amazing stuff on Pinterest.

Bonus Pet Peeve:  Music.  Do you know what it’s like to be quietly blog surfing in a room with a sleeping kid and suddenly have a loud commercial or some music playing?  I do.

for bloggers and bloggingThat’s my list of pet peeves.

I’m sure there are more, but that’s my top five pet peeves for bloggers and blogging.

What are yours?

I’d love to know what I missed.

If this was a top 10 list what should be on there?  

If I’m guilty of something that annoys you, please let me know. 🙂

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Susan Mitchell Chambers says:

    I hate the ones with music. I also wish I could comment sometimes when I can't. I've started not even reading the ones that are sponsored – maybe I'm just jealous but I don't want to read a sales pitch 🙂

    • Any sponsored post should have the sponsorship listed somewhere above the fold – in the first few lines of the story. Same with reviews. I don’t mind the occasional sponsored or review post, but I don’t want a steady stream of them. I’m reading a blog, not an infomercial. (Unless of course your blog is dedicated to reviews, that’s different. That’s like watching the shopping channel.)

      I understand the jealousy statement. Some bloggers are getting some really cool stuff to write about.

      It’s a topic I STRUGGLE with. I want to make money from my blog but I don’t want to write commercials. 🙂

    • I understand. Sponsored posts and reviews are supposed to be clearly identified as such within the first paragraph or so, then it's YOUR choice on reading the infomercial. Personally, I struggle with this as a blogger. I want (and need) to make money from my blog. But I don't want to bombard my readers with commercials. It's a hard balancing act, particularly when something really cool is dangled in front of my face. Every blogger has to figure it out for herself, and I understand the occasional mis-step as she does so. All I ask is that sponsored and review posts be clearly identified. (I use a category called REVIEWS in addition to a clear mention.)

  2. great post, the music and ability to read on my phone annoys me too. But the thing that gets me is when I can only respond through my gmail account..I don’t like that at all and those captchas are the DEVIL

    but to each his own, right?

    • Karen, when I realized I was avoiding even READING some great blogs because of their commenting policies, I felt like I should at least tell them. When the “stuff” gets in the way of my ability to read someone’s words and enjoy them, there’s a problem.

      One of the things I heard at Blissdom was that “a blog post without a conversation is called an article.” We talk about blog posts via comments and twitter and facebook and google+ and even pinterest. When we, as writers, put up barriers to having a conversation with our readers, we’re missing out on an essential ingredient.

      I got so convicted about it that I turned OFF comment moderation. I don’t want “stuff’ getting in the way of the conversations.

  3. Great list! I would add having a popup box to sign up for a newsletter or subscribe every time I visit a blog. This especially drives me crazy if I have ALREADY subscribed or signed up for the newsletter. I suppose I should go see what my blog looks like on the mobile phone now (SIGH…thanks for adding an item to my never-ending blogging to-do list-ha!)

    • First, PopUp boxes are Evil. Evil. EEEEEVVVVIIIIILLLLL. I can’t believe I missed putting them on my list!

      Second, you need to make your blog RESPONSIVE. If the blog theme you use isn’t responsive, you should be able to download and install a plugin to make ANY blog responsive. I shopped and shopped until I found a theme that would look good on a mobile phone because I know (from Google Analytics) that roughly 25% of my visitors are using their phone. I can even tell you what percentage are iPhones versus Androids versus “other.”

  4. Great post. I don’t like CAPTCHA either – I have such a hard time reading it too! Half the time I have to re-do it when I comment because I can’t see it well enough. And music…I just close the post. I fixed my mobile issues. I am probably guilty of sometimes being too wordy…but hey I am a work in progress! I do reviews and giveaways (not all the time though, I’m not a review blog) and my disclosure is at the bottom…but I am reading your comments…maybe it should be closer to the top? I haven’t done a sponsored post though…any review I write that doesn’t involve a giveaway is just me expressing appreciation for a company, product or service. 🙂

    • Michele, every blogger has to find the right balance of review/sponsored posts. We all know that blogging isn’t a “free hobby” and many of us are, at some level, trying to make money with our words. There’s nothing wrong with it.

      I approach the whole subject with a healthy dose of grace. None of us as bloggers were handed a manual with all the rules spelled out. It takes some time to figure it out. I use a category for my reviews (cleverly labeled REVIEWS) that makes it pretty clear. Giveaways are pretty obvious. Maybe you could come up with a tiny thumbnail jpg that you insert towards the top of those posts – something that gives your readers a visual clue without disrupting the writing?

      If it’s just “hey I found this great product that I love” then I think telling people that it is NOT a sponsored/review post is important. It gives your words even more credibility. My that’s just my opinion. I’m sure there’s other people who think differently.

      Wordiness… in some ways it’s a matter of style and choice. My “paragraphs” are short even for blogs. I’m sure it annoys a few people. Longer paragraphs work great on some blogs. I struggle when there’s these looooong paragraphs with tiny font and there’s not even a space BETWEEN the paragraphs. When I’m on my phone and scrolling to the end of a paragraph, it’s too easy to lose my place. I’m not saying everyone should copy what I do, but I do wish people would make it easier to read the content without having to use my mouse (or finger) to keep my place on the screen. Make sense?

  5. I cannot stand when people call posts “blogs”. Ex: “New blog up today!!” Unless you actually have a brand spanking new blog today, that is not accurate. Your blog is your blog. You write a post ON your blog. Drives me bonkers. 🙂

    • I don’t think I’d noticed that, but now that you’ve brought it up, I’m quite certain it will irritate me too!

      ps – If you are actually launching a new blog today, try something more exciting than “New blog up today!” Maybe a whole series of somethings. Just a thought.

  6. I HATE capcha so much! I can’t read it either. I’ve also run across a few blogs where you have to be “registered” to comment. I don’t bother on those.

    And I also don’t like music automatically playing. So annoying.

    • I don’t know if it’s the progressive lenses or just my “old” age, but I just can’t read the captcha stuff. I’ve asked my kids to read it to me. Sad, but true. I’ve seen captcha where it asks for a simple math problem and I don’t mind that. I actually use it on my email form on my contact page.

  7. I share all those pet peeves, and especially hate the automatic music. Often I’ll have a million tabs open and all of a sudden music is coming from one of then and I have to figure out which one it is….Arrggh!

    Meanwhile, people using images without giving credit is becoming a serious problem. It’s so widespread that it even makes it harder for those of us who WANT TO provide credit to find the original source, because when I find images on Pinterest that I want to use and make an image search, all that pops up are the hundreds of instances in which the image was used… without linking back to the source. In some ways, the source gets lost. I wish more people bothered to post image credits below those oh-so-pretty images!

    • I’ve taken to surfing with my computer muted. So I have no idea how widespread the problem is… I quit hearing it.

      As for Pinterest, I’m a link fixer. I do my best to pin only from original sources. When I want to pin a non credited image, I track it down. If everyone did that, Pinterest would be a better place.

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