Have you found yourself wondering, “Why isn’t my blog getting any traffic?” or “Why isn’t anyone sharing my blog?” Use this post as a checklist for your blog to make sure that you are making it easy for people to enjoy and share your content. The 12 most obvious reasons your blog stinks was written so YOU CAN FIX your blog with tips and suggestions for each point.
I’ve been to many blogs lately with easily fixable problems that the blogger must not know about, and if I missed anything, please share with me in the comments so that others can learn your tricks too! Pick one or two things to update and build. Blogs can be a huge time suck. Be realistic and smart with your commitments and if you are unsure how to do these things, find someone to work on your blog. Nothing wrong with a little delegation from time to time.
1. No share buttons
I recommend Shareaholic sexy bookmarks or Flare depending on your theme.
2. No images for pinning
Hello? It’s 2014. Each post needs a really good photo. If you don't have a feature image on your blog design, create graphics and add them to your posts. These will make your blog much more shareable on Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest.
If don't have PhotoShop, try Canva to create beautiful images for your blog and social media sharing. I create this blog image with Canva, and I'll share it on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Heck, I might even try this on Instagram.
Great article: “The Definitive Guide to Using Images on Your Blog.”
3. No social media links
How do you expect people to find you without adding your social media links? Leave breadcrumbs and start connecting! A big part of your blog's success will rely on your social media networking.
4. No commenting system
Again, how do you expect to connect with people without commenting on your blog? I highly recommend Livefyre for your blog.
5. Jump through hoops to comment
No one wants to enter a crazy CAPTCHA to leave a comment. No one. If you’re worried about spam, use a good commenting system to blog and delete it. (See #4)
6. Uses the default WordPress theme
If you want people to read and remember your content, you need to be original. Using the default WordPress theme or child theme with no customization ensures that others will have the same exact website as yours. If you aren’t WordPress savvy, find a friend to ask questions or hire someone to make your site your own. You’ll be so glad you did.
7. Hard to read
Small font? Dark page?
8. Too many ads
There’s a time and a place for everything and breaking up your content with multiple ads seems to defeat the purpose of writing since you’ve broken the concentration of your reader. Sure, ads on the leaderboard, under the post or in the sidebar are very common but make sure that you aren’t overwhelming your reader with too many ads.
9. No call to action
Make sure you make it easy for people to sign up for your blog via email or RSS.
10. No value provided
Don’t publish just to publish — provide value with your posts. You may only have one chance to impress the new visitor on your site, make sure you give them a reason to come back.
11. Stale “about” page
People love to visit this page and learn about the person or people behind the blog. Refresh the content from time to time so it’s up-to-date and interesting.
No, just no. I know there are sites that have them but it seems to be a common complaint about sites. Why block a reader to push something?
Are you guilty of any of these blog faux pas? What are your pet peeves when you visit blogs and how would you fix them?
Alexandra Nicola says
I starting to have a great big problem with the sites that make commenting so complicated. I mean I tried the catch code 5 times on a site and it was still wrong. My reactions was “What do you want from me ?”. And I just wanted to post a simple question.
Alexandra Nicola Sometimes you jump through the hoops and then the comment goes to moderation. That’s annoying too!
Wow! I did much better than I expected. Other than the entire design of my blog sucking harder than a dyson, I’m set. Great list, I catch myself screaming at the screen when trying to comment on those blogs with the hoops.
TheAweSamsauce Ha ha! Get a new design and you’ll be all set then!
Great stuff Peg!
Interestingly I just read this article before yours here that addresses #4.
Social SEO Consultant says
Well now Peg, since CopyBlogger announced today they are putting the kibosh on their comments on their main blog, maybe #4 is only for us bloggers with less than 100 uniques a week? No seriously, these are all good points for any Blogger to tighten up. Anything you can do to earn and encourage readers to share your content with their social connections is a strong indicator you’re doing something right!
Social SEO Consultant I can see where comments on a blog like CopyBlogger would be an issue, Neil. Some people use comments to scam and drop links which is a time consuming problem to deal with. It will be interesting to see how it plays out and if other blogs follow suit.
Social SEO Consultant I just read that! Very interesting decision.
Peg, these tips are great. If only I could try to find some more interesting things to write about…other than writing.
Brenda Barron says
Fantastic post PegFitzpatrick! I recently designed my blog and forgot to reactivate my social sharing plugin before publishing a post. Ugh! I think of the missed opportunity for shares and weep a little. Alas, tomorrow is another day–and another opportunity to post new things! Thanks for this. I really like the checklist format because it pushed me into action immediately.
Brenda Barron I’m glad that you found it helpful. There’s so many moving parts and things to consider with blogs!
Very nice post! Hit every one of my pet peeves about the blogs I frequent, even those by people who should no better.
Glad I found your site
You are absolutely right Peg! These are awesome & Obvious Reasons! I have Blog & most of reasons are Match with my Blog like No share buttons, No commenting system & No value provided ! These Three reasons yes I have with my Blog & Now I think why My Blog Sucks But now I’m well aware about these reasons So I will make it fix very soon & Thanks Admin for making aware about it.
I agree with all your points. I really need to work on my “About Me” page.
One of my biggest blog pet peeves is pop-ups and I feel like I’m seeing more.
Many blog commenting site sucks because they neglect to have a place where we readers can leave a comment and express what we think about. Readers find it boring to read blogs that is so plain, plain as in no graphic images, have small fonts, to many ads displayed, and no social media to share it. Thank you Peg for having it pin point here the things why blog sucks.
Thanks Peg, this is a very helpful post. Just subscribed and am looking forward to following your blog. My first job will be to learn how to add the cute little icons for social media that are on EVERYONE else’s blogs!! Can you point me to any posts that teach you? thanks for any help.
I was doing okay, until I read the customize my WP bullet. I am trying to learning, but clearly, not quick enough!
Good post, really enjoyed the tips.
May I ask what theme you’re currently using? I really like the sidebar you have in your blog post style. Have been trying to figure this out for the last couple days!
Peg this is a great list, just wanted to add that I keep landing on blogs with outrageous spelling and grammatical errors, and then I can’t share them or pin them for fear of people thinking that I talk or write like that myself. And I’m far from the grammar police; we all make mistakes, but when a post has several egregious errors it makes me lose confidence in the writer.
Ashley Jones says
Blog commenting in action! I found your post from the comment you left on my blog. What a great way to meet other bloggers and trade cool tips.
First off I want to thank you for the shout out.
Secondly it shows that your blog commenting skills are taking off. You are attracting a good amount of people to your blog. This the the benefit of paying it forward.
Now to answer your question about what bugs me about comments…
Two things. When people don’t have a Gravatar of their smiling face and when they leave a simple one liner. They are missing the boat big time. the chance relationship could be a customer, business partner or JV…you never know!