10 things that rub your blog visitors the wrong way!

In the last post – on why visitors quickly exit your blog – I promised to write about things that your guests, especially the search and referral visitors, hate to see in your blog. In fact, the opposite scenarios of those 10 good traits, that we talked about, themselves form the hate list. But I have more in my hate list here.

My hate list

10 things I hate about youThe following are those ten things that could create a very bad first impression (and hence the last impression as well, mostly) among your search visitors.

#1 CPU or bandwidth exceeded warnings: How often have you seen it? I get to see it a couple of times a week with one or the other blog. This happens mainly with blogs that are on shared hosting plans. Though this is temporary issue, it is really irritating. In fact, it has happened to this blog at least once in the last three months as per the server logs.

#2 ‘Subscribe to our feed’ as the very first line: There is nothing worse than asking a fresh visitor to sign up or subscribe immediately after he hits your blog. Ideally you should push such things to the end of the post or the sidebar.

#3 Flashy-animated ads, excess ads or irritating ad formats: If your blog has too many ads or allows ads that are highly animated and too colorful in nature, the readers may easily get distracted from the main content focus. Other irritating form of ads include popups, popunders and interstitial ads which are not really suitable for blogs, according to me.

#4 Too many spelling or grammatical mistakes: Anybody could make written lingual mistakes – especially when you are blogging in a language that is not your native language. But it should not go to the extend of having too many mistakes that the readers get irritated about.

#5 Your last post was several weeks back: This mainly happens when the users are in the home page or archived area. If your last post was several weeks or even months back, then chances are your blog is considered discontinued and hence mostly repulsive.

#6 Boasting, sober tone or too much talk about self: ‘How I got 25K RSS subscribers’ and ‘I made $5000 this month’ are really nice topics to write about and attract the crowd. However, the undertone should not be arrogant or boastful in which case you loose your readers faster.

#7 Misaligned theme or bad template design: Extremely passionate writers sometime don’t really care about the looks of their blogs. Probably their argument is that the content sells for itself which is mostly true. But there are a lot of people who can’t stand misaligned page contents (including graphics), wrong sized fonts etc.

#8 Script errors and ad serving errors: This is a very common issue and something that most bloggers themselves won’t easily notice. These kind of issues mainly occur when you have poor quality themes, untested plugins, tier 2 ad network scripts etc on your blog. Sometimes due to upgrade issues or certain browser versions these issues can happen as well. Regardless of the technical reasons, these issues shoo the guests away.

#9 Poor Acccessibility of the content: If a blog does not have proper categories, tags, search features and archives the readers may find it really difficult to access the content. When they can’t access anything, naturally they get out of that web space.

#10 Too narrow or too wide theme: If your theme is using only a very small portion of the screen real estate, the readers may have to do too much of up/down scrolling. However, this is not as bad as the other issue of having a horizontal scrollbar when the theme and/or content is too wide for normal screen resolutions. Not many readers will stay at those sites that have a horizontal scrollbar.

Over to you…

I believe that the ten things that I mentioned above are in your hate list as well… However, if you have anything more to add, please feel free to comment.


  1. Hi Ajith,

    Ooops, I believe I am guilty of #2 there — you were nice to me over at my blog, considering that! 😉 I’ll have to give it some thought. I thought that it was a cool technique when I saw it on other blogs….

    The things that bother me in my circles are cliches. That said, I’ve been guilty, there, as well — though in my instances I didn’t know what I said was a cliche. I thought I was being profound… 😉 but there are some people who really seem to be simply repeating cliches. That turns me off, unfortunately.


    Ari Koinuma’s last blog post…How to Climb Up the Ladder of Healing and Growth (Digest)

  2. Hussein :

    We almost have the same hates.

    I have the problem with #7. When you are viewing my blog in IE6, there’s a problem and I can’t fixed it 😀

  3. Interesting list. I enjoyed it more than the 10 best things – it can be easier to fix what’s wrong than improve upon what already is good.

    I don’t think I do any of the things on this list although sometimes my site takes some time to completetly load. I’m starting to think it’s mybloglog that is slowing everything down.

    I agree with you about flashy or too many ads – it’s distracting and makes me want to leave this site.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post…WordPress – How To Create a Delicious Bookmarks Page

  4. @Ari, in your case you use a static welcome page which further links to the blog and hence your plea doesn’t appear on the beginning of every post. I guess, that is acceptable. There are a number of people who show ‘RSS subscribe’ links in the beginning of the post.

    As for the repeating cliches (internal to the blog as well as within blogosphere), yes that can be a major let down for visitors.

    @Hussein, even my theme has a problem with sidebar H2 styles with IE6. I am unable to fix the dang thing…fortunately I get only 4-5 IE6 visitors these days…

    @Kim, thanks for the comment… In fact, your comment also made me think whether I should have merged both these posts 😆

    As for the mybloglog widgets, definitely it is slower. I thought it slows down further when you show more profiles (perhaps each goes as a webservice call to their backend from the widget code?). As you have rightly done, it should figure somewhere in the footer only. Also, try to reduce the number of profile shown below 20 (I guess you have 40 or so?). This will also get rid of the busy browser (browsing on…) icon on the titlebar or tab which is another annoyance though the page may seem to have loaded already to the user.

  5. Good idea – I will cut myblog log down to 20. I also moved analytics to the bottom where you recommended and I’ve noticed a big improvement in the load time.

    If you only have 4-5 IE6 visitors a day, you really shouldn’t worry that much about the h2’s in the sidebar. They really need to upgrade their browser.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post…WordPress – Enhance Your Archives by Using Optional Excerpts

  6. Ajith,

    Excellent list.

    I would like to add one more to the list: Repeating a content that was already posted several times by others . Repeating a content by adding a unique perspective is good. But repeating it because everybody is talking about it, is boring.

    for e.g. during the first week of Google Chrome’s release, almost everybody was talking about it. But only very few had interesting, unique perspective and strong opinion about it.

    Ramesh @ The Geek Stuff’s last blog post…Hire 7 Personal Bodyguards to Browse Internet Securely

  7. Tammy Warren :

    Hey…thank you for the information. I have been blogging for a couple of months and I can agree with the entire list that you posted.

    I have one other complaint:

    Currently I have subscribed to a “comment” feed. It was very interesting post at the time, but now…it is getting a little old and I cannot get out of it. I go back into the site and try to find a way to remove myself from a “comment notification” the option does not exist. I have emailed the blogger(nicely) and of course, no reply. I think if someone is going to put this on their blog they need to make sure there is a easy way for a reader to opt out.

    This is my first time over. I like what I have read.

    Tammy Warren’s last blog post…Sing me to sleep and I will listen

  8. @Kim, absolutely right… The idea should be to support the most popular browsers and their updated releases.

    @Ramesh, repeated content is definitely a let down and mostly when you land blogs that have copy-paste content or stale stuff, you tend to leave ASAP

    @Tammy, you are absolutely right on this ‘subscribe to comment thing’. There are a number of bugs or misbehavior related to it – sometimes even if we set it up properly, there is no way to opt out… Even I have been facing this problem with my own comments in my blog. But when I tested it with other email IDs it was looking fine, please do let me know if you faced any issue here.

    BTW, I see that you have a great blog with a lot of reader engagement… Great work :)

  9. Nagraj :

    sorry i was late here……infact i was waiting for this post of yours after reading the previous one………..yeah excellent list and would agree with most of them in ur list……………..( even i see in the comment section it shows always the same old post of mine as latest )

    Nagraj’s last blog post…Simple animal with complex genome : Trichoplax adhaerens

  10. Akhil :

    Hi there!
    Nice post….
    very good list, and I’ll surely implement these in near future.

    as for your suggestion,
    I’ve installed a new theme on my blog, would you have a look of it, please.


  11. @Nagraj, good to see you back amidst your final year preps. Yesterday when I checked out hoxfulmonsters, there was some issue with the server for quite a long time… Hope things are sorted out now…

    @Akhil, thanks for your visit. Yes, I saw that you have changed the theme and shuffled the ad spots. Now you need to build a community and be regular in visiting/commenting at least 10-15 blogs dealing with similar topics as yours. Backlinks building is very important, So is the frequency of posting.

    Good luck!

  12. Nagraj :

    Yeah i think with server it happens sometimes but very rare…..its fine now………regarding improving my blog ( like building back links and some other important stuff…….) i will need to ur guidance…………i will write to u again ( in some detail) when i get some time off from work…….

    Thanks for informative articles………

    Nagraj’s last blog post…Simple animal with complex genome : Trichoplax adhaerens

  13. Tammy Warren :

    Hey..thank you. I am so new at this and I really need to dive into learning all of the ropes with blogging.

    I did get in touch with the blogger and she was totally unaware of the problem. It has since been corrected.

    I am looking forward to following your blog and learning. Thank you for the compliment.


    Tammy Warren’s last blog post…Good company right on the table

  14. Chetan :

    The 9Th Point
    ” #9 Poor Acccessibility of the content ” is really important. Actually if your visitor is coming from Search engine then Its all the quality of your blog which matters 1st.

    Chetan’s last blog post…Send E-mails with others E-mail IDs.[Fake Mail]

  15. Mitch :

    Very good stuff here. I recently wrote on my blog about my hate for those stripe ads you see at the very top of some blogs. I’d add that, and then add not being able to leave comments unless one registers, let alone those folks who write blogs and don’t allow comments at all.

  16. @Nagraj, definitely I will be glad to share whatever I know

    @Tammy, thanks for accepting tips from this blog :) In fact, for bloggers like me, it is a lot easier to write about stuff (mainly technical) than content like yours that has a lot more personal touch and comes right out of heart…

    @Chetan, yes accessibility matters a lot… Very often we hit web pages where there are a lot of content but nothing is easily browsable

    @Mitch, thank you very much for your visit… You got a point or two about other things that we as readers can’t stand in a blog… stripe ads can be an irritating thing for sure (sometimes the main content loads a few secs after strip ads). And definitely posts accepting no comments is purely monologue and such bloggers are not writing for anybody in particular.

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