Wednesday, August 18, 2010

5 Blogging Pet Peeves

Blogging pet peeves are obviously going to be different depending on the blogger or blog reader. I am not an expert, but I have been blogging for more than 3 years between this blog & my other one. So I've seen a lot of blogs & read a lot of tips. Here are 5 things from my perspective that will really help you as a blogger &  me as a reader.

1. Offer a full RSS feed
Oh my goodness this gets on my nerves!! I don't know if people think that offering a partial feed will get people to click on their page more or something? But really all it does it gets most people from what I've seen to NOT subscribe or visit your blog at all. There are maybe 2 bloggers that I subscribe to their feed even if they don't offer a full feed & that's only because they email & converse with me regularly & in some way make up for the fact that I can't see their feed in my reader. So just offer a full feed. 
There is some debate about the issue, but in every debate, I believe full feeds wins. Check it out for yourself:

2. Do not have music that plays automatically on your site
This is so annoying. This is probably one of the main reasons I keep my sound turned off when I'm browsing the internet. I am not thinking, "oh how lovely & soothing" as I hear a new song on a site. I'm thinking "if I wanted to listen to music, I'd use Pandora or I'd get on myspace." It's distracting & causes people to look around for the quickest way to turn it off! Plus it feels very unprofessional.
Don't agree with me? Read these:

3. Unreadable font
You may think it's cute, but it's hurting your design. Go for easy, common, readable fonts. Make your blog unique in other ways. This obviously doesn't necessarily apply to the cute logo for your blog, but as far as the content of the posts & the links in the sidebar, you want everything to be easily readable.
Again, don't just take my word for it:

4. No contact info
Make sure that your email or contact form or contact info is clearly listed or linked to on your homepage! People are going to want to ask you questions or send you info. They may want to ask you to guest blog or correct some of your info or any number of other things. They shouldn't have to do this in the comments section. Some things just aren't for the comments section. I don't know how many times I've wanted to email a blogger & can't find their contact info anywhere!! Make sure it's listed! Also - if you have a blogger profile, please link your email to it.
I didn't even look for articles on this topic. I feel like it's just common sense when you think about it. You may have just not thought about it or forgotten.

5. Cluttered, messy design
Blog readers are looking for efficiency. We all have busy lives & when we sit down to read a few blogs, it should be easy & enjoyable. We shouldn't have to sort through a million ads or pop-ups or 30 different glittery images in your sidebar. Make it easy for us to navigate your page & see what you're about. There are plenty of ways to make your page unique to you & still keep it simple, uncluttered & easily readable. 
Here are some great articles on this topic, although many of the articles linked above also mention this:

I could keep going, but I'll stop here.

What would you add to this list?

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I'm a full-time mummy said...

Nice post! I posted a similar thing recently and these are the ones not in your list:
- tons of messy badges
- drop down menus
- horizontal scrolling
- unreadable CAPTCHA

You can drop by and read my entire post at:

Livy said...

I agree with these, except I don't know what the first is.

How do I offer a full feed?

It also drives me nuts when sites have music. There is one I follow with music because it is just too good not to, but other than that I will avoid them.

Christy said...

great post and so true! Thanks for sharing!

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

I feel unqualified to complain since I'm still a fairly new blogger (and therefore may be guilty of some of these), but the music thing is my #1! I keep the sound off or when I do have it on, often beat a hasty retreat from blogs that have it.

Tree said...

I agree with all of these as well, although I must admit I have had music on my blogs before. LOL Some say they love it, others hate it.

I also have and like drop down menus....I think it's a great way to list all of your important categories in an easy to see section.

Tree said...

I agree with all of these as well, although I must admit I have had music on my blogs before. LOL Some say they love it, others hate it.

I also have and like drop down menus....I think it's a great way to list all of your important categories in an easy to see section.

Lisa said...

I would only add one: Never, under any circumstances, comment on someones blog post an advertisement for your blog. 2 days ago, someone came on my blog about my baby boy and posted a large advertisement about their brand new baby blog. I deleted it and sent them an email to never do that again...

Jhen.Stark said...

I don't know much about the first one. What about blogs that don't even have it.

Jhen.Stark said...

I meant that last statement to be a question with a "?"

Cameron said...

With most blogs, the RSS feed is full automatically. And all blogs have them to start out with. You have to actually know how to turn them off or how to make the feed partial. So I wouldn't worry about it if you don't know!

Livy & Jhen - I subscribe to both of your feeds & they are both full feeds.

Stacey said...

I've had a similar post in my drafts folder for months but I never got around to finishing it!

Unless I *really* like a blog, a partial feed usually means a quick unsubscribe for me. And I can't stand auto playing music. I would only add captchas to the list ;)

I have two drop down boxes for my monthly archives and categories, but that's only because after about 10 years of blogging, there are so many!

Jhen.Stark said...

I went and fixed my "contact info". I had this problem with other bloggers. I wanted to so badly to email them but absolutely COULD not find their contact.

Thanks for this... and thanks for the heads up in my comment section.

Helen Hanson said...

Whew! I passed. Wise words for blogs. I get confused with too much clutter including audio clutter. Thanks! I'm over from the challenge.

~Lisa~ said...

Awesome post! You always have great tips Cameron. I'm now wondering if I have a full feed?? Must check. Thanks girl for the wonderful information (= Your teacher side is shining'll do great!

~Lisa~ said...

Awesome post! You always have great tips Cameron. I'm now wondering if I have a full feed?? Must check. Thanks girl for the wonderful information (= Your teacher side is shining'll do great!

Cindy said...

Hi, I'm following back. Love the blog. I'm having a blog hop today too - Catch a Wave Wednesday Blog Hop. Come check it out on

Blogging Hints
Busy Mom's Tips

This Mom said...

These are all excellent tips. One thing I'm never sure about is the etiquette of comments. One of my pet peeves used to be people who left comments like "Now following from XYZ", because I'd like to think that if you're going to follow, you should at least have something to say about one of my posts.

Now I realize that when I do an obligatory "follow-back", sometimes I don't have anything to say (because it's already been said, the topic is too personal, etc.) and I am guilty of the crime myself.

In terms of full feeds, the same goes for email subscriptions. I subscribe to some blogs through email, and some only have partial (teaser) posts...and I rarely (if ever) click through.

Kate @ This Mom Loves

Heather said...

I agree with you for the most part. The email thing though, I'm not too sure about. I would hate to have my email out there and get tons of spam. But if you have a google account and you are following, you can actually click on the member and email them from there without their email being disclosed...its kinda a cool feature.

Stopping by again!
Mommy Only Has Two Hands!

flyrish said...

Thank you for all of the great tips! I still feel relatively new to the blogging community, so I'm trying to be all sponge-like and absorb.

I completely agree about clutter and music. Totally turns me away.

I was unsure about the email thing, so good to know about that Google Connect feature, Heather!

Crystal said...

Awesome, all the way. I hate it when people have 4000 pictures to scroll through before I can read their post. Makes me leave right away.

But help: WHAT IS A FULL RSS FEED? Thought they were all the same. I suck at this blogging techie stuff.

Nya's mom said...

Great tips! I just realized recently what an RSS feed is. I had it set to partial because I didn't know any better. I changed it to full about two weeks ago.

Chrissy said...

I agree! :o) I also prefer proper grammar...ha!

JoJo said...

I have the same pet peeves!!! Well the rss feed I'm still trying to figure out how to do, but all the other ones really bother me!

Firefly said...

I totally agree with almost oof of these, but I do feature music. I have a very small following and do Monday posts about the music I am featuring for the week. So I guess my readers know I always have music on so they alreayd know to have the mute on if they don't want it. I think if yes I was doing reviews or selling things I shouldn't have it playing, but it's just a personal blog.
Anywho, I love that you have resources along with your list. I love that and now am going to go read them all.

Happy Wednesday and thanks for the tips!

Sandra said...

Terrific info as usual Cameron. I know I'm guilty of the RSS feed thingy, and I've tried in vain to fix it, understand it, not cry about it. My blog is getting it's makeover this weekend so I'm hoping the designer will take pity on me and fixy fixy for me.
Cameron, it's thanks to you that I sort of know how to navigate the blog world because of your tips that I read during week one of my trials and tribulations in blogger land. Thank you for sharing of your knowledge with us and for being so selfless in your posts and your praise.

Booyah's Momma said...

Great list... thanks for posting this! You hit all the big ones on my list... and from a writer's perspective, I think my biggest pet peeve would be the no-reply setting.

Tiffany Lamb said...

you've just got one of those great blogs with true substance that I can honestly say I enjoy reading everything you post. I'm semi-new still to the whole blogging world and I love these excellent tips. I;m good to go on these, but I do need to figure out RSS feeds a little better. Thanks :)

Tiffany @ Organic Parenthood

adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

yes! and word verifications of any sort! grrr....... so annoying.

Amy said...

Good list! (I fixed the contact thing. Remember that Cameron?) I didn't even know I was doing that. I think my RSS feed is okay. How do I check that on blogger?

Ellie Tat said...

I soooo agree about the music. I usually find time to read some blogs late at night when the children is in bed and last thing I want is a loud music starting to play all of a sudden (if I have forgotten to turn the sound off)

Shawntae said...

I have music on my blog that plays automatically. I took it off or changed it to where you have to push play and got complaints to change it back to auto. So I don't know. I kind of like it when I go to a blog and I hear there taste in music. I think it is kind of nice actually.
Have you gone

Her music plays automatically and she is one of the top blogs in the world.

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