Sunday Salon: Top 8 reasons not to stay on a blog

The Sunday Salon badge


 Is there anything that makes you not return to a blog or not want to look at it even for the first time?

There are loads that put me off a blog! In no particular order:

  1. Autoplay music (with no chance to turn it off). Your choice of music is rarely the same as mine. I may well have something else playing whilst I browse the internet, and your music will interfere with mine.
  2. Autoplay videos – similar to above, mainly because it will interrupt or stop what else I’m playing. I’m playing my stuff because I’ve CHOSEN to play it. Don’t force your mess onto me.
  3. Badly rendering layouts – not all of us use Chrome on a laptop, I often use Firefox for instance. What renders perfectly on one often doesn’t render well on another.  This isn’t just blogs – I’ve seen it on business websites as well
  4. Pale blue text on brown backgrounds etc – in other words, illegible to the visually impaired. It’s nice to be different and stand out, but if I have a migraine starting 10 seconds into looking at your blog, then I’m off, sorry.
  5. Bad spelling and bad grammar. For example, I come across a lot of book blogs. I like to think that the more you read, the more you learn about sentence structure, spelling etc.  I have a spell checker and I am making use of systems such as Grammarly. There is no excuse for having a badly spelt blog with poor grammar. No, Laziness is not a decent excuse.
  6. A cluttered layout. If I have to spend time finding your content in between all the adverts and the external links, then I don’t want to know.  It means that you are more interested in revenue over content and it means I’m off elsewhere as I’m more interested in finding out what people have to say.
  7. A cluttered or rambling post. Posts don’t have to be long – in fact, some of the best and most useful posts can be short. If it looks like the writer has spent little time on the post, with ideas badly presented and all over the place, then again, I’m off.   This indicates a number of things from the author:
    • Slapdash writing (write once, then publish immediately).  I will go through multiple versions of a post in order to be satisfied with it. I will move words, sentences and paragraphs around. I’ll come to it days or weeks later for grammar checks. I am certainly not a “write once, publish fast” kinda girl – and I like to think you can spot it if I have!
    • A lack of imagination. When I read reviews of books, sometimes they’re only two or three sentences long (“I liked this, the lead character was haught!”). If you’re going to write a blog post, at least pretend you’ve put some thought into it and were paying attention to the book!  What was the story about? Why should I read this book (or avoid it?). If you’re going to get heavy, were there any subtexts, substories we should look out for?  On the other hand, some short reviews can be spot on, and show that the writer has put some effort into it (I can’t remember who this is attributed to, but there’s the note: Sorry for the  long letter, I didn’t have time to write you something shorter. In other words: brevity can take effort.)
    • A lack of pride – why would you put something like that out for other people to look at?
  8. I look to see how you allow for comments. I’m not a huge fan of Disqus and I’ve had problems using Blogger (with Captcha) when using Firefox. If you require me to use another browser or another system to comment on your blog, then I’m unlikely to engage you on the one post, and unlikely ever to come to your blog again.

Those are the things I’ve thought off – and I’m sure that I’ve missed some – do you have anything else that turns you off about a blog?




16 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Top 8 reasons not to stay on a blog

    • Yes to the gifs!

      If the spoiler is a one off, I’d let it go, especially if I’m on the fence about a book (by the time I would get around to it I would have forgotten anyway!). If the spoilers are frequent however…..


  1. Definitely agree with all of these things!

    I think I am guilty of not editing my posts enough though. I wish I had the time to do thoughtful edits on them but life doesn’t allow that. I often spot minor mistakes after I’ve published and cringe, but I like to think I spot them pretty quickly…


  2. a number of these are my turn offs too. Illegible text is a big one – I loathe sites where someone has used every colour in the colour wheel and every font imaginable. I also struggle with sites that make it hard for me to find out who is the person behind the blog – I like to feel there is a human being I am interacting with


  3. The auto-play music and videos are extremely annoying. I had never really thought about the browser affecting the page layout before, but it makes sense. It is a good thing to check.


    • I’ve had a shop site that didn’t work in firefox, and I had to switch to Chrome in order to type in my loyalty card number. Not impressed, but it taught me to think about it more

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A lot of these are pet peeves of mine as well, though some of them aren’t make-it-or-break it for me. I’ll return to a blog that has, in the past, had bad grammar or spelling because I know that I am capable of making mistakes, too. Some people want to have perfect posts that they have read and re-read many times, and some people want to just use their blog as a way to get out creative energy. I’m somewhere in the middle. I realized that I was spending so much time reading and re-reading my posts – even going back to them post-publication – that I no longer had any time to read books. I found the process draining and would get burnt out easily. I had to decide between reviewing fewer books or spending less time on each review, and I chose the later. In fact, I just started a new blog to encompass my new blogging goals.

    I really appreciate those of you who think hard before they publish something – I understand how much effort that takes!

    And, of course after all that, I read this comment three times before publishing it. Hopefully it doesn’t have any mistakes! 🙂


  5. So many times yes on a lack of effort/imagination. If you’re a reviewer, don’t need you to be Roger Ebert, but give me some thoughtful insight please!

    Love the blog, adding so many books to to-read lists. And not-to-read lists, haha


  6. We share many of the same pet peeves. I would also add unresponsive (not mobile friendly) layouts — our society is quickly going “mobile first” and being prepared for that is kinda important.

    I did want to you ask you: What is it exactly that you dislike about Disqus? I’m on Blogger right now (not fo rmuch longer, though) and HATE the Blogger commenting system, so I thought Disqus (allowing non-reg users) would be a better alternative, and so far I have been getting more comments and no complaints about it… please, tell me what is annoying about it, so I can consider alternatives if need be?


    • the thing I dislike about Disqus:

      If I don’t register I can only comment on those posts that allow non-reg comments and disqus does not provide me with any more traffic, as it doesn’t mark up my comment with a click through to my blog. So little to no benefit to me, minimal benefit to you as engagement with me will be low.

      If I do register it increases my digital footprint and is yet another logon and password I have to remember. It’s not installed on my blog, so I will not get the benefit of “all those extra comments” that people claim as the primary reason to install it. As I have not gone digging, I don’t know what other benefits of using Disqus is for anyone that just uses it to comment on other people’s blogs.

      In the end, it seems like an additional overhead for me, with absolutely no benefit in return. Noone to date has persuaded me otherwise.


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