If you’ve ever worked in the hospitality industry, you’d know the first 11 seconds are important.
In many cases, it’s the same when you land on a website.
Here’s a few reasons which may turn you off subscribing to or linking to a WordPress blog.
1. Ignoring Your Readers
I remember reading a saying like this: People forget what you say, forget what you did, but they don’t forget how you make them feel. Ignoring emails from your readers when they need help means you’re either making too much money or just don’t care about people when they reach out to you. People won’t forget that in a hurry.
2. Too Much Content
There’s no doubt that long posts which cover all bases can also provide solutions for more readers. Don’t forget most people’s attention span is fairly short. Consider breaking up long posts using a series, pagination or more specific content which is more straight to the point.
3. No Paragraphs
Have you ever read a post which contains no paragraphs? Did you make it to the very end?
4. Disabling Comments
I came across a blog recently which was all about blogging. But they had disabled comments. Maybe its a play hard to get strategy so their readers will write about them or be forced to use the contact form. It’s working!
5. No Google Authorship
I know guest authors who don’t even own a website or a Google + account meaning they can’t setup Google authorship. Its a sign they’re not really in it for the long term or that they don’t want people to find out more about them.
6. Using a Bogus Name
Some people seem to think they won’t be taken seriously if they have an exotic name. If your content is focused and provides clear answers which are useful, it doesn’t matter where you come from or live.
7. Not Updating Themes, Plugins and Core
Lost count of how many times i have read forum posts from site owners who are still using old versions of WordPress. Even 2.5 in some cases which is a massive security risk. The reason being, they’ve hacked the core WordPress files so much they can’t remember where all the code is that they changed. Never edit the core files of WordPress or your parent theme.
8. Content Not Specific
I know the biggest and best forums for WordPress encourage you to be as clear and specific as possible when asking questions. This way you’ll get your answer in front of the right people that can answer your question as fast as possible. Its the same with your content. Your readers will be more likely to come back if they get the specific answer they need.
9. Site Not Specific
How can you be an expert in so many fields? If you’ve got a site like Mashable with an army of staff, then that’s understandable..If you’re a one man blog with no regular guest authors, it must be a huge challenge keeping up with it all. One niche blog is a huge amount of work in my opinion.
10. Slow Loading Sites
Waiting around for more than 2 seconds can be a bit frustrating at times, 5 seconds or more and you’ll start losing a significant amount of your new visitors. Recently i’ve been going through my backlink profile and noticed slow loading sites generally are low quality. Would you link to a site which takes 5 seconds or more to load?
11. Too Much Clutter
Absorbing the meaning of an article requires focus. Filling up your sidebar and main content area with flashing banners and other distractions only makes it harder for your readers to focus.
12. Too Much Advertising
How do you feel when you just start to enjoy reading a post and then you hit a giant banner right in the middle of the content area. Annoying your readers generally won’t make you a sale.
13. Non Related Advertising
One of the most common tips i have read from bloggers who make good money from their sites is the way they use highly relevant banners and links to specific products. If you write a story about Twitter Tools, you’ll be waiting a long time to get a sale for hosting. Better to link to a short list of the best Twitter tools. Some free and some premium. Also try adding custom sidebars for each blog category.
14. Too Many Affiliate Links
There’s a right way to use affiliate links and there’s a wrong way. Linking to a post which contains a real product review is a good idea. Especially if it contains feedback which is both positive and negative. Always linking directly to a products sales page skips part of the sales funnel which helps you pre sell the product properly. You’ll find the conversion rates are generally higher and the return rate lower if the buyer understands the pro’s and con’s upfront.
15. Tiny Font Size
Making your content easy to read increases the chances your readers will continue reading. Lets face it, most people start to lose their eye sight at some stage. Changing the size of the font used in your text area can be done easily with WordPress.
16. Mystery Man – No Gravatar
Have you ever scrolled through the comments of a blog and found most don’t contain an image of the comment author. The blog tends to lose a bit of credibility when this is the case, especially when the author doesn’t use a Gravatar as well.
17. Default Theme
The WordPress default themes like 2011 and 2012 are well coded and free which results in thousands of downloads. If you plan on joining them, at least add a slider in your header with high quality unique images and/or change the font style or do something unique!
18. No Backup or Security
God help you if you get hacked or forget to pay your hosting while on holidays. There’s many ways to backup your site one of which is installing a good free backup plugin for WordPress.
19. No Contact Page
If you’re not interested in hearing from your readers or listening to what they have to say, blogging is not really for you. Get a static website.
20. No About Page
What are you hiding? Maybe you have a good reason for not wanting to be found which is legitimate. If not, you may look like you have a dubious past and don’t want anyone to find out more about you. If you’re offering services, your prospective clients will want to know who’s behind the site before they hand over any money and hire you.
21. Always Referring To Yourself
Famous people are guilty of this all the time. Using the ‘I’ word all the time may come across as being focused on yourself and not the needs, challenges, frustrations and goals of your readers.
22. Slow Loading, Annoying Pop Ups
Are you desperate? Or just plain focused on numbers? Who likes it when you arrive at a site and the screen slowly goes dark before the pop up arrives? I know that pop ups can increase your subscription rate but you may also lose some loyal readers.
23. Not Giving Attribution
24. Not Disclosing The Cons
Sick of reading one sided reviews about different products and services? Personally, i’ve found complete transparency results in good conversions so don’t be afraid to list the negatives or approve comments which contain negative feedback.
25. No External Links
Do your keyword competitors link to you? Do you link to them? Some blogs never link to other blogs in their niche thinking they’ll lose subscribers. If you find great tips on another site, let your readers know about it or share the link using different social media networks.
How about you?
What are the mistakes you see bloggers make on a regular basis?
Thanks for compiling the list. The one I would add to the list is no date on a blog post. Without a date, there’s no way to know if the post is three years old or three days old.
Brad Dalton says
Feel guilty Deborah because i removed the date from my posts. Trying to cut down on all the clutter from post meta and post info data!
In regard to removing dates, some will argue to do so, it makes your posts more timeless, people may not dig deep into your posts if they think they’re obtaining old information.
Brad Dalton says
Yes agree Jen.
You write so many posts as if you were in my head. This is one, thanks for posting now I can just reference your list rather then write my own!
“Never edit the core files of WordPress or your parent theme.”
LOL. Tell THAT to a good number of developers over at the beloved ThemeForest. There are many themes there so overladen with function.php specific twizzardry, that even if you could get a child theme to be recognized, it wouldn’t work.
Great list of don’twannadodats Brad, thanks.
Brad Dalton says
Too right Michael. I have bought over a dozen themes and plugins from them and never used them. Gives a lot of credibility to the official Genesis plugins and themes.