Do you want your readers to enjoy your blog? Sure! We all do. There are a few bad blogging practices that bloggers should avoid. I am by no means a blogspert, but with these few tips, you can make sure your blog is a pleasant experience for me and your other readers.
Make it easy for me to go to your home page.
If I read a post on a blog, I like to pop around and see what else the blog has to offer. Don’t make it hard for me to go back to your homepage. Have a homepage menu item or at least let me go to your home page when I click on the title of your blog. If you don’t have a home page, shame on you.
Use regular font styles and colors for the body of your blog text.
Reading on a computer screen is not like reading on paper. Use a serif or sans-serif for the body of your text. Cutesy fonts are tiring to read on a screen. As much as I love education blogs, we are bad about this one. Comic sans, cursive, papyrus, curlz, and all other “fancy fonts” are difficult to read on the screen. You don’t want visitors to not enjoy your blog because reading your text is an unpleasant experience.
Be mindful of your text size and color scheme. For example, orange words on a blue background is tiresome to read. Font that is really small is tough to read too. Be creative with the design of your theme but keep the font for your body of text a decent size, simple, and easy to read.
Please have access to a menu.
In the same theme of ‘take me home’, please have some sort of menu so visitors can easily click your topics, about page, or something other than a long list of posts. I’m not scrolling through your blog if you don’t put forth any effort to make your blog navigable. This problem is even worse if I’m viewing your site via a mobile device. The problem is 100x worse if you choose to use the dreaded infinite scroll.
I know many bloggers go on and on about minimalism; that’s cool. But don’t sacrifice navigability for minimalism. Check out the webpage of those two dudes who are known for minimalism.
It’s fine if you don’t like widgets. However, having a functional blog design will only encourage readers to read more than one page per visit. That’s what blogging is all about. People reading what you have written. Don’t make unnecessary obstacles that will prevent that from happening. More access to your older posts means more pageviews for you and more enjoyment for your readers.
Don’t make it hard for me to comment.
I understand not allowing anonymous comments. I’m fine with submitting name and email or using my Gravatar or Open ID. I used to be very indignant about having to do that, but like Elsa, I let it go.
I’m also a fan of bloggers moderating the comments on their blogs. Look, I’m no rookie. I’ve been interneting long enough to know how quickly commenting can get out of hand. So, having some sort of identifying comment log-in for visitors and reasonable comment moderation is completely cool with K. Renae P. However, don’t ride the pendulum in the complete opposite direction.
Limiting your comments to users who use whatever platform you are using will severely limit comments and kill engagement. I’m not going to sign up to TypePad to comment on your blog. Also, don’t make it so only Google+ users can comment on your blog. Have more options for readers. Make it easy for your readers to engage with you.
I also don’t mind proving I’m a human by checking the box or adding 9+1. Those are quick and unobtrusive. But do I have to complete some cryptic captcha?! I hate captchas on blogs. Decent spam filters, a not so inconvenient “prove you’re not a robot” test, and/or basic comment moderation render incomprehensible captchas unnecessary.
Don’t completely ignore your readers.
One thing I dislike more than a less than navigable blog is a blog where the blogger posts then *poof*; the blogger disappears. You should respond to comments plain and simple. Some bloggers only respond to a few comments, and some bloggers try to respond to all of their comments. Different bloggers respond to comments different ways. But no responses at all? Puh-Lease.
Unless you are a huge blog like Huffington Post or Cracked, you should respond and engage your readers. If you don’t , don’t get mad when readers don’t return. If you choose not to moderate and/or engage readers in your comment sections; you should disable that feature.