Blogging isn’t only a full time job or an income stream for me, it’s an addiction. It’s a way of life. Next to spending time with my family, it’s my favorite thing to do in the world. It’s my passion. I suppose that’s hard to explain to the people who see that I’m online all day and think I have no life, but it is what it is. I’m hooked on blogging, it’s my passion.
I enjoy reading blog posts from other passionate bloggers as well. When people love what they do their passion and happiness shine through, and those blogs are always a joy to read. Sometimes though, I subscribe to a promising blog only to unsubscribe a few days later. The lack of passion and general negativity are a turn off.
After doing a few informal Twitter polls on this very topic, I learned that it’s not only me. Sometimes bloggers go a little too far with their shock, awe, ranting and tough love and serve to drive people away rather than bring them in. Don’t get me wrong, there’s an audience for this. However, I learned the hard way most blog readers don’t come for negativity. I’m of the catching flies with honey variety blogger.
I also read some blogs that are more about earning revenue than about the niche. Many of these are dull and lack personality and passion. I don’t stick around long with these blogs either.
What makes me not want to visit a blog anymore? Read on…
How to Turn Off Your Blog Readers in 10 Easy Steps
- Pontificate: We’re all adults, do we really need the lectures? If there’s one thing I’ve learned in ten years of freelancing and five years with this blog, it’s that there are no experts. There are no gurus. There are only people who feel strongly about what they do. There are ways to get our points across without calling out from the pulpit. Let’s share ideas, not force them. We’re big enough and intelligent enough to make our own decisions.
- Insult: You’re right. Everyone else is wrong. They’re losers. They’re morons. They’re hypocrites. People who don’t follow your rules don’t know any better. They’re idiots. Yeah. This is the blog I want to visit.
- Bore Your Readers: When a blog lacks passion, it shows. I find this with a lot of paid blogging gigs. Many times bloggers take jobs for the money and not the topic. They offer the facts but not much more. It shows when you’re not emotionally attached to your topic. Readers would rather be with someone who is excited to blog each day over someone who has to blog each day.
- Unmoderated comments: Community free for alls are a major turnoff. People slow down for a train wreck but very few people stay for the duration. When you allow personal attacks, cursing, spam and other hotbeds, you’re risking readers. Some bloggers liken moderated comments to censorship, but I disagree. Your blog isn’t the government and you can run it as you see fit. Also, some people feel as if they’re not allowing an opposing point of view if they delete comments. This isn’t true, either. You can welcome respectful disagreement without alienating your community.
- Push the Affiliate Links: Very few bloggers can get away with constant sales pitches. If you’re constantly selling and not doing as much sharing, people are going to walk away. Unless you have a “make money online blog,” be careful with the daily pimping. Ads, sponsored posts and affiliate links are all a part of blogging, pushing the ads everyday is when it starts to cross the line.
- Curse and Swear: Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to let a few choice words go myself, but not on my blog. I respect my community and that shows in how I talk with them. What you choose to do on your own blog is up to you. However, there are plenty of people who are turned off by profanity. If your community is OK with the F-bombs, keep doing what you’re doing, but if you’re losing community members, it could be the reason why.
- Rock the Negativity: If all you do is whine, complain and disagree, people might not want to hang out with you. No one likes to be around a chronic malcontent. You don’t have to like everything that comes along, but balance is good.
- Mudslinging and Blog Wars: This is one that I’m so guilty of but I’m trying to get a handle on. Not necessarily mudslinging, but I feel I have to constantly defend myself against negativity. You know what, though? No one in this community wants to read about that. They come to FWJ to learn about freelance writing and blogging for a living, not to get a whiff of Deb’s Drama of the Week.
- Push your religious or political views: Unless your blog is about religion or politics, readers are uncomfortable with someone else’s views being pushed on them every time they visit. Before you rant about a politician you disagree with or go off on a religious tangent consider how your community will react.
- Change your format every other month: Readers don’t want to be confused each time they come to visit. If you change your vision, your mission statement, your line of thinking or your blog every other week, you’ll lose trust. How can your community trust you if you’re all things to everyone?
Now share. What are some of the things that turn you off when you visit a blog?