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7 Things To NOT Have On Your Blog

By cecilyk |

Image courtesy of scientific-culture.blogspot.com (with permission)

So we talked about the good, let’s discuss the BAD. Are you ready?

1. LIGHT TEXT ON A DARK BACKGROUND

Okay, I’ll admit, this is #1 on my personal list. Why? Because I cannot read white text on a dark background without immediately triggering a migraine. For serious, yo. I’m going to say this loud and clear: IT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA. No, NEVER. I don’t care if you are going for a dark and mysterious look. NO. Just NO. Always and forever, amen.

2. MUSIC ON AUTO PLAY

Is it 2004 and we’re on MySpace? No? NO MUSIC. NO. Aw, you are trying to create a lovely, contemplative mood on your blog about acupuncture? HONEYBADGER DON’T CARE. All it does is make your site take absurdly long to load, cause office workers to get busted for reading it, and generally annoying the crap out of everyone. NO.

3. SOMEONE ELSE’S CONTENT

Did you write it? No? GET IT OFF YOUR BLOG. (Unless it’s a guest post.) Don’t steal content. The blogger you stole it from will find you. The blogger you stole it from will tweet the crap out of the fact that you stole their content. The blogger you stole it from will round up all of their internet friends to come kick your ass, virtually. It’s not worth it to steal content. For serious.

4. 500 FLASHING BUTTONS IN YOUR SIDEBAR

I’m SO HAPPY you won that blog award in 2009. GET IT OFF YOUR SIDEBAR. It’s not so much that sidebars should be quiet and clean; it’s more the fact that when you pollute it with a whole lot of info and badges they begin to lose their power, and become just more noise rather than things that you want people to notice. Keep your sidebars clear of any outdated info! And, please, for the LOVE OF GOD don’t have your sidebars stretch three scrolls down past your content. Yikes.

5. MISSPELLINGS

Okay, I’ll admit it: my personal spelling SUCKS. But good news! There’s this awesome new invention! Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s called spellcheck? USE IT. The very last thing I do before posting is run a spell check on the post to make sure I didn’t screw up – which I do, invariably. No one is going to mind if you have an occasional grammar error or misspelled word (although readers will be sure to point it out!), but consistent poor spelling is a fast way to losing readers.

6. PROFANITY

Ha! Just kidding. What? Okay, fine, chances are you’ll hurt your readership to some extent if you swear all the time. Like I do. On my blog. There is, no doubt, more of a market for blogs that are gentle in their language. I am personally aware of this. I just happen to not really give a shit. You, though? You should keep the swearing to a minimum.

7. TOO LITTLE CONTENT

Is your last post from last year? Well, one begins to wonder at that point if you really ARE a blogger. Ahem. I try to post three to five times a week; some folks post more, some less. But having a regular posting schedule is really critical to blogging success. The heart of blog success is return visitors, so you need something new for them to see and read when they visit. Otherwise, why would they bother?

There you go! Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments. *pulls up a chair*

 

 

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About cecilyk

cecilyk

cecilyk

Cecily Kellogg writes all over the web, including here at Babble for Voices and Tech. She neglects her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Read bio and latest posts → Read Cecily's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “7 Things To NOT Have On Your Blog

  1. Lindsay Dianne says:

    Damn. Rule number one is being broken all over mine. WHOOPS.

    1. cecilyk says:

      Sorry, Lindsay! I took a look and yeah, I can’t read your site. :(

  2. I use white text on a black background, but only on my photo blog, and never more than 1-2 lines.
    I actually saw one recently that was purple on a lavendar bkgd. THE WORST!

  3. SUPAHMAMA says:

    OH THANK YOU, JESUS! No, like literal Jesus, not you Cecily. I seriously just got my very first migraine in the history of me and now I’m wondering if it WAS the fact that I’d been reading a new blog that, poor thing, white on black THE WORDS ARE MOVING BY THEMSELVES MAKE IT STOP! Wait, I bet number 8 was caps lock. My bad!

  4. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) says:

    The only site in the world that I will allow to have auto music is Ann Voskamp’s http://www.holyexperience.com. Cause it is kinda like entering a church when I go to her site. I will keep it open for longer just for the calming music. But she is the only one. No one else is allowed. Period.

  5. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) says:

    Accchh- typo in that link — it is http://www.aholyexperience.com. Sorry – the other redirects to some other site.

  6. Becca_Masters says:

    This is a great post, with some great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    I too can’t stand when any website has music once you load it. Quite often as soon as the music starts I often jump out of my chair cause I’m not expecting it, and then if the site/blog is one I want to read then I turn my speakers off whilst I look for the off button for the music and if there isn’t one then I generally don’t ever go back to that site.

  7. Michelle says:

    Number 2 should be banned from the internet entirely. Even band websites or sites whose entire purpose is music. I wish browsers would stop supporting auto play music. Ditto on videos with sound that auto play.

  8. Kir says:

    I have worked very hard to not have my blog commit any of these sins. The spelling one is killing me. ;)

  9. No Ordinary Momma says:

    Number 2 is by far the most offensive to me. My husband wants to punch me in the face when I’m surfing online at 2am and some craptastic song blares from my laptop. I try to X out quickly, but I’m so startled and pissed that I can’t get out fast enough.

    Number 6 is a struggle for me. I blast fucktards on a regular basis on my blog. I respect the shit out of your list, but I can’t bend on the cussing.

  10. Hannah Mayer says:

    Ruh-roh. Yeah, I drop the f-bomb, s-bomb, gd-bomb, a-bomb and t-bomb (if you count tits as profanity) pretty much on a daily basis. Mainly I do it with the sole intent of embarrassing my Mom because a lot of her friends read it and I secretly hope they judge her parenting skills. I still have a lot of anger toward my parents pent up from my 16th birthday when I asked for a car and all I got was a god damned beach towel. Tits. See? It’s like I can’t even help it.

  11. The Culture Mom says:

    I was so worried when I saw the title of your article and now I’m slightly relieved that I don’t do the things you mention not to do! Phew.

  12. Kristin says:

    Just a note on your first item. For people with significant visual impairments dark text on a light background is almost impossible to read. The light of the background floods the visual field making it impossible to focus on the text.

  13. Tiana says:

    The funny thing is that when I clicked on the link to this article I was immediately bombarded with music from an ad.

    I have trouble reading a lot of text on a white background, though, because it’s overwhelmingly bright. I’d rather a dark themed site. A best compromise is probably a slightly tinted background, or have two themes available.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Totally unrelated to the list, although I agree the music thing sucks, but can fucktards come back in style? That made me shoot my drink out my nose! Love it!

  15. Lia says:

    I kind of like it too when the text is positioned to the right of the adds column.

  16. Rachel Blaufeld says:

    I agree on all 7 points — I did have light print on dark background in the very beginning — listened to my readers and changed! then, my print was too small — listened to my readers again…
    otherwise, I follow your other 6 no-no’s pretty closely!
    Rachel
    http://backngroovemom.com

  17. Jennifer Lachman says:

    I hate the auto play music on some blogs. My laptop is broken and until the rude guy at the computer store fixes it, I am stuck using this old dinosaur which freezes when anything auto play starts.

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