Skip to main content

7 Reasons Why Your Blog Is Unreadable

By April 17, 2013June 28th, 2015Writing & Content Marketing
7 Reasons Why Your Blog Is Unreadable

I read a lot of blogs. I like to learn new things and hear different perspectives from different people. I love the fact that I can read a good blog and be a little smarter than I was five minutes ago.

Then, I like to share that blog with people who might find it helpful or interesting. Then, they share it with more people.

I also ignore at least 10 blogs for every blog that I read and enjoy. I ignore them for a lot of reasons, from the way they look to the way they sound. Unfortunately, your blog may be one of those that just isn’t doing it for me.

Sorry to be so blunt, but your blog is probably unreadable. Here are seven reasons why.

1) Your Blog Didn’t Grab My Attention

Maybe the headline was vague or made me say to myself, “I’ve heard this before.” Maybe it was that lame stock photo I’ve seen a million times. Maybe I read the first paragraph and still didn’t know how I would benefit by reading the rest.

So I didn’t.

Your headline – and to a lesser extent, your feature image – should grab my attention and give me a compelling reason to keep reading. The first line should keep my attention. If you don’t have me hooked by then, you never will.

2) Your Blog Reads Like A Textbook Instead Of A Conversation

The grammar was great and the sentence structure was fine. Your English teacher would give you high marks. But this is a blog, not a textbook, a lecture or a sales presentation.

I’m a real person. Talk to me like you would if we were having a real conversation.

A blog should reflect your personality, attitude and speaking style. Nouns always need to match verbs and you need to know when to use “there,” “their” or “they’re,” but it’s okay to occasionally stray from the King’s English in order to sound more conversational and relatable.

That said, there’s a fine line between using real, everyday language and sounding kind of stupid. Know where that line is, and don’t cross it.

3) Your Blog Is All Over The Place

I understand one topic can be related to five other topics. That doesn’t mean you have to cover all of them or prove you’re an authority on everything in a single blog. When in doubt, be more focused.

When you update your blog regularly, you have the opportunity to focus on one specific topic each time and really dig deep into that topic. It’s your chance to provide your own unique perspective and bring something new to the conversation. You can’t do that if you lose your focus and try to cover too much.

Right now, you have at least four or five blogs within every blog. There’s a name for that. It’s called an e-book.

4) Your Blog Looks Like The Declaration Of Independence (Part 1)

The font is too small and complicated. The lines are too close together. The founding fathers had an excuse – they wrote it by hand on one big piece of paper.

You have access to thousands of fonts. Find one that’s easy on the eyes and leave a little space between the lines. Visitors will scroll below the mythical fold to read your blog if the content above the mythical fold is good enough.

John Hancock signed his name to the Declaration of Independence so largely and clearly that King George wouldn’t need his spectacles to read it. I’m on the verge of needing reading glasses, so if your blog pushes me to that point, that’ll really piss me off.

5) Your Blog Looks Like The Declaration Of Independence (Part 2)

What’s with the giant blocks of text? I realize we were taught in grammar school that a paragraph is usually about five sentences. That may have worked for book reports and term papers, but it doesn’t work in blogs that are fighting for the attention of busy multi-taskers.

A blog paragraph consists of two or three sentences. A mix of long and short sentences with subheads where appropriate.

As much as I’d love to thoughtfully read every word of your blog, sometimes I need to be able to skim through it to find what’s relevant to me. This is much easier with short paragraphs and subheads.

6) Your Blog Is Too Difficult To Read On My Smartphone

I tried to read it. I really did. But after pinching and zooming and turning my phone sideways, I gave up. Sorry, but if you can’t take the time to make your blog readable on mobile, neither will I.

7) You Keep Talking About Yourself And Trying To Sell Me Stuff

Spare me. Enough said.

What makes a blog unreadable for you?

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Lisa Buben says:

    #6 and #7 are big reasons for me not to come back and read more Scott. Too much selling and not an informative or entertaining piece will leave me feeling sour at times.

    • Scott_McKelvey says:

      Hi Lisa – I think a lot of people are still catching up to mobile. I just managed to correct that issue myself. As for the selling, there is definitely a place for that, but that place is not your blog. As for the self-absorbed boasting, there’s no place for that. Not a blog, not advertising, nowhere.

  • Ronya Wade says:

    4 & 5. Instant gratification & information – if I need more I will read it word for word.
    Also a great reminder – I don’t do enough with fonts available. Thank you!

    • Scott_McKelvey says:

      Hi Ronya – Yes, not everyone has a 24-inch HD monitor that makes it easy to read small fonts. The content really has to be pretty darn amazing for me to struggle through fonts that are small, condensed or just plain difficult to read!

  • Margi Swords says:

    Good information. I thought most bloggers were wanna be novelists. No magna carta just get to the point. Some anecdotal humor if it works. I stopped reading a lot of blogs because I just wanted to “stick a hot poker in my eye” about midway through the blog. Very encouraging. Makes me think I might have something to say in a blog after all.

    • Scott_McKelvey says:

      Hi Margi – Well, some bloggers are like the blabbermouth at the end of the bar. They like to hear themselves talk. You can write a long post as long as it’s informative, entertaining and/or interesting. That’s the difference between a great blog and rambling. Or fluff. I get the feeling from this comment that there’s a blogger inside of your that’s just itching to bust out 🙂

  • Fresh content and unique information is always attract visitors. Arrange some pics or videos can be a good idea to attract visitors. And I also too much long blog is bores readers.

    • Scott_McKelvey says:

      Hi William – I agree that content has to be fresh and unique, but I disagree that a long blog bores readers. A boring blog bores readers, long or short. The length doesn’t really matter as long as the content is valuable, relevant and interesting.

  • Very nice, I’m about to post a new story and hope it lives up to your standards. Maybe I do talk about my self too much, but wait, I’m pretty awesome. 🙂

    • Scott_McKelvey says:

      Hi Diana – I look forward to reading your post and basking in your awesomeness 🙂

  • Josie Leung says:

    very nice thanks! i’m new to the whole blogging world. this has been really useful!