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?