Five Reasons I Stop Reading Your Blog Post

I read a lot of blog posts over the course of a week. A lot. And most of them don’t come from my WordPress Reader, where the blogs I’ve subscribed to are listed. I find most of them on Twitter blog share days, where bloggers can share their interesting content with specified hashtags, expanding potential readership.

We all know getting the potential reader to click the post is job one – we do this with an interesting title, pictures, and the text blurb. Job two is keeping them there. So for the love of all things holy, if you are a blogger, please don’t do things unrelated to your content that make me close your window. I want to read your interesting insights, and I’m sure I’m not alone. If I enjoy the content and there’s nothing there that hurts my brain, I’ll likely subscribe to your blog.

After all this blog reading, I’ve boiled down my gripes into an easy-to-digest list of five reasons I quit reading a post. Maybe I’m a lazy blog reader – hey, that’s likely, in fact – but so are most other people. If you give them a reason to bail, they’ll bail.

Reason 1: Wonky color schemes

black-background-white-text-300x214

Image: Webpageadvisor.com

This gets first mention because it made me close a blog post window five minutes before I decided to write this post. In this case, it was white text on a black background, which might not seem so bad, but my eyes hate it. I could feel them straining two paragraphs in. And while I suspected I’d enjoy the content being delivered in the post, I just couldn’t do it. Reading something interesting isn’t worth a literal headache. Other color schemes I’ve seen involve orange backgrounds, yellow text (I know), and other variations of visual pain.

Best to stick with black text on a white background. The most impactful things in your post should be your words, not the colors.

Reason 2: Not mobile friendly

mobile friendly

Image: sitepoint.com

Like the majority of blog readers, I do most of my blog reading on my phone. If a post isn’t mobile friendly, meaning it has a special “version” for mobile devices, the text appears in about 0.6 pt. So if I want to read the content, I have to zoom and slide the screen around, which I’m unlikely to stick with for long. Creating more work for the potential reader is almost a guaranteed way to lose the reader.

WordPress has many templates that are already mobile friendly. If yours isn’t, or if you’re using a different platform, Google how to adjust that setting. No griping about how easy kids these days have it allowed.

Reason 3: Huge blocks of text

As I searched for an image to go with this point, I found this post from The Onion. I pretty much don’t need to say anything else about the point now.

“It demands so much of my time and concentration . . . This large block of text, it expects me to figure everything out on my own, and I hate it.”

Like you’ve told your paranoid Uncle Buster on Facebook a million times (no, that woman didn’t really die from applying too much hand lotion), The Onion is satire, but it sometimes makes a good point at the same time. As it does in this case. Posts with breaks are easier to digest.

Reason 4: Ads all over

There’s nothing wrong with allowing an ad company to post on your site to bring in a little cash. Hey, I like money, too!

But

Sometimes I come across a post where the content is severely boxed in by ads, especially on my phone. And I can’t always close the ads, or worse, I end up clicking on them when I try to close them. That guarantees I won’t read the post. I’m not gonna try to jump through that hoop more than once.

Reason 5: A popup box I have to close before reading

I’ll be honest: I’m talking about newsletter signup boxes with this one. Especially if I came to a new blog via a blog share day, if I have to break through barriers to even start reading, I won’t stick around.

There’s nothing wrong with having a newsletter signup box, but make the popup happen much farther into the post (I’ve heard 75% is a good target). Do that, and readers like me are way more likely to A. Finish the post, and B. Sign up for your newsletter.

So that’s my list! Do you agree with these gripes, or do you have some of your own? 

37 thoughts on “Five Reasons I Stop Reading Your Blog Post

  1. Pingback: What Did You Like? 2016 In Review | Allison Maruska

  2. Agree with every single one of them – especially the pop up box. That gets me clicking right out of there.
    I have one ad on my blog…and I sure hope it’s not too intrusive.

    Thanks for this post – it shows I’m not alone and grumpy in my irritations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree with you, weird color schemes, too many ads ad force clicking of ads and pop up boxes are all deal breakers for me. If the content is good, readers will definitely sign up on their own or return to sign up after reading a couple of posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have only one to add. Make your titles go with your content. Make your content go with your blog.
    Examples: When I click on a post that says, “the five greatest things about writing” and I find cat pictures.
    Or when I follow a blog from a foodie and get inundated with political arguements and memes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely agree with the mobile friendly aspect and the ads! What I hate also is so many ads that even my high spec phone is left waiting forever for ads to load. And as for the pop up box, I’ve come across sites where I just couldn’t close the box on my phone! Personally large text doesn’t bother me, unless it’s not broken up into manageable paragraphs or points.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, Allison. I totally agree. I also find those features very annoying. Your post shows us how to do it. I read the post in my inbox, then came here to comment. Your post was clearly laid out, with headings and dot points, lots of white space and a few pertinent illustrations. Your title grabbed me and your layout and text lured me in. While I don’t make the mistakes you have listed, I am not always the best at following the advice you have modeled. I need to be more mindful of that. Other things that turn me off are extremely lengthy posts that seem to waffle and not get to any particular point, And ones that think I want to look at a large number of their photographs interspersed with text. In my opinion these are writing for themselves rather than readers, and to broadcast rather than interact. I also don’t favour those that post daily but rarely engage in further conversation. Perhaps I should write my own list! However that’s not really the focus of my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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