Losing Blog Traffic: 14 Things You’re Doing That Are Annoying Your Blog Readers

Last updated on June 18, 2018

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You’ve set up your blog, written a couple of blog posts and you’re now eager to see the traffic flowing in. You’re also promoting your content. However, there could be one or 14 things you’re doing, that are causing you to lose blog traffic.

You see, attracting readers to your blog is one thing.

Ensuring that they stay, read, comment and share your posts is another. 

After all, the success of a blog is based on its scope of reach; how many subscribers or visitors a blog receives and whether that traffic takes action: whether it’s signing up on your list or buying the products you recommend.

I’ve been blogging since 2015 and I’ve seen several blogs come and go. Some have outrightly put me off from the word go.

Let’s delve into why this happens, shall we?

1. Ads, ads, and more ads! 

You click on an attractive headline on Google. It takes you to a very neat blog and then as you settle to start reading it, tens of ads start bombarding the article from all corners.

The title has popping ads, some are scrolling in the middle of the introduction. Others look like pillars as they stand on either side of the post. There’s just too much info, too much noise!

Next course of action: click back to Google or irritably close that page. An ad or two is okay if properly positioned.

However, if your blog looks like an ad showroom, it will only serve to put off your readers from reading your content. Remember that readers visit your blog for the content, not for the ads.

If you must use ads, find a way of blending the ads in without compromising your content. 

This isn’t always possible, especially when you’re dealing with ad networks, but the other option would be to offer private ad space to brands you want to partner with. 

2. Poor Use of Fonts

Here comes another notorious blog put-off and it certainly cannot be because I am bespactled!

If your readers must place their fingers on their screens to follow each word because the font is too small, they will not return.

On the other hand, if the font is too large, it’ll come off like you’re shouting to your audience.

WordPress makes it so easy to adjust the font size. A font size of 14pt to 16 pt is quite easy on the eyes and will make for a good user experience.

3. Black Background

Once upon a time, like in 1999, finding a webpage with a black background was enchanting.

It kinda made the writing stand out and quite easy to read.

But it’s 2018 and that style of blog design is quite outdated! People no longer want to stare at a black page with white letters when we have tons of colors, graphics and amazing backgrounds.

Now, whenever I see a black background loading, (which thankfully isn’t that common) I run like an excited whirlwind.

When it comes to the aesthetics of your blog, you can choose from a wide range of themes that you can find from sites such as Elegant Themes or StudioPress.

4. Too Salesy

Monetizing a blog is the dream we all ride on.

After all, we need to see some ROI for all our hardwork, right? You will, however, be on the wrong side of blog history if every blog, every other line, is calling out at readers, asking them to purchase stuff.

Value, value, and more value is what readers want in this increasingly salesy blogsphere.

Remember, when people want to shop, they visit Amazon (or Alibaba) When they want info, they visit your blog.

5. Layout (Design)

The human brain is designed to observe and is interested in neat and organized patterns.

That’s why folded laundry, paved roads, shaved hair, linear fences and accurate lines appeal to us.

Similarly, if a blog is neatly laid out in a way that the reader can easily pick out what they need, move forward, go back, navigate easily, it again leads to a good user experience. 

Are your readers able to read your blog easily on their mobile? What about your social sharing buttons? Can your readers share your articles easily?

No one will stick to a blog where articles are thrown all over the place with no clear organization.

With so many people trying to earn a living from blogging now, it is imperative that we pay attention to the design of our blogs. 

You can do a little bit of tweaking yourself but if you’re not exactly techy, you can always hire a freelancer from Fiverr to help you out with any design issues. 

Ensure they have high ratings and great reviews though. 

6. Grammar and Spelling Issues!

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are powerful and they leave a lasting impression on our readers. 

If your readers are grappling with one spelling error after another, and are confused by what you are trying to convey, then they will likely not continue reading the blog post you spent so much time writing.

They will also not buy your products or the products you are promoting. 

To be honest, I make mistakes of my own; after all to err is human.

However, there’s this little tool that comes in handy – Grammarly.

It’ll point out issues to do with grammar, punctuation, word choice, style among other issues. It is a tool that every blogger should have. The image below shows exactly how it works. 

7. Subscribe to Access

Have you been to a blog where upon reading a paragraph or two, a banner hits you demanding that you subscribe to keep reading?

Do you know what I do? I look for the “X” to close the banner. If it doesn’t exist, I “X” the entire blog and save my precious time.

Golden rule: NEVER force people to subscribe. Rather, give them great content and they will subscribe willingly.

8. Poor Blog Photos

Most readers tend to be attracted to images before text.

If the first thing that hits your reader is a poor quality photo, such as the one below, you’ll definitely not be making a good impression.

These kinds of photos scream cheap and can easily put off your readers.

You can get great quality photos from Unsplash and Pexels, (more sites here) and you can also buy high-quality photos from Shutterstock.

9. Unnecessary Pop-ups and Multimedia

So you’ve clicked that headline on the six reasons why your ex left, and you were so eager to find out reason number one, when a pop up just distracted you.

You patiently close it and proceed to reading but a minute into it, another pop up! 

If you must include pop-ups, make sure they’re in line with the content and appear only where you call the reader to take some action.

For more tips, check out Searchenginejournal’s 7 tips for using PopUps without Harming Your SEO. 

Coming in a close second is auto-streaming audio and/or video.

This can be quite distressing to readers, what with noisy videos distracting from the message you were trying to send your readers. 

One minute you’re reading some health and fitness tips, the next you’re trying to find that annoying noisy video so that you can turn it off!

Note also that some visitors will most likely close the page at once since multimedia consumes a lot of data. A good alternative is to let your readers press “Play” if they want to listen to the video.

10. From Blog to Splog (Sponsored Blog)

Let’s talk about sponsored posts.

To put it simply, a sponsored blog post is like an ad done on your blog. 

For example, if you’re a tech blogger, a brand may approach you, asking you to write a blog post on a certain product, be it a smartphone, an app, etc.

They will then pay you once the article has been published on your blog.

Sponsored posts are a great way to monetize your blog, provided it is done correctly.

I have so far accepted two sponsored posts on my site but you don’t want to say yes to every request. Why? You want to run a blog, not a splog!

If you say yes to every request, you might eventually lose your readers as you move further and further away from the original objective of your blog.

If the readers realize that you have deviated and are only targeting them with one sponsored post after another, they will eventually stop visiting your site.

11. Content That Doesn’t Impact

Impact how? Entertain, educate or inform.

Could be you’re using a little bit of trickery. Readers will get bored and click the back button if:

  • You promise to talk about the five secrets to writing a great blog post but end up talking about something different.
  • You try to be sarcastic or funny in everything that you say. Not unless your page is dedicated to jokes and sarcasm, use them sparingly. The readers will be amused by the first two or three jokes but from there, you will start looking like a classless blogger.
  • Your writing is full of jargon and fluff (unnecessary words). Always use simple language and write only what needs to be written – no need to write a 3000-word blog post that is full of fluff; mostly unhelpful fluff.  To add on to that, keyword stuffing. Don’t do it.

 12. Slow Loading Times

Site speed is one of the first things your reader notices and if your site is taking 30 seconds to load, you can be sure that you’ll be losing blog traffic in no time.

In fact, readers expect a site to load within two seconds and if it hasn’t done so in three seconds, most will angrily click the back button away.

Remember, too, that Google considers site speed as one of its 200 ranking factors so this is something that you’ll definitely want to work on if you have a slow site.

You can use these tools, Page Insights or Pingdom(14-day trial) to find out how fast your site loads.

The following issues may not cause you to lose blog traffic but they are slightly annoying and should be fixed if you care about your readers. Let’s get into them!

13. No Contact Me Page

This can be extremely frustrating to a blog reader.

I remember once when I wanted to contact a certain site owner since I wanted to pitch my guest post idea to her.

I searched for the contact page for more than two minutes. Up and down the site I went until I resigned in frustration.

A contact page is one of those key pages that should be clearly seen by your visitors.

You could lose out on a potential deal if it cannot be easily accessed. Preferably, it should be at the very top of your blog.

14. Where’s the Search Box?

It can be pretty annoying when one of your visitors want to search for a certain blog post but they can’t find the search box.

Having a search box ensures that your reader spends a little bit more time on your site because they can quickly search and hopefully find the content they are looking for.

I have shared my bit of annoying blog features that I’ve noticed over the years.

What are some of the things that put you of?

Finally, here are some awesome resources that smart bloggers always check out!  

Tailwind – a scheduler that will save you loads of time on Pinterest, as well as show you how well your pins are performing. Did I mention that you get a free $15 when you sign up?

Grammarly – bloggers need not worry about having spelling and punctuation errors on their blog posts. Must have tool!

Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies eCourse – Learn how Pinterest can send you blog traffic with the tips and strategies that Carly’s shares. This ecourse is super popular and for good reason. It works!   

About the author

Virginia Nakitari is a work from home mom passionate about making money online. She's here to show you legitimate companies offering full-time, part-time and remote jobs from home! Stay tuned!

  • Hi Sheeroh,

    Interesting post, as usual!

    The one that intrigued me the most was point 14 – would you argue for a search box/button/option on a site such as mine, which has only been around for a month and doesn’t have an enormous amount of content?

    Thanks,

    PJ Sherman – Freelance Writer available for Hire

    • Hey PJ,
      If it will lead to better user experience, even if those users are 50/100 or less, then yes, put it up 🙂 Thankfully, it’s not a complicated process. You should check for that in appearance then widgets.

      • Hey Sheeroh,

        Yes, fortunately it’s a simple process and should only take me a few minutes to add to the website.

        I will do that over the next few days and call it Project Sheeroh in your honour ^_^

        Thanks again for the advice and look forward to reading some more of your posts!

        All the best,

        PJ

  • Thanks for the tip about the search bar; that’s something I’d never thought of before! I’m definitely with you on being annoyed by grammar errors! I’m an English teacher, and of course I don’t expect a blog post to read like an English essay, but tons of errors can be distracting and I’ve read some posts that were flat-out incoherent. I’m also annoyed when I can’t find an easy way to share a post on social media or leave a comment, or when I try to share the post on Pinterest and some weird picture pops up that has nothing to do with the post. I understand, though, that for some people blogging is a hobby and not a business.

    • That’s right Kate. With you 100%. When you realize that blogging is a business, you put in more effort and professionalism into it.

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