I’m new to blogging, but I’ve been reading blogs since the days when we called them homepages. The current trends in blogging-as-a-business are really beginning to bug me.
Because I’m an Internet professional, I’ve never wanted to experience content RSS-only. I like to use my RSS readers to point me to stories and then read them in their native habitat. I’ve always felt like I’d be missing out on all the great experiences people like me are designing if I didn’t.
I’ve also tried to read things that aren’t necessarily meant for me, but that help me understand the trends in industry. I like to be conversant in media trends, know the products on the horizon, and share things with people who might be interested. This means I’m seeing the backroom of social media which can be, let’s face it, sleezy.
From the interaction design and content that don’t respect me to the transparent marketing tactics that treat me like I work for you, I’m fed up.
So, if you want me to quit reading your blog, here are 6 great strategies.
1. Have Too Many Ads
Is there a magic number on how many ads it will take before I give up on you? No, but I can tell you it’s directly proportional the the quality (you probably say, “value”) of the content of your posts. Write great stuff that I find interesting and I’ll put up with a lot. Do too many of the things I’m about to list and it’ll be very few.
I know you have to pay the bills. With the infinite measurability of clicks and conversions, it’s hard out there for a blogger. It’s just if you’re the pimp in the ad transaction, the reader’s your ho. You’re selling my attention. You better make it worth it to me.
2. Have Ads That Move
Do we even have to talk about why this is bad? I mean, every user experience person on the planet will tell you that something moving on the screen is going to draw the eye. When my goals is to be informed or entertained by what I’m reading, that annoys me. Interactive ad agencies employ user experience people who have apparently lost this battle (the other side has way more money). Now the other side has our user experience playback. They’re using it as though a user’s goal is to experience ads. The result is sucktacular.
I think being able to interact with ads on a content page is fine, but let the user choose with a click or a least a hover!
3. Use the Same Formula All the Time
I’m sick of lists of lists of lists. Enough.
4. Act Like You’re My Buddy
Upgrade Now is a personal blog. I write about me and the things I do. I know most of my readers in real life. If that doesn’t describe your blog–you know, the one you are paid to write for? –then don’t write like we’re bff. Please, it’s cheapening us both. Just be the professional writer you are and tell me what I want to know.
I prefer effortless style over forced personality.
5. Try to Use Me to Infect the Planet
Do you have 10 ways a user can share your content under every post? If you do, it’s very clear to me that you’re using me so you can “go viral.” Helping me share content is great and it might be something I do, but do I have to do it in one click? Could you have a single, low key “share this” link that opens a cute little popup with some choices? It should be about you fulfilling my request to share your content. Right now, I feel like you’re demanding it of me.
Also, a thank you in acknowledgment of the nice thing I’m doing for you would be nice.
6. Dis Other Blogs or Hate on Products
Be the bigger blogger even if they hit you first. Remember that some of us read other blogs and formulate opinions from many sources. Though an issue or disagreement may be all-encompassing to you and your office mates, it may be boring or insulting to your readers. Or it might be my first visit to your site and I won’t know you’re not always like this.
I don’t want to name names here, but I recently read a new product review where the blogger clearly had some deep-seeded animosity for the company releasing it. It felt a little too schoolyard for me and I noticed that the CEO of the company took the higher road on his blog. Clearly the CEO is the real Internet professional.