Content drives readers to blogs, but many new bloggers tend to go overboard. They haven’t yet written the Pulitzer class articles, so they will instead try to entice more viewers to their site with videos and music. Rather than enticing them, this tactic scares blog followers away by cheapening the site. Here are ten mistakes which are commonly made by new bloggers.
- Autoplaying Video – People who come to a blog aren’t looking for something to watch. If they were looking for something to watch, they would go to a video site. They are looking for articles which will entertain and captivate them. The autoplaying video takes more of the coveted bandwidth than text. If the sound is programmed with the video, it may play at an inappropriate time. The more seasoned bloggers try to avoid annoying their users.
- Lack of purpose – When first arriving to a site, the reader should know exactly what that site has to offer. New bloggers often assume that a reader will know what ‘Joe’s Games’ is all about. The seasoned blogger realizes that there are many types of games and will place the reason for the blog beside the name. ‘Joe’s Games – An awesome place for mediocre flash games’ provides a description of the content as well as an explanation for the title.
- Pop-ups – Pop-up windows are annoying. They distract readers from content, they have gained a reputation for delivering viruses to unsuspecting users and they are aggravating. There is no content which is so great as to warrant a pop up window. Some of the newer advertising campaigns will cover half of the article until the ad is closed. This is bad business practice, deterring users from their promised content.
- Horizontally scrolling windows – Viewers do not want to scroll across the page for information. They are likely to stray if their desired content is off the screen. Making the reader horizontally scroll is aggravating, and an aggravated user is one who does not return to the site. The resolution for most browser windows is 1024 x 768 pixels. Staying within that resolution is easy.
- Opening new browser windows – Sites should be easy to use. This mistake is made by people who believe that they will get lower bounce times if they make their viewer focus on a new window. This is an unprofessional practice, as the aim is to make the browsing experience as simple and uncluttered as possible. When a user leaves the site, they should not have to close a bunch of windows. The back button has its uses.
- Use flashing or blinking text – Discos on websites are passe. Flashing text is confusing to the reader. It may cause epileptic seizures. There are easier ways to draw attention to the subject matter. Unfortunately, there are plenty of new bloggers who believe that they will gain a lot of attention with their flashiness.
- Overuse of Flash – There are places where the use of Flash is important and places where it would be best left behind. Flash takes longer to process, which means that the slower users are not able to access the blog quickly and efficiently. The best sites are ones which are loaded nearly instantly and bring great content to the table.
- Changing the icons – That picture of the tree next to the duck may be interesting, but they do not help the user effectively navigate the site. The newer bloggers have a tendency to reinvent the wheel. The older bloggers realize that simplicity with content is heavenly. New art bloggers may have beautiful icons, but users want to look at their portfolios.
- Advertising links within the content – Advertising is the way that many bloggers make money with their sites. Unfortunately, there are a lot of new bloggers who believe that more is better. New bloggers should avoid any text which spawns small pop-up windows.
- Unclear about links – Visitors want links which are clear and understandable. New bloggers will assume that their viewers do not need that kind of information. By using link text, the link’s destination is clearly understood.
New bloggers are often overwhelmed by the video, audio and flash that is available for their new blog. They want to put as many of these great gadgets and toys within their site. The more seasoned bloggers realize that distractions are unnecessary, if not detrimental. They also understand the value of simplicity.