5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People

Do you have an irritating blog?

Tough question to start off with but it’s also a very important question. While most of us are out there trying to do our best to come up with unique content, there are a lot of folks telling you to do this or that to drive readers to your blog, to get visitors to sign up for your newsletters, and to get people buying your products. All fine and good, but you’re probably irking more people than you’re pleasing; do you care?

I read a lot of blogs. In my blog reader (I use Feedreader, which is free), I’m subscribed to around 150 sites; 140 of them are blogs. In addition to those blogs I see a lot of other blogs based on recommendations from people on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s a good thing I’m a speed reader, otherwise I’d probably never get through any of them, let alone write the multiple blogs I have of my own and that I write for other people.
You have an irritating blog
Whereas I find some good things to read, because there are some very good writers out there, most of what I come across irritates me; might as well tell the truth. If it irritates me enough I write about it on my blog; it’s actually something that gives me a lot of inspiration. I’m one of those people that never does anything that irritates me because I figure if I’m irritated then probably the majority of people are also irritated by it, but don’t say anything.

See, in general people are polite and nice. None of us wants to directly hurt someone else’s feelings unless they absolutely deserve it. I’m not someone who just agrees with someone because they say something. If most of it is good but there’s something I don’t like, I’ll have my say, then move on.

Yet the problem persists. The big time money bloggers will tell you stuff that just gets on my nerves because you do it. Then someone will give you some great information that you’ll ignore it for whatever reason; maybe it’s boring, maybe it’s too much work, etc. Some of it is pretty simple stuff that I know you were taught in school; if you weren’t paying attention then, you’re failing now. And if that’s the case, then you’re irritating blog annoys me and many other people.

What am I talking about? Let’s look at my top 5 irritants:

1. Pop-ups – the easiest way to prove you have an irritating blog.

I’ve written about this multiple times on my blog; I hate them. I don’t know who actually started this mess, but the first time I read it was on Problogger about two and a half years ago. Darren Rowse, the owner of the blog, was saying how he did an experiment with some popup software to see if he could increase the subscribers to his blog and his newsletter. Then John Chow wrote about it, and suddenly everyone and his grandmother was doing it.

The thing is it’s irritating as all get out. Supposedly some of the software is supposed to remember a visitor and never pop up again but that doesn’t work. Sometimes the sucker pops up immediately, and other times it pops up while you’re in the middle of reading the article. A few pop up just as you leave a comment. No matter when it pops up I hate it, it’s irritating, and I won’t subscribe to anything you do. I used to say I wasn’t ever visiting that blog again but because of bit.ly links you’re not always sure where you’re going when someone recommends a post to read.

2. Grammar

(yes, that’s how it’s spelled; the one with an “e” is an actor from Frasier).

Where did you learn to write like that? Most of the time people don’t ask that question because they like the way you write, and that’s a shame. Everyone isn’t perfect; I get that. However, I see more people that write worse than they talk, and that’s a shame. I like to think I’m one of the few people I know who writes much better than I speak; that’s a shame as well but at least in writing I’m not bad.

There are some lessons people need to remember when they start writing blog posts; I would have said need to “learn” but I don’t think there’s a teacher out there that would have taught most people some of the horrible techniques I see. Folks, there are 3 different spellings of this word: there, they’re, their. They have different meanings as well; learn them. There are words that aren’t plural that you put an “s” after; stop doing that. There’s this thing called “punctuation”; how many people remember how to use semicolons? For that matter a question mark is only supposed to be used if you’re asking a question, though I’ve met a lot of people from whom every sentence sounds like a question. Poor grammar and punctuation will land you in the irritating blog category for sure.

3. Spelling.

Oh man, do I even want to get into this one? Look, there are typos that abound; I get that. There’s also this thing called “spell checker” that every browser has that highlights misspelled words in some fashion; mine has this squiggly red line that alerts me that I’ve typed something incorrectly. I say it that way because I’m a good speller; finished 7th twice as a kid in spelling bees (missed “rhubarb” and “raspberry”; I’d only seen both words on the Beverly Hillbillies). Therefore, if I misspell a word I know it’s a typo and that another word exists, or that my spell check doesn’t know that word and I add it to the dictionary.

Still, I hesitate to pick on people for misspelling because it’s so prominent so I’m going to pick on you for one type of misspelling. If you’re going to talk about someone or something specific, look it up and spell it properly. Heck, don’t spell it at all; copy and paste the sucker into your post. You don’t know how to spell Saddam Hussein; copy and paste. You don’t know how to spell Mississippi; copy and paste. You don’t know how to spell Ghadafi… well, I’ll give you a pass on that one because I’ve seen his name spelled 10 different ways. My point is that there are some words where, if you’re going to talk about something specific, at least learn how to spell it. And if you think I’m being elitist, for awhile I was misspelling Akismet as “Askimet” because I thought that’s what I was seeing; did that for a couple of years before someone pointed it out to me. But one word out of thousands; I learned and have never made the mistake again.

4. Comment hurdles.

Anyone who knows me knows this is one of my biggest gripes. If you make it hard for me to comment on your blog I’m not going to waste my time because you’ve irritated me before I’ve even thought about reading your content. As a matter of fact, if it’s not as easy as just putting in my name, email address and link to my blog (okay, I don’t mind the Twitter thing being there) I’m probably not even going to read your comment unless I already know you and like you.

Here’s the thing. If you’re using WordPress as your software a combination of a few plugins are all you need to make comments go smoothly, reduce spam drastically, and protect your blog overall. I’m not going to get into what each of these things do but I’m going to recommend you use these and get away from moderation, captcha, making people log in (nope, not doing it), or any other thing you’ve put on your blog that’s irritating me and a lot of people (dare I mention Disqus? Oh yeah, I just did):

A. Akismet
B. Growmap Anti-spambot
C. Limit Login Attempts
D. WordPress Firewall
E. WordPress Thread Comment
F. Subscribe To Comments

Those last two aren’t needed for all blogs; it depends on how modern your theme is as to whether you need them or not. The new WordPress software can handle what those two plugins do if your theme is modern; if not, they’re great.

5. What’s the purpose of a blog in general?

In my opinion there only 3 reasons to write a blog; everything everyone does should fit into one of these categories:

A. Educate
B. Entertain
C. Inform

On the first point, if you’re going to write something to educate someone on a topic, be complete with it. I see so many people writing tutorial posts and making assumptions that everyone knows much of what you’re talking about already. True, some stuff makes sense, but often there are terms that many people don’t know, and there are technological tricks that some people without a lot of skills are afraid to try, especially if you didn’t explain why it needs to be done.

I’m someone that does a lot of research because I have things that I try to change (such as trying to get that stupid Win 7 operating system to open the photo editing program I want it to instead of that idiotic Windows Photo Viewer program, which you can’t edit images from), and when I can’t find the detail on how to get it fixed and why I’m doing it I get irritated.

On the second point, if you want to keep people interested in what you have to say you’re going to have to entertain them in some fashion. I don’t mean telling jokes or necessarily being funny; I mean adding some personality to what you’re writing. Give a little something of yourself when you can. Sometimes it’s not appropriate for the type of post you might be writing but most of the time it’s what helps you make a connection with someone else.

On the third point I’m betting some people think I’m rehashing my first point, but I’m not. If you’re basically writing exactly what someone else has written at least give them some props with a link back to their original content. If you’ve read something that gives you an idea for a blog post, link back to them, whether you agree with their position or not. If you bring up a topic that you know most people aren’t familiar with (for instance, if I start talking about “string theory” and my belief in multiple dimensions) link to some information about it so that anyone who cares can at least see what you’re talking about. It never takes away from your own words to give credit to others when it’s deserved, or to give information to help people understand your references. True, you want people to ask questions and talk to you about things, but if they’re talking to you about your terminology and not what you’re writing about you’ve lost them.

What do YOU think makes for an irritating blog?

I think I’ve said enough here. I thank Ileane for the opportunity to vent somewhere else other than my own blog. If I’ve said anything here that irritates you, let me know; if you agree, let me know. If you have anything to add, let everyone know. I thank you for your time, and hope this post didn’t make this an irritating blog.

About 

Mitch Mitchell writes I'm Just Sharing (http://www.imjustsharing.com) as well as 3 other blogs for himself and multiple blogs for others. He's been blogging for 6 years.

179 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Thanks Mitch – I didn’t find your post even a little bit irritating!

    One suggestion, I think on point 5 you should add “enthuse”. I believe helping people find their passion is even more important than “education”.

    • Thanks Phil. I actually see enthuse, which I equate with motivate, as part of entertain. It’s a great word, one most people don’t see all that often; I like it. :-)

  2. Great post Mitch, I agree with everything you say here and especially Pop ups, they can single handedly ruin a blog. I’m sure i’ve visited plenty of blogs that may have impeccable, worthwhile content but clicked away due to a bombardment of popups!

        • I should be curious to know what you think of the Livefyre system I just installed on my blog and how you think it compares to Disqus, I hear it is more mobile friendly and less intrusive but need more reader feedback to try and test it.

    • Nobody likes pop-ups. The ones that really bother me though are the ones on sites that I visit regularly where they pop up the box for the opt-in as soon as you arrive there. I use third party software to ensure that my cookies and temp files are cleared every time I close any browser. So, when I visit that site again, they think I am a new visitor and show me the same damn thing I have seen a hundred times before. Highly annoying. Highly!

      People use them because they work though. They get noobs onto your list. It is easier to make money with noobs on your list than with experienced internet savvy people. Noobs haven’t parted with enough of their money yet to realize that every MMO blogger on the internet is trying to pick their pocket.

  3. Hey Mitch,

    I did a double-take when I saw it was you writing over here. :) Thoroughly enjoyed this post. I was reading with bated breath to see if you were going to step on my toes. If you ever encounter anything irritating on my blog, let me know. (Yeah, I do the comment moderation thing.)

    Showing my age here, but … The pop-up thing started about 10 years ago. I bought some of the first “pop-up generator” software on the market (the dude in Charlotte, NC had one) around 2002. I actually used it on my websites for a couple of years, then it got on my nerves. :) The fad faded for a bit, especially when pop-up blockers came standard on browsers. (Of course, it doesn’t matter when they started, that feeling you get is still the same.)

    As I read one part of your post, I realized I’d just commented on another article here on Ileane’s blog that spoke my agreement with your point.

    Most likely I will reference others who have written about the same thing because they may present something about the subject that’s not within my focus or they may say things a different way. (I get teased a lot about “footnotes.”)

    I wholeheartedly agree with your point that it doesn’t take any thing away to give someone the credit they’re due. (It’s all that focus on “link juice.”)

    Great read and a worthwhile rant.

    • Thanks Vernessa. I think sharing is one of the best things a blogger can do for another, even moreso than commenting. The only time I don’t share is if the content is offensive in some fashion, but I’ll still fuss about it. lol

  4. Dennis Edell

    Am I seeing this right? A guest post from Mitch? Woot!

    As you know, I type as I talk, so hit me straight…..how much does my “wanna” and “gonna” way of typing irritate you. lol

    As the typo King though, I absolutely love Firefox with their neat little red line under each. You honestly have no idea what my posts would look like without it. lol

    Unfortunately my biggest typo of all time won’t get caught by any checker… “i” instead of “I”. i’d gets caught, but not the singular. And yes, it’s killing me not to fix that. lol

    • Hey Dennis, I was asked and thus I delivered. :-)

      There’s always an allowance for language; I don’t always feel like being precise with my language. Those missing capital I’s do throw me off, though. Overall that’s small stuff; after all, E. E. Cummings never used punctuation or capitalization either. Then again, how many of us are him?

  5. Hi Mitch,
    Here i want to add one more that is auto share on Facebook. Before few days ago i have used auto share my post on Facebook result i lost my valuable fan on Facebook fan page.

    Thanks for your informative post.

    • Sanjam, are you saying that you had your blog posts automatically show up on Facebook and now they don’t because they took your page because you were doing it? That doesn’t sound right, as I share my blog links on mine, though not all of them. I hpe you wrote the Facebook people to ask them about it.

  6. Hi Mitch,
    That’s a nice image you have used for illustrating the situation of a blogger when he gets irritated with his blog. :)
    Well in most case a blogger by himself make his blog irritating. If, the instruction you have given above, are not followed the blog becomes good for nothing which is the prime reason of failure of blogger.

    • Thanks John. I can’t take credit for the image, though. I had a different one to use but couldn’t figure out how to upload it, so Ileane picked this one and it’s still appropriate. And one can hope that bloggers will treat visitors as they wish to be treated when they visit other blogs.

  7. Hi Mitch. Your post pretty much sums up everything about what a blog needs to find it irritating. Actually there are many of them out there and it sad to see that despite all the best “blogging” practices that are available, they still exists. Typos and spelling, although annoying, I can handle as I do have a lot of connections from “other” countries whose primary language is not English, hence, I give them a break, provided it is not written in “Chinese” :) Pop-ups and poor quality articles, those I stay away from. It is amazing how a pop-up can really annoy me, unless I am already an avid visitor of your website.

    • Thanks DiTesco. I don’t pick on people for whom I know that English isn’t their primary language; the rest of us, however, should know better. And some things we see really makes us wonder if the author cares about us as readers. Hopefully more people will come along with the idea of being visitor friendly.

  8. Hi Mitch,

    I’m in the same wavelength with you – writing potential irritating points from bloggers, for a future guest post :)

    I know that those grammar mistakes can be irritating, some basics are needed.
    But I’d add not all people have English as native language. I think in the global English world, most of people try to express in it because is a universal language, but we must be flexible. If not, try to write a posts in language you’ve learned few years and tell me later ;-)

    About pop ups – I hate them. Every time I receive one, I close it immediately no matter the text inside. On the other side of the coin – I know they are effective…

    Just off topic, why do you prefer Feedreader instead of Google Reader? I used Bloglines and it was near to close (the same thing like Delicious) and I prefer now to have control of my feeds on GR and bookmarks with Google bookmarks.

    Cheers,

    Gera

    • Hi Gera. I don’t like having to use my browser for what I consider extraneous stuff. I’d rather use the Feedreader program, which I can have sitting in my taskbar available at any time, rather than giving Google another way to track what I’m doing online. Oh yeah, I wrote a recent post about being tracked by Google, but for some reason I can’t seem to change any posts using CommentLuv right now.

      • Mitch I understand the point about being tracked, yeah… I don’t like also, but unfortunately we’re being tracked everywhere with the cookies and other tech devices. Thanks for your insight!

    • Hey Gera,

      It must be something in the ozone because I have one I’m working on for a guest post, too! Amazing. I was just tickled when I started reading Mitch’s.

  9. Yes these are all excellent thoughts but you forgot another extremely annoying thing that happens. Commenting on a post then finding yourself automatically subscribed to follow-up comments! Who started that and when will it end? I have almost placed a few offenders into my spam folder, I will unsubscribe to this spam bot comment system once; after the first offense I have to decide to never comment on their blog again or report their site as spam..

    • To tell you the truth Janet, I don’t have a problem with that. To me, leaving a comment means that it’s okay for you to know when people respond to your comment and what other people are saying. You have to opt into it on my blog but I think once you do that you continue getting all other comments until you decide it’s time to unsubscribe from the thread, which I do many times. My problem is when you find you can’t unsubscribe from a thread; then I’ll get irritated again.

  10. Delena Silverfox

    Amen! Woo!! *standing ovation*

    Pop-ups. I can’t stand them. I don’t care about subscribing to people’s whatevers (because I’ll go out of my way to subscribe if I like it, I promise), and the interruption is just irritating. Pop-unders are even more insidious, and rude! Sure, it doesn’t interrupt with my reading or commenting, but it’s there…lurking. Just when I think I’ve closed down all my browsers and am finished for the day, lo! There’s another browser window open with that dang pop-under. Grr…

    And I hate Flash! Even just something as silly as that little Twitter bird that flies around the screen if you insert the proper code. Oh, it’s like nails on chalkboard. And it’s so early 90’s! Not to mention that dang bird likes to perch right on the words I’m trying to read and won’t move. He just stares. Creepy bird…

    Delena

    • Delena you’re killing me! lol I’ve never seen that bird, but I can imagine it driving me nuts. I probably should have mentioned popunders and even those toolbars that never seem to get out of the way. Now there are sidebars that follow you everywhere also; sometimes they block the writing on the left side.

      Overall I understand why people use these things; still doesn’t take away from the irritation factor of some of it. Thanks for making me laugh.

      • Dennis Edell

        The bird is a plugin Mitch, it’s cute and funny the first time or two, but just irritating after that.

  11. Another great post Mitch! I have nothing more to say. Everybody said it all! LOL But surely I agree with what you’ve written. Best regards! Looking forward for your next post.

  12. Hi Mitch,

    I absolutely agree!, the pop up thing is really irritating for me, as a visitor.

    Actually I plan to get a pop up plugin to increase my subscriber, but since, I don’t know what to do with my subscribers and also it can be irritating for my visitors, I stop myself for getting this plugin.

    I don’t want to make my blog more irritating than now, google ads are irritating enough lol

    Thanks.

    • Glad you’re not going to the “dark side”, Kimi. lol You know, I guess it suits the purpose for those who want one thing over the other but it just doesn’t work for me.

  13. What I absolutely dislike on many blogs is fussy design.. I mean fussy windows, colors, plugins etc.

    • You mean too much going on when you get there Joe? I could see how that would be irritating. I don’t like showing up at a site and having music start playing, or something walking out and suddenly talking to me. That’s actually a bit creepy. lol

  14. Hey Mitch, what’s so wrong with Pop-Tarts? I used to eat them all the time!
    Oh! You wrote “Pop-ups”. Duh.

    Seriously, though, Pop-ups, toolbars and whatnot can be annoying. But the number one annoying attribute a blog can have is too many things loading. I’ve been to some blogs where the text literally paints onto the screen, it’s so slow. I thought I was back on an acoustic modem at 300 baud! (Hey Vernessa, I’m older than you. LOL)

    Your other 4 irritants don’t bother me much, especially as I’m prone to fumble finger a few typos while commenting. Also, I subscribe to WordPress.com practically three times a week, since a few of my favorite bloggers live there. I draw the line at Disqus. It doesn’t annoy me, I just don’t feel like being bothered.

    Finally, ever since Google transitioned it accounts, whenever I want to leave a comment on a Blogger.com site, if I use my name@gmail account, my browser closes the main email account (which is tied to my domain.) That’s a bit annoying, but I don’t visit Blogger.com sites much.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Mitch, you’re a bit more easygoing than me. Google has done a change to me that I wasn’t expecting. I had an account that they changed over to a Gmail account just because I bought the smartphone. Freaks me out that they changed things without my knowledge like that, but at least everything is still working.

      As to the rest, as I said, a typo here and there is to be expected; I’m certainly not perfect in that regard. But multiple typos, or consistently getting the same word incorrect… not cool.

    • Cheolsu, advertising is a tough call because there are so many different theories on it. Truthfully, the only time it’s bothered me is when it crosses into the content. If I can’t read what I want to read, then I’m irritated. As for colors, I have to admit that I’m only bothered if the font color is hard to read against the background, but that could happen with lots of color combinations. I did see one website, though, that was a very bright pink; that one I had to leave quickly because my eyes were screaming at me. lol

  15. I agree with everything you said! I stopped going to one blog that I loved commenting on because she nows has the login & word thing which I hate! Notice how I didn’t spell that out because I always spell that word thing wrong? :) Your site is always a tiny irritating when you leave a comment & then you get a “op up” that makes you check the box for spam.

    • Thanks Barb. Actually, that spam thing is quite the savior for many bloggers that get tons of it. I probably fought it as long as anyone before deciding that it was just too overwhelming. I haven’t looked back since I added it; turned out to be wonderful, which is why it’s on my list above. As to the other, I’m with you on the word things.

  16. I don’t see the point of making it more difficult. As soon as I have to sign up in order to comment I often move on without commenting. The captcha ones are the worst.

    I get quite a bit of spam on my site and sometimes it’s a pain, but I’d rather make it more simple for my readers to comment.

    I also find toolbars irritating because the site takes forever to load.

  17. Popups are the most annoying thing to see on a website. I completely back out when I feel a site is ‘overly’ trying to sell me something–or the abundant emails trying to sell ebooks–an unfortunate trend that seems to be on the rise and it is scary. Brilliant pointers and something many bloggers will have to look out for.

  18. Mitch,

    I have to say – what a great and enjoyable post!

    I do get irritated by some bloggers and their blogs. Popups is definitely one of them except for a minority few where the value of the contents they provide simply overrides the irritating feeling.

    As for grammar I am a little forgiving considering that I am not a true genius on it myself. About the comment hurdles though, I am totally with you. That really irritate me the most, to a point where I don’t leave a comment even though I really want to. No doubt about it!

    Thanks Mitch.

    • Thank you Adam. As I said, I make mental allowances for people for whom I know English isn’t their first language, but some of the rest… especially when, in their own post, they’re telling people how to write. lol

  19. Very informatics and useful informations for me. But I think pop-ups has not create such problems as you briefed here. Anyway its my opinion. Rest all are good sharing.

  20. I think you summed it up quite nicely.

    I am always working on writing, because it does not come easy. I’ve even bought books to help me in this area. With that being said, I am easily irritated by poor grammar and misspelled words. I find that when a blogger makes these mistakes on every single post, that they do not have many comments and people do not share their posts. And they wonder why? :/

    I know the deal about the comment hurdles. I tried another system and I quickly found out that my readers did not like it. I want to make easy for people to comment even those who are not bloggers. Everyone has an email address. :)

    Thanks for sharing your irritations!

    Take care Mitch and Ileane,

    Evelyn

    • Thanks for your input, Evelyn. The process of blogging isn’t easy, but it’s not hard either. I have to admit that I’ve wondered about how kids are taught grammar and spelling in today’s world; we didn’t have phonetics when I went to school. We also weren’t allowed shortcut words; we used to call it slang. lol So many small changes can make the blogging experience better for visitors.

  21. My blog is in written in spanish aind it have an english version, but with diferents articles.
    When i use the automatic translators plugins, what i got is a mess. Bad grammar, bad spelling. Is there an good translator beside google that could help my post could be read in english without errors. For me this is one of the irritating things a blog could have.

    • Fachadas, translation software always seems to be suspect. My only hope has always been that it’s at least close to what the originator has to say. I have no clue but maybe someone else reading this will.

  22. Nice post Mitch. There isn’t much else to say except: I can forgive most anything except those dadgone popups. I hit the back button 100% of the time. Well, I am also irritated by really small text or blogs that are unreadable even for people with perfect vision. Just saying.

    • Donnie, small text doesn’t bother me because I always have a habit of increasing the text anyway by holding down on the Ctrl button and scrolling the mouse up. I love having a marge monitor to help out with that. :-)

  23. Mitch, I think the most annoying thing is the popups. There are times when I don’t even read the post when one pops up.

    Actually, there is probably something that irritates me even more than that; it’s when I’ve taken the time to read the post and really wanted to leave a comment and the author has the comments closed. Not that sucks.

    • Sire, we’re in agreement on all those intolerations, including comments being closed. As I said, most of the time I’ll scroll down the article first to see what kind of commenting system they have but when I don’t and I find something I don’t want to deal with, I wish I had the ability to kick myself for not remembering to do it.

  24. It was a good read and agreed with every sentences. PopUps already shouted, how hardly it is hated but still the more and more larger bogs as pasting it on their front door.

    Subscribe to comment – well this plugin I found, made a lot of email noise. Especially for a blog that has enough comments, I am too scared to mark that check box. I better prefer ReplyMe plugin that will inform you only when somebody replies or comments on your comment.

  25. Hi Mitch, the post made for a really good read. Among all the irritating factors, I think pop-ups are the most irritating. Other than these, the sidebars containing the social media buttons are really irritating. They create a problem in reading the posts clearly.

  26. What irritates me a lot is when I thought I’ll get the information i need and it turns out the it’s just going to put me in circles..

    • Same here Elley, but that’s a hard one to overcome because so many people turn out not to be good teachers, and thus don’t always explain things deep enough. I run into that all the time.

  27. Blogs which are too decorated, using fonts that totally matches the background. Or using both bright colors. Whenever you visit these kinds of blogs, your eyes(if only eyes can talk) will say “ouch!”. No blog is more irritating than which can hurt you physically. Second would be blogs which have overused topics with ideas going around the bush. Blogs which you can learn nothing too. haha

    • Thanks for your contribution Sephy. Actually I don’t mind overused topics, as long as the writer can add a new spin in some fashion. If stuff is just regurgitated so that it’s the same as everything else, that’s not creative at all.

  28. Popups are at the top of the list of things that annoy me too. If nobody would care that you’re writing something, why would you waste your time?

  29. Wow, I couldn’t have said it better myself! If a blogger makes it difficult for me to leave a comment, I pass it right by. It’s all about making it informative or entertaining to read and easy to leave a comment.

  30. Thanks Maureen. Yesterday was a great example for me, as I came upon a blog that had an interesting topic, but I looked down and saw I had to create a log in to comment; nope, not interested.

  31. Great list. Popups and Disqus will make me leave immediately. I have to wonder what the bounce rate is for sites with popups.

    • Melinda, I’ve wondered that myself about the bounce rates. You never see any stats on that, so there’s no real way of knowing, but blogs in general tend to have lousy bounce rates.

  32. Nice tutorial to create an annoying blog post. Another thing which you should avoid is use of very informal English and internet slang. By the way, I totally disagree with you on the fifth point. A blog can be used for anything because a person has the right to.
    (Phew.. Was that comment annoying ?)

    • You didn’t actually disagree on the 5th point, since I said that, based on my qualifications, those 3 categories fit every blog in existence. That is, unless you have something else in mind that you can’t see fitting into those 3 categories, in which case I’d love you to mention it so I can fit it into one of them. lol

      And you’re right, the informal way some folks write, as if they’re doing instant messaging, can be difficult to deal with over the course of a long post. Heck, I don’t even use that type of script when I’m doing IM.

        • Heck, if we’re going to fight, at least make it fair to yourself. You do know that’s an illogical statement, right? It’s specious because the purpose of categorization is to try to capture everything you can, hopefully everything that’s available. For instance, there’s either life or death; nothing else. There’s matter or antimatter; nothing else. We all have either two feet, one foot or no feet; there’s nothing else. That’s the purpose of posting it.

  33. Hi Mitch,
    I do not know how I stumbled here but would like to say that I find your article great for blogger like myself.

    It’s like a checklist for me to ensure that I do not commit those faults mentioned or else you won’t visit my blog ;-)

    You sound stern and must be a no-nonsense person but who cares? As long as your content captivate my attention, I will be back for more.

    Cheers!

  34. William, I’m far from stern and no-nonsense. I do have my set of qualifications that I stick with though because at a certain point we all get to decide what we like and don’t like and if we keep accepting things we don’t like, we live a less happier life. That plus I do try to help wherever I can, and if it takes a rant to do it, then so be it. lol

    • Yes Mitch, I sure would like to be able to rant diplomatically at times.

      Lately many Internet Marketer uses the EXIT SPLASH popups which can be extremely annoying. There is just no way to avoid it. Unless someone come out with a plugin that provide such countermeasure.

      To be disrupted by One Exit Splash is normal, twice is pretty annoying but 3 to 5 times ( GoClickCash is one of them ) is exceptionally rude!

      William Siong

      • I know what you mean. You’ve decided to leave and up comes these windows, sometimes multiple times, that just won’t let you leave in peace. Ugh!

  35. Hey Mitch nice article,

    I gotta say that what irritates me the most is Pop-ups, I can deal with spelling or gramm”a”r ;) mistakes because they are honest mistakes.

    However Pop-ups are designed to force you to focus your attention on something else even for a second and thus losing your focus on your main view, and that is something I find truly annoying to use.

    I’ve always spelled Grammar with an “e” haha….:)

    Thanks, great article. :)

    • Sayed, the fact that so many people, heck almost everyone, that’s written a comment here has stated how much they hate popups should give all these other folks something to think about. I hope so, as I like reading lots of blogs without being interrupted.

  36. I agree about the pop ups. I can’t stand them! It is the number one reason I will leave a new blog. Also I think you should add CommentLuv to your list of must haves for commenters. It has lead me to find many blogs that I would not have known of otherwise.

    • Thanks FSYA. Course I took on only stuff that irritated me so I’ll leave it up to you to mention things you like, although CommentLuv is one of the best plugins I’ve ever seen. Andy did a great job in creating that one.

  37. Hi, Mitch.

    There is a moderation feature on my blog. I do this because I usually like to read what commenters say first before they appear online and that is how my boss wants it. Is that a bad thing really? :( I noticed Sire saying that he hates it when that happens. I was thinking of scrapping the moderation feature in my blog, but as I am not the only who has a say on what should and should happen to it, my hands are tied. This does not mean that I am not worried over what Sire said though.

    • Kim, things might be a bit different with a company blog as it pertains to moderation, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it necessarily. I do understand it, though, as companies will worry more about what potential and actual clients might see.

    • Betty, I have both videos and music that starts playing when you get there. Then you’re scrambling trying to figure out how to turn that stuff off, if you ever find it at all; ugh! lol

    • OMG! The music that starts with the loading of the site makes me want to scream! Especially when you can’t find the player to turn it off! Argh!

  38. Echo your point of view on many, had a question though. You mention the WordPress Thread Comment plugin but WordPress does this by default in 2.9 and above with threading built into the platform, do you use this plugin in addition?

    • Justin, I use it on at least the blog I’m highlighting here because it’s an older theme that I’ve kind of updated on my own, and I found that threaded comment thing in WP didn’t work for me without the plugin. So I mentioned it because some other people might have older themes, or might not have set it up properly in their WP settings to take advantage of how it might work well for them.

  39. Andreea Fanita

    What makes a blog irritating? Many things actually, but since you’ve related only to content I will too:

    The most irritating thing I find in a blog post is the fancy vocabulary. Some people use really elevate words, pulled-out-of-dictionary-words and when looking to their profile and see nothing to link them to their content (like experience in the field or age) it gives me the impression all they want is to MAKE AN IMPRESSION.

    I even wonder if those people know what they are talking about. Getting words out of dictionary is not bad, actually not many consult it. However it makes me thinking for how long will they remember that word, better said how fast will they forget what they’ve learnt?

    What’s done out of passion stays, what’s out of imagery fades.

    Thank you for a wonderful article.
    P.S.: “In my opinion there only 3 reasons to write a blog; everything everyone does should fit into one of these categories:” – you’ve missed an “are” there. :)

  40. Wow Andreea, you’re the first one to catch that; nice job! lol

    I don’t have a problem with vocabulary, as I sometimes dabble in the art of sesquipedalian myself, and trust me, I know what my words mean. I actually had to learn how to stop doing that too often and it took reading a William F. Buckley book, or at least attempting to read one, to convince me to stop because sometimes those words just pop into one’s head. I don’t like the idea of “dumbing down” just to do it, but I understand the need of making sure one can communicate one’s ideas to someone else.

    And, since you called me on one of my sentences, let me call you out on one of yours: “Getting words out of dictionary is not bad”, you either left out “a” or “the” ;-)

    • Thanks, Mitch – I had to make a trip to the dictionary to find out what that foot-long word, sesquipedalian, meant. :)

      Good point about the fine balance between dumbing down your vocabulary versus making sure your communications are understood. (The foot-long characterization is from “wordsources.info”).

      • Good going Vernessa; I wasn’t sure if anyone would know the word already, let alone look it up. I remember being in a casino in Scottsdale once, extremely tired, and as a casual statement throwing out the word “perspicacious” without even knowing I’d said it. It wasn’t until I noticed all eyes were on me and no one was saying anything that I had to ask what was up. It’s sometimes amazing how my language changes based on how I feel, since most of the time when I get tired I get lazy and, I hate to say this, start speaking more Southern, like my mother’s side of the family.

        • Mitch, that is funny as all get out! I have “perspicacious” sitting at the top of the draft of a blog post I’m writing. I figured I wouldn’t use it in the post, but I sure wanted to. :)

          Southern, eh? I’ve been living in the south for 30+ years, but Brooklyn comes creeping out. Now that I’m in your neck of the woods, my northern folk say the south comes creeping out. Oh, well!

  41. Hi Mitch,
    Nice post.I think its okay to use some kind of spam stopping policy if one wants to have the blog protected from malware but as we say that excess of everything is bad and it may even affect the blog adversely.

  42. Andreea Fanita

    Heeheehe thanks!

    I don’t have a problem with people running to a dictionary to improve the way they express themselves or for learning reasons.

    I just hate when they do that superficially and they give the impression they are superior and it doesn’t even seem they’ve learnt something out of it (never thought of you among those people btw).

    They are given away when you are impressed and you want to talk to them. During the discussion you realize that they either don’t know what they’re talking about or blabber some nonsense. It’s enough to take a look in a dictionary yourself and you’ll see if they want to mess your head up in a discussion.

    That is a total minus (-) for me!

    Great job once again: there are things I knew, but needed to be reminded! :)

    P.S: In the PR job you develop an eye for that eheheh. But it seems I’ve made one of my own. Always wrote it like that, thanks for correcting me! ^_^

    • I’m definitely with you on this, Brittany, and it seems we have a lot of people agreeing with us here. Still, it’s probably not going away any time soon.

  43. Thanks for sharing these tips. I think sometimes people become so self absorbed that they forget that they could be irritating someone even if it is via a blog. I agree with most of what you have said here.

  44. Mitch,

    Strong words and strong opinions there, but I do appreciate your view on this. I know Popups can be annoying but my view about it is to set it to appear once every few days for every unique visitor that comes to my blog and not multiple times. I am on the side where I believe Popups work better for me simply because it has. But I don’t disagree if you were to argue that they are not necessarily effective for everyone else.

    And probably that is why you chose to guest post on this blog :D

    • Actually Bryan, Ileane asked me to write a guest post and I did; that’s all it takes most of the time. lol

      As for the popups, they just might be effective. However, if you look at pretty much every comment this post got you’ll see that almost every person said they hated them. It’s the question about audience; if one isn’t worried about losing people that might be irritated and never come back at the expense of attracting those few people that might sign up for a newsletter or buy a product, then you’re getting exactly what you want.

    • In the irritating list there are so many factors to irritate the users but pop-up some time confuses the user to read the post so next time they avoid to visit there.

  45. Hey Mitch,

    Apparently, an irritating blog can take on a life of its own (or die a slow death). Recently I visited two blogs that have one of those irritating commenting systems. I’m talking LiveFyre.

    One of the blogs switched from a simple, threaded commenting system that just worked (I have commented there numerous times). The other blog is fairly new to me, but I like the content and the blogger. When I saw he had LiveFyre, I groaned, refused to “sign up” just to leave a comment, but relented because I really wanted to be supportive of the guy and leave a comment. Dang!

    All I can is, I really, really, really feel you when you talk about an aggravating commenting system. <> I hate reading commments backwards. On top of that, I hate reading replies that have been left on comments that you have to read backwards. And I don’t really care to “sign in with Twitter” … What a mess! <>

    • You’re killing me Vernessa, and yet I agree with everything you’ve said. Livefyre must be new as I’ve just started seeing it myself. Nope, I’m not bothering with it; don’t care what it’s about at all, I just know it’s another hoop to jump through.

      And I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon either way on which direction comments go, but I’ll say that I prefer older at the top only because I’m used to it.

  46. Dennis Edell

    LiveFyre – I dunno how new new it is, I think it’s more of one of them late bloomers,ya know.

    I too just recently stop commenting on a regular blog because of it. Knowing me, and those like me, and the fact that we comment just about everywhere, I think it is something they should look into. lol

    • Well Dennis, it was new to me. lol I sometimes wonder if people that change these systems even notice that comments have dropped off. I mean, how could they miss it?

      • Dennis Edell

        Ask and you’ll get the same response every time Mitch, “quality over quantity” which is way too overplayed at this point.

  47. AINOON DAVIES

    Hi Mitch,

    Gracious me, you made laugh so hard that my jaws are aching!!! It’s so damn irritating when you’re given a free PDF report to download and they ask you to log in again. It’s got to a point where I’m actually unsubscribing from anybody who makes me go through that.

    Anyway thanks to you I don’t feel alone anymore and no thanks to you I have aching jaws to add to my stiff neck. Oh by the way Mitch, bear with me if my english is not up to standard and if I made any spelling mistakes. English is not my native language.

    • Ainoon, you did just fine. I find that sometimes I’m the guy that voices the frustration other people are feeling but don’t really want to say. I guess that’s my role in life.

  48. I definitely agree with comment hurdle. I have never comment on a blog that needs me to sign up, very troublesome.

  49. Very entertaining. You got me with the spelling and grammar there. LOL. I don’t know, but I usually get really distracted and irritated when I come across something wrongly spelled within the article.

  50. I agree 100% with this blog and man those pop ups really freak me out. I want to read info not have a whole lot of sales garbage get in the way of what I need to read.

  51. (you are going to flame my spelling i know lol) i hate pop ups of any kind at all. Even if i am selling something, I will not resort to something as pathetic as that. Onto the spelling bit I am not very good at grammar, not good at all. But i do try my hardest…… Do i get points for that lol :D

  52. I really enjoyed reading this and reading the comments which I don’t normally do. I am fairly new to blogging and am always looking for ways to improve. What I liked is the fact that I don’t do any of the things that you have mentioned. :) Well at least I hope I don’t. i would hope someone would tell me if I was

  53. Great post Mitch. Tell me a guy who doesn’t grin at the sight of a pop-up. The reason I don’t like commenting on forums is, I have to go through the painful process of registration, verification and then get down working. You are right; ease of comments will get you more traction. Acknowledging the original content is absolutely essential; imagine if I were to stumble upon your piece and find that, it has been picked-up from somewhere; you are doomed. Regarding the grammar and typos, I will be a bit lenient, as long as you have convey the crux, I will be fine with it.

    Kevin Rudd

    • Good stuff Kevin. You know, I’ve gone after a few of those sites that have scrapped my stuff but it’s hard to find them all so I only go after those where it’s obvious now. I have a copyright notice that goes with each post as well so the hope was that would deter some folks. In any case at least it’s proof that I’m the originator.

      As for popups; look at all the people here that have hated on them, yet I know today if I visit 5 new blogs 3 will probably have a popup on them. So sad…

  54. In the last you ask ………”I think I’ve said enough here. I thank Ileane for the opportunity to vent somewhere else other than my own blog. If I’ve said anything here that irritates you, let me know; if you agree, let me know. If you have anything to add, let everyone know.” ………I’m agree with all your feeling about irritating blog. Also to add some more…..you have mentioned here the 3 purposes of blogging, one more aim is that most of us are involved in this filed to do business or earn money.

    • Hi Jacob. Actually, I think making money is an outcome you might want from a blog, but you have to be doing something else with the blog in hoping to attract people to come in the first place. So, what do you offer them… information, entertainment, news…?

  55. For non native English language people sometimes can be mistaken when writing an article for blog posting. It’s really not good cause it is published world wide. Should be very careful concerning grammar and spelling and of course expressing language should be ease understand and comfortable. I dislike totally pop-up, I think blog owner should avoid or little acceptance concerning pop up when blog be decorated.
    This article will be helpful for newer who wants to come in this line and should remember Mitchell’s suggestions.
    Tks.

  56. Nice 4 points you have mentioned here to brief about the importance of irritating free and eye catching blogging. Thanks Mitch Mitchell!

  57. The 2 major turnoffs for me when visiting a blog are pop-ups (or any other form of advertising that spews over the content blocking it out) and extremely poor spelling and grammar.

    What I find irritating (no offense to anyone) is the bloggers that try to blog in a language that they don’t know, and end up using something like Google translate which does an extremely poor job at translating. If you are going to blog, do so in your native language and not one you barely know.

    • That’s an interesting point, Dan. I’m not sure everyone knows that those translators are really bad. Many years ago I tested it by first getting a translation for a couple of sentences, then posting that translation back and having it convert into English. Horrible job, and I knew never to trust them.

  58. I recently did a google search and picked a title that promised to explain in easy terms what I needed to know on a blogging topic I knew zip about. I was so excited until I read the first couple of sentences. Then it was more like, “HUH?” I had NO idea what they were talking about. They threw out a lot of info that assumed the reader knew what they knew. It was really very simple once I found out what I needed to know (the alt ” ” thingie you deal with on photos). So that first part of #5 is very, very appropriate. Always assume most people have NO clue! I enjoyed reading this post – it was very easy to understand and make me check to be very sure I am not irritating readers! Oh, and 1 little irritant? Super loud music and no way of turning it down or off. I like music; I just don’t like it if I can’t set the volume!

  59. Thanks LBD; yes, I shortened it. lol A lot of tech talk will eliminate a bunch of readers so why go that route if one doesn’t have to? I simplify as much as possible, which I think helps everyone.

  60. As a blog reader, I consider pop ups as the most annoying parts of a blog. I especially hate pop ups that would not be easily closed; pop ups that require skills to locate the close (X) button.

  61. I am really put of by incorrect spelling. The ones that happen unintentionally are ok – but the ones that are due to the habit of spending too much time on twitter, those are not. I feel like screaming out loud “For god’s sake – it is a blog, not twitter. Get your spelling and grammar right”.

    • Amanda, you said it then you did it. lol But that’s okay, I knew what you meant, and we’ll credit you with a typo instead. But you’re right, better grammar and ending the use of letters as words in blog posts will definitely go a long way towards making one’s blog an easier read.

      • Sorry. My mistake. Now I am really “put off” :). But I guess this perfectly (totally unintentionally) illustrates my point. I am just as human as the next woman!

  62. Hi Mitch! all your suggestive 5 points are really useful effective to us. Thanks for your efforts to provide us so nice and useful info.

  63. This seems something different and useful from previous posts. All irritating issues in concern of blogs are unlike and people avoid these blogs to come again. So nice informative post about this important topic. Thanks.

  64. This seems to be a realistic posts, I have never come across earlier. It’s true that spelling and sentence structure makes the first impression and I am sorry to sya that, I am not good there. Excellent post and useful tips.

  65. Readers get irritated reading blogs that are wrong grammar. I think that blogger should be very careful of writing his/her blog so that people who read his/her blog won’t get irritated.

  66. Irritation by any means not liked by anybody, so the facts that irritates the users and readers should have to denied. Thanks for putting light on this important issue with simple and nice guidance.

  67. All the errors, mistakes, bad uploading time and pop-ups on the blog put a negative effects on reader. So we should have to avoid from them. Nice guided post. Thanks.

  68. Mario

    One thing that irritates me is those windows that doesn’t let you leave the page because you’re going to miss a “very big offer”. I don’t return to blogs that have this type of tricks to sell you the next great thing to get rich while you’re sleeping.

    • Now that’s a really big irritation, and I hadn’t thought about it until you just mentioned it. Let me leave, stop upselling me when I didn’t go for your original offer, and leave me be. :-) Great one.

  69. You mean I could have been positive like your response here, Danny? The best you could do out of all of this is be mad at me because I talked about being a good speller? I’m sorry if you feel the pressure to keep up; maybe I’ll start writing great posts about power pole chain saws with nondescript titles that don’t irritate anyone; nah.

    First guy not to talk about any of the points, but wants to go personal out of 150 comments; sigh, one in every crowd. And we irritated each other; still not enough to add to the list though.

    • Danny

      Oops… You got me there, haha.
      Guess I got a bit carried away. My apologies for being “a bit” rude.
      People who complain and are irritated by others, irritate me.
      And it ended up in me writing an ironically irritated comment.

      I’ve checked some of your other posts and you are actually very knowledgeable and a great writer, I never denied that, this one just rubbed me the wrong way.

      • Thanks Danny. Thing is, it’s just a blog post. When stuff makes me happy, I extoll it in all its glory. When it irks me, I go after it. With the stuff I talked about here, there just was no way to mollify it so that it came across as more positive; it’s all irksome stuff.

        Now, if I’d written about puppies… :-)

  70. Mitch, it’s been awhile since I had a plate of your content jumbalaya!

    One thing you mentioned that irks me as well is Disqus, it is not effecient with all the ticking and popping ups plus the aestheic quality is severely lacking and the mobile experience is horrible.

    As for popups, I don’t mind them if it is limited to one and it offers something i’m interested in ;however, some sites do go overboard with it :rolleyes:

    Citing relevant links that may have sparked your own ideas is plain old common courtesy plus it helps out your seo. In fact there is now a technique based on this called “content curation” where you’ll find entire blogs filled with content snippets along with the blog owners commentary in between…sort of like post roundups put on steroids. Although I am all for this trend as long as it is on a subject I am interested in, like popups, some sites just overboard.

    As a final word to anyone who might be irked by this post or my comment in particular, you may shoot down the message but just Shoot the Messenger :)

    • Hi Caleb,

      First, did you know your About page doesn’t work?

      Second, the problem for me is that people tell you that you’ll only see the popup once, the first time you go to their site, but you see it every single time; at least I do. And sometimes you can’t get rid of the popup, or can’t leave the site without another one saying “are you sure”; who’s never been sure?

      And I link out as much as I can. Figures, lately I’m starting to get notices of broken links from blogs that are no longer in existence. Oh well…

      • Those broken links can be a drag, but I know there are a couple of plugins in the wp plugin depository that will fix that…just do a search for “broken links” while on the plugin page in your WP Admin.

        Btw,
        Which About page and/or what url did you use to try reaching it because the one at MSB is displaying fine here? … this morning I created an About profile for this site for my guest post that just got published so perhaps I made a snaffu with that one :?

        • I have a plugin called Broken Links Checker that I use, thank goodness.

          As for your site, I followed one of your CommentLuv links back and I clicked on About from there. It tried to send me to /about-2 or something, but it came up as a 404. I just checked now and it’s there, but it wasn’t there yesterday.

  71. I fully agree with you and I think pop up and spelling and grammar makes the blog irritating and one should really take note of these factors. Well written contents and awesome information here. Thanks

  72. It’s so damn irritating when you’re given a free PDF report to download and they ask you to log in again. It’s got to a point where I’m actually unsubscribing from anybody who makes me go through that.

  73. I agree with the pop up windows. When reading popular sites, Pop Up Domination windows always come up even if I’m already subscribed to the newsletter. One reason I prefer WordPress for my blogs is because I have great options for comments. When I visit Blogger.com sites, there are often restrictions for leaving comments which is frustrating.

    • Laura, you prove my point that these sites with pop-up windows that say the window only pops up once aren’t always truthful, or at least don’t know it’s not working sometimes. That’s why it’s irritating.

      • Most cases the blog owner doesn’t know, I know I disabled my popup domination as I wasn’t really leveraging my mailing list as a source of income and left it to be more passive.

        • I’m glad I added the part about not knowing, Justin. I’ve found that many people don’t know that there’s an unsubscribe link to posts they don’t wish to follow anymore, let alone how to correct it on their blogs. Truthfully I don’t even know where it is on the blog to correct if someone said they couldn’t fix it

          But I’d research it. lol

  74. Hi Mitch, I can’t argue with anything you have said here. The pop up thing drives me nuts. What I can’t get my head around though is the fact that some of my better respected mentors have stooped to the pop-up level!

    Spelling… yea, I get where you’re coming from, although I have been known to be a dose myself … sometimes it comes down the the speed of type!

    The point I found most interesting and almost humorous was Akismet. I wondered what you were trying to point out at first because I too have always spelled it Askimet. I too read it that way and despite the fact you pointed it out, it still took me some concentration to see the difference.

    Thanks for the good and entertaining post.

    Jayne

  75. Thank you Jayne. Yeah, sometimes we see words in a certain way, even if that’s now how it’s supposed to be, and it just takes awhile for our minds to get it right. As to the rest, I guess it serves a purpose for the purveyor, but for the rest of us it just gets on our nerves. lol

  76. Your Number One is my number one also. It’s always freaked me out, especially on the websites where the pop-up arrives at the same time you do. It’s like “why would I sign up when I haven’t even read anything yet?”

  77. Thanks Mitch for the great article actually English is not my native language I have started a brand new blog, I wrote few articles and I am trying always to improve my writing skills so I wont irritate my readers. Can you check my blog please and tell if it irritates you ?

  78. I agree, Mitch. You said, right! Our thoughts are really similar.

    How could I miss that point in my article? “Grammar” … Bad grammar really irritates me.

    Using lower case ‘i’, its in place of it’s, no space after comma etc irritates me so much. Actually, I wasn’t so good at it. But improving constantly. And I guess, I’ve done good so far. I know I’ve to work very much in grammar and stuff.

    Thank you for sharing this article with me.

  79. Thanks Mitch. Really we avoid this type of mistake if we are reading an aritcle for reader. Yes As Mohsin said Spelling and Grammer its really irritating for all.

Trackbacks

  1. 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People…

    Do you have an irritating blog? Tough question to start off with but it’s also a very important question. I read a lot of blogs, and there are some very good writers out there, but most of what I come across irritates me; might as well tell the truth. …

  2. [...] You can alternatively email your friends and fellow bloggers about your new blog post (your email list is great for this). However don’t overuse this technique; don’t email about every post you publish, because it will annoy people. [...]