5 Reasons I don’t Read Your Blog

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As a writer, education analyst and blog publisher, I read hundreds of blogs. There is never a day that I don’t read at least one blog post. There are many education blogs I return to faithfully, because I know they provide insight, inspiration, and valuable information.

Maybe I’ve read your blog before, but I don’t read it anymore.

5 reasons I don’t read your blog

1-Your blog overwhelms me with advertising

Unlike some pompous bloggers who preach non-advertising because, they claim, education blogs should never attempt to make money off readers, I’m fine with advertising. We advertise here at B or I, and, yes, we want to make money from the blog. I’m not ashamed of this. We provide amazing content daily for thousands of loyal readers. We work long and hard, pay a premium for quality design and self-hosting, and have professional writers. So, we’re happy to have support from advertisers and hope that you will support them.

Having said this, I don’t read your blog, because the second I arrive, an annoying advertisement pops up, covering the content I came to read. I don’t mind ads; in fact, I enjoy some. But please don’t throw them at me the second I arrive, assuming I’ll stick around, because I won’t.

2-Your blog makes me subscribe before I can comment

Good bloggers start conversations. They often have blog posts with dozens of comments, because of the power of their prose. Nothing makes me see red faster than reading something thought-provoking and wanting to comment, only to be diverted to some lengthy sign-up form before I can share my thoughts. I’m willing to provide my email one time, but I’m not the least bit interested in giving you my resume, just so I can leave a brief statement of opinion. I wasn’t trying to buy a house; I only wanted to add to the conversation. Now, I’m gone.

3-Your blog lures me in with someone else’s content

One of the most popular blogs on the Internet loves to lure readers with “gotcha” titles. When you arrive, you find a paragraph from a post on another blog, with a “read-the-rest” link below it. The motive for this treachery is to, you guessed it, bring readers to the blog, hoping they’ll click on ads, before they read the rest of the original article. This is a manipulative tactic that only makes me leave your blog, never to return.

4-Your blog is poorly designed

The text is too small; the background it too dark; the page is too cluttered. Something encouraged me to view your content. If my head starts aching the second I arrive, you lost me. Creating an aesthetically pleasing blog is an art. If you don’t take time to hone your craft and design something beautiful, I don’t read your blog.

5-Your blog is more secure than the pentagon

If your content is inspiring, I like to comment (see item 2). However, before I can comment on your blog, I have to type a series of letters and characters that may be illegible or obscured by lines (someone please explain the purpose of these lines), before you allow me to comment. I persist, only to be informed that what I typed doesn’t match the text that your security feature requested. If you don’t want me to comment, eliminate the comment feature. If you want conversation, as most bloggers do, jettison this maddening security feature. Install a quality SPAM filter and moderation queue on your blog, and you won’t need the added security. Your readers will love this and conversation will grow.

Oh, and I just might keep reading your blog.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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