10 ways bloggers annoy their readers without meaning to

10 Ways Bloggers Annoy Their Readers (Without Intending To)

Sometimes blogging can be a bit of a balancing act, and it’s unfortunate that many of the things bloggers do in a bid to grow or improve their blogs (or do simply because they’ve seen other bloggers do them…) are the very things which annoy their readers, and end up having the opposite effect. I asked my Twitter friends what kind of things they find annoying as blog readers – here are some of their answers, plus a few of my own!

10 ways bloggers annoy their readers without meaning toConstantly apologising for not posting

I say this in the nicest possible way, but trust me: most people didn’t even notice until you mentioned it… and then kept on mentioning it, at the start of every single post, until you have an entire blog dedicated to the fact that you don’t think you post often enough.

Not responding to comments[From @beckiehsaunders]

I’ve said before that I don’t think every single comments needs a response (or that every commenter wants/expects one), and I’d also add here that for bloggers who get a lot of comments, it just won’t be possible to respond to ALL of them. I do, however, think that if people are taking the time to comment, you should at least TRY to respond to them- and you should always respond to direct questions, or comments which the person has obviously put a lot of thought into. Don’t ignore your readers, or they’ll eventually start ignoring you, too!

Too many sponsored posts, on topics that aren’t related to the blog [From @ReasnableBlonde]

For obvious reasons, I have absolutely no problem with sponsored posts, and I think a decent blogger should be able to write them in a way that blends in with the rest of their content. To be honest, I don’t even object to the occasional off-topic post: people have to eat, after all. When every second post is sponsored, though, and particularly when those posts are totally different to the type of content you usually write, it’s a bit like sitting down to watch your favourite TV show, then forward-winding the actual show, and only watching the commercials. Who does that?

Not disclosing sponsorship or freebies

Yeah, we’re sure it was a totally random decision to suddenly start heaping praise upon that brand you’ve never mentioned before: of course we believe you!

(As with the point above, I have no issue with the sponsorship or freebies themselves: I just think bloggers should be upfront about them, and not try to pretend they’re not being compensated for featuring them. Most of the time it’s REALLY obvious, and even if it’s not obvious to readers, other bloggers? They know. Because they got that offer in their inbox, too…)

Centering their text [From @SarahRooftops]

You’re not writing a poem here, people: standard paragraphs will work just fine! Also, there’s a good reason why prose isn’t normally centred: it’s difficult to read that way, and why on earth would you want to make it difficult for people to understand you? I’d also include some other “crimes” here, such as using tiny fonts, italicising everything, or using “fancy” fonts that are difficult to read. Yes, it might look pretty, but if no one can read it, what’s the point? (Purely a personal thing, but I also instantly hit the “back” button on any site written entirely in lower case: I just can’t stand it.)

Posting dozens of near-identical outfit photos

No one needs to see 50 photos of the same outfit, and no, that slightly different positioning of your elbow doesn’t make it a totally different shot. Save yourself some time, and just pick a few of the very best!

Vagueblogging

Vagueblogging is the blog version of Vaugebooking – when you make reference to something you can’t/don’t want to talk about, in a bid to create drama. “Something absolutely amazing happened today! But I can’t tell you!” If you don’t want to talk about it, just don’t mention it: job done!

Reviewing products, but only showing swatches[from @CourtneeeyJ]

This one is specific to beauty bloggers, and I have to confess to having done it in the past (What can I say, I hate taking close-ups of my face!), but Courtney’s right: if you’re reviewing makeup, it’s really helpful to see you actually wearing it, rather than just swatching it on your hand. The skin on your face is different from the skin on your hands (and is totally different from the skin on your lips, for instance), so a product can look totally different, dependent on where you’re wearing it.

 Refusing to proofread or spellcheck their posts

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and sometimes those mistakes will creep through, no matter how carefully you try to avoid them. While most readers will be willing to overlook the occasional typo, however, if your posts are littered with errors, it can be incredibly distracting, and will make you look unprofessional (or just plain uneducated). Take the time to run the spellcheck, and proofread your posts before hitting ‘publish’ – it’s only polite.

Using automated DMs on Twitter

You know when you follow someone on Twitter and instantly get a canned response by direct message, which you open up, only to find it says something like, “Thanks for following! Now visit my blog, where you can find <insert self-promotion here>!” I can’t be the only one who doesn’t love that – can I?

In closing, I just want to add that although I’ve attempted to narrow this list down to things that lots of people find annoying (as opposed to just my own pet peeves), they are all ultimately just opinions, not “rules”. If you’re doing any of these, I’d hate for you to walk away from this post feeling like you’re a “bad blogger”, or that you need to immediately change: it’s a good idea to pay attention to what your readers are telling you, but as I said at the start of this post, blogging is a bit of a balancing act, and sometimes there are legitimate reasons for a blogger to do something that can come across as a little bit annoying: it’s up to you to decide whether the benefits of whatever it is you’re doing will outweigh any negatives.

So, tell me: what are your blogging pet peeves?

COMMENTS
  • Some great tips here, as a new blogger I am learning but I agree with all of these! The automated twitter messages are my personal pet peeve as well, I don’t know why they bug me so much but they do!

    March 8, 2015
  • IT’S SO HARD TO RESPOND TO COMMENTS. So hard.

    I’m at a constant internal battle about this and I try to put a bit of time aside once a week to read over comments over the past few posts and respond to any that warrant a response. I’m very strict about visit the blogs of those that have left me a comment and reading their latest post and commenting, but responding to the comments on my own blog, I just can’t seem to get into a routine with it! I have a lot to fit into a day and it’s one of the first thing that gets culled if I run out of time.

    One thing that annoys me is when I get a tweet saying something like ‘My new post is up, please check it out!’ then when I go onto their feed and they’ve sent the same tweet to loads of people. It’s the same with comments, I’ve seen some bloggers leave comments such as ‘You’re blog is so nice! Very inspiring! I’d love it if you check out my blog, too and maybe even follow!’ and it’s clearly cut and pasted on loads of blogs.

    Also, Twitter lists! Some bloggers add me and remove me and then add me to lists again and again, which I’m guessing is to get my attention and a follow.

    The blogging world might seem like a massive place, but it’s quite small when you break it down into niches and the odds are you’ll notice a pattern when the same people self promote through spammy ways.

    Have a lovely weekend,
    Corinne x

    March 8, 2015
      • Selina

        REPLY

        Back when I was blogging I remember there was a lady who followed heaps of nail polish blogs and she would comment on every post. Of every blog she followed. Every time a new post went up. And every comment would be personalised, not just a generic “great post” but a comment specific to the content of the post. And she was always so unfailingly sweet and positive. She was amazing!

        February 16, 2016
  • BG

    REPLY

    I hate the dreaded automatic pop-up box asking me to like/follow on Facebook/Twitter when I try to open a blog page. It’s deeply irritating to have to close down a few unasked for windows before being able to read blog content, especially when you have followed a link from twitter.
    If I want to like/follow I will already have done so. Being asked to repeatedly do this when following a link to a new post drives me nuts.
    Also agree with the above point about the endless identical photos on some blogs. Beyond tedious.
    I enjoy all your websites, Amber, and you take excellent photos.

    March 8, 2015
  • I hate the auto twitter messages. I got one the other day that said “thanks for following, here’s my Facebook page, whats yours?” they weren’t following me, so obviously I couldn’t respond even if I wanted to, which irked me even more!!

    March 8, 2015
  • The centred text – definitely! And the sponsored post thing – I agree once in a while a decent blogger can work these in just fine, but there was one blog I won’t name where it literally did become every second post and when one of them was on dog food, that was the moment I stopped reading! To be fair if it had been full of cute dog photos and hadn’t been after ten posts about other random products I had no interest in, I would have let it slide!

    March 8, 2015
  • Yay! I made the list! And I agree with everything else on it – although, as you say, I don’t expect a response to EVERY comment I make, just the ones I’ve put some degree of thought into (this is quite obviously NOT one of those…).

    March 8, 2015
  • something I’m starting to see more of is when bloggers use hashtags in their blog titles.. the purpose of a hashtag is to see who else on twitter or instagram used the same hashtag and it doesn’t work like that for blogs!! you click it and it brings you to the same post. idk if it’s just me, but I find it pretty annoying haha

    March 8, 2015
  • Haha great post! Centred text is my pet peeve for sure. I’m definitely guilty of swatching/not posting pictures of products in use! x

    jobrlw.blogspot.com

    March 8, 2015
  • Ha the centred text is a pet peeve of mine too. The sponsored posts don’t bother me, but I’m not a fan of “Hauls” on youtube where the stuff has obviously been sent for review purposes. Don’t pretend you’ve bought it if you haven’t! xx

    March 8, 2015
  • I completely agree with the majority of these! Particularly ‘Guys I’m so sorry for not posting’ – every time I think ‘no one even noticed! People that read your blog don’t just sit around waiting for you to post!’ Also can’t stand lack of proof reading. The other thing that winds me up is when bloggers use pictures on their blog which they have found on Pinterest, and reference the source as Pinterest. That picture belongs to someone, at least take the trouble to link back to the direct source!

    Laura at Lola and Behold

    March 8, 2015
  • I’m new to blogging and thought for a moment that the auto replies were something you just had to do so thanks for sharing your dislike for them too! I won’t be doing them! I got a message from a menswear brand saying they thought I would look great in their clothes…. I replied saying just….”I’m a girl!!!”

    March 8, 2015
  • Suze

    REPLY

    I agree with everything you’ve said. On the subject of making text difficult to read, I’d also add pale coloured text to your list of gripes. Lots of bloggers seem to favour really pale grey on a white background, which can be hard to read, especially with a small font size. My eyesight is perfectly fine but l still sometimes find it a bit of a strain and just give up. Those with actual sight problems must really struggle.

    March 8, 2015
  • I loved this post!! Especially the vagueblogging one. I can be incredibly irritating!! Everything here was very well written!! Loved it!

    March 8, 2015
  • Selina

    REPLY

    The constant apologies about not updating more often if it really is just once a week, nothing too drastic will happen if you actually have a life away from the computer

    March 8, 2015
  • Those automated tweets drive me insane – I never check out their blog and more often than not I’ll unfollow. It seems no one really likes them so definitely not a good strategy.
    Centred text is also pretty annoying.

    March 8, 2015
  • Loved this post! I’m totally guilty of swatching and not showing on my face – but I can’t get past the ‘who would want to see my face?’ thing! I just kind of hope that I do a good enough product description that nobody minds too much. And ‘vagueblogging’.. that is the best term ever! Thanks for this post – it’s really helpful.

    March 8, 2015
    • Suze

      REPLY

      Jane, as a follower of your fab blog I can honestly say that your product descriptions are always brilliant and I’ve never felt that your reviews (or any other type of posts) were lacking anything at all. I don’t mind seeing only arm swatches if the accompanying description is full and informative and the photos are clear. Besides, you post so frequently (far more than any other blog I follow) that I imagine it’d be really hard and time-consuming to keep including the face shots too. I’d much rather just read a great description than see a facial shot with little substance text-wise. Aside from how a product looks, it’s really important to know how it applies, consistency, how it wears etc etc and not all reviews share this important detail which will always be a deciding factor for me.

      PS You have a lovely face! 🙂

      March 9, 2015
  • Lucy

    REPLY

    I hate it when bloggers plug old posts on FB and Twitter. I like to read the latest stuff and always thought blogs were supposed to be ‘of the moment’ – not ‘here’s a post from three months ago in case you missed it!” If I did miss it I’m sure it’s old news. It’s just a shameless attempt to get numbers. Annoying!

    March 8, 2015
    • Brittany

      REPLY

      I think it really depends on what you’re blogging about. If its an awesome hair tutorial that you posted 2 years ago, Im pretty sure hair is still relevant. Im a vintage fashion blogger and today I shared an old post on how to work vintage into your modern wardrobe. It got a ton of shares and comments so obviously people are still interested. It doesn’t make sense to spend so much time and effort to create good content only to share it when its brand new. If the content is useful and evergreen, it should be shared again!

      December 3, 2015
  • Love the “No one needs to see 50 photos of the same outfit, and no, that slightly different positioning of your elbow doesn’t make it a totally different shot.”
    Quite a few blogs remind me of those “find the 10 mistakes” pics. I might post not enough poses and when I get trigger happy about posting details I always try to post a complete outfit post at the end where you can read where my stuff is from. And since I am a new blog – my praise and discovery of Boden dresses was anything but sponsored.

    March 8, 2015
  • Irene

    REPLY

    I hate pop ups asking to follow/subscribe the moment I open a blog, it’s so irritating! And I can’t understand why anybody would use a light color font when their blog background is also white or a pale color, I end up selecting the text so that I can read it. I also wish that more beauty blogs would show products actually worn instead of simply a swatch on the arm, but I understand that some people don’t wanna show their face or can’t figure out how to take a good photo.

    March 8, 2015
  • I am guilty of the swatches only as a beauty blogger, then again I am old and what applies like a dream on young skin from the majority of brands do not apply the same on mine. On another note, I also like to keep some privacy and my face is my own.

    The sponsored posts on some blogs get to me especially when they are so off the tangent from the actual blog, I mean wait you are a beauty blog, why sell me a washing machine?

    March 8, 2015
  • Chain posts… and then a loooonnnggg explanation as to why you’ve chosen to do a chain post because someone else tagged you to do one. If that’s what you want to do and you enjoy those types of posts, just write one, no explanation needed. It’s almost if you feel the need to make comments **excuses** about why you’re writing something than you may not feel comfortable about doing it in the first place.

    March 8, 2015
  • Kate

    REPLY

    SPAM the FB with regular posts of face portraits without content. She also ‘centering her text’. Another commercialised blogger also SPAM the FB with 3 photos of the same blog post within 30 hours. While her commercial posts were relevant to her blog but it was obvious the ‘reviews’ were dictated by the PR companies. It didn’t take me long to unfollow and unlike them.

    March 9, 2015
  • Totally agree re the centring of text! I also dislike tiny photos and size 2 font!

    March 9, 2015
  • Oh, and bloghops to sell their latest book, pattern, etc.

    March 9, 2015
  • This post is perfectly timed for me (as so many of your blog advice posts often are). I underestimated the size of my current project, so I’m a few days behind my regular (once a week) posting schedule. I’ve been feeling really guilty about it and would definitely have opened the post with an apology. Thanks for the advice to avoid it, and the reminder that the only person who’ll notice I’ve missed a week is me.

    March 9, 2015
      • Yeah, I doubt the guilt will ever go away. But once you pointed it out it was so obvious that an apology is unnecessary. Thanks

        March 10, 2015
  • The apologising for not posting to me it’s wrong also because it makes it look like it’s a chore you HAVE to do and you put it off because of that. Which can be untrue – for example I had a huge exam last month and I didn’t post because I was busy panicking and having a meltdown (mh, nice hn?), so I get people can be busy. But if every post is about how much you’d like to post more it doesn’t give a good impression. I get it that some are working with the blog so maybe it’s really a chore, but you shouldn’t let the followers see it.

    For the sponsored post I agree – if I know it’s sponsored and I think you’re being honest with your opinion I’m good, I don’t care. But you have to be honest with your readers!

    Centering your text – YES! Can we talk about unreadable font too please? I’d like to be able to read what you’re writing, thank you very much. Which is why I love your blog: so clean, clear and elegant.

    Vagueblogging is something like drama-queen teenager version, right? 😉

    And, automated messages on twitter are so sad. At least IF you have to (please don’t) at least spent two minutes writing it in a more personal way, come on.

    I’d like to add my biggest pet peeves: the private club blog. I get it, you are a group of bloggers and you are best friends or sisters or whatever. But I hate when half of the posts keep on referring to the others with “secret things” only you know. It’s a public post! What are we, chopped liver?

    AND the comments on other blog “I like your blog xxx *link here*”. Did you even read the post?

    Lovely post 🙂

    Eithne on the Moon | Lifestyle, books and travels!

    March 9, 2015
  • I remembered another one, keywording. I don’t even know if these posts are sponsored, or if it’s just what the blogger was told was good SEO, but repeating the same keywords in every. single. sentence. is so annoying.

    “I can’t live without the little black dress. Little black dresses can be worn for almost every occasion with the right accessories. Fancy jewellery and heels will make you little black dress ready for an evening out, or you can wear your little black dress with a pair of flats and a scarf for running errands. Little black dresses are truly a wardrobe staple for me(…)”

    I just made it up, but I see texts like this too often…

    March 9, 2015
  • I also go crazy with centered text and no capital letters. Looks like I am not the only one with this pet peeve. 🙂

    March 9, 2015
  • Gah – have to hold my hands up and admit to one of these already! You did leave me a lovely comment and I haven’t responded yet! I meant to, I just have a sieve for a brain – I do this to my loved ones all the time with text messages and Facebook! I’m sure you haven’t been sat on the edge of your seat waiting for a response, but I am going to head back and rectify the situation right now because I definitely did appreciate it (that, and because I have no excuse with you my only commenter just yet!). Another great post though – I have a tendency to be quite annoying in real life so I can use this as a checklist!

    March 9, 2015
      • It’s ok, I know you didn’t mean it like that! I did appreciate it though and I want to start as I mean to go on!

        March 9, 2015
  • Oh! Those horrid pop up windows asking you to subscribe. Once is great, but every single time I go to your blog? Terrible.

    Another pet peeve is having to scroll back up to the title bar to click comments and then go back down to battle the captcha and leave a comment. I didn’t know if I wanted to leave a comment before I ever read your post! I decided after I read your words of wisdom/photos of excellence. Grrr…

    March 10, 2015
  • Beauty Bird

    REPLY

    I find the phrase “some of the products in this post may have been sent to me for review” or similar. Well have they or haven’t they??!! It doesn’t bother me in the slightest if they are, it’s just the vagueness! xx

    March 10, 2015
  • Love this! I couldn’t agree more with the first. I think my biggest peeve is posts with one photo (usually plucked from Pinterest) with a paragraph on some waffle, completely unrelated to the blog and completely uninteresting.

    March 10, 2015
  • Miriam

    REPLY

    Yes, yes, and YES to all of the above. What really annoys me recently is a blog that is nothing but sponsored posts. I want to get to know the person, and sponsored posts isn’t the way to it. I’m not saying never do them, but if that’s all I see, then goodbye. Also for the not replying to comments… ugh. I try my best to answer all my comments, and understand that some people get way too many to be able to respond to them all, but still, it’s annoying. Another thing that drives me over the edge is stupid comments made only to promote yourself, you know when you pour your heart and soul into a post, and someone replies “nice post, would you like to follow each other view gfc?”. No.
    It’sMyLife

    March 11, 2015
  • Love this post, massive tick to every point mentioned, they all wind me up.

    One thing I hate seeing is the use of random props. Yet they seem to produce some sort of trend amongst all bloggers. At the moment i keep seeing random cactus’s popping up in a bid to look artsey next to a picture of e.g. lipstick’s. I get the candles trend but cactus’s what the hell!!

    Sammie

    http://www.littleblondelife.com

    March 15, 2015
  • Hollie Garner

    REPLY

    great post! I really enjoyed it and also all the comments too! Automated messages are the worst i think and also comments such as “lovely post,follow me and i will follow you”. I mean what is all this about,if i like a blog,i will just follow it and if i get followed back,even better! But getting back to your rather excellent post,i think you have covered the majority of annoying things that bloggers do! One thing i have noticed that has crept into bloglovin re followers recently is the fact that i have been followed and i get the notification obviously so i in most cases,follow back only to be unfollowed shortly after! It seems these people are just trying to build their numbers,so annoying! Happy St Patrick’s day from Dublin xx

    March 17, 2015
  • Alvina

    REPLY

    As a graphic designer, I am SO grateful you talked about the font issue! 🙂

    March 18, 2015
  • Guilty of one >> 10 Annoying Things Bloggers Do http://t.co/YGgqmb3eI9 via @foreveramber #blogging #blogger

    May 8, 2015
  • haha great post. I hate the “thanks for following” DMs makes me want to unfollow straight away.

    June 26, 2015
  • Hi Amber!

    I’ve been reading your blog in the past 30 minutes and I already love it! I mean: I’ve been actually reading, not just looking for the pretty images, and I think that counts a lot- you’re doing a great job on writing about interesting things and I love the way you write and relate to your readers.

    I’m definitely following your blog and you on social medias.

    Kisses from Portugal!
    18 and a life ♡

    January 6, 2016
  • Wow! This post has left me speechless because I am a victim of some of the following wrongs.

    October 3, 2016
  • I completely agree with everything that you have mentioned above. If the blog doesn’t look good, have it’s own voice and personality and doesn’t write regularly then sorry but its getting a no from me and the follow for a follow thing is so old its a joke. Bloggers will read and follow if they enjoy the content of the blog itself xx

    October 25, 2016
  • Myra Boyle

    REPLY

    Who would want to centre text? As a retired secondary school English teacher I hate posts with lots of errors ie that haven’t been read prior to posting. In spite of this, I know I am guilty of not reading my comments before posting them, so invariably have typos myself.

    August 3, 2018
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