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Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of different ‘design’ traits in blogs. You know when you’ve been focusing on something, then you start to see it everywhere? It’s like that. I’ve been reading and researching a lot more about website design as well as delving into research people have done about what does and doesn’t work. It’s been incredibly fascinating. But there are a few elements that people still put on their sites that will make me leave your blog fast.

Newsletter Pop-Ups You Can’t Click Off

There’s no denying it – like them or not, pop-ups work. But… and this is a big but… not all pop-ups are the same.

If I have just landed on your site – haven’t even read the first sentence, and a pop up comes up asking me to subscribe to your newsletter, and I can’t click off the pop-up, then I’m going to be leaving your site. You haven’t offered me anything of value, I don’t even know you yet, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t know what your message is – and you want me to sign up to a newsletter? I don’t mind if you’re offering me something awesome… but just a newsletter?

Your pop-up isn’t meant to be a squeeze page that makes me sign up or leave. It needs to offer VALUE!!

This is the equivalent to walking up to a total stranger and asking them to go on a date with you. Woah up there!! What’s your name? Let’s start with that hey. Offer me something awesome and it’s like giving me a bunch of flowers, that I’d be pretty happy with!!

There’s a new hybrid of ‘pop ups’ that are quickly gaining in popularity and I use too called ‘The Welcome Mat’. It’s almost like it adds a landing page to your site, which readers can easily scroll past if they don’t like. However – the KEY to using something like this is to OFFER VALUE. Don’t just ask for a sign up to an email – this doesn’t give your readers anything in return.

Ads Blocking Me From Clicking Where I Want To Click

Not only is this against the rules for ad networks like Google Adsense, it is incredibly frustrating. If you have an ad that shows directly below your drop down menu, and I can’t click on the topic I want to read about because I keep clicking on the ad below instead, then I won’t be coming back to your site.

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A Dark Background With Light Writing

Or even worse… coloured writing on a dark background. Yikes!! Talk about mega eye strain and a headache! The thing is I, like most other people, am relatively lazy when it comes to websites. I want the information to be presented to me in the easiest way for me to read – if I have to strain to read your website then I’m not going to put in the effort and I’ll head off somewhere else.

Click Next To See More Pages

Bah this one frustrates me the most. If I have clicked through to your post it is because I want to read it. I don’t want to have to keep proving how much I want to read it by clicking again and waiting again for load times. I want to read it all in one go, right in front of me. This honestly will make me leave your site straight away. I refuse to be baited into clicking more on a site just to improve their stats. There’s nothing I want to read bad enough that will make me click through on one of these.

There are certain design elements about blogs that just make it difficult for the readers to enjoy... here's the 7 things that will make me leave your blog.

Music Automatically Playing

I know I’m not the only one out there that this frustrates. Actually, I’ve never spoken to some one who has said ‘you know what, I love it when music automatically plays on a website – especially when I have forgotten to turn the speakers down.’ Okay that may be a little dramatic but you get the point.

I used the time when my son was sleeping on my chest as a baby to read a lot online and this would literally make me angry. I learned to turn my speakers down but still – a baby being woken by dodgy music is not a happy baby.

Busy, Busy, Busy

If I’m struggling to find your blog post through the ten advertisements, eight blogging award buttons, six background images, four link parties and two pop ups then I’m going to get a little frustrated.

It is common knowledge that clean, clear and crisp website designs are the way to go. Increase your whitespace and make your blog visually pleasing and I’ll stick around to read anything you have to say.

Constantly Trying To Sell Me Something

Again, I don’t even know you yet and you’re already asking for my money? Before I buy anything from anyone I want to know more about it than just the title and price. You should be using your blog to show me how amazingly knowledgeable you are and prove that I’d be better off if I had your product, then there’s a higher chance of me handing over my money. Not so much if you berate me into buying it.

I completely agree that you need to advertise your products but have a think about what your website looks like from the eyes of someone stopping by for the first time. Perhaps ask someone to review your site and give you honest feedback.

Maybe it’s a personal thing… but I assure you that with all of these traits I’m not the only one that doesn’t like them. But the wonderful thing about blogging is that at the end of the day it’s your website. Depending on your motivation for creating your site, the only person you may need to please is you – which is fantastic. But if you’re in it for the growth and to reach a large number of people – then I would urge you to consider what changes you could make. Perhaps even test out what does and doesn’t work for you.