Your Blog Sucks! – Top 5 Ways To Help Fix Your Blog

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Your Blog Sucks

Image by ‘Zach Klein’

Let’s be honest for a second, “Your Blog Sucks!!

Harsh I know, but it’s an important point for you to realise if you intend to make a success of your website. Ask any successful blogger and they will tell you that at sometime or another their own blog sucked! None of us start out with an amazing, absolutely perfect site where we get everything right first time, every time. We all have to learn the hard way and make mistakes along the way. In fact ask any successful entrepreneur or business owner and they will say the same thing about their businesses, that they had to learn from the mistakes that they made along the way to get them where they are today.

Even as I am writing this, I know that there are plenty of things that I need to work on to improve this very site because I know that my site is not perfect and it never will be. I need to constantly improve and develop this site to keep you readers returning for more.

So it’s fine to say that your blog sucks. In fact it’s a positive thing to acknowledge that your website sucks because it means that you realise that you have things to improve on.

So lets look at some of the most common reasons why a blog sucks and ways in which to fix them.

1. You Use A Rubbish Website Design

The layout of your website is very important. This is how you display your content to your site visitors. Now, the problem may be that people find it difficult to navigate around your site, or that you use the exact same layout as hundreds of other sites. People remember your site based on it’s appearance, you may write the best articles on the internet, but if they are displayed poorly or worse that they can’t find them due to poor website design, then they won’t stick around for long.

First and foremost, you need to make sure that the design you use for your website makes it really easy for people to navigate around your site and find what they are after. This may just require you to place a few more links around your site or change the way you display your content.

Secondly, I’d discourage you from using a website theme that is used by lots of other websites. Imagine you go to a book shop or video store and all the books and DVD’s had the same front cover. It would be difficult to distinguish between them and find what you were looking for. Well using the same website theme as other sites can be similar to this. If anything, people may just forget which site they read your content on.

Make sure you use a unique theme for your blog. You could choose to invest in a custom made theme specifically for your site from a web designer. Alternatively, you could just spend some time customizing the theme that you have, perhaps making sure that you have a unique logo and changing all the background colours. This option is much cheaper and probably a much better decision if you are just starting out. For some high quality website themes to use, make sure you check out these sources; WooThemes, Daily WP.

2. You Make It Difficult For Visitors To Interact With You

This is a very common mistake by new bloggers. When visitors navigate to your website, they find it hard to get in touch with you, whether it’s because you don’t have a contact page, social media accounts, RSS feed, a subscribe button, etc. or whether they are just hard to find!

Thankfully this is a pretty easy problem to fix. You just need to make sure that you position all these things (contact page, social media account links, RSS feed, a subscribe button, etc.) where visitors can see them. Either position them in your website header at the top of the page, in your sidebar, in your website footer or actually before/after your blog posts. I find that using a combination of these works best because you know that they won’t miss them.

3. You Don’t Have Anything For Your Readers To Subscribe To

It’s one thing if people can’t find where to subscribe, but not having anything for readers to subscribe to is a big mistake! You are really missing out if you are not offering a free newsletter or eCourse for people to sign up to because this is a great way to encourage people to come back and revisit your website. The more people you have subscribed to your site, the more people you an get back to your site and read your latest content, buy products, click on adverts, etc.

I’d highly recommend that you sign-up to AWeber, the email marketing program that all the professionals use (including me). This helps to manage your email list of subscribers and sends out automatic emails to your followers. Check out our other articles to learn more;

4. You Don’t Interact With Your Reader’s

You can’t expect to grow a website and get lots of people visiting and talking about it if you don’t interact with them. You may as well just stand on a box in your local town centre and shout at people, but ignore the ones that talk back to you. Blogging is a two way thing, you need to interact with them just as much as you need them to interact with you.

Make sure you answer people’s questions, reply to comments, be helpful, answer Tweets, etc. If someone asks for additional help on a subject that you have covered, try to help them out. Most likely they won’t be the only one who has this problem.

If people see that you are helpful, they are more likely to keep coming back to your website. If they see you as unhelpful, then they will just go elsewhere. It’s as simple as that!

5. Leaving A Comment On Your Blog Is A Nightmare

The whole point of comments is to help build a community around your website. If people find it difficult or the whole process to long, then they won’t bother. Comments are a great way to get feedback from your readers and see how your writing is being noticed.

The easy way to fix this would be to switch to another commenting system. Try something like ‘Disqus‘ or the ‘Facebook commenting system‘. These make leaving a comment much easier for people, which ultimately encourages them to leave more comments.

Why not leave a comment below and see how easy it is! Do you have any other suggestions to help people with their website?

About Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the founder and editor of OnlineIncomeTeacher. He is a Professional Blogger, SEO Consultant & Web Developer, running a number of sites from the UK. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  • http://www.seoallrounder.com/ Seo AllRounder

    thanks for sharing the ideas , nothing new though :)

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Any additional ideas would be welcomed. I’m sure other people reading this would be interested to hear other people’s advice. :)

      • Lilianfaith

        Hi,
        I really liked your articles and found them very informational. I do not have any tips for the “fix your blog” topic to add because I myself know little to nothing of blogs and or blogging, but I want to learn. Because of the brief bio information, I thought you would be a qualified person to ask a couple of questions I was hoping you could help me with and/or point me in the right direction in regards to the subject of blogging.
        Which of the applications/sites/programs offered online that help people create a blog for free would you recommend? Due to my lack of knowledge on the subject, preferably those that offer the set up and hosting of the blog, how to work one given in a step-by-step instructional format (ex-explanation of terms & definitions relative to blogs, the general reason/topics people create blogs for.)
        Is a blog the proper medium to use for someone like myself with the goals of writing about general life experiences that can have different opinions and other general topics-good and bad, hopefully to relate to others and engage conversation. However, if the blog does not result in any readers, I like the idea of having created a online “journal” of sorts that, once grown, my now 2 year old could choose to read and possibly learn more of the real person he always knew as Mom (until that point where most adults begin to see their parents as more than just parents, but people:) Is a blog a proper medium for this that will not expire or disappear after some time limit?
        Are there any How To articles you could suggest or have written on starting blogs and blogging? The links or any references would be appreciated as well as your suggested free programs to set up a blog and learn more of the whole topic.
        I appreciate your time, and again, thank you for the article above. I found it very useful and helpful in my finally biting the bullet, and asking the questions most will find completely stupid or unbelievable not to know at this day and age, and what not.
        PS-Can you tell me also how you go about even finding a blog, so I could see what one (that possibly mimics my goal of a blog) consists of, that is, if that information isn’t available in the answers to the above questions. I look forward to hearing back, and thank you again.

        • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

          Hi Lilian, welcome to OnlineIncomeTeacher!

          I’ll try to answer your questions for you.

          1. – “Which of the applications/sites/programs offered online that help people create a blog for free would you recommend?”

          Well if you are going down the free route, there are only really two options that are worth it. They are ‘Blogger’ or ‘WordPress.com’. These are both good quality platforms to host your free blog on, which are used by millions around the world. If I had to recommend one, I’d go for ‘WordPress.com’. It lets you create a professional looking website very easily, and it has loads of support and plugins. This website uses ‘WordPress’, though I pay for hosting and domain name (you don’t have to if you go with the free option).

          There should be a step-by-step guide on the website (http://wordpress.com) to help you get up and running.

          2. – “Is a blog the proper medium to use for someone like myself with the goals of writing about general life experiences?”

          ‘Blog’ is short for ‘weblog’, which essentially can cover a whole host of different functions. It’s basically a website that gets updated regularly with new content (logs). A news site, technology review site, personal diary, sport gossip, even this site, all class as blogs.

          A blog is the proper medium for someone who wants to write about their own personal experiences. You are better off going with a free blog, as we discussed in the previous question, rather than a paid blog. So again I’d suggest WordPress.com

          3. – “…if the blog does not result in any readers…”

          Getting readers can be achieved in a number of different ways. However, if you are just writing about your own personal experiences, it isn’t as important as a site reliant on advertising.

          The best advice for getting readers in this example would be to simply write interesting content. But if you are eager to grow a following, incorporate social media into your site (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc).

          4. – “Are there any How To articles you could suggest or have written on starting blogs and blogging?”

          This very site has tons of advice on starting a blog and the process of blogging. We update regularly, so make sure you keep checking for our latest tips.

          5. – “…links or any references would be appreciated as well as your suggested free programs to set up a blog and learn more…”

          http://OnlineIncomeTeacher.com
          http://WordPress.com
          http://onlineincometeacher.com/tips/20-wordpress-plugins/
          http://onlineincometeacher.com/tips/top-10-best-free-software-program/

          6. – “Can you tell me also how you go about even finding a blog, so I could see what one (that possibly mimics my goal of a blog) consists of?”

          A quick search for ‘personal blogs’ on Google or Bing should give you what you are looking for. WordPress.com showcases some of the best on it’s homepage as well.

          Well I hope that helped a little bit Lilian. Don’t worry that you don’t know these things, we all have to start somewhere, and anyway I’d be out of a job if everyone knew all this already.

          Please let me know of anything else that I can help you with. I’m happy to answer any of your questions as it helps other people who are reading this.

          All the best.
          Matt

  • Alexis Wilke

    Note that there is a problem with comments from other systems. If you make an edit and end up changing the URL of your page (say you wrote “your-blog-suck-top-5…” missing the “s” at the end of the verb,) then you may want to fix the URL. You do that and all the comments go poof!

    This being said, one other thing for your blog to be sucky: it takes 60 seconds to load the front page. So many are taking even more than that! Oh… and for me that would include yours. 8-) This being said, at least yours has good content!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Alexis,

      You should be able to get around the comment system problem by exporting your comments for that page before you change the URL structure. I’ve never had to do this, so I’m not 100%, but I’m pretty sure you can do this. Of course, it’s much easier to just double check the URL slug before posting. :)

      I definitely agree about the loading time of a site. If it is super slow, it can put people off. Simply installing a few plugins, changing server options or just cleaning up a webpage can all help to speed up a site.

      I’m very sorry to hear that this site took so long to load up for you. I do spend a lot of time making sure that our pages load relatively quickly, so I can only apologize. Can I ask whether this is for a number of pages, or just homepage? Also what browser do you use? I’ll look at making this work faster.

      Thanks Alexis.

      • Alexis Wilke

        I noticed that on the home page. The other couple pages were faster. It could also be because the first time you hit a site, it has to load all the images, CSS, JS, etc. and when you have ads, it takes a little time to do all of that.

        I’m in California, using SeaMonkey (the old Netscape like browser spawn out of FireFox, so pretty much the same at browser as FireFox.)

        I’ll have to test some more with the comments. I use Drupal and the module I used did not work that great. With Drupal 6.x, Facebook integration was difficult because they used a very old version of jQuery and they had some conflicts…

        • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

          Yeah, maybe I should look at tweaking the layout of my homepage to make it a bit quicker.

          I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of SeaMonkey. I’ll have to check it out, if only to check that everything opens up on my site with it. Had some problems with the way IE opened up a few pages when I first launched the site.

          I never got round to trying Drupal. I’ve run sites on WordPress and Joomla in the past, but never Drupal. What made you go for that system? What are the advantages of Drupal over some of the other systems that are available.

  • http://marathontelecom.net/m-to-m-industrial/energy-management-system.aspx energy management system

    Thanks for sharing the idea there would be some apprehensions from segment but i am up for it.

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Whether you are running a website or a business, if you can identify that not everything is perfect, you can strive to constantly improve things.

  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

    Thanks! I spend a lot of time working on the site layout and making things work well. Nice to know people appreciate the work that goes in.

  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

    Glad you liked the post :)

  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

    Thanks! We do try to make our site layout as practical and visually appealing as possible. People DO after all judge a book by it’s cover!

  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

    Glad the post helped :)

  • SEO Content Writing

    LOVED these tips – and I have had a few experiences myself where it seemed impossible to leave a comment, very exasperating to me. Blogs are meant for people to interact, so it’s defeating the purpose to write a post and never interact with those who are interested in what you have to say. Thanks for a great post!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Glad you loved the tips! I’m still surprised when I find blogs that do this. It can be really frustrating when you do want to leave a comment, yet you have to spend the next 10mins figuring out how to do it. It just puts me off from leaving one.

      You have to try and interact with your readers as much as possible. I try to reply to all comments and tweets that I get, although I can’t always reply straight away.

  • Callmewhatyouwantevencheap

    Thanks for the tips!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      You’re welcome!

  • http://smartlifehacks.com/ Charlie

    Really useful tips.. keep it coming

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      We’ll keep publishing posts, don’t worry! Glad you found this useful.

  • http://www.yepididi.com/ Yepi Didi

    thank you. Be specific article