Pop Ups – The worst of them appear mere seconds after you land. Pop-ups can be done tastefully; find a program that allows you to customize settings like how much time elapses before the pop up appears, as well as which part of the page it will come from (middle, side, bottom, etc.).
On TOTS, we use Sumo Me. I like it because you can change the frequency that someone sees our pop up. We have our set to once every 30 days.
Offensive or Vulgar Ads – As in, the kind that are randomly generated within certain ad networks. You’re reading about how to soothe a colicky baby when all of a sudden J Lo’s backside looms into view at the bottom of the page. The words “Celebrity Weight Loss Secrets!” scream at you. No thanks. Be picky about which networks you join, and make sure you can control content or risk losing subscribers.
Check out our post on How To Change Your Settings On Adsense.
Music and Videos – As in, the kind that start playing automatically. Not everybody likes Toby Mac as much as you do, so turn him off. That goes for video ads that play in the background. Keep in mind that visitors might already be listening to something – internet radio, internet news or perhaps a You Tube video. Your site is going to fight that and annoy them.
Animation in Your Face – Animated ads or graphics can be attractive, but large or garish ones are hard on the eyes. It’s not to plaster a flashing or animated ad right in someone’s face as they first enter your blog.
Hashtag Overload – Pick good titles for your blog posts and don’t go overboard trying to cram in hashtags. I realize some sponsors require them, but most don’t. I’ve been writing sponsored content for four years and only once has a campaign required that a hashtag be included in my blog post. I know that sticking hashtags in the titles means that when people Tweet your chosen tags will be included, but honestly, titles like “Baby #Shopping is So Easy at #BuyBoutique #Ad” just scream “paid content!” to readers. If a lot of your titles look like that to a first-time visitor, it might give the wrong impression, like you’re just a paid mouthpiece instead of a writer with something original to say. If at all possible, save the hashtags for Twitter and Instagram.
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More Ads Than Content – I just visited a “Top Mommy Blog” today and it took me a while to figure out what the name of it was and what it was all about. Why? Because there were so many advertisements plastered from top to bottom. Some of them were more prominent than the content. Several times, I thought I was clicking on photos, but they turned out to be advertisements. Bad experience. I don’t mind ads on blogs; they are displayed on mine. But they should be secondary to content. Don’t let them overtake your site.
Do you agree or disagree with my list? What features turn you off when it comes to blogs?