Ways To Discourage Blog Visitors

Of course we don’t want to discourage blog visitors but many bloggers do, without realizing.  As bloggers we all want new visitors to return and become regular readers. We need as many people as possible to follow us and share our posts on Social Media platforms. Online Marketers need clients, sales or affiliates.

Here are some of the ways you may be preventing your blog from attracting return visitors, making it hard for them to follow you on social networks, and to buy from you or join you in business.

Warning about difficult blog navigation

Don’t Encourage Visitors to Read More

Consider these scenarios:

  1. The first post that a new visitor reads on our blog may not be one that totally captivates them but we hope it’s interesting enough for them to explore further and read more.
  2. The post itself might be brilliant but it’s not quite the topic your visitor wants to read about. They may already be familiar with the subject or it goes into more technical detail than they need.
  3. A new visitor arrives on your blog and is totally mesmerized by the post they read.
  4. An occasional reader comes back to find more on a topic they read a while ago.
  5. Someone wants to  follow you on a Social Network but can’t find links to your profile.

In each situations you need to make it easy for your blog visitors to find posts they’re interested in..  If they don’t have a good experience they may fly off into the far reaches of the blogosphere, never to be seen again. The only navigation you want to take place is within your own blog.

Good Ways To Discourage Blog Visitors

A Main Blog Page

Don’t have a main blog page. Make it hard for readers to find all your posts.

  • Just have links to categories instead. Using a few main categories in your menu is fine but what if posts in a particular category are old and your reader wants to see your current content?  Don’t expect them to click on each category to find something new. What if a new blog visitor wants to just browse and get a general idea of what you write about?

You do have a blog page but:

  • You leave out pagination or older/newer posts links. When a reader scrolls to the end of your blog page they can’t go any further.
  • Your blog page only contains one full post and your current post is very specific. For example you blog about natural health solutions. Your last post is about warts which caters to a very select audience. If all visitors see is the post on warts they won’t get a full  or accurate impression of your overall content.

Make sure you create a blog layout and navigation system that makes for smooth and easy cruising rather than steering in gale force winds.

Don’t advertise your services, products or affiliations

You know that too much promotion on your blog is bad for business. You want to share your knowledge and experience with readers, to develop trust and credibility.  Quite rightly you restrict the amount of promotional posts.

However you don’t have any advertising banners or dedicated pages talking about your online business activities. Very soon your promotional posts are lost in the dim dark recesses of your archive pages.

If your readers can’t find what you are selling, you can’t expect to make any sales from your blog. I keep an eye out for what my blogging friends are involved with as I’ll always buy or join them rather than an unknown entity. Only last week I wanted to buy something but couldn’t remember who’d posted about it. I visited a few of the likely candidates but couldn’t find what I was looking for.

Make it hard for readers to share posts and follow you

Nearly all blogs have sharing buttons attached to posts, either underneath or floating alongside but many bloggers miss out Follow Buttons. (Sidebar, Header or Footer)

Don’t forget that even if you don’t use a particular social media platform others do. Make sure you include the major share button: Facebook, Twitter, gPlus, Linked In, Pinterest.

Add one or two others networks for those friends who want to share your posts but prefer to keep shares, on their main profiles, to their own topics. Pinterest is one where they’re likely to share a mixture of subjects, as are StumbleUpon and Reddit.

Make your blog images too small to share

Small images are less likely to be pinned, only appear as thumbnails when shared on Facebook, and make less of an impression when shared elsewhere.

Use images large enough to be worth pinning on Pinterest and similar sites.

Don’t have a professional looking theme or layout

What you write about is the most important consideration but first impressions count. Small fonts, indistinct text and cluttered, poorly laid out pages and posts are just a few of the ways to discourage return readers.

If you don’t need extra features, a good free theme is fine but a premium theme that offers different layout options and landing pages is definitely worth considering.

Write posts just for the sake of it

You want to blog regularly but lack inspiration or don’t have the time. Resist the temptation to write if you have nothing of value to say. With that I’m going to shut up and sign over to you. Can you add to the list of how bloggers can  discourage blog visitors without realizing it?  I only talk of visual aspects here but what about other ways?

 Susan Bride

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Sue Bride is a long time blogger, web developer, social media enthusiast and online marketer who works from her home on the Mornington Peninsula in Australia. She blogs for her web clients. Her own blog, sueblimely.com, specializes in tips, tools and resources for blogging, social media and web images. She also creates Wordpress sites.

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45 comments on “Ways To Discourage Blog Visitors
  1. Dexter Roona says:

    Awesome Sue, so many bloggers fall into these traps and never ever realise they have and then just sit there wondering why no one is ever walking into the shop
    regards Dexter
    Dexter Roona recently posted…How To Create A Google Plus Shared CircleMy Profile

    • Sue Bride says:

      It’s always worth comparing your blog to others and seeing what needs adding (or taking away) from your own.

      One thing I didn’t mention was having your own self-hosted main blog rather than WP or Blogger hosted or one that belongs to an affiliate program.
      Sue Bride recently posted…Why Do I Need To Use Hashtags?My Profile

      • Sonia says:

        Which discourages visitors more Sue, in your opinion?

        I have reverted back to a self-hosted main blog but have not noticed a difference in the amount of people finding me and leaving comments compared to my old affiliate program one.
        Sonia recently posted…Pinterest Ninja PinnerMy Profile

  2. Hi Sue,

    Thank you for the great post. All of the points you made are so very important. Many times I have to hunt for a share feature and I hate to leave without sharing but sometimes I do.

    Thanks for your post contribution and have a good day. Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo – Writing a Novel in November 2014My Profile

    • Sonia says:

      I do the same Monna and it makes me feel bad for the person who has made the effort to join groups particularly to share their blogs.
      Perhaps now we can private message these people with a link to Sue’s article?
      Sonia recently posted…Pinterest Event PlanningMy Profile

      • Sue Bride says:

        I’ll let closer online contacts know if share buttons are missing or don’t work for some reason and for other little things I think important. I’m hesitant to do this with others in case they take it as criticism and I offend them.

    • Sue Bride says:

      I have various share bookmarklets so I use those if there’s no buttons on the site but not everyone would do this. Plus having them there also acts as a reminder to share.

  3. Liz Delaney says:

    Very helpful hints here Sue.
    I will now be looking to incorporate some of the things which will improve my blog.
    Take care
    Liz Delaney recently posted…Friday Findings – ClipMagic.comMy Profile

  4. Sue,

    Great article with really valuable reminders especially for people who are new to blogging. You left out something that I just encountered today. I am inviting therapists to my new Facebook page for Marketing Our Practices. Today I clicked a link from Twitter to a wonderful blog post. But after reading it, I realized there was no way to leave a comment. I was invited to share on social media but without being able to comment I chose not to syndicate it. Commenting is so important. We get the pulse of what is happening in our niche, how people are thinking, what they want and need, and whether our blog posts have meaning for others.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…The Neuroplasticity of RelationshipsMy Profile

    • Sue Bride says:

      I think that the only reasonably good reason to disabled comments on posts is if you have hundreds for each post and can’t keep up with replying and spam. Even then I’d rather see them. Copyblogger stopped comments but refers readers to their Google Plus page for discussion and help.

      I knew some bloggers who were forced to turn off comments because of trolls leaving masses of nasty messages. However you can now easy block people and even if they change their identity you can set comments up to approve first comments.
      Sue Bride recently posted…Facebook Image Sizes Timeline NewsfeedMy Profile

  5. Hi Sue,

    Great advice for the new and also seasoned blogger. There is nothing worse to me than visit a blog and cannot find connections to them on the social sites. Or trying to figure out how to comment.

    Some comment sections are so different that I actually have to hunt around to comment. And comments are the backbone of our blogs.

    Oh yes, those blogs that only sell! I won’t comment on them because of poor back links if they reciprocated to my blog. Plus I wouldn’t share on social media. Of course, we all have things we do sell, and as long as we follow the 80/20 rule, that’s fine.

    The other thing I’m noticing is that I go to a blog, and they have that main page! Yikes…where do I go? Where do I find the latest blog? That’s one thing that is a big mistake.

    Thanks for all the “heads up” on this Sue!

    donna merrill recently posted…Blogging vs Facebook PagesMy Profile

    • Sue Bride says:

      Hi Donna, if people are determined to comment having unusual comment systems are an annoyance and waste time but for others it just puts them off. You make a good point about poor backlinks and purely promotional blogs.

      A must have on nearly all blogs is a main blog page. If its not your home page then have a link to it on your main menu. Even if you have a special front page When your site is primarily a blog I think it wise to have at least some blog posts on there too. A front page with little text is harder to rank because of lack of content, headers and keywords.

      A feature I only recently discovered is writing extracts in your post window. These are then used for the text when posts are truncated. You can then write something to attract readers to click rather than just showing the first few lines of the post.

      So many people are using WP for offline business sites these days where blogging is not the primary aim. Templates are being made to cater for these. They may look wonderful but not all are suitable for bloggers.

      • Sonia says:

        Hi Sue,

        Is this feature a plugin?

        I am currently sharing my posts via the appropriate ‘page’ link as I replace the old article with the new one in the menu section of my site.

        I am also curious as to what visitors see first as the cookies on my computer always keep me signed in (until I time out) so to me, my site looks pretty good.

        I’ll put it out there for some honest criticism to anyone who has the time 🙂
        Sonia recently posted…Pinterest Ninja PinnerMy Profile

  6. Sonia says:

    What an awesome in depth post Sue!

    Now I am off to my site to check off the do’s and do nots to make sure I am reader friendly! I’ve admired the blogs of others and have been tweaking mine. I have not had any bad feedback this time around but then everyone is so nice 🙂

    Thank you for your value and life saving tips!
    Sonia recently posted…Pinterest Event PlanningMy Profile

    • Sue Bride says:

      I find the only time I’ve got feedback is if the site is down or the times when I mucked up with coding and the layout has broken. Thankfully with the themes and browsers these days they’re not so easy to break.

  7. This is a very good post ,
    I need to go and look what
    I make not right as soon as
    I can . It is true sometimes
    there are no share buttons
    and it is not to see where to comment
    Thank You ,Sue
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…A Afternoon At The Little Bluff BeachMy Profile

  8. This is a wonderful article and a wonderful discussion that ensued after the posting. Great job. Bloggers also discourage visitors by not being authentic. If you are not your true and beautiful you it comes through in your writing and seems forced which is rather unattractive.
    Elise Cohen Ho recently posted…The Art of Saying NoMy Profile

  9. Fabulous Sue… after all discouraging visitors is not what it’s all about!

    Some people don’t have a natural instinct for presenting a blog, especially when starting out and you’ve really covered some great points – after all finding what they’re looking for is very important if they come with a mission to find something specific.

    I think as well as having decent sized images that you mentioned, all I would add is to space out the text, images, headings
    diagrams and lists so overall the post looks balanced and interesting to a new reader.

    Great work Sue, thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    Jacs Henderson recently posted…A Simple Way To Highlight Content Using Drop Shadow BoxesMy Profile

  10. Hi Sue,

    I’ve seen blogs that fall into every one of the traps you’ve described. Not ALL on the same blog, thankfully! But I am surprised sometimes at who does one or more of them.

    The worst one for me personally is not keeping up with regular posting. There are lots of reasons for that – some of them valid – but it is something I need to work on more diligently.

    Willena Flewelling recently posted…Bird in the HouseMy Profile

  11. Dawn Golden says:

    It is always a good exercise to ‘visit’ your own site with an open mind to experience it as a visitor. This post gives a nice perspective on what to look for. Thanks Sue!
    Dawn Golden recently posted…A Sense of Community… OnlineMy Profile

  12. Excellent tips and advice here Sue. I have changed my blog so many times over the last few years but very interesting post to read. Thanks for sharing.
    Merle Gibbins recently posted…Get Inspired with Wayne DyerMy Profile

  13. These are pretty interesting points for raising the appeal of your blog, Sue.

    First impressions are certainly important, and if you have too many sales posts, or inadequate navigation or an uninviting theme, you will lose a great many readers.

    Your point about blogging only quality information is my favorite, though. I see far too many bloggers who have nothing to contribute, but are trying to stick to their production schedule, so they just slap any old something together for a blog post.

    I think bloggers should write for their readers, not for Google. Nonetheless, I think most of them do.

    Now, maybe Google likes that you keep publishing content, but they won’t like it if you’re not attracting readers, conversation and social sharing. And none of those things will happen unless you are publishing high quality articles.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted…Building Relationships | First Niagara Bank ReviewMy Profile

  14. Love the style of this Sue, all great points, you ahev to make it easy to read and navigate in the age of the bright shinny object.

    Many Thanks, Andy
    Andy Lockhart recently posted…Using LinkedIn Groups for NetworkingMy Profile

  15. Hey Sue,

    Great content here. I agree that we shouldn’t write blog post just for the sake of it. Always provide pure value to the audience so that they could appreciate and trust you. Thanks for sharing.
    Best wishes,
    Justin Iskandar recently posted…How to Increase LinkedIn EngagementMy Profile

  16. Excellent…Excellent…Excellent! All of your points were spot on, Sue! You should turn this article into a checklist as an important reminder to website/blog owners.

    Great job…thanks for sharing!
    Keli Claypool recently posted…Seven Fun Ways to Flavor Your PopcornMy Profile

  17. Carol Graham says:

    You made excellent points and suggestions. Some I have done, some I am going to do. Thank you for making it easy to understand for this newbie.
    Carol Graham recently posted…Are You A Victim or A Victor? The Choice is YoursMy Profile

  18. Sonia says:

    Hi Sue,

    Revisiting to refresh the tips that you covered off here and to put them in my Evernote too for quick reference on the go.

    It is helpful to have a checklist each and every time we start to write as it is so easy to become complacent with experience and miss the finer points that enhance our work and efforts 🙂
    Sonia recently posted…Pinterest Ninja PinnerMy Profile

  19. Great post nice suggestion to follow. It is amazing how much we ignore sometimes. Great refresher, check list. We can not rely on our memory to remember all we have to do. Have a checklist is a winner.
    I like the image tips, some people don’t realize the importance of good size image. Thanks for tips.
    Christine Adindu recently posted…How To Achieve Success In Your Affiliate Promotion ProgramMy Profile

  20. Hi Sue,

    Great points. I think two of the things that discourage me on a blot is too many advertisements and also when it is hard to find the share button. At times I have searched for quite a while to find the share button on some blogs. Thanks for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted…Frugal Tips to Save on Laundry DetergentMy Profile

  21. NT Izuchi says:

    Another one is pop ups on every single page you visit. Soooo annoying when all you wanted to do was find the answer you were looking for. This sends me running for the hills!

  22. Kyle Holcomb says:

    Great post! I can see how each of the topics that you mentioned would drive people away. I am trying to improve my blog each week to make it more user and viewer friendly. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Theresa says:

    Good points and advice Sue! Thanks so much!

  24. Hi Sue

    What a fabulous post! One always reads about the strategies on “how to blog” that it’s so refreshing to see a post that looks at blogging from a different angle and a perfect “how to” manual.

    This is a great reminder to me to make sure I add in “calls to action” on my blog for my wardrobe consultation services.

    Thanks for sharing this beneficial tips!

    thanks for sharing!
    Monisha Kapur recently posted…What to Wear on A First Date (The My Profile

  25. Jenni Ryan says:

    Awesome tips for every blogger who wants to increase the length of time people stay on your blog and of course that helps with your ranking.
    Jenni Ryan recently posted…Dealing with Rejection in Network MarketingMy Profile

  26. Cool! tips. It looks like I have been here before. Thanks
    Christine Adindu recently posted…Find an Affiliate marketing That Matches Your PersonalityMy Profile

  27. Good information and great post. I like the website, and am sure to keep returning.

  28. Shahadot says:

    Sue Bride

    This is the perfect info for someone that is struggling with coming up with new and different ways to present content as well as create new content. Can you say burn out???? Yes, but now with this info-graphic I have got close to a dozen ideas to implement that will make life SO much easier.
    Thank you!
    This is just what I needed going into the weekend

  29. Shahadot says:


    This is the perfect info for someone that is struggling with coming up with new and different ways to present content as well as create new content. Can you say burn out???? Yes, but now with this info-graphic I have got close to a dozen ideas to implement that will make life SO much easier.
    Thank you!
    This is just what I needed going into the weekend

  30. The post is very useful and the necessary post. Not only this, by this post I knew about this very well. Each of us should follow this post. Lastly, thank you to the author who is very easy to share the post with us. Hopefully, we will be present in front of us with such useful post in future.

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