Are You Doing These 9 Annoying Things That Scare Off Readers?

  June 20, 2017 blogging tips 🕑 5 minutes read

Chiang Mai, Thailand.


“Give me 30 Rupee for a buttered roll. Ahhhh!”


He sunk his Nepali nibblers into my right biceps.


Jerry Jaws was pretty darn annoying leading up to the moment he bit my arm in Kathmandu, Nepal.


I initially felt compassion for the guy after a few weeks of walking through this neighborhood. But eventually I completely ignored him because if you annoy someone long enough they will completely, entirely ignore you.


Ditto in the blogosphere.


You guys rock. You know this. But you may be annoying and turning off potential readers. Without even knowing it. Which is why I am writing this post.


Benefits of Not Annoying Readers


  • build your email list
  • grow your blogging community
  • take down barriers to entry aka improve navigability and user experience
  • increase your blogging traffic and profits
  • be revered instead of reviled


This post is about drinking that good old fashioned blogging truth serum. Ya know; downing that 3rd party, clear, different perspective that helps you get clearer on your blog so you can become more successful.


1: Using 3rd Party Ads That SLOW DOWN Your Blog


This sparked the idea for the blog post.


I came across a collection of rocking travel blogs that loaded at the speed of molasses flowing down a tree in the dead of winter.


Scrap the 3rd party, dynamic ads which slow down your blog to a snail’s pace, or which diminish user experience.


Either go non-dynamic or just devote the ad space to higher yielding, premium products or services.


2: CAPTCHA Rapture


It takes me less effort to fly 23 hours from New York City to Bali than it does to fulfill the requirements of some CAPTCHA forms.


Deal with getting spam. Or find a plug in to address spam.


I take 1 minute to delete all spam and approve commentors with gravatars and relevant comments a few times daily.


You should too. Versus The Cirque De Soleil routine folks need to go through to fulfill your CAPTCHA.


3: Changing Blog Post Topics Like The Wind


Last week you posted about your dog’s traumatic incident at the pet psychiatrist.


This week it’s your favorite blogging tip.


Next week your mama’s coveted spaghetti and meatball recipe is da post of da week.


Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Thailand.


Unless your name is Kardashian you lack the star power and 100 million social media followers to get away from a generalist, scattershot, Jack of all trades approach to blogging.


Cover 1 topic. Cover 1 niche. Be a specialist. Not a generalist.


Where your attention and energy goes, grows. Meaning trying to divide your energy between Mama’s Meatballs and Fidos Fits at the shrink (even dogs need service dogs these days) results in a failed effort between 2 niches.


The gal or guy who covers 1 topic is a specialist. Specialists position themselves to make a huge impact. And earn a lotta coin.


4: List Building Trickery


Do not check email list opt in boxes by default. This is spamming. Because if I never signed up for a list I don’t expect to receive emails.


Let readers choose for themselves whether or not they want your email updates.


5: NOT Using Pop-Ups


Aha! Fooled ya.


Don’t go sheeple on me now; you are BFP readers so you are independent thinkers.


I want to see blog pop ups. Honest. So I can easily find your opt in forms, so I can get your updates sent to my email inbox.


It’s not annoyance; it’s convenience.


If you bury your opt in form for fear of annoying readers, that is fear, manifest. Doing things from a space of fear is annoying.


6: General Ad Frenzy


I have visited travel blogs ads recently that left me in a daze.


After seeing the tsunami of blinking, flashing lights I felt I was in Time Square.


Get rid of the Russian Bride ads. Unless you run a Russian Bride blog.


Post 1 or 2 or maybe 3 ads 100% aligned with your blogging niche.


7: Author As “Admin”


Did “admin” really write your blog?


Unless your parents had an affinity for the name “Admin” you are better off changing the author to your name.


8: Offering Amateur Hour Advice


Amateur Hour Advice: “Just start a blog, use Google Adsense and you can make a ton of money with your blog.”


This advice agitates both established pro bloggers who see The Dazed and Confused leading the Dazed and Confused into blogging oblivion and the newbie and struggling bloggers who keep trying to earn money through Adsense, only to be foiled when at month’s end they made enough blogging revenue to purchase a steaming hot pile of freshly deposited dog feces.


Please guys; follow the most successful bloggers in your niche. Learn from them. Turn around and teach what you are learning from these big dogs.


9: Hiding Away


No About page.


No head shot.


No transparency.


Golly….would you be a manly meat already?! Or womanly meat. Atenas, Costa Rica.


Unless you are a blogging cyborg, you better publish an About page, post a few smiling head shots and share personal experiences with your audience.


Hiding away from interested readers is annoying. And repelling. Because if you have something to hide, you hide, and this fear-based vibe turns off readers who want to get to know, like and trust you.


If I can talk about liquid-diarrhea-ing besides cows in a Burmese rice fields after gagging violently while sprinting up a bus aisle, you can post a freaking head shot of yourself.


Time to strap on those blogging cajones to play with the big boys and big girls of the blogging world.


Blogging Course


If you’re a shy gal or guy – like the old Rye – benefit from my blogging courses in private.


  1. Andrea Torti says:
    at 9:07 am

    Personally speaking, I hate (yes, hate) those guilt-mongering pop-ups, for example “Yes, give me more info” vs “No, I don’t want to improve my business expertise”.

    Dear bloggers, don’t try to trick me into asking for more info in that way – it won’t work 😀

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:11 am

      Ah yes Andrea LOL. Any low energy approach – if you don’t learn from me, you are a loser – may be a turn off to some. Thanks for the quick comment!


  2. Mandy Allen says:
    at 9:53 am

    Actually none to add but I really dislike pop ups. Whilst I can see the benefit of them both from the blog owner’s point and the reader (as you said makes it easy to subscribe) but I really hate my reading being disturbed. A lot of them have a long delay so I’m just getting into t a blog post and suddenly it’s interrupted! I don’t even read the pop up, just close it down immediately. It’s a bit like the new craze on the telephones where they have a recorded message rather than a real person. I don;t even know why they’re phoning because as soon as I hear the recorded ‘hi’ I hang up!

    Enjoy the journey!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:16 am

      Exactly Mandy. This is why I use a split second arrival pop up for new visitors. Or cache clearers 😉 Right away you have the option to sign up. After that it is the sidebar opt in or the little corner form that rolls out peacefully. Thanks much and you too!


  3. Marcus says:
    at 10:10 am

    Nice post – I especially hate ‘General Ad Frenzy’ with random ads which have zero to do with the blog. Nothing screams amateur quicker.

    Another thing that scares off readers is great wads of dense text which haven’t been formatted for easy reading.
    Most (sane) readers will abandon ship the moment they see the opening paragraph has more than 2 or 3 sentences.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:15 am

      Agreed on that Marcus. We like to scan and read, almost similar to following a typewriter. 1-2 lines, scan left, next paragraph. Break things up to create a more pleasing experience. Thanks much 🙂

  4. Judy Roberts says:
    at 10:40 am

    Thanks for this info, Ryan. The point that surprised me most — and one I would not have thought of on my own — is the usefulness of a pop up opt-in form. But, when I stop and think about it, it makes sense.

    In fact, anything that makes life easier and more convenient for the reader makes sense.

    I guess the philosophy may be summed up as, “Make it easy and convenient for the reader to do what I want them to do.”

    It’s a win-win. Readers get regular access to a blog they enjoy. The blogger gets more subscribers. What’s not to like?

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 5:15 pm

      Right Judy? Sometimes we need think things through to see the benefit for others see something else. Thanks for the comment!


  5. Corey Hinde says:
    at 7:31 pm

    Hey Ryan – I’m seeing more and more people craft super enticing headlines, that just don’t deliver the value or get you onto a list with a crappy lead magnet. I’m unsubbing to more and more lists as they just don’t deliver the goods – you though sir are always on point!!

  6. Shantanu Sinha says:
    at 1:35 am

    Hello Ryan,

    Great tips here, Thanks Man 🙂

    We are here to make it easy for our readers and customers, if they feel it easier to visit and gain information through our blog, it a win-win situation for us.

    Yeah lengthen of our content do matter, if there is a bulk of content written over there, there are possibilities that readers would might take off from our web sites.

    Thanks for the sharing these tips among us.


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:47 am

      Seeing our blogs as our readers helps us create an easier, seamless experience. Thanks Shantanu 🙂


  7. Lisa P. Sicard says:
    at 5:12 am

    Hi Ryan, I am sometimes guillty of #4. It’s hard to stay on one topic day after day but I try to keep it related to that one topic.
    I would add small text, I really don’t like landing on a post and finding the text too darn small too read. I try to make it bigger but if the text is still hard I’m off and if I’m on mobile, forget it!
    The other thing that sometimes annoys me if one is marketing to you in every post. I don’t mind at the end, check out my latest eBook, etc but if it is in the post, post after post.
    Those are my 2 cents on it Ryan. Thanks for the tips and I was suprised to see pop ups on the good side!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:46 am

      I always like keeping everybody on their toes Lisa, with the pop ups mention 😉 Thanks much!


  8. Rajkumar says:
    at 3:46 am

    Hey Ryan, That were really the important things to be noted to attract viewers and not to loose the viewers. The first thing is you need to share about you and so it makes a plot for the viewers.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 8:22 am

      Sharing info about yourself and your experiences with anything is key Rajkumar. Awesome add 🙂 Thanks much.


  9. Anda Galffy says:
    at 8:13 pm

    Excellent article, Ryan! Like always. I’m guilty of a couple of these things (CAPTCHA is one of them). I didn’t realize it’s so annoying at the other end. I don’t usually comment on my own posts (LOL!). However, the plugin is saving me a lot of time to clear spam. I get around 600 spam comments a month. Can you believe that? I should probably try to find another plugin to address spam, however. I entirely agree with the “Do not check email list opt in boxes by default.” There is nothing I hate more than finding myself in this trap.I regard it as a cheap, dirty way of acquiring subscribers.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 8:04 am

      Wow 600 is pretty steep Anda. Really, do what works best for you. We all do things that others may find agitating but need to get clear on them and then we are OK 🙂 Thanks much as always.


  10. LJ Sedgwick says:
    at 5:30 am

    I like popups but I hate it when it’s literally the first thing I see – and the ‘x’ or ‘close’ is the same colour as the page background. But…but…I want to read the content!!

  11. Cori Ramos says:
    at 1:44 pm

    Hey there Ryan,

    These are all great tips! Number 10 scares me off. I want to see who I’m connecting with. And I feel the same way about using ‘admin’ as the author name. All it takes is ten minutes to doublecheck the settings. 🙂

    I have a multi-niche blog so I have a variety of topics to blog about. But I stay within my niches. 🙂

    Hm, what annoys me…not seeing any share buttons. I use my Hootlet button but imagine – there could be others who don’t bother to take the extra step to share their post. They could be missing out on traffic, blog exposure and connecting with new people.

    Thanks for the great tips! You know I’m sharing this one!


  12. Prosperity Kenneth says:
    at 8:39 pm

    I always virw my website as a reader so I try my possible best at all costs to keep it all friendly. The captcha has never been in my support though, I use a plugin called spamshield and it just shuts up spammers. I do get an estimate of 6000+ spam comments monthly. Pop-ups and annoying Ads really freak me out more than anything else on a blog. Bloggers better start cultivating the habit of understanding their blog like a front end reader. In that way their is much better benefits and easy readability for a visiting reader. Thanks once again Ryan!

  13. Junaid says:
    at 7:21 am

    This is the very informative article, I love to read more about this.
    I appreciate your effort.


  14. Tejas Jasani says:
    at 1:25 am

    Hey Ryan,

    Awesome man ?, Nice post, it’s a very good article and because its informative I love to read it.

    I appreciate your effort.

  15. Sue says:
    at 12:56 pm

    Interesting list Ryan. I am working on my site speed so I think I may have blushed reading that one. Not quite as slow as a log floating but has been and now may still be a twig floating. Oh the learning never ends.


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 1:34 pm

      Oh yes Sue, never ends. I spent 45 minutes this morning learning about Steemit, and how to transfer currencies, and convert, and all that good stuff. Crazy how much information we acquire as we grow, right?


  16. Laiq zada says:
    at 3:03 am

    Fabulous post dude, I think I should shake my up, down, right and left to satisfy myself that I am doing good according to Ryan this post.

    I do not annoy readers, But I do annoy top bloggers by asking question which they do not want to answer such as Neil Patel, and last week I said to Jeff Goins, I stalk you badly on one of his post about to learn from a guru, etc.. and he replied ” hah I am all about stalking”

    Neil did not reply to my two comments this week. So I think Ryan, He is jealous of my work,, lol just kidding.

    Thanks, Ryan.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 9:08 am

      You have an active, alert mind Laiq. Awesome dude. Because when you ask questions, and probe, and think and analyze, the wheels turn and everything moves in a fun, freeing, prospering direction. Well done 🙂


  17. Debarati Roy says:
    at 12:21 pm

    This was not only a very informative read but also an amusing one. An excellent example of how humor can turn educational. Well these are indeed some important points to be keep in mind so that you do not lose followers. Moreover these are few must-avoid tips for all beginners as these mistakes can be really detrimental to business. We all learn what to do, but there is hardly anyone telling us what not to do. So thanks for this.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:22 am

      I dig sharing what not to do Debarati because most of us need to see mistakes we are making before we correct these mistakes. I may read a post, nod in agreement and feel good about the content presented. But if I am making a dingbat mistake in the same regard, related to those tips, I usually have to see the bad advice I am following, to root it out, versus allowing the good advice to point me in the right direction. Weird we need these pointers, right?

  18. Dani Montoya says:
    at 6:27 am

    Great Post Ryan. My biggest pet peeve and annoyance when reading a blog is when there are so many ads, scattered all over the place, that I can’t tell the ads from the copy. That is the #1 thing that will make me leave!

  19. Cater says:
    at 7:37 am

    Nice post Ryan. I follow your post for 2 reasons. One your posts are nice. Second i like thailand. You post lots of pictures taken in thailand. Makes me double good

  20. Patrick says:
    at 3:08 pm

    Great post Ryan.
    Personally, I hate it when I’m reading a blog post and I discover midway that I need to be clicking “next buttons” to be able to get the full information. It pisses me off and I usually have no option than to look for an alternative website that will give me the same information.

    Some say it reduces bounce rates, but I seriously doubt it. What do you think?

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:52 pm

      Not a big fan of that at all Patrick. It could lower bounce rates but elevates Annoyance Rates 😉 More than that though, anything that breaks the user experience flow cancels out any potential metrics-driven benefits. Because people read our blogs. Metrics do not read our blogs.

  21. Peter Nyiri says:
    at 5:49 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I get annoyed from most of these points, too. One more thing I get annoyed about is when I sign up for a blog and 5 minutes later they try to sell me a $1,000 it-solves-everything product.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:07 pm

      This is pretty annoying Peter. We all have a right to earn money. We can all ask for money, via premium products, because it is just money. But the hyped-up approach is tired. So 90’s, and early 2000’s.

  22. Sayan Mandal says:
    at 6:46 am

    Well written and well thought out. I’m going to try and implement some of this on my blog. By the way, when are you going to visit India.

  23. Anyaogu Ikechukwu says:
    at 1:15 pm

    Thanks Ryan for sharing this.

    But what of when they are many writers contributing to your blog? What if you use “Editorial Staff” as the author of the blog post.

    Because I see WPBEGGINER is using it.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 1:40 pm

      Actually Anyaogu it takes 3 seconds to set up a contributor’s name so when you see an author, their real name pops up. Gotta do it to gain credibility in your niche. Thank you bro for reading.

  24. تسديد قروض says:
    at 10:58 am

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this brilliant blog!

    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google
    account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this website with my
    Facebook group. Talk soon!

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