Friday, March 25, 2016

Five Weird Bloggy Things That Bother Me

I’ve been itching to criticize all week. The last two times I tried (a.k.a. Monday and Wednesday) didn’t work—but we’re going to do some criticizing today. Because I really need to, and there is always room for it. Always, because I am a Sith.

Flickr Credit: StalkERR

And what shall I criticize? Bloggy things! Specifically, five bloggy things that I see in the blogosphere all the time and should probably go away.

Let’s begin:

1. No Favicon

See that little purple handprint next to “Sometimes I’m a Story” up in your tabs? That’s my favicon—you should look at it and think “That is Heather’s blog.” But a baffling number of people leave the generic favicons. It bothers me, because favicons help me tell my tabs apart, which they can’t do if they all look the same.

Instead, upload an .ico file so that it is personal and I can recognize it! And, if you cannot save images as .ico files on your computer, here is a converter. Boom. Resources.

2. No Spaces Between Paragraphs

The most important thing about your blog is that people can read it. Again: the most important thing about your blog is that people can read it. Once it’s set up, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance—but it does need to be set up.

For that reason, white space! The more the better. It doesn’t require short paragraphs—though it’s a personal goal of mine—but putting an extra space between complete thoughts goes a long way in preventing your reader from overload. Observe:

3. Wrong Picture Amounts/Styles/Things

We like pictures. I know. They are pretty. But also, there should probably not be twenty big photos in a blog post. Even if your blog is about sharing pictures I suspect it might go over better in small bursts. But also, there should be pictures! A gif, at least, or something.

I mean, I don’t have any great reasons. Except maybe one. Visually engaging us with a few pictures is good. Visually overloading us with too many pictures is not. And no visual engagement for some reason makes things harder.

(Side note: I use too many gifs sometimes. What do you guys think is a proper gif amount per post?)

4. No Shareable Pictures

*headdesk* This is simultaneously one of my pet peeves and one of my own bloggy faults. On some blogs, I want to save a super awesome post for later, when I need it, and then the only pictures available to pin are buttons from other people’s blogs. Brilliant.

And the way to do that is have a picture that can be shared on social media, if possible. Except Facebook is so lame about pictures. And Twitter takes forever. Pinterest is okay, though. Do it for Pinterest, friend. Build something for yourself!

5. Weird Amounts of Labels

You know those little keywords at the bottom? Labels? One for this post is Blogger’s Life, if that helps. On the one hand, these little keywords make you more marketable because Google is more likely to pick up on those keywords. At the same time, it bothers me when every little thing gets a label. In Heather’s Theory of Good Blogging, key words work better for things you talk about a lot.

I myself manage this by cleaning out my tags yearly. Currently I have 42 labels, ten of which have been used less than ten times. It works for me, anyway, and I think it helps. Because like, if you have an Artemis Fowl tag, there had better be a good chunk of blog posts for me to scroll through. (Please.)

Don’t feel bad if you do these things. I do them sometimes too. Should I really have 42 labels? Should I have more? Should I pay more attention to the shareability of my photos? I think just as much of me as I do all the other people out there blogging. Which is, of course, why we needed this criticism in the first place.

What are some common behaviors in the blogosphere that bother you?

Hey, fellow space rangers! Do you have the power to write? Do you have thoughts on something? Are those thoughts on writing? Or reading? Or something kind of like that? GREAT NEWS. You could totally guest post for me in April if you felt like it. Just message me on my contact page or DM me on Twitter, and we can talk! (And by could, I mean please do. Gracias.)


  1. I'm terrible about my favicon because I HAVE NOT UPDATED IT SINCE MY LAST DESIGN. AGH. But at least it's different right?! And I haven't updated it because I don't know how. heh. That's the trouble when someone else does all your design things....ahem.

    Also the no-white-space-or-paragraphs really bothers me too. Like I'm all fore creative expressions so if someone wants a million photos or whatever: go for it, I say! But READABILITY is super important. I have a bunch of blogs that I wither at when I go to read them because they're just so awkward and hard to read and focus on.

    1. It is different, and that, at the very least, is what my brain needs. When I have ten tabs that all have the orange Blogger or blue Wordpress favicon, my brain just gets sad and tired trying to figure out where I was. :(

      Yes! Readability is really the big pint of design, which I value. It's been hard because there are some bloggers out there who have good content and I keep seeing their posts shared but I can never make myself follow them because my eyes hurt too much thinking about it. :( :( :(

  2. The no Favicon thing really gets to me as well. In fact, I agree with your whole list :) White space is something I am very fond of and I want to see more of. I find it really hard to focus on the words without it.

    I use a ton of tags, because the way I understand it, it's how you get picked up by search engines. But I don't display them at the bottom of posts, because I use to many of them. I used to only use a few, but changed my philosophy about it. That saying, I do have maybe 20 key tags that I use a lot.

    Great post :)

    1. White spaaaaaaace! It is a sign of good taste. :)

      That is true, it is how you get picked up. And I guess I don't mind if I don't see them, but I agree that having FIFTY TAGS listed at the bottom of the page for every little thing is just tedious to run into every. single. time.

  3. I agree with most of the things in this post. (Wrong... things. lol.) These days I haven't been adding a lot of pictures and gifs (it's the opposite of you, haha) and I feel like I should because I always love seeing them. I'm also thinking about changing my favicon because it used to match my template background and now it doesn't, but then again it might not be a great idea to change a favicon... what do you think I should do?

    Great post!

    1. I do love seeing pictures and GIFs in their own times, haha. Still, it can be tedious to set them all up and stuff. That is hard. And I think if I were in your position, I would change out the favicon, but I think whatever you feel comfortable with doing is the best idea. *nods*

  4. OH I LOVE A GOOD CRITICISM. But omg I really should update my favicon, except I'm so useless at technology (the irony). My pet peeve is white writing on a dark background. Annoys me so much.

    1. Ohhhh yeah. Especially if it isn't just black and white, but it's something like pink or yellow or something... Like, I came here to read your post, not to be blinded by your weird design. *shakes head* Nope. Don't do it. Nope.

  5. I don't really know how to do favicons (or even that it was called that until right now. When we were redesigning our blog, I wanted to make one but I had no idea how and googling 'how to put a little picture thingy next to your url on wordpress' surprisingly (not) yielded no helpful results. I am rather incompetent with these things, like I tried to add a gif once and failed so now I just go for images (and some posts are image heavy, if they need it, while others are not).
    After our blog redesign we did the labels all nicely although I didn't know how to delete the old ones, we are now much wiser label-users. Helpful though, Heather :)

    1. Huh, that's odd—Google makes it really easy to upload a favicon to blogger, and since Wordpress is all about blogging exclusively, I'd think they'd make that easy too. Unless, of course, you have to get a paid subscription to get to make those edits on the blog. :/

      Deleting the old ones on Blogger involves me going through every post with that tag and deleting it by hand... no, I am not obsessed...

  6. I am the absolute worst at keeping labels straight. I have waaaaay to many, and it annoys me. I should really do a cleaning like you suggest.

    Good tips!

    1. I always think it is refreshing to clean old stuff out! It is just tedious to delete them, lol. Thanks for reading, Sunny!

  7. I don't have a favicon because I'm too lazy to make one xD


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