The Internet of Annoying Things

I’m not an expert at blogging, online marketing, etc. But I’m also not an amateur.

Here are 6 annoying things that people do online.

1. Captcha.

Not one single person that I know actually likes Captcha. In fact, if I can’t get a Captcha code to work on the first try, I abandon it. That means, I not only abandon my comment on a blog, I often won’t return. Don’t make if difficult for your readers to talk to you! One solution if you encounter spam or abusive comments is to turn on comment moderation and set if up so that you have to approve comments before they’re visible. I have comment moderation turned on and have weeded out some really rude comments that way. I also have a filter. So no need for Captcha! And definitely no need for Captcha AND moderation.

2. Validation.

In a similar vein… if your Twitter feed is public, why validate your followers? If you run a blog and have your Twitter feed private, you aren’t inviting your readers to connect with you. If you tweet super personal stuff, open a separate public account for your blog. If I follow you on Twitter and I get a validation request direct message, I will believe that you think you’re more important than you actually are.  I know I’m not alone in this.

3. Funneling.

I made up this term for blogs and websites that specifically curate content and funnel you through their website without adding any value. If you want to recommend that your readers check out an article, tell them why. Don’t just created a blog post with a link. I get so mad when I click through what looks like an interesting article topic on Twitter or Facebook and then I get funneled through a pointless website with another link that I need to follow to read the article. I will click the link and then go follow the owner of the actual content as opposed to the funnel-er. The main solution if sharing is your thing is to add value. If you’re qualified to share an article, you’re qualified to share a thought or two about it! (Also, never copy a person’s blog post word-for-word. If you want to share their post, with your comments, share and excerpt and link to their content).

4. Retweet-a-thon.

I follow a lot of personal finance bloggers and I’ve noticed that when one posts a new blog, at least 8 others retweet the blog at the same time. It’s great to support other bloggers, definitely keep doing it. But if you notice that you tweet the same thing as 7 other people on a regular basis, maybe save your tweet for 20 minutes or so to reach a different group of eyes.

5. Poorly run contests. 

A giveaway or sweepstakes can be a great promotional tool for a blog, but take a look at your entry methods before you hit publish. Ask yourself: Would I actually enter this giveaway? If you have more than 10 entry methods, take a serious look at what you’re asking people to do. Also, use some sort of entry form, it saves you and your readers a whole lot of confusion. Most of them are free to use for the basic features… which are probably all you need anyway! I like RaffleCopter, but there are other options out there.

6. Links that aren’t links. 

This applies to in-contest links and run of the mill links. It’s so easy to hyperlink things and make your readers’ lives easier. Preview your posts and contest forms to check your own links and make sure they actually work. I also recommend making links that open in a new tab or window, it doesn’t send readers away from you.

What are some annoying things you’ve encountered online?

6 thoughts on “The Internet of Annoying Things

  1. You are right on point with these Rachel! Captchas are annoying and the fact that they’re used solely by amateurs (and NONE of the big bloggers) should be enough to show you they’re a waste. Moderation on top of that? So redundant. I also really liked your point about giveaways and contests. As soon as I’m directed to another website where I need to make an account or sign up for something, I’ve stopped reading.

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