Tuesday, February 6, 2024

IWSG: February 2024

 It's the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group!

The awesome co-hosts for the February 7 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, SE White, Victoria Marie Lees, and Cathrina Constantine!

This month's question is a good one...

What turns you off when visiting an author's website/blog? Lack of information? A drone of negativity? Little mention of author's books? Constant mention of books?

For me, the bigger turn off is not really about the content so much as the design.  So many writer blogs are built in Blogger templates (my own included) that have been customised by the author in really terrible ways.  Coloured fonts on coloured backgrounds are one of my biggest peeves.  If you want someone to read your blog, make it easy to read.  if I visit a blog and find the text in purple on a lime green background, I'm not going to stick around long enough to know if your content is good or not.

The other thing that bugs me is people who try to do too much in a single post.  If you're doing an author interview, do that in one post.  If you're talking about a bookstore visit, make that a single post.  If you're reviewing a book you read, make that a single post.  Some bloggers seem to like to post once a week and stuff everything into one long, confusing, rambling mess.  

If you have that much to talk about, maybe post more often.  You can still do the work one a week, just schedule those posts for different days so readers aren't faced with scrolling endlessly down the screen looking for the part of the post that they're interested in.

If you've got an author website, make sure your contact details are on there.  It doesn't matter if you're published or not.  If someone wants to get hold of you, make sure that information is there for them. If I'm looking for an author to feature in an article or interview, if I can't find a way to contact them easily, I'm going to move on, regardless of how much I enjoy the content on their blog, or their books.

I could keep going, but this is getting long, and maybe rambly, so I'll stop before I become my own pet peeve...

What do you dislike about blogs and websites you visit?


  1. I think people forget to actually look at their blogs through something other than the update field, so they have no idea what it actually looks like.

  2. Yes, it's important to be able to read a blog post. I think a lot of people don't blog much, which is why the posts are longer. I have to include my IWSG post with my author interview because the author interview wouldn't get enough exposure when so few people blog the rest of the month.

  3. A while back, I gave a talk at a writers group about blogging, and my number one tip of things to do was to make sure it was actually readable. And the second tip was limit the focus of a post to one, maybe two things.

  4. Design and readability is a big one for me, too.