10 Ways to Make Sure No One Reads Your Blog

I really try to shut my mouth when it comes to other people’s blogs. While I make judgments all the time, about everything from a blog’s theme to the font, I’ve decided it’s usually better to keep those opinions to myself. After all, I’m sure many of you have your own thoughts when you read mine. Like, Why don’t you write about finance for a change? But I’ve learned that there are some things in life that simply MUST be said, even if people don’t applaud afterward.

Some of you have sucktastic blogs. There I said it.

That in itself isn’t a huge deal for me. Just like I will never win a bake-off, a beauty pageant, or a contest for cleanest house, some people just aren’t great writers. That doesn’t mean they don’t have ideas worth reading and discussing. I can forgive a lot of cringeworthy stuff if I still get something worthwhile out of a blogger’s posts.

But when someone seems to be doing everything they can to scare off potential readers, I have to wonder why they even blog in the first place. Do they not write in hopes that someone will read and find value in it? Do they high five themselves after another week of little to no traffic?

Maybe that’s the thing. Maybe I’m a weirdo, and everyone else starts blogging so that NO ONE will ever read what they have to say. And if that’s the case, I’ll give you 10 ways to make sure you never gain a single reader, other than maybe your mom. Or the crazy stalker that’s trying to hunt you down and steal locks of your hair to make a voodoo doll.

How to Make Sure No One Reads Your Blog

1. Make lots of grammar and spelling errors.

It’s one thing to publish a post with a typo or two - we all do it from time to time. But if you want to run off readers, you’ve got to step up your game.

  • If a word is plural, add a random apostrophe - finance’s looks way more annoying than finances.
  • End a sentence right in the middle, leaving readers wondering what you were going to
  • Don’t use spell check. EVER. Also consider typing with your eyes shut.
  • Capitalize Every Word In Every Sentence. People REALLY Hate That One!
  • Use words that aren’t really words, like irregardless or irrespective. Bonus points if you can make up your own.
  • Use the wrong words whenever possible, like “I bid them ado,” or “for all intensive purposes.”
  • Separate compound words, like into and checkbook.
  • Never ever read through your post before you publish, lest you feel tempted to correct any glaring mistakes.

2. Don’t offer any ways to subscribe or comment.

Who needs RSS or email subscriptions? That woud just keep people reading when you just want them to go away. If people have to remember your URL and type it in manually, they’re sure to forget all about you after a few minutes. It also helps if your site title is different from your URL, or if your URL contains six or more long words - then they’ll never remember. Bwahahahaha!

As for commenting, it’s best to disable comments completely. Or if you’re feeling particularly cruel, use a comment system that requires 147 steps and multiple captcha codes. In the tiniest possible font so no one can see it.

3. Make sure no one can figure out how to contact you.

This should be a no-brainer. Don’t dare have a Contact page on your blog - people might email you with questions or comments. Which could lead to them returning to your site! And if you do have a Contact page, don’t include an email address, because some people may use it instead of the complicated form that sends messages straight to your spam folder. What I’m saying is that you must make it as difficult as you can, if not impossible, for anyone to get in touch with you for any reason.

4. Don’t comment on or link to other blogs.

If you comment on other blogs, people might see your avatar and/or site name and click through to your blog. Oh hell no! We can’t have that. Plus, commenting would imply that you read other blogs in your niche, possibly leading other bloggers to visit as well. Avoid this at all costs, or suffer the consequences of higher traffic.

As far as links go, don’t use them at all. If you link to your own content, people may click through to another post, thus staying longer. And if you link to someone else, they may see the trackback and link to you in return. As a compromise, if you really feel compelled to include a link, make sure it’s to a huge, big name blog. That way there is no chance the blogger will have time to look at your stuff and link back to you.

5. Write boring crap that no one cares about.

When writing blog posts, you need to bore the daylights out of everyone so they never come back. Consult a few textbooks from the early 1900s for the best examples of sleep-inducing language and phrasing. Make sure all your posts contain huge blocks of text - a single paragraph is best - with no bolding, italics, or headings allowed. And DON’T use pictures.

As far as topics go, it’s best if you choose something that (A) no one wants to read about or (B) is so highly technical or jargon-filled that no one can understand it. It’s also a good idea to post the same crap that every other blog in your niche has already covered a million times. Don’t use humor or disclose anything about yourself, because that could make people feel connected to you.

6. Avoid social media like the plague.

Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn are for people who want someone to read what they write. And since that’s not you, don’t fall victim to the clever marketing techniques of those (and other) social sites. If you gain followers, they’ll just read your posts or talk to you. Then your whole plan is ruined.

If you’ve already fallen into the social media trap, be sure you don’t interact with anyone. Just auto-post links to your latest blog entries, preferably 10 or 15 at a time. Then repost every 30 minutes. Once you’ve done that, any followers you had will unsubscribe immediately.

7. Treat your blog like a diary.

Lots of bloggers post details about their day-to-day lives. But there’s a fine line between posting something with a point, where readers could apply your thoughts to their own lives, and posting inane drivel. For best results, post every single detail of your day:

First I woke up and realized I really needed to pee. As I walked to the bathroom, I noticed a pain in my little toe. I peed for 37 seconds, wiped the excess off the toilet seat, and failed to wash my hands before putting in my left contact. Urine really burns your eyes if you’re not careful. Anyway, I went to the kitchen to decide what to make for breakfast….

8. Ignore your audience.

Don’t ever look at your blog stats to figure out who’s reading your site. If you do, you might be tempted to think about what that group of people want to read about. And once you start gearing your posts to a particular demographic, they’re bound to see the relevance and keep reading. Best to change it up a little - if your site is frequented by men in their 50s, be sure to write about the best handbags. Better yet, write something you know will offend or confuse them. If they ever find something worth reading, they may come back. Nip this in the bud as soon as you can.

9. Post infrequently.

Nothing chases away readers like a blog that shows the same post for weeks and weeks. The best antisocial blogs are only updated a few times a year! It’s also a good idea to just stop posting altogether for awhile, without letting anyone know you’re going to be gone. The real pros let their domains expire so spammers can take over.

One more thing - when returning from a long absence, be sure to apologize profusely for your time away and promise to post more in the future. Then disappear again. That’s a tip you won’t find anywhere else, but it’s guaranteed to work. No one will stick around for that for very long.

10. Make your site so ugly or full of ads that no one can navigate it.

There are many ways to render a blog unreadable. You choose use colored text on a dark background, for example. Or include lots of moving, flashing graphics. Or make your theme wider than normal so the person has to scroll from side to side. My personal favorites, though, are the blogs that have so many ad blocks you can’t even find the posts. If you can induce seizures or hide your content altogether, you know you’re fending off readers with the best of them.

Oh, I almost forgot - use a theme that loads REALLY slowly. Use at least 40 plugins at once, especially multiple plugins that all do the same thing. And don’t use any caching plugins. Huge images, huge header, huge font. You know what I’m talking about.

The Bottom Line

Any of these tips will go a long way toward keeping people from reading your blog. However, if you can manage to achieve all 10 of them at the same time, you might even run off your own mother.

It’s a lot of work to operate a blog with no readership. In fact, reading over this list, I’m guessing that some of you work harder to keep people away than I work to get them to come in!

If you need personalized help making your blog unreadable, please let me know and I’ll do my best to point you to some relevant examples. I didn’t want to mention them here for fear of driving traffic to the sites who have worked so hard to drive people away. With some elbow grease and a serious desire to remain alone forever, you CAN achieve your goal of blogging isolation!

  • Anonymous

    Im hesitant to comment because I don’t want anyone visiting my site but I have to say I dig this. These were all great tips and I

    • http://debtfreebythirty.net Niki


  • Anonymous

    Im hesitant to comment because I don’t want anyone visiting my site but I have to say I dig this. These were all great tips and I

  • http://www.treesfullofmoney.com Benjamin

    I’m pretty sure irrespective is a word, irrespective of what you say..

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      Technically, yes, it is a word. Though I don’t know anyone in this century who actually talks that way. This conversation reminds me of Happy Gilmore: “Why don’t I go eat some hay, make things out of clay, lay by the bay? I just may! What do you say?”

      • http://www.broketo.ca Melissa

        “Irrespective” IS a word! I actually say it relatively frequently, since for whatever reason my brain wants to say, “irregardless” and I say the former instead. Actually, many people credit the origin of the word”irregardless” to a confusion between “regardless” and “irrespective.” Also, I’m a nerd.

        But seriously, I love everything about is post!

        • http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk Maria@moneyprinciple

          Irrespective is a word and is used in England and in academic writing. Which, thinking about it, may be confiming Andrea’s point: it is a bit stuffy and old fashioned.

  • http://add-vodka.com Daisy

    LOL. These made me laugh. I am so guilty of some of these. I actually don’t proofread my posts (which is silly. I should!) and you have convinced me that maybe I should start doing so.

    I hate big, long paragraphs that aren’t split up!

    • Katie

      OMG, Daisy! I could not imagine not proofreading a post. Typos still leak through on GRB, but I am almost OCD about re-reading my posts. I probably proofread three times each unless I’m in a big hurry. (And now that I’ve put that out there, you can all think the absolute worst of me when there’s STILL a typo. “She read over that three times and didn’t catch it?”)

      Thanks for the laughs, Andrea! The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was read this post. Well, after I got out of bed, walked to the bathroom, closed the door, peed for 21 seconds (I’m really fast like that), and came back to bed.

      • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

        I’m kind of jealous of your peeing skills. I usually take a good 35-40 seconds first thing in the morning. But I’m so glad you shared that with me!

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      Actually I don’t really proofread either. I do at least read it over once before I publish/schedule. Because I’ve been known to trail off in the middle of a sentence when the phone rings or something.

  • http://bogofdebt.wordpress.com Bogofdebt

    I also am guilty of some of these! I’m so ashamed. But I’m going to go fix some of them as we speak. I promise!

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      I’m surprised how many people took this personally! I promise I wasn’t talking about you - if it was one of my friends, I’d just tell you guys to your faces! (Or computer screen. Whatevs.)

      • http://bogofdebt.wordpress.com Bogofdebt

        I still loved it-I plan on linking to it as well. You just reminded me to do a few things that are on my to do list

  • http://www.totallymoney.com/blogs Harri Pierce

    AMEN TO THAT! Hit. nail. on. head.

  • http://www.moneytrail.net Pam at MoneyTrail

    I so-o-o-o enjoyed reading this! Gave me my first laugh of the day. My pet peeve on blogs —- more than one pop up ad. I can survive one…but two or three, give me a break. I just want read the blog and I won’t keep clicking to remove ads. I’ll just go away.

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      I usually abandon any attempt to read a post after the dreaded newsletter popup. I’m perfectly aware of how to subscribe if I want to - I don’t need to be forced into it. And I don’t care if popups increase subscribers by whatever percent; I will NEVER use popups here.

  • http://www.thehappyhomeowner.net/ The Happy Homeowner

    Brilliant! I’ll be linking to this today for sure…hahaha…

    Thanks for the kick in the pants about Twitter…I’m sadly under-utilizing it

  • http://thepathbetweenlaughs.com/ Alisha

    Funny post! But seriously, when ARE you going to talk about your personal finance again???

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      When I have finances to talk about! My income has been so messed up there hasn’t been much to say about it. But that will return in January.

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  • http://www.dqydj.net PKamp3

    Haha, I know I’m most in danger of #5. It’s hard to inject personality into a discussion of trade deficits or Health Savings Account arbitrage, but I do my best. And yes, I actually think about those things. The less technical posts do get the best range of comments, however!

    On number 1 - I always read through my posts twice when they’re saved. Once is for flow and to correct obvious errors, eliminate dumb sentences, and add things where they are needed. The second one is fine detail - I always seem to leave about 2-3 problems with spelling or non-subject agreement (how embarrassing!). I also proof read for my cowriters - they’re lazier than me.

    And yes, I’m not afraid to change an article once it’s published. And I’m sneaky about it…

    You’ve got to be your own copy editor. Once you realize that, you’ll be fine. GREAT article, Andrea!

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      I edit mine constantly after they’re published. It never fails - I only make a huge stupid mistake when I leave home right after I publish. So I’m freaking out trying to edit on my phone and I end up making it worse.

      The best one was when I accidentally posted to my personal Facebook profile instead of the blog page. None of my friends know about my blog, and the stupid link was up for probably 2 hours before I realized it. My son was at a doctor’s appointment and I was in the waiting room hunched over my iPad trying to delete it before anyone saw! Luckily I guess my friends were busy with other things that morning, because I haven’t noticed any traffic from home.

  • Anonymous

    Certainly common sense tips….. but those with no common sense will think they do not apply to them. ( I can fall in that category from time to time)

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      OMG TRUE STORY!!! That’s the worst part - knowing that the people who need this most think their blogs are perfect. Sometimes I just don’t know how anyone can think certain things are okay.

  • http://www.newlywedsonabudget.com/ Newlyweds on a Budget

    Great tips! I’ll be sure to follow through! Wouldn’t want anyone reading my site or anything : )

  • http://www.20sfinances.com 20sFinances

    Okay, first - hilarious. Second, was that bit about the diary your story? I hope that it was (except for the wiping the urine of the seat, maybe)…

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      I like to wash my hands after I pee. Especially before I put in my contacts.

  • http://www.budgetorfudget.com Budget or Fudget

    Every time I see one of these, I’m always afraid there’s going to be a line “And BoF is just *awful*.” Goal of 2012: more consistent posts & more diverse topics. Gotta get out of that comfort zone…

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      I would never be mean enough to mention a blog by name. I save those critiques for private conversations - no need to hurt anyone’s feelings! (Yours isn’t one of them, for the record.) Personally, I would want to know if my site was committing an unforgivable offense, but some people may not. So I just talk smack about them anonymously.

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  • Carrie Starr

    Glad to check through this list and find that I am not working nearly heard enough to chase people away. I need to step up my game. Thanks for the tips! I did, however, update my “about” page with relevant contact info right while I was in the middle of reading your post. Hope you don’t mind!

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      Well, you’re not going to keep people away with contact info right there for all to see, but I guess I’m okay with that if you are!!

  • Serendipity Savings

    I can’t stop laughing.

  • http://thirtysixmonths.com Marissa

    Are you taking about me?

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      Lol your blog isn’t ugly! Especially since the makeover!!!

      • http://thirtysixmonths.com Marissa

        Ok. I feel better now.

  • http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk Maria@moneyprinciple

    What a relief. I started reading and my heart was racing, my forehead covered in cold sweat. Last time I read something like this was when I discovered that where advancing in organisations is concerned I have done (or considered doing ) all example of what should not be done; ever. And I only do one of the things on your list. Thanks for publishing this - made me think.

  • Catseye

    Andrea, your blog is definitely not sucktastic! Wait a minute… is sucktastic a real word?

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      Good eye! I was testing whether my made-up language would run people off!

  • http://twitter.com/smartfamfinance Shaun Fowler

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a blog with all ten of those elements. Although, by your standards, if they are doing all ten no one ever should.

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  • Furugal(er)

    Love it! This reminds me of a conversation with a student I had recently at the (heavily business focused) university where I work. He wanted to publish a book, and wanted to know how to go about it. He described is as “A small book about personal finance that people could carry around with them. It would just be small lessons like ‘don’t spend more than you make’ etc. I’d charge $15 apiece and make a killing.”

    What I couldn’t say, but wanted very badly to, was “why the hell would anyone with an ounce of sense pay $15 for that drivel?”

    Likewise, I feel like the people who commit the ten offenses you’ve mentioned most egregiously are the ones whose masterplan is to Get Rich Blogging. Doesn’t matter what they put out there, people love to read blogs! They’ll make a bundle! It will only take thirty minutes a day! Who cares if they have no ability to write!


    • http://findmefrugal.blogspot.com Frugal(er)

      Another way to get people to not read your blog, is apparently to spell your own blogs name wrong. Good god, I think I need more coffee

      • http://findmefrugal.blogspot.com Frugal(er)

        ack! I did it again and used improper punctuation. Ok, done hijacking your blog comments now.

        • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

          I have laughed so hard at Furugal(er) I nearly cried. Only because it was on this particular post. Any other time I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

  • http://www.101centavos.com 101 Centavos

    Well said. I’ve been guilt of a typo or two, that unfortunately I don’t seem to catch until after the article is published and commented on. I probably don’t spot them because it takes me ages to finish a post and my eyes glaze over.

  • http://www.worldoffinance.biz World of Finance

    This list is spot on…. love the humor you portray in your writing

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  • http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk John@moneyprinciple

    And don’t forget to ask the search engines not to visit, not to ping pingomatic, forget the permanent redirect from the URL to http://www.URL and even better to hide the blog from the world an accidental Deny from all in your .htaccess file that you forgot to remove when you went production ….

  • http://debtsucksblog.com Jake from Debt Sucks

    Andrea - I will pay you to tell me all the things I do wrong.

    I will not pay you to right them for me, because that would probably be too expensive.

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  • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity

    So now I know why you don’t come by and comment any more! :-(

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      I’ve been terribly behind on commenting lately. Trying to get back into the groove. So don’t feel offended - you’re not the only one I’m neglecting!

      • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity

        Ah, so I’m not sucktastic! I feel a lot better now

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  • Explorer_howard

    Make sure your site is accessible to mobile devices.. I wasn’t able to read this article on my ipod touch

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      Good one! Though the mobile version should be working - I’ll add that to the list of things to check out today. Thanks for the heads up, however tongue in cheek.

  • http://novelinvestor.com JP @ Novel Investor

    lol, the comedy of bodily functions. Impressive for a finance blog, snuck that one in perfectly. Great List. Thanks for laughs.

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  • http://www.canadianpersonalfinance.com/ Steve Zussino

    This was very informative to read. I am not sure about themes but most personal finance blogs I read are not the easiest to read - also too many ads!

    • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      I agree! I know putting ads in certain spots results in more clicks, but I’d rather sacrifice the clicks for a site that’s readable. At least I hope it’s readable. *freaks out, starts checking my site for ugliness*

      • http://www.canadianpersonalfinance.com/ Steve Zussino

        @sooverdebt:disqus That is funny - your website loads very quickly. On my website I have no ads but I still am not sure about the theme if the users like it or not.

        It is a tough call!

        • http://www.sooverdebt.com Andrea @ SoOverDebt

          Personally, I don’t love the featured posts thing because I like things to be chronological. I think it’s hard to tell what’s new and what’s old. But that’s just a matter of personal preference. Otherwise I think your site looks great! And I’m pumped to know that mine is finally loading quicker - for awhile it was ridiculously slow. Had to switch to a new caching plugin.