Are you making your readers click their fingers raw?

Don't you just hate those social media articles that sound so interesting by title but the author or platform makes it so difficult to read them that you give up before you even find out what they promised to tell you in the title?  You know. They're the ones that promise: 

"25 Ways to Save Money with Coupons" 
"Sixteen Things You Need to Know to Live Through a Heart Attack"
"Why you don't want to eat that vegetable you think is good for you!"
"How to Get the Most Out of Your Workout" 

But when you click over to read the article, you find one line of text and one picture with an arrow ====> you need to click on to get to the next picture and line of text.  You're a bit annoyed, but you click over...and over...and over...and over...and over...until you are only 1/4 of the way through the article, you haven't read the most important part of the article that was previewed in the social media link/picture, and you decide your time is worth more than the promise of the information you thought you would like to know.  

If you tell us you have "12 Easy Ways to Blah Blah Blah," don't make us jump through fire and water to find them.  We'll feel you lied to us or at the very least, what you have isn't easy or worth it.  In fact, sometimes it's not even that easy!  There are articles I've found my way to where I saw the first line of text, a bunch of ads, pictures of celebrities in various stages of undress, weird slimy animals and a few graphics I couldn't figure out what they had to do with the subject matter or website theme.  Or worse yet, I click through the entire 25 pages of article piece by piece and NEVER find the picture or piece of information it advertised!  And I'm thinking..."Liar Liar Pants on Fire! "

 How many of you have continued on to read the entire article?  How many times will you click to read an entire article?  For me and most people, that number is probably three or four.  NOT 16!  There is something far too annoying about having to click through 20 pages of one line of text with a picture to read an article that should have taken up a normal blog post!  

This is akin to the annoyance and frustration you feel when being forced to endure a pop up subscription notice before you are granted the ability to see whether or not you'd even like to read the ONE article you were  curious about.  And it's like trying to read a blog post while having to wade through endless ads and pictures of things you hope your toddler isn't around to question.  

There must be some purpose for these sites as so many of them are constructed this way these days, but I dare say most people (if they are at all like me) wouldn't waste their precious time on them unless we believed that within the webpages of that article held the answer to eternal life.  This is NOT an effective way to disseminate information or gain followers to your blog.  

Now most bloggers or website articles don't adopt this incredibly frustrating method of communicating their message, but some do come close.  If  you want people to read (and understand) your message, please don't clutter your page with ads, pictures, arrows, miscellaneous graphics, and pop ups.  Don't be surprised we don't comment if you require us give our name, rank and serial number to create a "profile."  

If you truly want readers, make it easy for us to read and understand your message.  If you want comments, make it EASY for us to do that. The older I get, the less patience I have for frustration and the more I value my time.  After all, I'm not getting any younger.

If you like this article, please share.  If you'd like to learn more about how to communicate more effectively, take a look at all the materials Art of Eloquence has to offer.   


  • JoJo Tabares

    Yup. That’s how it feels, Zinga. Building trust with our audience is crucial. It’s not just a one time raking in of the readers. We have to build our audience’s trust to keep them coming back.

  • Zinga Hart

    We discussed this during our Building Social Media Trust workshop. Trust is about delivering on promises not stringing people along! Great pointers.

  • JoJo Tabares

    You’re most definitely not the only one. Just baffles me why it’s so popular.

  • Sheri

    It is SO annoying and frustrating, usually by the time I get to the third picture, I roll my eyes and close the site. Can’t be bothered. Glad I am not the only one. :-)

  • JoJo Tabares

    Thanks for sharing, Julie and Brooke. I figured I wasn’t the only one. It’s a frustrating trend. Most bloggers don’t go to this extreme, but many do make it difficult to read or comment.

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