Obstacles, design choices, even that groovy music you adore can all send potential readers elsewhere
Editors and agents often talk about “what makes me stop reading.”
What’s probably not discussed enough is what makes us stop reading online, especially Web sites and blogs by writers.
I’ve been compiling best tweets for writers for half a year now and have scanned tens of thousands of blog postings and homepages, all by following a tweeted link.
Just as I have a sense about whether a manuscript will be any good in the first few minutes, now I have the same gut feel about blog posts. Only it takes seconds.
Keep in mind: I have different standards for online reading than offline reading. People leave your site in a split-second if they can’t find what they’re looking for. We all have the online attention span of an ADHD gnat.
What makes me stop reading online:
1. Sites with black backgrounds
I don’t care if it saves the world’s energy to have a black background, or if there’s a special function to reverse it. No one’s going to figure that out. If your site’s primary goal is to have people read it, then make it easy to read.