First impressions are so important when it comes to blogging. While building the blog roll for this site (I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot) I noticed a lot of bloggers design their blogs by adding everything. There’s colors, textures, auto play and 50 ads. It’s distracting to the point that I don’t want to stay on the blog. Here are a few design tips I think bloggers can benefit from following. Myself included.
This is a serious SERIOUS pet peeve of mine. Just because you’re interested in a certain song doesn’t mean your visitors want to be bombarded by it. Sometimes people are browsing your blog at the library or at work and they really don’t need music blasting because they landed on your page. If you have auto play ads… we can’t be blogging friends. Just… no. No. There is never a situation where auto play is ok.
Think About What Shows Above The Fold
In print media above the fold is the part of the newspaper you see first when the paper is folded. This is the part of the paper that you see on newspaper stands with the big headline that captures your attention. Journalists would KILL for that spot. (House of Cards anyone?) The part of your blog we see before scrolling is above the fold. Think about what shows there on your blog. Is your logo too big? Does a post title show? What about pictures? You should have something interesting there to capture the visitor’s attention. You don’t want a high bounce rate.
Put Some Thought Into Your Design
Cluttered blogs are the worst. If your background has a lot going on and you’re using five different fonts AND you have ads that move… your blog confuses me. A lot of bloggers use a white background, black font and tons of white space for a reason. It works. I don’t think you should follow that template necessarily because being original counts for something but you should start with the basics and add a little from there. Not too much. Make sure your site is EXTREMELY easy to navigate.
I also noticed a lot of bloggers use the same template on their blogs. It has pink polka dots at the top. If you buy a template for your blog you should customize it a bit.
Tell Us About You
I’m reading your blog because I care about your personal opinion. If I don’t know who you are, why should I care? I touched on this a bit in a previous post but I think it needs repeating. Your about section should include your name, why you blog and some interesting details about you as a person.
Don’t Bore Us
People don’t read blogs. People skim blogs. I always break my posts into sections that are easily digestible because you can skim easier that way. I will admit that I’ve clicked on a post, saw a bunch of writing without paragraphs and immediately clicked away. I’m sure I’d read something in that format if it came from a blogger I’m invested in but as a new reader that pushes me away.
What tips would you add to this list?