Top Seven Tips For Great Blog Design
1. Content: Great blogs have great content. Ensure that the blogs overall design and theme coincide with the content. Make any navigation through the content simple by utilizing simple terms and easy to read fonts. Keep your content easily readable by ensuring good contrast between the background and the foreground. Typically white background with black font will have the most contrast and therefore be easiest to read. Whatever colors you choose, be sure to use a very light color with a very dark color to ensure readability.
2. Ease of Use: Readers of your content may never come back if you make your otherwise great content difficult to see or get to. Horizontal scrolling is a huge obstacle for readers, so take that into consideration when designing your blog.
Look at the smallest screen you are targeting and design for that resolution. Many blog creators decide that their blog should have animation or utilize heavy amounts of Flash.
Avoid this urge. Using animation of any kind can be distracting, annoying, and can cause your site to load very slowly.
3. Good Header Graphic: A good header graphic is like a good billboard for a business. It will tell you everything you need to know. Use high quality photos or professional looking logos. First impressions are the most important and a strong, yet non-obtrusive header will be your best tool.
Think of your header as your calling card. Don’t overcrowd it and don’t shroud it with advertisements.
4. Obvious Comment Section: Blogs are all about interaction with your audience, so to encourage this, make sure that the ability to comment on your posts is very obvious. Comment areas are like mini forums with the posts as the header.
Making commenting difficult or not intuitive can be the death of your audience interaction. And since an involved audience is more likely to become a loyal audience, the comment area can be a Make or breakÂ section of your blog design.
5. Tie into Social Media: Utilize the existing infrastructure like Digg, delicious, twitter and Facebook to allow your readers to forward link to their family and friends who may also be interested. This can help grow your audience and increase your traffic. Likewise, posting updates from your blog to these social media sites can help drive traffic which will expose your site to more readers.
Be careful not to overload your blog with too many options. Stick with the social media sites you are aware of. This will ensure your posts don’t look like an old suitcase with hundreds of stickers on it. Clutter kills.
6. Illustrate Your Content: If a picture says 1000 words, then you better take heed. Photos and graphics can be your best friend in a blog post. It will help the reader’s visualize your content and make your posts more interesting. Be careful not to over-saturate your posts with too many images. Less high quality images are better than many poor quality images every time.
7. Don’t Overcrowd Your Content: I have said it before and I will say it again, Clutter kills. Ads can play an important role, but don’t sacrifice your entire site design just for a few bucks.
Be very cautious where you add advertisements and other extraneous content. If it isn’t directly related to the content or the blog, it would be better to leave it out.
You don’t want to read a newspaper and have to hunt for the content. Don’t do that with your blog either.
Hopefully these 7 simple tips will help you as you design or redesign your blog for maximum benefit and foster loyal readership.