Part II: Design
Design is a very important element to each blog. The design can be very welcoming to a reader or it can be too much and scare a reader away. I always preferred blogs with simple classic looks that were easy to navigate and easy to read. Heavy backgrounds may look good in theory, but it causes the readers eye to wander too much and lose focus of what they’re reading. You also want to stay away from white lettering on dark backgrounds. The writing may appear to look great when you’re actually reading from the blog site, but if a reader is viewing the post on Google Reader, the white font appears invisible against the white background.
The header at the top of the blog is another attention grabbing element. I loved all the blogs with custom headers as it really individualized them. Despite my artistic abilities – I swear I have some somewhere – I am a really, really bad graphic designer, luckily ZestyCook was able to help. He sprung to the rescue creating several blogger’s wonderful headers including VeggieGirl, Eating Bender, Megan’s Munchies and countless others including mine. I really think the custom header is a way to personalize the blog, making it your own outside of the generic template lay out.
There are a couple of widgets on my blog that I always searched for on others. The first and most important element is the search tool. If you do not have this widget on your blog, add it. I constantly try to search for things I remember reading on other blogs using this tool and it’s a lifesaver if you are trying to find an unmarked recipe, work out plan or general idea. Links on the side are useful for marking recipes and general ideas. Readers need quick accessibility to what you feel is important go to items on your blog. The archive widget is also very important, try to select the widget which gives you the archived history by each day.
The Pages on the top of my blog are the first thing I always look for on other blogs. I love reading the About Me sections, seeing Pictures and reading FAQs on all of the new blogs I read. If you have an About Me post be sure to advertise it on the top of your blog because it will be the first things readers will want to see. To this day those pages are the most clicked on links on my blog.
Design is important to blog, but remember its all about individuality and what makes you stand out from everyone else. These are just a couple of ideas of what I believe works for great blogs. There are of course things I am still learning about blog design and everyday try to tweak my blog to get the most I can out of it. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments on design that I may have left out. I would love to hear everyone else’s theories as well.
This is Part II of a four part series.
- Part I: Content
- Part II: Design
- Part III: Photos
- Part IV: Marketing