Thursday, March 15, 2012

blog lessons {layout + content}

The past two weeks I shared some general blogging tips and relational blogging tips. Today, I'm talking about some tips on the visual element of blogging.

white space is okay. 
Don't feel like you need to fill the space on your page with ads, text and photos. The human eye is drawn to white space (I learned this over many years of working on my high school yearbook), but it's okay to leave white space on blogs. It gives the blog a clean look, versus lots of color/patterns to distract from content. Remember, your content is the star!

a word about photos. 
Using photos in your posts not only makes it more visually appealing, but tells its own story. A picture is worth a thousand words and blog posts should be able 500 (give or take). That being said, I have two comments on photo use. First of all, edit them. There are a number of options for editing photos out there (Kam shared a great post on alternatives to Picnik). Find the one that works for you and use it. It doesn't have to take tons of time, but if you want your photos to tell the story, a little editing goes a long way. My second piece of advice about photos on your blog to use large ones so people can really see them. There's nothing worse than trying to figure out what's going on in an itty-bitty photo.

don't go crazy with font colors/size.
Sure, it's fun to play with the font size and use the various colors offered for blog posts, but it can also have a reverse effect on readers. I'm so turned off by font size changing drastically throughout a post (it makes my eyes jump around) and colors that make me strain my eyes (yellow on white is a no-no). Consider your readers and not just what looks cool to you.

widgets are your friend. 
There are several widgets out there that are simple to add to your blog to make it more reader friendly. Want to share similar blog posts? Setup Link Within and it automatically pulls posts with similar tags, etc. to suggest to readers. You can also add a social media widget to make it easy for readers to share content. I'm must more prone to share a great blog post with a click of a button than a series of copy and past into Twitter/Facebook.

music.
Everyone has different music tastes and I realize some people think it's important to express themselves by sharing their music on their blog. But I have to be honest, nothing turns me off more than going to a blog that automatically plays music. A great option is to keep the music widget, but set it to NOT automatically play when  readers land on your blog. For me it's distracting, usually because I already have my own music/radio on and it conflicts. I would really love it if Bloglovin and/or HelloCotton would kill the music when I visit blogs (just sayin').

What tips do you have for appealing layouts and content?

7 comments:

  1. I agree with you about font sizes changing. I have a hard enough time focusing with out added elements thrown into the mix!! And I 100% agree with you about peoples preference to music!! Let me hit the play button, please don't force me to listen to yours!! :/
    Fantastic tips Beth!!
    xo

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  2. Thanks for the tips. I loved the Link Within one. I'm mixed about the music though. I have music on my blog and I've had so many people comment back wanting to know who the artist was and how inspiring they are. Its just part of me.

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    1. glad you dig LinkWithin...we all have different ideas on music :)

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  3. I've been meaning to add link within forever to my blog! These are all great tips :)

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  4. Thanks for the tips! I recently "updated" my blog, and I'm so much happier. Sometimes less is more!!

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