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You’ve heard everybody say it: content is king. And yes, you do need to have great content, as well as SEO and a social media presence to have a blog that people come back to day after day. But the first impression a new blog visitor gets comes from what a blog looks like. And if your blog doesn’t look good or is confusing to navigate, your audience won’t stay and continue reading.
A well-dressed blog can maximize your assets and show off your personal style. This makes viewers want to get to know you better, and you’ll enjoy stronger readership and higher success in achieving your blogging goals as a result. Plus, the confidence and self-esteem you gain from knowing your blog looks good makes you more likely to keep up with writing posts and taking the time to promote them.
That said, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a theme or hire a designer to have a stylish blog. I’ve put together three simple style rules you can follow that will keep your do-it-yourself blog from looking homemade.
Rule #1: Know your blog type and play up your assets.
When a new visitor comes to your site it should be obvious to them what type of blog they’re about to read. For instance, a blog about food should use food pictures and earthy, foody colors. A humorous blog should have a funny title, tagline or graphics and look full of energy.
Rule #2: Choose patterns that aren’t distracting.
Patterns are great and they add the kind of detail that makes your blog special. But ask yourself: Would you wear a cocktail dress made from your background pattern (this goes for Twitter, too)? No? Well then why is your blog wearing a full-length ballgown of it? A distracting background can cause a reader to lose focus and miss out on the content you want them to read.
Choose a background with a small print. Or if you find a large or bold print that you LOVE, use it sparingly like an accessory—on your header and footer, a fat stripe across the middle, or in one of your sidebar widgets. Or pick one with only a subtle contrast in the colors, like light blue on medium blue. Mixing patterns is fun but make sure you color-coordinate your mixed prints, or stick to one dominant print with additional small prints.
Also, try not to have type running over any background that has a dominant print to it. Again, if people can’t read it, they will leave.
Rule #3: Keep accessories simple.
Widgets are designed to enhance your blog post content, not obscure it. Keep your widgets simple and only use a few to keep them from becoming visually overwhelming. Be conscientious about what you really need. Are you really using that calendar widget that came with your theme? If you must have a lot, try putting them in a tabbed widget so they aren’t all visible at the same time.
Be sure to check out the other posts in our blog design mini-series:
- Essential Camera Gear For Beginning Photographers - Aug 12, 2022
- Finding Your Friends on Instagram - May 3, 2022
- Magic Mosaic Easter Egg Coloring - Mar 5, 2022
- 11 Recipes For National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day - Feb 24, 2022
- Our Favorite Things – 2021 Edition (Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaways!) - Nov 15, 2021
- Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe - Sep 2, 2021
- Low Light Photography Tips for the Holidays - Nov 11, 2020
- DIY 30-Minute Thanksgiving Tree - Nov 8, 2020
- The Spanish Princess Part 2 Is Coming - Oct 8, 2020
- Fabric Pumpkins – DIY in 15 Minutes - Sep 9, 2020
- Jack-O-Lantern Marshmallow Pops - Sep 7, 2020
- DIY Mini Herb Garden - Aug 30, 2020
- Step by Step Plan to Drive Traffic to A New Blog - Aug 30, 2020
- Six Tips to Reduce Stress In Your Life - Aug 30, 2020
- How To Take A Food Photo From Good To Great - Aug 30, 2020
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This is great info! So many times I think of what I want, that I forget to remember what I don’t want. I like the idea of choosing a pattern that you’d wear as a dress.
Chelsea Moos says
Thanks for the great information! I got rid of my side widgets and made it more simple.
I try to make my blog appear a little better every day. I have tried out almost every theme in WordPress. I’m sticking with the one that I have now. I really want Genesis Framework. I have seen so many pages with amazing layouts that were made with it, like yours!
Angela Kinder says
Those have got to be some of the best tips I have ever read. I have seen some designs that made it impossible to continue reading.
Marie Cole says
This was really good advise, thank you. 🙂