Content is King, so does it even matter what your blog looks like? YES! In this competitive world of blogging, having a stylish blog really DOES matter.
Why is it important how your blog looks?
- Readability– If your text is too small, you use a difficult to read font, have poor layout or a cluttered side bar your blog can be hard to read. If it is hard to read, or unappealing, your content will have to be twice as good as everyone else’s to get readers. If your blog doesn’t shine visually it means you risk people moving on and not coming back.
- Professionalism- If you want to work with brands, then your blog needs to be attractive to the masses. Your personal design likes and dislikes are important, but the look of your blog needs to appeal to as many people as possible, so brands will be confident in working with you.
- A reflection of you- Your readers identify with YOU and so your blog design should reflect something of you to avoid being faceless blog.
How to create a stylish blog
- Creating a stylish blog doesn’t have to cost the earth. You can do a lot of it yourself or there are plenty of free designs out there. You could also consider investing in a personalised logo or image to use which would cost less than £100.
- Be inspired- If you are just about to start a blog or planning a big change to your style, try creating a mood board of the sort of design elements you like. A good way to do this is to create a secret Pinterest board; that way you can add to it whenever inspiration strikes but you can also ditch things you decide aren’t quite right without committing first. Look for things that reflect how you want your blog to look, any fonts you like, or use of colours. Also think about how you want your photos to be styled.
- Background colour/pattern- Make sure the text is easy to read over your chosen background and avoid a strong background colour.
- Wide images– Images should be as wide as your template allows, but for speed of loading, reduce them to the correct size.
- Colour match – Your blog will look stylish and professional if you colour match to your header/blog colours. If, for example, you are adding coloured text to an image, try matching it to one of the colours on your blog.
- Navigation- Make it easy for readers to find the posts they want. Don’t rely on your categories in a drop down or cloud. Think about displaying your top types of post as an image in your side bar. For example, if your recipes get lots of hits, create a little recipe image badge and pop it in your sidebar, linking it to your recipe category. It will look good and should drive some more traffic to those posts.
- De-clutter your side bar- Remove anything you don’t really need, to avoid clutter and help with navigation.
- Left justified text- Posts often look better if the text is left justified and the pictures, picture captions and highlighted points are centered.
- Annoyances- Auto music and pop ups can be really annoying to readers. If you find them essential for running your blog, keep them to a minimum.
- Change your type face- You can change the typeface of all the fonts on your blog by installing the WP Google fonts plugin. Go for something clear, light, open and professional.
- Improve your images- Great pictures go a long way to adding to the beauty of a blog. Find ways to improve your photography or tools to tidy up your images.
- Header/avatar – Make sure you are consistent in your images and use the same ones across all your platforms. People connect with people, so try to use your face if you can. Use your blog header as your background image, with your face picture as your avatar.
- Add value to your images- Adding text to images makes them pinnable, but can also add your blog style to the image. Consider pairing up fonts for attractive designs.
- Format of your posts- Decide on the format of your posts and stick to it. If you use headers, make a note of the size so it will always be the same. Also decide what you will sign off with – follow me buttons, an image? Note it all down to create a Style Guide for your blog.
- Social media platforms– Make sure you give out a consistent message across any social media platforms you use. For example, do you always use the same filter for your Instagram images? Do you tweet your blog posts with an image? All these things add to the style of your blog and build your brand.
- Practicality– You can have the prettiest blog on the net, but there’s no point if it doesn’t deliver on practicality. Check your social media icons, contact details, email sign up, search bar and categories and make sure they are all easy to find.