Are you ready for day 21 of our 31 Days to a More Reader-Friendly Blog? Check out the first 20 days here!
We have chatted about the purpose behind your blog (your mojo), the overall appearance of your blog, your sidebar, making your archives more accessible and now we need to get into your actual blog post design. You know, the big reason people are at your blog is because they read your posts. Everything else is just…well…everything else! It is all important, but we always stress, content is king. So let’s make sure we present our content in the best way possible.
A few blog post design tips:
1. Keep your fonts above 14px in size. Even that really teeny “heading 6.” We personally only use heading 2 and 3 within our posts. But you can use the others for customized fonts or styles within a post. But might we remind you? Less is more! So keep it simple and easy to read. That, friend, is how you keep your blog a more reader-friendly blog! We like to keep our default font at 19px to make it really easy to read!
Ok, are you familiar with headings? Here is the skinny: You can select to write in “Paragraph” form (that is what you are reading right now). But don’t forget about your TITLE, and your HEADLINES. You have several options when you are writing:
Just use headings to maximize the importance of certain elements of your post. The title of your post can be Heading 1. Your three main points can be Heading 2, and your call to action at the end could be Heading 3. Key sentences or keywords within the post can be bolded.
2. Don’t overuse bold. I bolded that because it was important. It is also something I want the reader to see if they are quickly scanning the post. I don’t want them to scan and pick up every other line, or every third word. Just because I think every single word is important since I took the time to write it and edit it, doesn’t mean it is crucial to someone skimming. So, choose carefully. (See, that is an example of overusing BOLD). And so is this. And this. Okay, moving on. Shoot. Moving on. 🙂
3. Don’t center! Please don’t take offense to this if you do. Your post may be just fine. If your blog is mostly poetry than go for it. But if it isn’t? Than don’t. Using the above formatting tips (found in point #1) will give your post a nice, streamlined, simple look. Centering will likely be inconsistent. You can easily bold or “quote” what you would have centered. It throws off people who are skimming. (Reminder: Most people skim).
4. Use a bright color or underline (or both) your hyperlinks. You took the time to embed a link. Don’t you want people to know its there? Sometimes I am on a site that doesn’t have a clearly marked hyperlink. I find my self hovering over everything I think could be a link. It’s exhausting. And again, for skimmers, a bright hyperlink means more clicks!
5. Keep your fancy fonts under control! Use cute fonts for your headings, but keep it simple. If it is too fancy, or hard to read, it can be distracting. You want to draw people in to your writing, not distract them. Having your hyperlinks and headings and quote boxes all in fancy fonts (and maybe even all different fonts) is just…busy.
Less is more. Say it with me: Less is More.
Are you a scattered post formatter or is your blog post design under control?