You might think I’m crazy for saying this but, having a successful blog is a little bit different from having a good one. Apart from getting your content read, and attaining your goal in followers count and views, there is another part of owning a website that many bloggers forget about.
Does your content look good enough to promote reading?
Maintaining a good layout and appearance are key to getting that level of sophistication you find on some professional sites. It’s not that hard, just follow a few small steps to make sure your website is in top shape.
- Let your blog be about the content, rather than the theme. WordPress offers a wide range of themes ranging from crazy to subtle. Make your choice on the subtle side. For example, a plain background (I prefer white or black) with text in a complementary colour. Crazy art work and colour, and graffiti and a million images would all look very interesting but it would divert attention from your content which is what your readers should be made to focus on.
- Make use of a lot of visual aid. While your background is better off being plain, your content can have that pop of color and art you desire. Depending on the genre of your blog, find a suitable image for your posts and attach it. It’s even better if you can photograph or make the art yourself, but borrowing from other sites is fine as well. Just be sure to credit back to those images if you know the source or simply mention the fact that your image is from google.
- Make use of the different formats of posts available on WordPress. There is a category called sticky, that helps keep that post on top of the blog at all times thus making sure everyone who visits your blog has a better chance at reading it. Sticky’s are generally meant for announcements or your top posts that you want to advertise more. There are also separate formats for texts, images, quotes and so on. Try to switch it up and see how they look.
- Use ALL the features of your theme. Different themes have different features. Some have header images, some have featured posts, some have a widgets side bar or footer, and so on. Play around with your settings to get a good look. An original blog header will give your blog a unique look.
- Widgets are your best friend. My personal opinion is that you should make sure your theme has a widgets bar. Display cool things like your stats, maybe a follow button, your top posts, categories, tags, maybe a slide show of images from your gallery. You can also help out your fellow bloggers by making use of this widget that allows you to display the last few blogs you followed.
- Use the right search filters while you search for the right theme. Aside from its looks, the features a theme offers should also be a contributing factor when you make your choice. WordPress offers several filters to help search its theme database. You can mention what type of blog you run (like magazine, photo blog), you can even apply search filters for the features you need. (like header, featured posts) And it will give you all the right options.
- Stick with your choice. If you keep changing your look every day, it’s going to confuse your readers or drive them away. Try to be careful when you’re choosing and once you have chosen your theme don’t change it often.
- Extra points for extra awesomeness. Add cool stuff to your site like a music player, a photo gallery widget like I mentioned earlier, maybe a text box with a message, a badge, and many other things. Be as creative as you can be while adding these elements. Uniqueness is the goal you want to achieve when it comes to design.
Thank you for reading! If you think these “blogging advice” related posts are useful and you want more of them, please leave a comment below! And if it helped you, share it so it can help others too. 🙂
Have a great day!
-The Obsessive Writer