Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Design & Posting Considerations

Everyone wants traffic on their blog. What are some things to think about for your followers?

Visual appeal is important for bloggers. "Busy" templates and gadget placement might be something you enjoy seeing, but your viewers can get bogged down by too much material.

Ask some of your friends for their opinions, especially fellow bloggers and friends who follow blogs. Stalk some other blog sites and think about what you like about it, but also what you don't like.

Can you find the author without scrolling to the bottom of the page? Are their pages descriptive and easy to navigate? Are the fonts easy to read? Is there a lot of extraneous stuff cluttering up the sidebar?

How much info should you include in a post? Of course that depends on the subject and how much you have to say about it. As a general rule for blog posts, less is more.

Avoid long blocks of text. Visually, it's boring and will be cumbersome for your reader. When I scroll down someone's post and see pages and pages of text, I put it off until later, which ends up being never. Several short paragraphs will be easier for your reader, plus they'll be more likely to read the entire post.

Use bold and italic fonts to add visual interest. If I quote someone, I put it on a line by itself in italics. Yes, this may go against what publishers want for a submission, but you can clean that up if you decide to submit your piece. For the person looking at your blog, a stand-alone quote will stand out and help break up a block of text.

DON'T use swirly, cutesy fonts for your posts! If you want to use it for a signature or maybe a single word, that's fine. Busy fonts are hard to read, so stick with a sans serif font like Arial or Tahoma.

Use pictures to add visual interest. Again, you're trying to engage your reader and a well-placed picture can emphasize your piece.

Remember that while you may be writing for yourself, you're launching into the blogosphere so that others will read your thoughts. Do as much as you can to engage them! The master of this is Seth Godin.

MY APOLOGIES - I am out of town with only an iPad, which is limiting, so this is a pretty boring post! Sorry about that, but I promise next week will be better: I'll show you how to integrate your blog with Facebook and Twitter!

I appreciate your comments and feedback - please leave yours below!


  1. Speaking of traffic, what does it mean when someone signs up to "follow" your blog? Do they get automatic updates? Also, does it go against blog etiquette to recommend a post from a different blog on the same subject? Thanks Susan!

  2. "Followers" is nothing more than a list of pictures. One of my friends aptly calls it a popularity contest!

    "Subscribers" receive an email every time you post. The email has either the entire body of your post, or an excerpt.

    As for blog etiquette, it is perfectly fine (and very much appreciated!) to recommend other sites! Imagine your blog as YOU at a cocktail party, sitting on a sofa with a group of your friends (followers). To send your followers to new site is the blogosphere equivalent to introducing that new friend into your group!

  3. Okay, then I recommend Robert Lee Brewer's Blog "My Name is Not Bob"- especially his post from Oct 11, 2011 on blog design. He's an editor with Writer's Digest and his posts frequently offer advice with blogging! Find him at

  4. I LOVE that! I'm going to add one of his posts to "My Favorite Free Blog Stuffs" - Thanks, Julia!!

  5. Susan, your posts are never boring. Thank you for your help and faithfulness in helping those of us who are not computer gurus.

  6. Thanks, Yvonne. I'm glad they're helpful!


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