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Design Basics for Bloggers – How to Make Your Blog Look more Professional

Blog Design Tips

When a reader visits your blog, you have about 15 seconds to make a good impression according to research. If your blog looks unprofessional, cluttered or is hard to navigate you have a big chance of losing your reader. The solution to this is a good blog design. Every blog is different, and there is no one size fits all solution, but with these guidelines you can find out how to improve your blog design.

Where to start with your (new) blog design

A good blog design does not start with your theme. It starts one step before, with answering a few questions. Who are you and what is your message? What type of content do you create, mainly visual or textual? Additionally, try to list all tools and apps you will need to run your blog efficiently. Writing these points down will help you to see things clearly.

Your blog should represent your brand identity, but it does not hurt to keep your target audience in mind. Think about who your readers are and what appeals to them.

Choosing a theme to underline the message of your blog

Your theme should not be the main star of your blog (unless you blog about web design), your content should be. The theme is there to support your content and make it shine.

The chosen theme should cover a couple of basic topics. Firstly, with over half of visits being mobile, your theme must be responsive. Secondly, your navigation bar should be easy to use. Choose only the most important categories to display in your navigation bar – your Home, About, and Contact pages should all be clearly visible. Thirdly, easy to find social media channels and sharing options are important. Finally, integrated social media buttons can make things much easier for readers to follow, like, and share your content.

It can also be helpful to look at your favourite blogs in terms of design. Consider what makes their design appealing to you and use this information when choosing your theme.

There are numerous themes available online. Quemalabs is a good place to start when looking for free themes. To find a premium theme, you can look around on Etsy.

Branding your blog through a great blog design and logo

As mentioned before, your blog should represent your brand identity. One of the first places to start is the blog header, where you can place your logo. To design a logo you can combine fonts, colours, and other elements to effectively convey your message. A good logo is recognisable without overpowering the content.

Less is more when it comes to a blog design

With so many blog design options available, it can be challenging to keep things simple. However, simplicity has a major advantage: it always looks good.

A key element to simplicity is the use of whitespace. Whitespace is the clear space around images, text or other elements and is not necessarily white. It is space you leave blank for your content to breathe, and for the reader to give your content attention without being distracted.

When choosing colours for your blog, it is best to stick to a limited number of colours. Two or three colours can complement your brand identity while maintaining simplicity.

The same counts for fonts: choosing two (or maybe three) should do the trick. When choosing a body text font, it has been proven time and time again that sans-serif fonts read the best on the web. Sans-serif fonts (sans meaning without) are fonts without the small lines at the end of letters. Another readability tip: left-aligning text is considered to be most effective.

User experience & design standards

When designing your website, it can be helpful to try to picture yourself as a (new) visitor to your blog. What are you looking for? Are you able to find what you are looking for? Can you navigate easily? If so, you are heading in a good direction in terms of user experience.

Another thing to keep in mind is industry standards. Industry standards are a set of rules that align with visitor’s expectations. For example, a search bar is often placed at the right top or in the right sidebar. When visiting your blog, this knowledge will be used when looking for your search bar. If you have your search bar hidden at the bottom of your blog, the usability and the user experience of your blog decreases.

You can set the following rule: when in doubt, follow industry standards – your visitors will be thankful. Differing from industry standards can be innovative, but should be done sparingly and only when you have a very good reason to do so.

Review your blog design on a regular basis

After implementing all these tips, do not forget to test how your blog design looks on different browsers and with different devices on a regular basis, making sure your blog design looks amazing on each and every one of them.

We hope to have given you some helpful advice on how to improve and optimise your blog design. What is most important to you when it comes to the design aspect of a blog?

Blog Design Basic Tips Checklist

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Any questions? Reach us through academy@blogfoster.com and we will get back to you.