Suggestions for a Better Blog: Help Me Enjoy Your Blog

Help Me

Do you want your readers to enjoy your blog? Sure! We all do. There are a few bad blogging practices that bloggers should avoid. I am by no means a blogspert, but with these few tips, you can make sure your blog is a pleasant experience for me and your other readers.


 Make it easy for me to go to your home page.

There's no place like home!

If I read a post on a blog, I like to pop around and see what else the blog has to offer. Don’t make it hard for me to go back to your homepage. Have a homepage menu item or at least let me go to your home page when I click on the title of your blog. If you don’t have a home page, shame on you.


Use regular font styles and colors for the body of your blog text.

Yucky font. I hate having to read a paragraph of this nonsense.

Ugh.

Reading on a computer screen is not like reading on paper. Use a serif or sans-serif for the body of your text. Cutesy fonts are tiring to read on a screen. As much as I love education blogs, we are bad about this one. Comic sans, cursive, papyrus, curlz, and all other “fancy fonts” are difficult to read on the screen.  You don’t want visitors to not enjoy your blog because reading your text is an unpleasant experience.

Be mindful of your text size and color scheme. For example, orange words on a blue background is tiresome to read. Font that is really small is tough to read too. Be creative with the design of your theme but keep the font for your body of text a decent size, simple, and easy to read.


Please have access to a menu.

Suggestions for a Better Blog from @K. Renae P.

In the same theme of ‘take me home’, please have some sort of menu so visitors can easily click your topics, about page, or something other than a long list of posts. I’m not scrolling through your blog if you don’t put forth any effort to make your blog navigable. This problem is even worse if I’m viewing your site via a mobile device. The problem is 100x worse if you choose to use the dreaded infinite scroll.

I know many bloggers go on and on about minimalism; that’s cool. But don’t sacrifice navigability for minimalism. Check out the webpage of those two dudes who are known for minimalism.

It’s fine if you don’t like widgets. However, having a functional blog design will only encourage readers to read more than one page per visit. That’s what blogging is all about. People reading what you have written. Don’t make unnecessary obstacles that will prevent that from happening. More access to your older posts means more pageviews for you and more enjoyment for your readers.


Don’t make it hard for me to comment.

I understand not allowing anonymous comments. I’m fine with submitting name and email or using my Gravatar or Open ID. I used to be very indignant about having to do that, but like Elsa, I let it go.

I’m also a fan of bloggers moderating the comments on their blogs. Look, I’m no rookie. I’ve been interneting long enough to know how quickly commenting can get out of hand. So, having some sort of identifying comment log-in  for visitors and reasonable comment moderation is completely cool with K. Renae P. However, don’t ride the pendulum in the complete opposite direction.

Limiting your comments to users who use whatever platform you are using will severely limit comments and kill engagement. I’m not going to sign up to TypePad to comment on your blog. Also, don’t make it so only Google+ users can comment on your blog. Have more options for readers. Make it easy for your readers to engage with you.

I also don’t mind proving I’m a human by checking the box or adding 9+1. Those are quick and unobtrusive. But do I have to complete some cryptic captcha?! I hate captchas on blogs. Decent spam filters, a not so inconvenient “prove you’re not a robot” test, and/or basic comment moderation render incomprehensible captchas unnecessary.

Wait... what?

Wait… what?


 Don’t completely ignore your readers.

One thing I dislike more than a less than navigable blog is a blog where the blogger posts then *poof*; the blogger disappears. You should respond to comments plain and simple. Some bloggers only respond to a few comments, and some bloggers try to respond to all of their comments. Different bloggers respond to comments different ways. But no responses at all? Puh-Lease.

Unless you are a huge blog like Huffington Post or Cracked, you should respond and engage your readers. If you don’t , don’t get mad when readers don’t return. If you choose not to moderate and/or engage readers in your comment sections; you should disable that feature.

 

 

30 thoughts on “Suggestions for a Better Blog: Help Me Enjoy Your Blog

  1. Yes to everything in this post! Unfortunately I am making it hard on you to read my blog. I am working on it though. Trying to figure out how to set up a menu and right now only google plus users can comment which I do NOT like. I have had friends tell me they tried to comment but couldn’t so they gave up :/ anyway, will fibre that out as well. I do enjoy your writing 🙂

    • Thank you so much.

      Are you one Blogger? I swear that Google+ only commenting business must be the default setting. A link to your blog isn’t in your Gravatar. Can you reply with a link so I can visit?

  2. Yes, there definitely are some pitfalls to blogging. I recently switched from Blogger to WP specifically so I would be able to respond to comments. Blogger just has a yucky interface for comments. Now I’m wokrking on redoing my theme to eliminate the excess of white space on my page. It’s like owning a house – always something else to do.

    • I really like how your theme looks right now, and I love your header. I like the white space on your blog. It makes for a clean, uncluttered look without making your font or pictures small. But I get you want your site to look a certain way.

      Yes, owning a blog is like owning a house. We are always fiddling with something because there is always something to do. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Completely agree with all these tips. If your blog is too loud and busy, it’s an immediate turn off for me. Also, if I have to jump through hoops to leave a comment, forget about it. I also wish people would have larger pictures sometimes. Especially when they write a post about a travel destination. Why limit the beauty by showing me a tiny photo? Love your site by the way.

    • Oh, large images- that’s a good one. I am a fan of travel & fashion blogs, and I too hate thumbnail pictures. I want to see the landscape or cute outfit!

      Thanks for the compliment. I love your family- focused travel blog. Some really good advice there. 🙂

  4. Agreed on all these fronts. All the blogs I follow abide by these simple design rules, but occasionally I read blogs that don’t. Note the difference in my relationships with them!

  5. Thanks for all the great advice! Your post reminded me that it wouldnt hurt for me to take a look at my blog and make sure that is user friendly.

    • Thanks. You made a great point about textured background.

      I really like textures and thought about using a textured background. But I like to use too many pictures. I don’t want my blog to look too busy.

  6. All good advice and a reminder for me to revisit and double check some of these on my site. As a reader, font size and color are the dealbreakers for me. Blue text on black background is the worst, but there’s a number of color combinations that are painful to look at.

  7. Great post! Totally agree. I’ve been playing around with my blog’s theme lately and NEED to get some kind of menu on my site; Tumblr is kind of a pain with that stuff but it’s one thing I wish I had (an ‘About Me’ section; contact, etc). But *hopefully* I’m following these other guidelines because I totally agree with all of these!

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