Thursday, 10 April 2014
Day Ten: Making Your Blog Attractive to Readers #BYBin30
One thing that you want your blog to do for you while you blog your book is to bring in readers. In order to do this, your blog needs to be pleasing to the eyes; you need your blog to be attractive to readers.
Here are some tips to help your blog's appearance shine:
1. Make sure your blog has plenty of white space. White space automatically gives your blog a cleaner appearance. Don't clutter up the side bars with too much information, because all of that extra information can be distracting to your readers.
2. Make sure the things you do include in your side bar and the pictures within your content fit within the space they are given. Nothing looks worse than when pictures bleed over the edges of their designated area. If something sticks out, your readers will think it is a mistake and it will give your blog a less-than-professional look.
3. Make navigating your blog simple for your readers. If your readers need to hunt for a topic, there is a good chance they will give up and go read someone else's blog with easier to access content. One simple way of doing this is by adding a search bar.
4. Make sure your color scheme is easy on the eyes and the font is easy to read. Using a black background might look pretty to you, but it is not recommended. Readers prefer light backgrounds (see #1 above about white space). Also, if your font is a light color on a light background (for example yellow on white) or a dark color on a dark background (for example, blue on black), your readers are going to find it difficult to read your blog and will feel the strain in their eyes. You also should avoid using overly fancy fonts.
5. Make sure your contact information is easy to find. Many of your readers will want to e-mail you or ask questions, and the easiest way for them to reach you is if you have an easy-to-find "contact me" button or link. Make it your goal to always respond in a timely fashion to legitimate questions.
6. Make sure you have an attractive header and logo. Your header should fit perfectly along the top of you page. your header is often the first impression that your readers will have of you, so make sure it represents your blog well and is not in any way offensive.
7. Add colors to places on your blog where you want your readers' eyes to be drawn. If you have a splash of color in your header and maybe little bits of color added to the newsletter sign-up or anything else of importance is a good way to get your readers attention to those areas on your blog.
8. Make sure your pages load quickly. Readers will give up on your blog is they have to wait too long for your pages to load. Many things can have an effect on how fast your pages load. Too many high resolution images and having auto-play videos can sometimes cause the problem.
9. Avoid using pop-ups and auto-play music. Many of your readers will visit your blog while they are at work and nothing will keep them away from your blog faster than if, whenever they go to your page, music starts blaring from the page. And not all of your readers will have the same taste in music, so you could be alienating some of them just by your choice in music. Pop-ups that appear as soon as a reader clicks on your page can also be very annoying and turn readers away from your blog.
10. Use headlines that will grab your readers' attention. If you use a title that doesn't give your reader any idea of what the post is about, your reader will not have any reason to visit the post. For example, using the title "Blogs," doesn't give your reader much to go on when figuring out what your post is about, the same goes with the title "Attractive Blogs." That title could mean any number of things; it could just be a list of blogs that are attractive to the author. "Making your Blog Attractive to Readers" is a better title because it tells your readers exactly what the post is about. Another title that would work well would be "Ten Tips for Making Your Blog Attractive to Readers." But make sure your titles aren't too long or wordy.
11. Use pictures in your posts. This helps draw readers' eyes to your posts, and is especially effective in gaining readers' attention while sharing on other social media sites.