Category Archives: Blogging Beautifully
Hello everyone, welcome to Blogging Beautifully, a new series here on City of Blackbirds! Over time lots of you have asked me questions about blogging and whether I have any tips or guidance to share. I know that there are lots of sites that offer advice, but as someone pointed out to me on Twitter, my own experience and thoughts on blogging are just as valid and worthwhile, and I hope that what I’ve learned will be useful to some of you.
I’d like to begin this series by pointing out that this is just my own personal take on blogging, I’m not a professional nor an expert of any kind. I’m just someone who is passionate, and possibly quite perfectionist, about the art of blogging! As with any kind of advice you read online, take what I say with a pinch of salt, and remember that your own personal intuition and experience will teach you more than any other blogger.
This series is geared towards those of you who are just starting out and would like to expand your blog, grow your readership and build a beautiful online space. If you’re blogging just for yourself that’s absolutely fine, but these tips are written with the kind of blogger in mind who is writing and blogging not just for themselves but for their readers too.
So, lets start at the very beginning: your blog design. It is my firm belief that beautiful blogging begins with a beautiful design.
Your blog design is the very first impression that a new reader will have of you. Of course interesting content is important, but if it’s packaged in a bad way then readers will find it hard to stick around and pay attention to your content. A good design will encourage a reader to explore your blog, good content is what will encourage them to become a regular reader. So just like any first impression, you’d like it to be a good one right?
Make a list of the top blogs you’re drawn to and have a look at what they have in common. I bet they all have great designs. And I’m not talking about hip, flashy, cutting edge kind of design with incredible graphics! I’m talking about one that runs smoothly, is easy to navigate, looks clean and visually attracts you.
Now take a good hard look at your own blog. Try to see through the eyes of a first time reader, or get a friend to help you out. Are there certain aspects of your own design that could be improved? What do you see in the blogs you love that is missing from your own design? Does your page look cluttered? Is it easy to find your way around? Making your blog a good experience for a reader is so simple but incredibly important, but it’s one big thing we sometimes forget about (I’m guilty of this myself!).
I also believe that a good blog design should instantly give a reader an impression of your blog’s personality. If you look again at your list of favourite blogs you’ll see that each of them has their very own spirit, an individual presence that marks them out from all the millions of other blogs out there.
So how do we go about achieving this ourselves? How do we instill personality, life and usability into our own blogs? The answer lies in lots of different methods! Over the coming weeks I’ll touch on different aspects of what you can do to make your own blog stand out from others and how to make it a great space for your readers to explore.
For the moment I’d just like to get you thinking constructively about your current blog design, what works and what doesn’t? What would you like to improve? Is it visually appealing to you? Have a look around at your favourite blogs and narrow down what it is that you really love about their designs and what you think makes them work.
In the next Blogging Beautifully post I’ll write about what a basic good design should include and help to get you thinking about creating a great environment for your readers.