If you’re looking to start a blog, you have to think about a lot of things like your layout, color scheme, sidebar and content. Many blog owners make the mistake of doing too much in an attempt to make sure that their visitors have everything available to them. However, it’s a better idea to make your blog feel as seamless as possible. That means doing more with less and making key design decisions to emphasize the most important parts of your website. Here are some tips to making sure that your blog is a website people actually want to browse.
Tip #1: Make Your Content Findable
A minimalist approach to a blog layout can work but there are blogs that keep it too simple by only showing blog posts. If you want to offer your readers value, you want to make sure that your content is findable. Set up sidebar links that list your most popular content, category links, and a search bar so that users can come across content that interests them and also find what they’re looking for.
When relevant, link to your other blog posts in your content. This gives the option for your readers to consume content that’s related to what they’re reading. It also provides an added benefit of helping your deeper blog pages get discovered by the search engines and get indexed.
Tip #2: Provide Content Consumption Tools
Many blogs are now using content consumption tools to decrease abandon rates and increase readership. They are setting up simple progress bars that indicate how much of the content the reader has read and giving average time frames of how long it will take to finish the blog post. This provides value to readers that don’t want to waste too much time on a single page and also want to know where they stand.
Another great idea is to provide in-content navigation links. If you’re using long form content, providing a sticky navigation link to various sections will help with consumption. To be more user friendly, you also want to set up a ‘back to top’ button so that users can go back to the main navigation when finished.
Tip #3: Design and Format Your Content
A big part of making your blog feel seamless is making your content stand out. This can be done by formatting your content and adding various design elements. Instead of using long paragraphs, use shorter ones. Add more sub-headings to break up different sections of your content. Use single line sentences along the way to break up the content and make the content easy to follow.
You also want to add design elements like arrows, information boxes, icons, drop caps and images to help your content pop. These elements are also great for drawing attention to important points. For example, using simple arrows can lead readers to where they should be going to next.
Tip #4: Use Better Typography
Many blogs are still using small typography that really loses its impact on the page. Try using typography that is readable and unique. Make sure that you mix in different sizes and styles to accentuate different parts of your content as well. It will help your blog stand out from other sites and help you brand your identity with your audience.
The only thing you have to make sure is that your typography can be read on mobile devices. Make sure it shows up on all the major browsers and that it appears small enough so as not to eat up the space in mobile screens. While simple, improving typography is the easiest way to start a blog that’s seamless.
Tip #5: Consider Using Grids
Using grids may not be for everyone but it can really clean up the look of your blog if you have a content rich website. It’ll be easier to visualize the blog as a whole and give users a better sense of how to interact with the blog. It is especially helpful if you are using non traditional blog posts layouts in an effort to keep your readers engaged and help your content stand out.
Tip #6: Add Intuitive Functionality
There are many things that you can add to your blog to make it more functional. For example, setting up sticky social sharing buttons on the left hand side bar can be a great way to get more shares. Adding an on-hover Pinterest button is a great way to maximize the use of images. Setting up a top navigation menu that disappears when scrolling and appears on mouseover is another great option to improve functionality. Just make sure that your functional additions aren’t a distraction.
Tip #7: Use More Negative Space
If you’ve put in a lot of work into making your blog feel seamless but still feel like it looks cluttered, then it’s most likely an issue with space. You want to use more negative space between all the different elements to help each one stand out. Adding more border margins in each element will also help make your blog appear more breathable.
Tip #8: Experiment with Different Color Schemes
The right (or wrong) color scheme can make or break the look of your blog. If you’ve followed all the tips above, then it’s time to experiment with different color schemes. A basic blog design with two simple colors can work but if you want to make your content stand out and use colorful accents to guide your visitors, you need to step outside of the box. So if you want to do more with color, refer to Canva’s helpful guide in helping you choose a color scheme based on the feeling you’re trying to create.
These tips should help you come up with a blog design and structure that feels seamless and intuitive to your visitors. You’ll be glad to find out that you don’t need an elaborate design makeover for your blog and all that’s usually needed are some simple modifications.