Let me tell you a simple truth — running a niche blog can feel like a chore sometimes.
Not because of the writing, though. No, the reason lies in the website design.
My guest writer July Minor pointed that out in her contributions to Writer’s Mind — without a reader-friendly, nice looking design, your content is bound to make less of an impact on your readers. Since you thrive on your blog readership, this is an aspect you can’t overlook.
Don’t fret, though — there’s no scary programming or technology you need to learn in order to make your blog presentable. Actually, you don’t need to become a web designer to improve your blog! All you need is to follow these 6 easy tips and make sure you always put your readers (therefore, your content) first.
1. Use Images To Complement Your Content, Not To Replace It
I know, infographics are the big hit now. But I would advise you to use them sparingly and only when the content is exceptionally good and unique and you know your readers need it. In all other cases, use images to complement your content, support your argument and give a face to the point you’re making.
Even your logo should portray a summary of yourself, your blog and your services. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
2. Tweak Your CSS To Improve Readability
You may know little to nothing about CSS coding to style your blog, but there are tools you can use to write CSS code for you — for example, Generate CSS is a service that will generate a code snippet you can copy and paste into your blog design. If you know the basics of CSS, you can use advice from CSS-Snippets to improve your blog readability.
3. Don’t Add Unnecessary HTML Tags To Your Content
HTML tags – bolds, italics, tables, H titles, etc. – improve readability for your visitors and search engine spiders when they are used in moderation and when their presence makes sense. However, adding unnecessary HTML tags can lessen the readability of your content
4. Learn The Basics To Fix Things When Necessary
Whether you coded your blog theme yourself or you had a web designer do it for you, things change — HTML tags become outdated, a certain title style may lose its readability trend and be replaced with another, and so on — so you need to be able to fix little things in your theme code when time comes. If you had your web theme designed by someone else, spend some time to study the theme structure, how it’s coded; learn the basics of HTML and CSS to adjust things yourself or ask your web designer to help you.
5. If Your Current Font Is Not Reader-Friendly, Change It
You can take advantage of free fonts for personal and commercial use at OpenFontLibrary.org and Google Fonts, or you can buy commercial fonts from Fonts.com. Either way, if you feel your current font is not helping your readers focus on your content — you can survey or poll your readers about this — changing your body text font will increase the time your readers spend on your blog and your content will appear more attractive and engaging.
6. Always, Always Put Your Readers First
And therefore, your blog content. Because that’s what readers consume. A clean design is the friendly container that helps them accomplish that task, like a book with colors, charts, illustrations and clean fonts looks more appealing to a reader than black and white fine print.
How does your blog design help your readers consume your content? If you made improvements, what did you do? Let’s share! 🙂
Image credit: Javier Eduardo Piragauta Mora