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Over 6 years blogging, sharing and learning from other wonderful blogs, I discovered 3 secrets for a pretty, functional and successful blog: simplicity, consistency and personality.
- Clean design - too many graphic elements and information make your blog look messy. Instead, have a simple and clean design to help your readers focused on the content of your posts with no distractions.
- Subtle graphic elements - use soft colours, discreet graphics, white backgrounds and a lot of empty - or white - space between content, images and graphics.
- Simple navigation menu - maximum 5 o 6 navigation tabs. If you have too many tabs, organise your content in just a few main sections and then add sub-sections to them. Display them in a drop down menu. If you want to try to do it yourself, here is a tutorial on HOW TO CREATE A DROP DOWN MENU on Blogger.
- Neat sidebar - remove unnecessary widgets, excessively long blogrolls, etc. and just leave the most relevant information: a brief introduction of yourself, your social media icons, some quick links to features content, etc.
- Keep it short - Readers don't actually 'read' but scan your posts. Make your content 'scannable' by breaking it in to sections and subsections, and use bold fonts and bullet lists. Keep the content short and the language simple. Add links to other sources to read more if the reader is interested. More than 3 or 4 images can also make your post look way too long. Check out this great infographic on 6 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR CONTENT BLOG EASY TO READ by TWELVESKIP.
- Define a visual style - Select topics and images that better represent your personal style. Internet is full of images of any style and quality, choose only those with the best quality and that represent your blog personality best.
- Resize images - give them the same size and the same width as your content area. To do this Photoshop will be your very best friend. Make them big enough, but make sure they fit on the screen. A recommended image size is 600 x 900px.
- Only two typefaces - thanks to GOOGLE FONTS we don't have to limit ourselves to the old classic web font families. Now we have over 600 different choices in the GoogleFonts library. But don't carry away and end up using too many different fonts. Choose two different families and play with weights, sizes or colours in titles, sub-titles, links and body text. Here is a great article on COMBINING TYPEFACES.
- Publishing schedule - once you have defined your blog sections and subsections, write relevant topics for each section frequently, preferably the same day of the week, every week. Repetition makes easier to get familiarised with the content of your blog and improve your readers loyalty - if they like a post they will go back for more the following week -.
- Unique content - there are billions of blogs out there looking all very similar. Try to give your posts a personal touch to differentiate yourself from the others. Create original and unique content and try to make your own visual content. Then again, Photoshop and a good camera will be your very best friends. Here is an excellent example on HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY IN IMAGES.
- Inspiration - find inspiration in your personal life, in what you live, experience and learn every day, and write about it. Talk about personal stories and share a piece of yourself with your readers.