Raise your hand if you’ve ever come across a blog with such incredible content but the blogger has managed to make it as unreadable as humanely possible.
It baffles me that so many people think blog aesthetics don’t matter – that the content should just “shine through.” But let me tell you a thing or two about blog readers: They – we – don’t read blogs like books. The readability of your site contributes to it’s success and if your content requires bifocals, a wide screen desktop and the brighten button, you’re going to lose a huge chunk of readers before they’ve even begun.
Before you start questioning the very existence of your blog, here are a few things to make each post more readable:
Bold up your sentences
Not of all of them, idiot. Just one or two to emphasize importance and allow for comfortable skimming.
Break up long paragraphs (and shorten the post as a whole)
Read this post and learn all about editing. Then cut your post by half. (That’s a hand tip I learned from my dad who learned it from A River Runs Through It.) But even if the post short, the paragraphs should be short too. Again, skimming.
Resize and reformat photos
I would give you an example here, but I can’t bring myself to post a bad example as it will ugly-up this post. But if you’ve been reading blogs for any amount of time, you’ve seen this: Photos so big the site won’t load. Photos justified with text that starts at the top, stops mid-sentence, then continues underneath. Basically, ugly and poorly centered photos are a distraction from that “shining” content. Fix it up.
Use bullets/numbers where applicable
This is less applicable if you have a personal blog, but if you do any sort of teaching or how-to style posts you need to think about breaking your content into lessons. Meaning numbered steps and structured, headlined paragraphs.
Pare down your sidebar
Again, distraction = bad. Too much action on the side (re: tons of photos or links) means not enough attention can be paid to the actual content.
Re-think your text color
I can’t believe I need to keep saying this, but WHITE TEXT ON A BLACK BACKGROUND IS NOT PRETTY. It’s not readable. It’s not easy on the eyes. It’s just not anything positive. Stop doing it.
Any other annoyances you’ve seen on blogs that are impossible to read?