Happy new year you guys! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is back and ready to take on 2017. During the holidays I always find myself doing a bit of reflecting on everything—my life, my health, and of course, my blog. I usually find that there are a few updates I could make to my site and making changes right now will set you up for success this year. If this is the year that you’ve decided to finally update your blog’s look, read on for a few simple ways to make your blog look more professional!
1. Less Fonts
One mistake I commonly see is when bloggers use too many fonts. I know, it’s tempting! Especially with Google Fonts giving us hundreds of amazing options. The reality is, too many fonts becomes distracting and messy. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend 2-3 fonts (not including your logo). Use one font that’s eye-catching for the headers and post titles, and a second font that’s easy to read for your body copy—nothing decorative, cursive or italic. You can use a third on small things like post dates, category or comments areas, but keep them simple!
2. Cut Back on Color
As a self-proclaimed color lover, this one was tough for me, but I had to take a step back and let my personal preferences go for a moment. Put yourself in your readers shoes and go look at your blog, are you accent colors distracting? Is that background pattern taking away from your content? Where can you cut back on color to let your own imagery stand out? I’m not telling you that you need a black and white blog design, but just be aware of how you’re using color on your site. Colors should be used to draw people’s attention in. Great places to use color are links and read more buttons.
3. Images Should Be the Same as Column Width
When you’re images are the same width as your column, like they are here, it creates these imaginary lines that give your site a much cleaner look. It’s easier on the eyes making it easier to read. Larger images are a side perk of this too! The internet is such a visual place, so having beautiful imagery on display will make your posts more interesting.
4. Consistent Formatting
Readers LOVE consistency. If they know what to expect and where to find it, they won’t get frustrated and will likely continue to come back and spend more and more time on your site. If you post about style, make sure that you’re formatting your posts the same way every.single.time. This means if you put your links under the first image, make sure they’re ALWAYS there. It’ll train your readers to look for them in the same spot and make them more likely to click and buy.
5. Minimal Sidebar
The sidebar is the easiest place for junk to find a home and never leave. It’s tempting to add plugins, widgets, and ads, but when they start causing distractions (think, flashing and scrolling advertisements), they take away from your content. Leave only the most important things in your sidebar and ditch the rest.
Are you planning on updating your blog this year? What changes are you thinking about making?
You might also like: how to find your optimal blog post image size, and how to create a reader survey for your blog.