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Blog Layout Guide – Tips to Make Blogs Work

Your Blog Layout Is Super Important

Guest blogger Lauren Hong is the owner of Out & About Communications, a branding and graphic design company in San Diego. She has studied internationally to hone her skills, and you’ll enjoy hearing her suggestions — she wrote this post on designing your blog layout especially for Adhelper. Here’s Lauren:

blog-layout-outaboutcomm-2Do you blog or manage a blog? Are you thinking about blogging? If you blog, you already know that it takes a lot of time. However, blogging is a great tool – you’ll learn so much, make connections, and keep track of wonderful finds.

If you’re going to take the time to blog, you’ll want to make sure your blog layout is easy to navigate, visually attractive, and smartly designed to drive traffic to your site. Below are a few blog layout design tips to help get you started or fine tune what you’re already working with. Enjoy!

HEADER

Your header is the first thing your audience sees. You’ll want to make sure it reflects your company or personality and what you’re blogging about. Some of my favorite blog headers are simple (like this blog). I enjoy headers with clean lines, that are black and white, or that have a small pop of color. I enjoy these headers because they aren’t “in your face,” they have personality, and the blog name is usually clear. To make sure you have a header that pops, I’d suggest spending time designing your header. There are a lot of DIY photoshop tutorials to help get your started. If graphic design is not your forte, you might want to consider hiring a graphic designer that shares your personal style, or your company’s style, to design a powerful header.

VISUALS

Make sure your visuals (photos, illustrations, graphics and so on) are appropriate for your blog. For example, if you have a lifestyle blog you might post images that look more stylistic or have a lot of color (like this blog). If you run a business site, graphics might be more appropriate. I manage a lifestyle blog (blog here), and I’ve noticed that great photos really pull readers in. Therefor, I spend a lot of time enhancing photos and making them easy to pin on Pinterest (great Pinterest WordPress.org plugin here).  Lastly, if you add a photo, make sure you give the photo a clear name (this helps boost SEO and blog traffic). For example, the name “san-diego-ocean-beach” will help boost your SEO over a name like “photo1sdob.”

HIERARCHY

You’re going to lose your audience if they get frustrated trying to navigate your blog. To avoid this, make sure your blog has a clean layout and clear hierarchy. Your reader should be able to clearly differentiate your header, navigation menu, and side bars. You’ll want to make sure the search bar and search tools (tabs, categories etc.) are easy to find, too. A simple rule of thumb is to make sure the information in the space “above the fold” (anything you can see before you scroll down) is the most important and is well organized. As examples, I really like this site and also this site.

READABILITY

Make sure your blog is legible. Usually white backgrounds work well (feels like a magazine or newspaper) and dark colored fonts (black or dark gray) are easier to read than white fonts on dark backgrounds. Also, make sure to keep with a few key colors. If you use lots of color, it could throw off the hierarchy and confuse the reader.

COMMENTS SECTION

Some of the best blogs have a lot of comments, forums, and discussions – they are definitely an important part of your blog layout. Most blogs have a built in comments section, or you can use a platform like Disqus. Disqus is a user-friendly interface where your audience can easily comment and follow threads. On the Disqus backend, you’ll be able to tracks stats and follow comments. Also, commenting on other blogs is a great way to organically boost your SEO and drive traffic to your site. Lastly, If you plan to comment and reply to comments, make sure you make a gravatar profile to increase your branding and to drive traffic back to your site. 

If you’re looking for more blog layout resources, please check out this Pinterst board, this site or this site. Happy blogging!

Many thanks to Lauren Hong for her tips on making your blog look fantastic — I’m definitely going to make some changes! Read more about Lauren on our Expert Contributor page.

You’ll also want to read:  Blogging: a Simple Explanation of Why You Need To

 

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comments

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