As diverse as we humans are, so are our interests! Different things appeal to different people, I’m sure you’d agree with me on that. As for me, one thing I am very particular about is design.
From the packaging of a product to the layout of a website, I have a certain aesthetic. Once my aesthetic needs are not met, I tend to shy away. Today, I’ll be sharing things that put me off blogs. I’m not trying to drag anybody, but maybe someone can read this and find an idea for improving their blog! Off we go now. I’ll be using a few of my favourite blogs to give examples.
I have opened some blogs, only to see the fonts used and ‘x-ed’ my way out of there. Some blogs are really promising (or, I’m such a binge blog reader that I torture myself by managing the font), so I endure the terrible font, but please! Use fonts that can be read by anybody and everybody! Cursive is not by force, unless you can use it properly. I currently use Ubuntu for my subordinate font (body of my posts), which I find quite gorgeous.
I love when I can read a post, and really flow with it! As a writer, if you want to appeal to a wide range of people then you must work on your voice (keyword: if. Not everyone is writing for others, I get that). My standards aren’t too strict, but there are ways people will write that will just put you off reading! Write with passion! Let your personality jump out! Let’s see an example of two different lines:
Let’s say, for example, a blogger is reviewing a skin product e.g. a body scrub. Which of these two do you prefer?
#1: The scrub is made of sugar. Brown sugar. That’s what it says on the package, read it. You use it to scrub your skin. It is used to exfoliate. I scrubbed my skin with it. I liked it. Buy it.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve already died inside reading that. Did they force you?Some people would actually like writing like that, but not this girl!
#2: The body exfoliating scrub by XYZ is packed full of goodies! From the ingredient list alone, I knew I was in for a great experience. I got to work, using it on my skin and I can honestly say it was awesome. The scrub is grainy in texture without being too rough, giving one the feeling of being stripped of the old. After using it, my skin felt refreshed and was smooth to the touch, having quite a bit of glow. I would honestly recommend them to you guys!
See, that’s the type of writing (or something along the lines of that) which gets me excited. I’ve read many blogs since joining WordPress, and reviews from bloggers have got me to buy some things. For example, after reading this review by Vincent of Quirks & Outfits, along with the reviews here & here, I bought my own facial mask. What can I say? I’m a skin product junkie (psst, it has to be affordable).
Layout (Blog Appearance)
Appearances matter! A coordinated blog is an amazing blog, and that is why I didn’t really like going on Linda Ikeji’s blog. So many visit it but the layout just didn’t appeal to me. It’s much better now though!
Work on your blog layouts, try and make it as nice as possible! Then again, what looks good in the eyes of one may be hideous in the eyes of another. Either way, I’m sure there are some basic things that appeal to everybody.
It is also very important to ensure that your blog layout looks popping on several devices – phone, tablet, laptop! What I like about WordPress is that it enables you to view what your theme looks like across these 3 devices, making you correct any mistakes before you spoil your reader experience. Trust me, a lot of people (well, those who don’t have access to laptops, or things that can help them view their blog layout in a different device apart from their phone are exempted) get this so wrong!
The thing is, sure, their themes look good on the phone, but are scattered when I use my laptop (which is the primary way I read blogs). It’s either that sidebars are disorganized, or that their feature photos are not the right size for their blog theme, which leads to some grey areas or gaps (especially if you’re using themes like Dara, Sela or Cerauno). It’s good to cross-check if you can! Or get someone to help you check. Layouts are very important!
I am on team #postexcerpt. I dislike when a blog has the full posts. It just makes my reading experience spoil. I just arrived on your blog. The first thing I do is scan the homepage to see what’s good, and if there’s anything that grabs my attention.
What If I don’t want to read the post directly under? I came here for tips on thrift shopping, I don’t want to know about your healthy eating (yet) because I am a candy scoffer. I can’t even go healthy, I went to the supermarket the other day, and all the vegetables confused me. The cheapest thing was lettuce.. how do I even start healthy eating?
Anyway, manoeuvring the blog turns hellish just because there are so many words all over the place, especially when one writes long blog posts. Imagine if my layout was like that! You’d scroll for days to hop from post to post.
For this reason, when I see a WordPress theme that doesn’t allow you to choose if you have post excerpts or not, I bounce. That stuff stresses me out. Some blogs, I can let them get away with it because I love their content. However, I want to be able to choose what to read. Pretty please!
If you are on #teamfullpost, please highlight your reasons why you display your full post, I’d love to know.
WORDPRESS THEME TIP
For blog themes that don’t allow you choose to show full posts or not, you can use the ‘insert read more’ tag instead.
Anyway, that’s about it when it comes to slightly annoying stuff (to me, anyway). What is it about blogs that turns you off/discourages you from reading any further? I’d like to know, in case I’m committing any offences! This is why my blog layout keeps evolving.
What is your dream blog layout? Are you happy with what you have now?