Mind of Amaka

Personal Development + Photography

October 2, 2017

Blog Turn Offs

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.

Fonts

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.

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 10.34.01 AM
Still on Ifeoma Amadi – had to zoom out a bit on my laptop to take this screenshot. See the post layout? It’s just so clean and aesthetically pleasing! I honestly love her. This is one of her posts reviewing a brand.

 

Voice

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!

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 10.29.10 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 10.50.17 AM.png

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!

thirteen thoughts blog layout
Thirteen Thoughts has an awesome layout. Of course, this layout costs money and is quite expensive. However, a simple play around with the free tools provided with the many free WordPress themes can make a whole lot of difference!

Layout (Posts)

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?

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 4.04.47 PM

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Blogging 46 Replies to “Blog Turn Offs”
Amaka
A young girl trying to maneuver through life, while being an absolute weirdo with a wild imagination. I love Pinterest & Instagram and claim to love food although I barely eat.

COMMENTS

46 thoughts on “Blog Turn Offs

    Author’s gravatar

    Love this post! I definitely still need to work on my blog layout. It could be a lot cleaner looking than it currently is but I keep procrastinating because I am ‘busy’. I cannot wait to be done with exams this December so I can take my blog a lot more seriously than I currently do.

    http://www.savingwithoj.wordpress.com

      Author’s gravatar

      I would offer to help you, but only you have a vision of what you want your blog to look like, haha! Whenever you get the time, do try and play around! For now, goodluck in those exams and keep preparing!

    Author’s gravatar

    The blogs you’ve sited actually do have great layouts. Another important factor is page load speed, I would not want to spend close to a minute trying to load your blog, might just get angry and leave.

    However, many bloggers are so lazy that they use online software’s to spin and re-write other people posts that when it is published the words are so dense and have high end vocabularies that you could tell the article was written by a bot.

      Author’s gravatar

      That’s so true! Omg some blogs take ages to load. Why so extra for? You bet that I simply close and say I’ll come back another day. What even makes blogs do that? So strange! Original content is always the best content

    Author’s gravatar

    Amazing post. For some unknown reasons I don’t fancy blog posts that are too serious ☹️Please a little comic relief is needed sometimes you know + I’m team #postexcerpt

      Author’s gravatar

      Lmao girl, I always like comedic relief. Hope this post wasn’t too serious o! Lol yasss to team #postexcerpt

    Author’s gravatar

    girl. this post made my day! your points are so true the one that annoys me the most is when the post shows full on the homepage. like ugh. thanks for the mention!
    quirksandoutfits.wordpress.com

    Author’s gravatar

    Lmaoo i had to run to click on my post excerpt. I usually prefer to add the read more tag but i always forget to do that. I think this is definitely a better choice. Thanks boo?

      Author’s gravatar

      Stop forgetting o! I am looking at you in 3D now I know you have read this article, haha!

    Author’s gravatar

    Hey! I don’t even know what my blog layout is at the moment but I like it a whole lot. I recently changed it and I like that it’s primary colors. I think I’m guilty o not checking individual post layouts on different gadgets before I post and that’s mostly because I post on my phone but being guilty as charged, I’ll work on that! how does my blog look on your laptop!
    I love how personal your posts are OMG! They’re lengthy but engaging. Like, hell yeah! I like everything about your blog biko! Your formatting while writing is superb but I want more pictures please!
    Thank you so much for this Amaka!

      Author’s gravatar

      I tried out your layout once but It didn’t work out for me haha, different tastes I guess! Everyone needs to check their blog layouts on different devices o, before they chase readers away. I love that, ‘lengthy but engaging’ that is such an awesome description, thank you! More pictures abi? Like in this post or generally? I think I’ve improved on the pictures stuff since I first started.

      Since you want more pictures, I can’t wait for you to see the next post! I’m just about to faint from excitement sef

        Author’s gravatar

        Lol! Amaka! I’m getting giddy for this next post! Pictures in this particular post though but you’ve improved mad, in fact you’re getting better everyday, I consider you the flat lay king now!
        Whatever would have made you try out my theme? ? I was going for simple and tasteful, I dunno if it worked sef but I don’t want my blog slow and I want people to want to read it. I sha love ya blog, no lie!

      Author’s gravatar

      Flat lay king, I claim it oo I claim it! Lol I’ve tried nearly every free theme available, thanks to the ‘try’ button in the blog theme section. It’s nice to have a look at what a theme looks like on your blog, before committing to using it! Your theme is fine, yass to getting better everyday!

    Author’s gravatar

    Lovely post sistaa. I have to work on my blog layout too ?. Make it look professional and unique. For now I’m just using the default WordPress layouts. ? I’m sorryyyyyyyyy??????

      Author’s gravatar

      Ah ah I’m using default wordpress layouts too! There’s nothing wrong with your layout, it’s easily navigable to me. I wish I could use the colour sea green like you did. It looks so well put together and just flows well. Stop worrying girl! Lol! I know Joan’s blog when I see it

        Author’s gravatar

        Me right Now at 12:20am reading this ??????????????. Haha. Thank youu! You’re using WordPress foreal!!! Waow. I honesti thought you were using an upgraded version. Really love your layout too! Forever crushing on those instagram blog snippets too ❤

    Author’s gravatar

    Love your post ?. I also love a clean and minimalist design for my blog??. The only issue I’ve with WordPress mobile app: some of the font of my posts will be normal and others will be large. When I checked on my laptop, the font is normal.

    Author’s gravatar

    You just always speak my mind every damn time Amaka!

    I hate reading blog posts with tiny fonts. In fact, I just close it and move on.

    Another annoying part is when there’s no proper use of paragraphs?‍♀️ This upset me everyday and make me feel like the writer just want to write for the essence of writing.

    And I hate posts without excerpts ?‍♀️ I don’t even stay long on such blogs, I just read the first post I see and say my goodbyes.

      Author’s gravatar

      Tiny fonts are an abomination o! Haha I hope I’m okay on the paragraphs part though! It’s true, having no excerpts should be classified as a crime from now on! Except your post is like 30 words, and even then, that is annoying!

    Author’s gravatar

    Lool I really enjoyed this. I’m team post excerpts too! Before I became self hosted my theme didn’t allow post excerpts and it was so frustrating because most of my posts were over 1000 words! I’m so glad I have post excerpts now cause it makes the viewing experience so much better. I currently like my blog layout but I’m tweaking it everyday to be better. Great post!

    Pearl || http://thepearlylife.com

      Author’s gravatar

      Girl you could’ve used the ‘insert read more’ tag oh, but we’re all learning I guess! Your new blog layout is awesome and cute, it matches your personality in a way!

    Author’s gravatar

    I’m team post-excerpt too! I don’t like it when the full posts are on the homepage as it makes scrolling a bit tedious especially if I’m just checking your blog for the first time. I also like what you said about passion, it needs to show in your writing and I try to be mindful of this. I like my blog layout , it’s quite minimalistic but I’m bored with it now so hopefully I’ll get a new one at the end of the year! Great post Amaka 🙂
    Coco Bella Blog

    Author’s gravatar

    I so agree with you. I found immediately ex my self out when I experience a terrible font and layout. I just can’t handle it!!! Also, the hassle of commenting. Don’t stress me out with all the screening for comment. There are plugins that help keep spam away. Making me answer unnecessary question is annoying

      Author’s gravatar

      Omg some layouts make commenting look like Israelites journey! People need to get woke oh!

    Author’s gravatar

    Thanks sis….you made my day already ,I guess I have to work more on my layout too. You’ve always inspired me,thanks for sharing those tips.

      Author’s gravatar

      Do work on it! You’ll definitely be better off with a nicer blog theme! You’re very welcome, thanks for commenting

    Author’s gravatar

    My blog layout is something I seriously need to work on. I also love beautiful and well laid out blogs. Sometimes I like the full post idea on some blogs. Means I don’t have to click on individual posts to read and then go back and forth from the homepage, I can just read what I like and scroll past the rest. But I get how it can be tiring to scroll through lengthy blogposts, that’s why I prefer having post excerpts. Nice post?

      Author’s gravatar

      I get the not having to go back to homepage, but i also wonder with full posts how stats would be recorded! My hands don’t want to become weary from excessive scrolling oh! To me, your blog is cute, but just do whatever you think is necessary to improve

      Author’s gravatar

      I’ve looked at your blog and it’s actually not that bad… You can effect some changes I guess… Post excerpts are very essential it gives the blog that smart look…

      Lengthy blogosts… LOL ? can’t get tired of one if it’s written by AMAKA..

      An example of post excerpts for blogs can be seen on mine, just have 3 lines for you to preview… If you don’t like that one…

      Move on to the next one.

        Author’s gravatar

        Thank you. I’m just looking for ways to improve it.
        Amaka’s posts always make sense so it’s easy for me to follow, and I love her style of writing.
        I get bored by unnecessarily long posts especially when they aren’t engaging, in my mind I’m just like “Please, get to the point”?
        Going off now to check out your blog, to see what a herbal blog is like?

      Author’s gravatar

      You’re welcome… You’re right, amaka’s posts are lit ? … Please do work on them…

      Thanks for planning on visiting my blog… Don’t be shy to leave a comment on any topic you find interesting. ?

    Author’s gravatar

    In summary you just like only black white and all these minimalist monochrome layouts? Tueh! Mbanu

      Author’s gravatar

      Lmaoo yes nau! But blogs that aren’t just black and white also can excite me, it just has to be done right. Aunty ooo so that’s all you took from my post? Haba! Haha
      I’ve always loved black and white

        Author’s gravatar

        I’ve had trouble with my layout because I use wordpress themes and I had to use one optimised for Adwords (got to keep that money flowing) so it’s been a real struggle between finding a theme I like and one that generates maximum income. #Headache

        Author’s gravatar

        It’s your racism towards blogs with colors asides black and white that is pinching her… LOL ? but biA amaka… It’s only black and white blogs I’m seeing oh… Didn’t even take notice!

          Author’s gravatar

          Lol I did say that I’d be using some of my favourite blogs to give examples. I like clean, black and white themes way more, and lately with a touch of pink. We all are entitled to have our tastes o

    Author’s gravatar

    All this are called SEOs which makes your blog rank higher on search engines. Very apt I must say

    Author’s gravatar

    Eheh Amaka I’ve learnt a lot from you. Thank you for this post

      Author’s gravatar

      No worries, we’re all going through the learning process that’s for sure!

    Author’s gravatar

    I really agree with everything you’ve stated ? nice post dear

    Author’s gravatar

    I think your content is really inspiring. A lot of time theres just so much talk about, stay in your niche, this that. I had to ask someone recently, “So a person who love makeup is not aloud to write about fashion just because fashion is not there niche?” I must say, visiting your blog is showing me how I can diversify without spreading myself too thin.
    meanwhile, I love minimalist themes, with a clear layout… not too much drama. Like you said, LIB used to be a major hassle to read for me… too much going on on the page. I hope she improves on that… though it is not stopping money from entering her account *wink*

      Author’s gravatar

      Exactly! She’s still laughing all the way to the bank and that is what is kind of annoying lol. You’re allowed to write about fashion oh, but makeup is going to be centre of your blog. Definitely don’t spread yourself too thin! Madam minimalist lol

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