First off, let me say that this isn’t a list of blog rules according to Jemma. This isn’t how you all need to be running/designing your blog in anyway. It’s simply an observation by myself as to what I personally like in a blog, and I’m more than happy to be proven wrong. I love when I see people breaking the ‘rules’ and creating something awesome from it. And if you really look, I don’t do all of these things on this list myself all the time. So don’t sweat it if you don’t either, okay? Okay.
1. Have a Clean Layout;
Yes, it’s the one we all hear about most often, probably. But you don’t have to stick with that ‘all white’ aesthetic for this to work. ‘Clean’ means having easy to read content, no backgrounds that clash with your images or text, no overlapping, and each section of your blog layout divided nicely.
2. Align images & text;
Not everyone does this one, and that’s okay. But personally I do love when a blog’s images line up with the content text – it just makes it look neater. If you don’t know what I mean, see this writing here? Notice how the width of it matches my photograph above. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it makes your content look much more appealing.
3. Use large images;
Whether it’s your own photograph, a drawing, a quote, whatever. Always try to use images that are large rather than tiny. There’s nothing more effective than a small, dark, grainy image to put me off even the greatest of posts. It’s not the most important thing, but a lot of people (including myself) prefer larger photos. BUT; please resize images so that they aren’t too large. Anything over 1000px wide might take longer to load on certain devices.
4. Have a good navigation system;
This one can be used effectively in a million different ways. Some blogs have a Nav bar at the top (like me) with an ‘About Me’, ‘Contact Page’ etc, and all social media clearly accessible at the top of the sidebar. However, you can also have all of this in the sidebar, or all in the top navigation bar. Or some blogs have a design which allows their nav bar to stay ‘floating’ at the top of their page even when you scroll. All can be executed beautifully. Just make sure its clear, in plain view, and easy to use!
5. Add personality;
This is the most important one of all, for me. It can mean the difference between me following you, or never visiting again. You want your readers to know there is more to than simple text on a screen. Write with humor, add a pop of colour somewhere, create a pithy bio. This is your chance let us know who you really are :] Which brings me to…
6. Have an ‘About Me’ page;
You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’ve visited an amazing blog, to be disappointed there isn’t an About Me page anywhere in sight. Maybe you guys don’t think this is important, but I really love getting to know the bloggers I visit. This is a place you can really introduce yourself, who you are, what you do, and the aim behind your blog.
7. Poke Fun;
I mentioned having a sense of humor right? I think it helps stand a blogger out a mile away from the competition. For example, I follow some food bloggers when I honestly have no interest in cooking really. But they have such great writing styles! They share recipes and stories, they make me laugh, they make me come back. Sometimes I’ll even be tempted to try out their recipes.. but then I remember that’s an awful idea 😉 Don’t be afraid to joke around with your readers and poke fun at yourself. It shows how human you are! I’d much rather a blogger be less serious anyway.
8. Be different;
When you branch out and do something a little different from the norm, people notice. And you will be grateful you did. Blogs that funk things up a bit always stand out to me, and I appreciate the extra effort it takes. Even if it’s something as small as, handwriting your bio line and scanning it in rather than typing it. Or maybe taking your beauty blog photos different from the plain white backgrounds we’re used to seeing. Those things aren’t bad, I love them! But if you make the effort to stand out; you’ll be remembered.
9. Produce great content;
Obvious huh? And surely most important (I know I already said that about having personality.. but shh). Content is the backbone of your blog, and should be the whole reason you’re doing it. Don’t write up a post just because everyone else is doing that type of post – Do something you’re passionate about. It will be more genuine and your readers can sense this. Look to your hobbies, wishes, thoughts, dreams. This is where you’ll find your content.
10. Be friendly;
Lately I’m understanding the word busy like never before. But as busy as I am, I understand how important interaction with my readers is. Whether it be just replying to a comment when I get a chance, or chatting to people on Twitter – I try to be a friend to the people who visit my blog. My favourite blogs are all run by people who seem genuinely lovely, friendly and up for a chat. Even if they can’t always message back – you get the sense you could easily be friends with this person. I would love for that with my own blog.
So there we have it; the ten things my favourite blogs have in common with each other, even with all their differences. I hope this might help some of you, or even just provide an interesting read.
Let me know your favourite things!
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