There are millions of blogs and billions of web pages on the world wide web and your blog has to be outstanding to compete with them. According to one estimate there are more than 100 million blogs on the internet and and about 0.2 million blogs are created every day! Your blog can just get lost by the sheer weight of competition and therefore it has to special to survive and be successful.
That’s an uphill task but not an unachievable one. The internet is full of blogging tips that are high on techniques and hard skills but many people while tweaking their codes and themes forget that there are some simple aspects in blogging that you must take care of if you want to make a professional-looking blog. This post is an elaboration of some random tips on blog sustenance, layout, user-friendliness and readability that you must ensure your blog follows.
Use Paragraphs and Subheadings Effectively
Use paragraphs to your advantage. As far as possible, write in small paragraphs. The more the number of paragraphs the better and easier it is to read. You can present a long post as very readable if you have broken it in enough paragraphs. You may be aware that the attention span of a reader on the internet is very short. You must utilize on whatever time your reader has spared for you. If your content is not easy on the eyes, then you are losing your visitors who will move to better-looking content on other blogs. Go see any nice blog and you will find that it is very well-organized and is visually pleasing. One big chunk of content is very difficult for the eyes is what all experts will tell you. You may be writing great content but if it not organized in a great way then you will be less impressive.
In the same vein, give subheadings to your content (just like this blog) using the h2 or h3 tags. Apart from making the content more presentable it also helps search engine optimisation (SEO). You must separate your blog in 3-4 sections and use subheadings to make things clearer.
Fonts On Your Blog
The fonts you use should be easy on the eyes. Ensure that the blog theme you use has user-friendly, web-friendly fonts. You can always change the fonts and font size on your blog if you know how to tweak your theme. Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, Gerogia, Trubuchet are some web safe fonts. The font size is also important and it should not be too big or too small that can give problems to your readers.
Colours On Your Blog
The colours you use on your blog should be pleasing to the eyes. You should avoid using black and white in contrast, a lot of black background and extreme colour contrasts (like white text on black background). The looks of your blog matter. Use it to your advantage. Give more attention to content of course but don’t forget that your blog’s look and feel also matter. Also keep in mind not to choose a theme that could be disturbing for the eyes of your readers. Choose a theme for your blog which is aesthetically pleasing. Bad colour selection may be bad for your blog.
‘Brevity is the soul of wit’ and blogging. As far as possible do not write very long posts unless you have some special needs such as the tutorials here on the WPWebHost blog. About 400 words of length is a good size of a blog post. Packing more thoughts in less words is a skill that every blogger must acquire with time. Remember, if it takes really long to read your post then you run the risk of losing your readers’ attention. Time is important for everybody you know! KISS is the acronym to stick to: Keep it Short Stupid! 🙂
Caution On Smilies and Images
Unless you have an image blog, you should take care that you blog does not have more images than what is absolutely needed. You must optimize your images (including compressing them) before uploading so that they take less time in loading and do not hog server resources or keep a visitor with low internet speed waiting. Too many smilies will make your blog look childish and too many images (except where needed) will make it sluggish. Smilies and images should aid your content. So they should aid your blog’s progress and not curtail it. So use them effectively to your advantage. Use images and smilies to supplement your content and make it more presentable and not only to make your blog look more beautiful and stylish.
Correct English, Simple English
Language and Grammar skills really matter in blogging. Unfortunately many bloggers ignore this aspect. You will be hard-pressed to find a successful blogger who makes spelling mistakes or grammatical errors while writing. Remember you are communicating to your readers via your words. You cannot afford to commit grammatical errors in your copy. Readers take you less seriously if you are making English errors.
Another hazard to avoid is using bombastic words, phrases or idioms in your content. Remember you are catering to a vast category of audience (many of whom may not be native English speakers). So write simple and easily understandable English. Write to communicate, not to impress. People come to read your blog and not to get impressed with your English. So simple correct English should be your style and that will impress because simplicity itself is a great style statement.
‘There is no life (and blogging) without humour!’ Don’t be a bore! Be interesting and exciting. You can make boring things very interesting with humour. A blogger and blog without humour may not be as effective as one with humour. You must develop a sense of humour. Try to see what is not obvious to your naked eyes and you will find something interesting and different in everything.
Especially if you are a WordPress blogger, you may be knowing by now how WordPress has humour in many things it does. WordPress hires people who are Theme Czars, Happiness engineers, Code Wranglers and Systems wranglers and not just ordinary techies. WordPress is officially an “Automattic Ruckus” and not an Automattic enterprise or endeavour and Matt Mullenweg, one of the PC World’s top 50 people on the web, wears a Christmas cap in his gravatar to capture the Holiday season mood and the name Akismet is contraction of ‘Automattic Kismet’ (the playing out of Karma)! There are many other instances of humour in WordPress. If you post on wordpress.org forums in quick succession you may get this notice that will make you smile!
The Goshdarnit message (HTTP 503 error) when things are down on WordPress is yet another instance of humour 🙂
You see WordPress has a humoristic pedigree. You can afford to be humorous! 😉
Finally, Don’t Lose Your Sleep
The blogosphere is full of bloggers who are losing sleep over becoming an overnight blogging star without realizing that ‘Things Take Time’ (TTT). Your blog is your baby. Give it the time it needs to prosper and flourish. Do not worry incessantly about earning and blog stats and miss the fun! Do hard work with smart work and sooner or later you will succeed if you have what it takes. Be a happy blogger and not one who is perpetually in tension seeking fly-by-night success. Don’t become lazy, just the same. 🙂