You may or may not have realized this by now, but your blog design definitely impacts your readership. If your blog is hard to read, too cluttered/messy, or genuinely painful on the eyes people wont continue following and/or visiting. You may keep a few dedicated friends/bloggy bffs visiting out of sheer love for you, but if you want to increase your readership and build a larger and wider circle of readers, you have to be aesthetically pleasing.
I know they say “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” but I’ll be the first to admit that I do judge blogs by their design. It doesn’t mean I wont keep following you (because goodness knows I probably love your face) but I can usually tell the blogs level of professionalism within the first few minutes. Advertisers/sponsors and other readers can too. When I first started my blog I was constantly reading websites like Photoshelter.com, to learn about marketing and web design. I gradually started building my website and now I’m super proud of how it looks!
Choose a Color Scheme for Your Blog
Also, when choosing the background and basic post font colors, make sure to make it easy to read. Dark colored words on a white background, or light colored words on a dark background. If it’s not easy to read people generally wont read it…
When I was helping Carrie of The Carrie Gland with her design, she came well prepared. She used a website called Color Scheme Designer to pick four colors she kind of liked together, and then as we worked through it she ended up choosing the Purple from her original choice, with black and gray as her scheme. The great thing about that site is it will help you choose colors and shades that go better together than others, and it’s a resource I’m going to be using more often.
Choosing Fonts for Your Blog
When choosing a basic font for things such as typing and titles, it’s best to go with something basic. The curly or cursive fonts look cute, yes, but are also harder to read and less professional looking. If you like it and don’t care-go for it (I’m not here to judge) just understand that some people may have a hard time reading and thus may not come back as often.
When choosing fonts for your design, you should generally choose three. One cursive/fancy font, one bold font, and one basic font. Personally I used a cursive and bold font for my header, then the basic font for my info graphic. I also then used the same cursive font for my gadget headers (and these topic images above!) Just make sure your fonts look good together, and go with your color scheme. This doesn’t always apply, sometimes you find different combinations that work great-it’s just a general suggestion for getting started.
You can find a lot of fonts for free places like dafont.com (which I use), just make sure to read the terms some of the fonts include, as some may allow you to use it for everything, and some may only allow you to use it for personal use and require a license for profit use.
Blog Headers and Buttons
Your blog header should introduce your blog and show new readers a little of what to expect from you and your personality. The blog header should also fit within your chosen color scheme and font. Make it stand out-and make it represent you! It can be simple and elegant or unique and witty, it can be just words or include a graphic that expresses exactly what your blog is about! You’ll also see that most of those blogs also have buttons that either match their header, or go along with the theme well!
Hiring a Blog Designer
Blog design can be hard to pull off if you’re not skilled with web design tools and creating graphics, in which case there are tons of blog designers out there! Are you thinking about WordPress or Wix? It just depends on what kind of look you’re going for-and how much you want to spend. The more you spend the more you’re going to get, but you can also go simple and keep it cheaper-but still have a really good look.
Some easy ways are to simply buy a pre-made template and install it. There are lots of design shops, but I’ve had the most luck finding great Blogger templates or WordPress themes on Etsy. There are so many beautiful options, they’re easy to install (plus lots of shops help with that), and the prices vary widely so you can find something that fits your needs and budget.
I’m also offering blog design and consultation services now. Head on up to my Work With Me tab to learn more.
DIY Design Resources
Want to try and do it yourself? Here are some great tutorials I’ve done or found for you. I also recommend you follow my Bloggy Business Pinterest board and/or my Design Resources Pinterest board if you want to find new ones.
- How to Center Post Titles, Gadgets, and Dates in Blogger.
- How to create Image Maps (multiple links in one image)
- How to make Headers & Navbars using PicMonkey
- Create Your Own Social Media Icons
- The Blogger’s HTML Cheat Sheet
What colors and fonts do you love?
The Better Your Blog Series is a series of posts written by myself, Angie of My So-Called Chaos, from my own personal experience as a long-time blogger, small-business owner, and as someone who’s worked with technology and customer service for many many years. They are written with the intent of sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired through years of practice and education (both self-taught and school-taught) with others in the blogging community.
In this collection of posts you’ll not only find tips for maintaining your blog, but also for anything that goes along with being a blogger and/or small business owner-like design tips and tutorials, social media, tools, and more.
The posts in this series are constantly being updated to make sure they stay current, and the series is constantly being added to. Please contact me if there’s something you’d like to learn.