Some Thoughts on Crazy-Making Blog Formats
Hi there 🙂
So. I’ve been on a blog reading binge this week. (More so than usual.) And I have a few suggestions. This is kind of a bitching post, but mainly I’m just trying to help….and save my own sanity.
There are several things that one must consider when creating a website of any kind:
- Your audience: If you’re writing about High school, then your audience is probably quite young. Which statistically speaking, means they won’t be spending extended amounts of time in one sitting – so your options need to be easily accessible & your titles need to be attention grabbers. If you’re writing about you post-retirement travels, or wine reviews, your target audience will be (for the most part) 30+. This means your audience will probably stay a bit longer (if they’re interested) & will most times read more than 1 post. This also means you need to keep it simple – easy to navigate. I can tell you that if I can find what I’m looking for in under 2 clicks, I’m a happy girl.
- Easy Navigation: A bit more on the aforementioned. Navigation is everything. Seriously. I know of NO-ONE who will continue on any site if it is difficult to navigate. By this, I mean, if I have to click the Blog button on a BLOG – that’s just additional wasted time. The only time this should be ok is if it is a business page, which includes a blog. Otherwise, home is the blog. If I’m looking for posts from last year, then I go to the menu buttons – find a special topic. But If I’m just looking for the latest post, then it should be front and center. Please tell me if you disagree.
- Background colours: This can be a biggie. We want to grab attention, but not make it difficult to focus on. (Chill on the neon colours…it wreaks havoc on the eyes) Dark colours can be a win or a lose. Too many busy patterns can give an instantaneous headache. You may like it, but your audience may not. It’s all about priorities – which is more important to you?
- Your goals for the site: Do you want people to purchase? (You need to leave a virtual cookie crumb trail towards the register) Do you want people to read 1 main article? (Feature it!) Do you want people to stay and browse/read? (Make several items available without needing to scroll)
When I’m visiting a new blog (or… new to me), the things that make me run & never look back are:
- Seeing the templates instead of blog posts (ex; Your blog post here, here, here). If its a super new blog, I understand, BUT if there’s lots of blog posts- just on other pages & the home page is still a template, that just screams that blogging isn’t important enough to put in the effort for the site owner, so it isn’t important enough to spend my valuable time on. This is my biggest turn-off for a blog. Maybe I’m just neurotic, but it is a killer.
- Having to search for the latest blog post. I’ve taken the time to visit your blog and want to read what you have to say. But I have to click, click, click, back click, click to even find your most recent blog post. Nope. I’m heading outta there if its that kind of treasure hunt. As I said earlier; If yours is a business page which includes a blog, that’s a different story. Business 1st! But if yours is a blog – 100% blog – Why is it so difficult to find?
- Not being able to ‘like’ a post. I understand there are many reasons people choose to format this way. This is only my personal weirdness. But if I can’t ‘like’ your post, it makes me feel like you’re kind of forcing me to comment in order to show my support & I hate that feeling. I just leave.
- Crazy colours. If your background is searing bright red into my retinas, I’m running for the hills. Same goes for neon. It’s pretty, but headache inducing. Plus, it makes it difficult to focus on the print.
That’s pretty much it for my rant. I hope my suggestions are somewhat helpful.
I’m adding a few links below to other better-blogging articles you might want to read:
What are some of the format issues that make you scream?
Thanks for reading!