One of the things that people get confused about when first starting their blog is how to make it appealing to other people. While some can argue that the actual content of the blog itself and the messages, ideas and information that it is trying to put forward should be enough to make grow on their own, we all know that is never the case.
While it is what counts the most, the actual content itself will not get you very far in terms of readers, hits and repeat visitors. It’s more about getting people to stick around and actually read the messages that you are trying to convey to them in the first place, which is why blog aesthetics actually matter.
Nobody is going to stick around and read something that is posted on a website that looks like it’s been ripped right out of 1994, and nobody will scroll through seemingly endless walls of text hoping to get to some sort of a conclusion as well.
What you need to do is make your blog inviting, easy to read and nice to look at. While that might sound easy enough at first, there is, actually, a small set of rules that you will need to follow in order to get it right the first time.
Remember that your blog is, in essence, a reflection of you, and the last thing you want is to make a bad first impression right off the bat.
1. Choose the correct theme
It goes without saying that you do not want to have a cooking blog with technology themes, or a sports blog with dance themes.
Before you actually get to writing your blog, you will need to first figure out what the blog is about. What you are planning to write, what the main topics are, what variation you will have, and so on. Then try and condense this into a theme, something visual that more or less tells the people that are visiting what it is all about.
This is actually easier to do these days with the advanced templates and website builders which often times sport a wide array of templates and categories. They usually cover around 99% of the most popular categories, however, you will still be able to design and create your personal theme if you so desire.
Another thing to add here is that the theme needs to be kept light and easy to use. The last thing you want is to bloat your blog with useless pop-ups, gif images and cluttered patters.
2. Format the text properly
If you try and put yourself in the shoes of your readers, you will understand why this part is so important.
First off. Nobody wants to read a single block of text. It simply comes off as too cumbersome and too much of a chore. Not to mention the fact that it can get quite tiresome to read it.
That being said, you will need to break the block of text up into small paragraphs. A good rule of thumb is 2-5 sentences per paragraph.
Exceptions to that rule are:
Bullet points and other general enumerations
Sketches, diagrams and info-graphics
Formulas, calculations, recipes and equations
Quotations and past-tense descriptive narrative
Another thing you should be doing is breaking the text into several main ideas which will become subheadings. Treat them like chapters so that you can make your message easier to grasp.
Remember to always end your blog posts with a small conclusion. Nothing too fancy, just a small summary of what you wrote about and probably a piece of advice that sums everything up. It does not have to be long either, just a couple of sentences. Anything is better than ending a blog post in a cliff-hanger.
3. Include pictures and visual references
It is very important for your readers to understand exactly what they are reading about, and while the content should do a good job of describing the topic to certain degrees, sometimes a picture really is worth 1000 words.
Not to mention the fact that a picture will simply break the monotony of having to read through the blog post. It will provide you with a small break, a few meager seconds, but enough for the brain to cool off, process the information that it has received, and even attribute some visual elements to it.
What the pictures are about is left to your discretion as the creator and writer, however you will still need to be a bit careful.
There are quite a few mistakes that can be made here, some with serious legal consequences, so in order to help you avoid them, here is a short list of things that you should NOT do when posting pictures:
Never post a picture of other people online without their written consent
Never post pictures that are protected by copyright laws
Never post pictures that are racially insensitive or that can be considered offensive, unless it is for historic purposes only.
Never, under any circumstance, post pictures or documents related to national or military secrets.
Never post pictures that are adult themed (sex, drugs, violence, etc) without marking them, and the blog post, as being intended for mature audiences.
4. Keep advertisements to a minimum
While it is true that advertisement is the best way to keep a blog up and running at the moment, not all of it has to be in the face of the readers. In fact, the time of banner ads, pop-ups and annoying floating commercials are long gone.
There are strictly regulated online advertising services that can actually normalize things and make those adverts blend in without being considered intrusive by the readers.
Look at services like Google Ads for example, they blend seamlessly in the background, and while they are noticeable, they are not intrusive or disturbing.
You can go a bit further with that and instead of banners and ads, you can actually provide sponsored links that can take your visitors to products on online stores that relate to your post.
Even the odd sponsored blog post every now and again can be a good way to keep the blog up and running without having to sacrifice viewer comfort. Do remember to mark them as being sponsored though.
There are a lot of ways in which you can have a beautiful blog and attract readers to it even before the actual content makes its impression on them.
While we do live in the digital age, because of how fast the Internet is evolving, we are expected to keep up with the trends and always provide a fresh new look in order to stay relevant and on top.
That being said, if you make sure that you pick the right theme for your blog, format it properly, carefully choose the right pictures for each post while at the same time keeping advertisement to a minimum, your blog will be beautiful and it will slowly, but surely, attract more and more visitors.