Starting a blog can be tricky business. It might be difficult just to consistently produce worthwhile content or advertise and drive people to read it. A successful blog will often do both. With so many blogs already out in the world, covering a wide variety of topics, potential readers might choose any one of the numerous reasons to ignore one in particular.
In order to help it stand out, a good blogging website should be well designed. There are several methods to go about creating a well-designed web page, but there are also several mistakes to avoid. This article will cover some of those web design blunders that can sink a blog all on their own. Any of these could alienate a potential reader before they’ve seen a single word that’s been written, so it is important to steer clear of them at all costs.
Lack of Information
It can be tempting to create a home page with very few links or next to no details on the author(s). After all, people are there to enjoy or learn from the content. Adding extraneous barriers to entry only makes that more difficult and confusing. However, the same can be said of the opposite approach. Too few links to content or background information will also make the site more arduous to navigate. It can leave people wondering how to find what they are looking for specifically, often frustrating them in the process. The sleek look that comes with this method is usually not worth the trade off of leaving out necessary direction.
Too Much Information
On the other hand, it might feel like there is a ton of information that needs to be shared. It is sometimes enticing to assume that everyone should know about who writes for this blog, and everything it covers should be clearly explained. Occasionally there will be a desire to include a link to each individual topic, or in extreme cases, a link to every available blog post. While these are each good things to have on a site, it can be dangerous to flood the home page with all of it at once. Too much right away will generally be overwhelming and make the site harder to navigate. A few links to different pages that house this relevant information is usually a safe bet. There is a delicate balance between too little and too much information, and it is crucial to come as close as possible to just enough.
When starting a blog, or website of an kind, there will almost always be a temptation to force it to stand out by choosing magnificent but illegible fonts or adding spectacular animations and transitions. Unfortunately, these decisions are more often a distraction than an enhancement. Taking the focus off the content itself is not a smart move, and will come off as a lack of confidence in the work to the people paying attention. Creating a visually impressive website feels nice at a glance, but people ultimately read blogs when there is something interesting to be said on a topic they care about. The words matter a lot more than how they are presented. Something that is boring to look at but maintains focus and precision is generally preferable to something messy but extravagant. However, a clean page with appropriate fonts and a few on-topic images can be just as visually stimulating without grabbing attention away from the content itself.
If ever a blog has multiple entries on a similar topic, it might be beguiling to lump them all into one category and pay little attention to how they are managed individually. As an example, one might decide to link to all of these similar entries from the same place, sometimes in a list format without adequate labeling as to which is which. This practice is sometimes called “mystery meat navigation” and will be very disorienting to people unfamiliar with site. Each link should make it clear where it leads and what information will be available there. Readers should never be relied upon to figure it out for themselves.
This is so straightforward it’s amazing that there is even a problem at all. People should always be able to read the text on a website of any kind. Sadly, many web designers put light gray text on a white background, dark gray text on a black background, or opt for a truly ridiculous combination like neon green on a blue background. Though easy to avoid, this can go unnoticed or ignored in favor of attempting to make the site look more appealing. Nevertheless, writing that can’t be read is of no use to anyone. Simply put, contrast is imperative.
There are a simply staggering number of blogs on the Internet, so start a blog can be intimidating. How to draw people in will vary based on the content, but keeping them coming back once they’ve been hooked sometimes has a lot to do with the site itself. The mistakes listed above are great ways to make sure no one wants to return. Avoiding these preventable errors will go a long way to engaging readers and getting them invested for an extended period of time.