Design Mistakes: Are You Making These And Losing You Readers?
“Content is king” is the phrase that all bloggers are familiar with. The common advice is that if you make good enough content, readers will come, they will stay, they will be happy, and they will make you rich.
Content is incredibly important when you’re blogging, but there’s another important factor that’s often overlooked: design. It doesn’t do you any good to have amazing content if the design of your blog is so bad that readers can’t enjoy the content.
Check out the list of common errors, below, and see if you’re committing any design crimes.
- Impossible navigation. If readers find a website confusing or frustrating to navigate, chances are that they’ll just close the tab instead of trying to figure it out. Solution: Make sure to have a navigation bar that’s displayed at all times and is easy to see.
- Content that isn’t scannable. Readers’ attention spans are short – they’re even shorter on the internet. Solution: Use bolding, bullets, and headers to make your content easy to scan.
- Not enough information. On most blogs, the second most popular page (aside from the “home” page or the “blog” page) is the about page. Readers want to know who they’re talking to and what your angle is. Solution: Have a prominent link to your about page in the sidebar.
- Bad readability. A color scheme that strains readers eyes, or a font size that’s too small, is a death sentence for a blog. Nobody’s going to read your website if it hurts their eyes to try. Solution: Make sure your fonts are at least 11 pt, and make sure your text is dark on a lighter background.
- Making it hard to find things. You should make it easy for readers to search your website, look at your best posts, and read your archives. Making it easier for readers to do these things virtually guarantees that the average amount of time spent on your site will skyrocket. Solution: Have a search bar in the sidebars, as well as a small widget for “best posts of all time”, or something similar. Make sure there’s a link to your archives in the navigation bar or the sidebar.
- Background music. This is one of the worst. Most blogs aren’t doing this any more, but if you are: stop. Solution: No background music or videos that play automatically when the page loads.
- Cluttered design. Like content, the overall design of your website needs to be scannable. There should be a path that the reader’s eye can easily take, from header to navigation to content, without feeling pulled in a thousand directions. If your design is cluttered and distracting, readers will click away from your site or close the tab. Solution: Pare your site design down as much as possible – don’t put unnecessary elements in.
Were you making any of these errors? What will you do to change it and make sure that readers can enjoy browsing your website?
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