<![CDATA[By Ashley Barnum BACKGROUND: First thing when creating a blog is picking a background that matches you or your company’s personality. You can custom design your background, purchase one on the blog website, or use one of the many free templates most sites offer. Below is a great example of what NOT to do. This template is an eyesore and reminds me of an optical illusion! Try not to make your background too busy so that your viewers can focus more on the text and the photos. LAYOUT: There are many different layouts for blogs. Choose one that doesn’t show too many posts at once. Below is a BAD example using a three column blog layout. This can make it daunting to read because you are seeing too much information at once; especially if you don’t have any or few pictures. TYPE: Make sure you don’t make your font so fancy that it’s hard to read. If you have your heart set on some fancy type than just use it for the title. Also, don’t use reverse type. That’s when you have a colored background with white print. Once again, you can do your title this way if you would like, but it’s too hard to read a lot of information this way. WHAT’S IN A NAME: Make sure also that your blog gives some kind of hint to what it’s about. Can you guess what this blog is for: “I Still Love You” is a DYI blog that mainly deals with craft projects. However, similar blogs like CraftFail, Makes and Takes, and Cuteables do a much better job at letting their name reflect their purpose, and they are also three of the top craft blogs in the nation. You can still have a blog with an unmatched name, but it will be much harder for niche readers to find you. DONE RIGHT: One website layout I love that does all of the above right is The Day Book Blog It is extremely organized and neat. All the ads are on the right, the archives on the left, and Sydney’s posts are down the center. Achieves are super important because readers may want to find past articles without having to hit the “older posts” button through two years worth of content. It is very simple, modern, and user friendly. Not to mention she takes great pictures and has a ton of them! She also has incorporated tabs at the top that allow her readers to learn more about her, and even ask her questions. The amount of white space she has too really helps make the blog inviting, especially when you have about 10 seconds of eye-scanning time to convince a reader to kick up their feet and stay awhile. ]]>
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