How to Make Your Blog Posts Visually Appealing- Part 2 Text and Content

Thursday, August 08, 2013


So here's part two of my newbie blogger series "how to make your blog posts look visually appealing." As with part one most of these are things I was guilty of myself when I first started out, and hopefully it will help you from making the same silly mistakes. In fear of sounding like some kind of blogging police, let me just say that your blog can look however you want- but these are things that personally put me off sticking around to read someone's content (and so will probably be putting other people off too). You can check your 'average visit duration' on Google Analytics, if you find people are quickly leaving your blog it might be worth seeing if a few of these tweaks make a difference. Although your actual content is always the most important thing you'd be surprised how many people wont stick around to read it, if it looks like too much hard work. 

Centre or 'Justify' Your Text and Split it into Paragraphs
Which of the above looks easier, and more appealing to read? Large chunks of unformatted text is one of the number one ways of putting people off reading your content. Depending on the type of post, 'centre' or 'justify' definitely looks best. Even with just a small amount of text it's better to split it into relevant paragraphs, lets face it, we all like information in bite size chunks. As a general rule start a new paragraph every time you make a new point, and a paragraph should be at least four lines long. If for example you're writing a post about multiple products, it might be better to write a separate paragraph for each, with a subheading for each in bold. This allows a reader to easily see what the post is about and is much more appealing than one big paragraph of text. I never use the 'heading/subheading' option in Blogger because I find it can look messy, I simply use the 'bold' setting for titles.

Length of Blog Posts
This is one I'm guilty of, and know I tend to write longer than average blog posts. But if you notice that your post on a topic is starting to get very long you can always split it into 'part one and part two' or turn it into a series much like I've done with this topic. Also if you make sure your content is displayed nicely in relevant paragraphs it makes longer text much easier on the eye, and allows people to skim for exactly what they're looking for if they don't want to read through the entire post. On the other hand I think there's such a thing as blog posts that are too short as well, if you only have three lines to write on a topic it might be worth reconsidering. Regardless of how many words you intend on writing, a post that has an introduction, a middle and a concluding sentence or paragraph is well balanced and should give a reader all of the information they need.

Use a Font/ Colours That Are Easy To Read
I love blog design and seeing people's personality come through in the design they've chosen. But it still needs to be easy for other people to read, as I mentioned in my last post that people aren't going to work at your content if it's presented in a way that's difficult to read. Fancy fonts are great for headers and annotating pictures, but start trying to use them as your main text and people are going to click out of your blog at the speed of light. I know it's the number one reason I won't read the content on a blog, and from speaking to other bloggers on Twitter I know I'm not alone. I'd say it was always worth going for a standard font in a dark colour against a white or very light plain background.

Hyperlink Text
Integrating links into your text rather than typing out full website addresses makes everything flow much better. To link to another page, highlight the text you want to make clickable and click on the 'link' option in the toolbar in your post editor. It's also a good idea to tick the 'open in a new page' box too- that way people are not completely leaving your blog when checking out your links. If you're writing about a product, it's definitely beneficial to include a link to where a reader can buy it from if they're interested, so your posts should include useful links- be careful not to include too many though as it can look spammy. Linking to relevant previous blog posts you've written is another way to get older content seen, for example if you're mentioning a product in a post but already have a full review of it written up definitely use that opportunity to link to it.

Ask a Question at the End of Each Post
This encourages readers to get involved and comment on your content. It's also a nice way to sum up a post, usually I include a separate line at the end of each blog post with a question then a little image of my signature. I created my signature by writing my name on a drawing app on my ipad, but you can create any kind of post sign off on any basic photo editor.

Proof Read
I can't stress this one enough. Always proof read your blog posts, a couple of times if you can. We all make mistakes; whether it's silly typos, spelling and grammar errors or writing things that when you read them back just don't seem to make any sense. My posts are always full of mistakes before I proof read, and while a few will undoubtedly slip through you can correct the majority of errors just by having a quick read through. I know when you've written a post most of the time you're eager to get it published, but it only takes a few extra minutes to make sure you haven't written something silly and to make it as good as it can possibly be.

Do you/ did you do any of these things? What's your best blogging advice to someone first starting out?
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28 comments

  1. I love these tips you give. It's excellent advice for bloggers of all kinds.

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  2. I've just started blogging, so this series is so helpful! Such a good idea.

    Holly
    www.alongcamehollyblog.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Great advice. When I started out in blogging I would proof read my posts by pasting them into word. It was great way to build up my confidence in how I write.

    Amy - amyadorebeaute.blogspot.com

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  4. Once again, great tips!!
    I'm happy to say I'm not guilty of any of these things haha I used to be, don't get me wrong, but I think experience is a great teacher and once you find yourself as a blogger you start to iron out the creases in your performance and writing :)
    That signature idea is brilliant! I might have to try and do that myself on my ipad :)
    xxx

    The Beauty Belle

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  5. I just tagged you in my most recent post!

    Georgina
    xx

    http://pictureperfectmakeup06.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. I love reading these type of posts - great tips here. I always sign off with a question - i scrapped my signature ages ago but i might bring it back now! It feels unfinished without it :) Might make a new one :) I definitely agree with the post length point - if i go over 3 paragraphs i consider making a series or try cutting some out. Although if they're too short i get put off too - finding your own balance is key :) great post Stacey :) xx

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  7. Great post, Thanks for sharing!

    Hugs, Brittany, xx

    http://polkaanddots.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. Great tip, I am pretty new to blogging so I take all the advice I can get. Plus I love getting tips from other bloggers rather than me just doing a Google search for tips!

    Belle x
    Mascara & Maltesers

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  9. I love your new blog tips! Been taking your advice and this how to text post is really good :)

    Jegz. X www.jegzjegzjegz.wordpress.com

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  10. You've done it again! Saved us from months of fiddling and unformatted-post-writing! Thank you so much for these posts they are super helpful! xxx :)

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  11. Great post :)! I love seeing blogging tips like these. I'm guilty of having slightly longer posts than I should, and I keep forgetting to go in and justify my text! Oops... xx

    D Is For...

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  12. These are great tips. Thank you

    www.paintingmariposasinthesky.com

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  13. Great post, with some fantastic tips. I'm definitely guilty of writing very long posts!!!

    http://beautyandlifestylehunter.blogspot.com.au/

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  14. Stacey! Thank you for linking this awesome post on my Blog Strut! I have wondered what happened to you lately! You are still getting pinterest and other social media hits on your expired makeup post. Please feel free to do another guest post. We are doing a huge redesign and becoming MUCH bigger next month! Would love to feature your awesome talent!

    Angela

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  15. Perfect tips. The amount of posts I see where I just can't read it because it is a funky curly font or a really pale colour of a coloured background! Puts me off. Hopefully people will take note xx
    Heroine In Heels

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  16. Thanks for this post Stacey. As the weeks have gone on I've learnt all of this. My blog is only 10 weeks old and your post has reassured me that I'm probably on the right track (I hope!). Carly. Xxx

    www.carlysbeautyworld.co.uk

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  17. This was some really helpful advise great post, I recently started to justify my text and it looks much more appealing, found you on the bright side blog hop love your blog following you on bloglovin xx

    ~ VISUALCANDY INC

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  18. this is all great advice and I'm guilty of super long posts, sometimes. I think I have nothing to say, then I have everything to say :) Happy to of found you at the Love my Post blog hop! Following on gfc etc.

    daydreamingrealist.com

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  19. Oh I really love these suggestions! Especially a font/color that is easy to read. If I'm having a hard time reading your blog because of the font/color chances are I'm not going to continue reading your blog.
    As for proof reading, I don't know how many times I read my posts over in the preview screen before publishing, I also find that after all my proof reading when I ready to hit post (or schedule, depending on your preference)it's best to walk away and do something else for a while, then read it over again. Chances are you will find something else.
    I know sometimes I don't do this and then I'll be reading my post later and kick myself as I find things that I should have caught.

    Thanks for sharing at The Blog Strut Peacock Style, and for the great reminders.

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  20. Congrats on being the featured blog on the "I Love My Post" blog hop! I'm already following your lovely blog.
    Thanks
    Angie
    PS – I would also like to invite you to a blog hop called: “The Great Blog Train” currently live on my blog –we are also having a Giveaway this month! Thank you! Great Blog Train

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  21. Really helpful advice! Thanks :) Im a new follower.

    Sarah x
    http://herstyletto.blogspot.ie/

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  22. Amazing tips! Thank you so much for the hard work you put into this post!

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog! Check mine out as well when you get a chance :)

    Meagan
    chicisthenewblack.com

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  23. Brilliant advice, especially on length. When I started out I was writing essays for everything and getting a post done a week, it's definitely something I wish I'd known right away.

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  24. Thank you for your great advice, this really helped.

    dreampuddleoflove.blogspot.com
    I'd be so so happy if you checked out my blog!

    S x

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  25. Loving these they help me so much!!!
    http://rosegoldblush.blogspot.co.uk/

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  26. Justify is my best friend but I have to confess that I sometimes forget to do it!

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