‘Content is king’ is a very common statement when it comes to blogs. However, it does not make sense to have great content while your design is unprofessional and not user-friendly. Here are some of the mistakes you need to avoid when designing your blog.
1. Having an uninspiring about page
Your about page is a very important part of your blog. This is where visitors usually go to learn more about you or your business. Therefore, you need to make your about page as interesting as possible. Show some personality and clearly articulate what benefits visitors can enjoy. An intriguing about page will capture the attention of your readers and convince them to explore other pages of your blog.
2. Overusing italics and bold
Italics and bold can be very useful when trying to draw attention to a point or thought. However, these formats should be used very sparingly. Overusing them will make your text very difficult to read and might put off your audience.
3. Concealing your contact details
Contact info is a very important element of your blog. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to reach you. It therefore does not make any sense to place your contact details at the bottom of your page in a barely visible font size. Make sure such information is large enough and prominently displayed so that people don’t have to search for it. Preferably, it should appear above the fold in your navigation bar and on your home page.
4. Adding unnecessary social media icons
Some people add social media widgets on their blog only for aesthetic purposes. However, this is a big mistake. You shouldn’t just add social media buttons on your blog because other people have them on their sites. You need to be actually active on those platforms. For instance, if you choose to add a Twitter widget, make sure you are tweeting on a regular basis.
5. Flooding your navigation bar with excess options
If your visitors are faced with too many options, they are likely to get confused. When it becomes difficult to make a choice, they might just click away and go elsewhere. Therefore, make sure your navigation bar only contains the bare essentials. If you have many categories, you could consider using drop-down menus to display the options.
6. Using dark backgrounds
When it comes to backgrounds and text, the general rule of thumb is to have black text on a white background. However, some blog designers decide to go against the grain and have white text on a black background. This is a big mistake since reading such pages is strenuous on the eyes. As a result, most visitors to such blogs will simply leave and go elsewhere.
7. Not adding share buttons
If visitors find your content interesting or helpful, they might want to share it with other people in their networks. Placing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google+ share buttons on your blog pages will make it easy for your content to be shared with just one click. The more people share your content, the more exposure you get.
8. Spelling out your email address
There are hordes of unscrupulous individuals out there who target sites and blogs to harvest email addresses. Such addresses may be used to build illicit mailing lists or even commit fraud. To protect yourself from such attacks, it would be advisable not to spell out your email address. For instance, instead of writing firstname.lastname@example.org, you could have suegrant [at] gmail [dot] com.