Courtesy of Corina Mackay
With the amount of information available on the Internet these days, the more enjoyable the experience of reading your blog, the better chance you have at gaining—and hanging onto—more readers. Try using these five tips as a checklist to make sure your blog is as user-friendly as possible.
1. Make it look good
The look of your blog is the first thing your readers will notice. Use high-quality, relevant images to break up the text in your posts. Try searching Flickr or Compfight for images with creative commons licenses to use.
White space is another great way to break up your text. Creating small paragraphs and short sentences will make even a long post less daunting. Jeff Goins does a great job of this on his blog, Goins, Writer.
2. Make it show up right
Testing your blog on different operating systems, browsers and screen sizes (including mobile!) will ensure you are aware of any display issues, and can get them fixed. Browser Shots is a good place to start by testing how your site will look on different web browsers. Although this doesn’t sound like much fun, it’s important, so get it done.
3. Make it easy to read
Using a standard font like Times New Roman or Arial will make your work easier to read and help with my previous point—making your blog display correctly for all your readers.
Using bold font and italics occasionally will not only help you emphasize your key points, but will draw the reader’s eye. Subheadings are another good way to do this. The Expert Enough blog makes great use of these three elements.
4. Make it more useful
By linking to other sources across the web, you can provide more context about the topic you are discussing. You can also link to other relevant content on your own blog. This will provide more use for your readers, as well as extending the time they spend on your site. Julien Smith and Jeff Goins are two bloggers who often suck me in this way.
5. Make it easy to share
Using a service like Add This, you can give your readers a multitude of sharing options. Make sure your sharing buttons are easy to find to encourage your readers to engage. Michael Hyatt’s blog has social sharing buttons right beside the heading of each post—it doesn’t get easier than that!
Most of these tips are a little fiddly, but they will all take you one step closer to a killer blog that readers love. Have you got any other tips that have made your blog more user-friendly? Share them with us in the comment section.
Photo credit: Mike Licht