Content matters most, but poor page elements hide good content.
1. Overall feel
Is your blog welcoming? Think about the first impression it gives--the colors and images that greet new readers.
Is your background boring or engaging? You don't need to limit yourself to the overused templates available on your blog provider. There are free backgrounds available a number of places. Here's a few I've tried:
Hot Bliggity Blog
Cutest Blog on the Block
Cute and Cool Blogs
But the most popular backgrounds are plain and simple ones that don't detract from your posts.
2. Your Header: Don't make your header too large. You want readers to see the headline and some text in your top post as soon as they enter your site without having to scroll down. You'd be surprised how many readers a large header can turn away.
3. Automatic music: I find it annoying even if it's a song I like, and most folks I've talked with feel the same. It's unnecessary, it becomes repetitious, and it assumes that your reader is not already listening to music.
4. Pop-ups, ads, blinkies, and other gadgets. Less is more. Be careful. I sometimes leave a site if there is too much advertising.
5. Layout: Adjust your layout so the posting area is wide enough to read without constant scrolling, but don't make it full page. And I personally don't like a layout with sidebar on both sides--it makes the blog feel cluttered and it's distracting.
6. Fonts: Small and fancy fonts are harder to read, especially for those over age 50. Make sure to use dark font on light background. Read more about fonts HERE. Font size and style are important.
7. Getting Around: Is your blog easy to maneuver? Is it easy to find your archives? your bio? your subscription tool?
Take time to consider these elements. Ask friends to check out your site and tell you if it's user-friendly.
If you're blog is part of your ministry as a Christian, don't let your page elements keep readers away.
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