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Your blog is your baby. It's your creative outlet and your way to express yourself. It's important to look professional on your blog. There are a few quick functional and aesthetic fixes and checks to do just this:
- Don't have any broken images - Images can make or break a blog, but broken images are empty boxes of sadness. Broken images are promises that weren't kept. Showing other people's images? Download their image onto your server and host it on your site (and credit the source!). Do not rely on other sites to host their images for you. URL's change and break all the time, and you don't want that to reflect poorly on your site.
- Don't have any broken links - Once a year or so, plan to run your site through a broken link checker. External links aren't always possible to keep up with, but links within your site should work. Getting a 404 on your own page will cause your audience to lose trust in you, whether that is a conscious loss in trust or not.
- Have an about and contact page - As a blogger, you're putting yourself out there. People want to learn more about you as a person, and they also want to be able to contact you. Whether these critical blog components are mushed together in one page or are on separate pages, just make sure they're there, updated, and easily found.
- Have readable text - Standard web fonts do exist for a reason. These classic fonts have been around so long and have survived the onslaught of thousands of new fonts for a few reasons, but the most important being they're readable. People are on your blog to read. If your text is cursive, all caps, as wide as the browser, über tiny, very light grey, etc, your text won't be readable. Stay up on the typography trends and model your text after that. New, highly read sites like Medium use very large serif fonts. Web designer? Don't fall into the trap of using a super light grey, tiny font. It may look cool, but it's very hard to read. Trust me. Also, Open Sans is the devil for body text.
- Have comprehensive aesthetics - What does this mean? Use no more than two fonts. No more than 2 or 3 colors. Use a repeated motif or theme throughout your design. Use your best judgement, download a premade template, or hire a designer. You probably spend money and time on your own appearance because you want to look like a functional person. Spend some money and/or time on your blog theme, as it's somewhat an extension of yourself.
- Write good. 😂 - edit, edit, edit. No one's perfect, but at least give it your best shot.
What are some blogger no-no's that make you cringe?
Cover photo by Arnel Hasanovic