Have you ever stumbled upon a blog that is just simply beautiful? I have striven to achieve beautiful results on my blog for a very long time. I am proud to say that I believe I have finally found the formula for making almost any blog aesthetically pleasurable.
I would like to say that I have natural instincts when it comes to making my blog pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, it has taken years of creating and re-creating, trial and error, and just plain ugly layouts to get to the point at which I feel like I have finally achieved some sort of online beauty. That’s not to say I won’t keep trying to improve; in fact, what is attractive now may not be entirely attractive in the future. But for now, I want to show you how these simple tricks will get your blog shining in no time!
One of the very first things most people will notice on any blog is the header. If your blog is not sporting an attractive, well-designed header, you might as well assume that many people will just move on to the next. I hate to admit that but I believe it to be the truth. The header is so important for setting the mood for your website. Some websites are very minimalist and therefore use only text in their header but they choose visually appealing fonts that create an atmosphere. Many websites combine graphics and text to set the theme for their blog. When choosing fonts, be sure to use fonts that compliment one another, avoid using more than 2 font types, and choose colors that match the rest of your page.
Here’s a screen capture of my blog header to share as an example:
The header is clean, it blends well with my white background, I use only 2 fonts, and I stick with the colors that I use in the rest of my blog. Now certainly you could use a photograph with a text overlay or use borders around yours. There are so many ways to make your header unique and stand out from the rest. Luckily for us, there are a couple of online resources that I often use to create my headers and other blog graphics. PicMonkey and Canva are great especially for users without a lot of graphic design experience.
Landing on a blog without a menu bar is really, really annoying. I often want to check out other topics or read about the author. Without a menu in plain sight on any blog, you will surely lose your readers quickly. The more accessible your archives and other pages are, the more time readers will spend on your blog. There are various resources for plugins and add-ons for creating fancy menus. If you use WordPress, check out some of the plugins available for menus. My menu is easily accessible, located between my header and the content. It is not crowded and it fits entirely on one line.
I have created sub-menus beneath several of the menu items above. This allows me to include more information in my menu without creating confusion and ugly multiple lines of text. The more organized your menu is, the more likely you’ll have content in your archives read.
Of course the header can’t have all the fun especially if you choose to have a sidebar. This is where you can add extra content that you want to be easily accessible to your readers while they are visiting your site. It is highly recommended that at the very top of your sidebar, you include links to your social media so that visitors can connect with you on their favorite site(s). Many bloggers use icons but some use widgets, banners, or buttons. I chose to use icons and I think not only are they beautiful, but they are clean and neat. Here is what my social media icons look like:
Readers can easily identify the various social media platforms and click on the one(s) that they choose. You can find free icon sets all over the internet (just be sure you are downloading from a trusted source), there are WordPress widgets, and you can find them pre-built into many blog themes.
Beneath your social media icons, it is customary to insert a photo of yourself as well as a short bio. This can be linked to your About Me page with further in-depth information. A personal photo of yourself gives you, the author a face and allows your readers to connect with a real person rather than just a face behind a computer screen. Use a friendly photo that you are smiling in. Make it fun! Add some personality to it with a fancy hand-written font. Here is what mine looks like:
The point is, it should make the reader feel welcome in your space. It should draw them in so that they want to read more about who you are and what you are blogging about.
The space in which your content, the actual posts that you write, is contained should use the most real estate beneath your header and menu. This is where your blood, sweat, and tears are displayed! Make it shine! And by that, I mean use legible fonts and colors, use beautiful photos (if you’re not into photography, try pixabay!), and make your text left-aligned. Reading centered text is not natural for the human eye. It’s also a really good idea to use excerpts of your articles rather than using the full length of the text on your home page.
And Finally, The Footer
You really should not ignore all that real estate at the bottom of your blog. It is very useful for secondary menus as well as copyright information as well as credit where credit is due. Try using an odd number of columns in the footer space to create a more balanced appearance. You also want to be cognizant of the vertical alignment from one column to the next. Try not to make one column exceptionally longer than the others. You want to create balance.
Here’s a glance at what my footer looks like:
All blogs are beautiful in their own way but to make one really, truly appealing is very easy! I hope that you can take some of the tips I have provided and use them to beautify your website!
Chirleen Evans blogs over at A Harvest Reaped where she shares about her life as a new mommy, being married to her best friend, and about her faith in Jesus. She also talks about pregnancy loss, infertility, and grief since losing her son at birth in 2012.