Like with books themselves, one of the first things any reader notices about a book blog - or any blog in general - is the design, so it's important to have one that's both functional and eye-pleasing. In this post, I've written up a few pieces of advice regarding blog design.
Now, I'm by no means an expert, and all the following tips I give below are just drawn from my own experience visiting blogs. Please feel free to consider or disregard any advice below.
The majority of your blog readers have functioning vision, and they would probably like to keep it that way, so please, please, please go easy on the colors.
There's no need to make it look like your blog fell in a pot of melted rainbows and day-glo. When I pull up your blog, I really don't want to have to squint through the blinding yellows and reds and neon hot pinks. This doesn't mean you have to have a drab white and silver theme, but just keep the colors at a tolerable level.
This goes the reverse way, too. Your blog is not a cave, so don't make it pitch black. I agree that light text on black background looks cool, but when it comes to ease of reading? Not so much.
We all know widgets are cool, and fun, and awesome in every single way, and I'm as guilty as anyone else when it comes to entertaining the idea of putting those wonderfully flashy objects on the sides of my blog. But like anything else, widgets are only good in moderation.
Sure, put some promotional buttons and some neat (but pertaining!) gadgets along the side. That's great, and it makes your blog relevant and interesting. What you do want to avoid, though, is having so many that the entire page is cluttered.
Arguably even worse is when you have so many flashy objects that it takes forever for your blog to load. People are impatient, and they don't want to have to wait too long to visit, nor do they want their browser to crash every time.
We all love comments, but some blogs make it unnecessarily hard to do so. To start with, you don't want the comment button hidden. A reader shouldn't have to search for it. And on the contrasting side, it shouldn't be huge and obnoxiously bright.
But more important than just finding the comments button, you want it to be easy to make one. Specifically, I'm talking about Captcha and other human-verification devices.
You also want to be careful with the comment form. The ones that require you to input name, blog name, email address, etc. can be rather annoying. In my experience, the standard ones that come with Google Blogger are the quickest because there's an easy drop-down menu to choose your identity.
That concludes these three tips. I hope they were helpful! Do you agree or disagree with any of these, or have some tips of your own? Share in the comments! (I promise there's no Captcha :P)