The Blog Squad - Part 9

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.
BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett

What do you think is important about blog layout? How did you decide on your particular one?

Di says....png

I think the most important thing about blog layout is that everything is easy to find - that you can easily navigate from page to page and that things aren’t too crowded or visually messy.  The first impression that people have of YOU is your blog design and layout and if your blog isn’t visually attractive, how do you get people to actually READ your content?

Another important factor is making your blog easy to FOLLOW - after all, what are we all-important bloggers if we cannot be followed and have our voices heard?

My own layout is a sort of flowing work in progress - I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with it and I change things whenever I think of something that might make my blog nicer or cleaner or easier to read.

I have two sidebars with a central ‘content’ area to allow me to keep all the ‘important stuff’ within easy reach. Hopefully that strategy is working!

Amy says.......png
I think it’s important that your blog layout shows you: Your style, your tastes, your choice of colours….don’t try copy someone else’s, be true to what you like and who you are. I guess that applies to more to design than actual layout, but still. It’s your blog, so make it yours.   Design it and arrange the layout in the way you’re comfortable with. Make it your blog :)

That said, I do think another important thing you should probably consider when designing and layouting (I think I just made up a word?!) is your readers and their impressions. I personally think a blog layout should be very organised, with fonts and graphics that are easy to read and don’t hurt the eyes, and preferably without too much clutter in the sidebars, etc. It should be easy to navigate and very reader-friendly. With my layout, I’ve tried to keep it tidy, simple, and organised, and have resisted the urge to fill up my sidebars. Your personal tastes play hugely into this, but I do think it’s important to remember your readers - however much you design for yourself.  Keep it your style, your colours, etc, but make it easy for your readers to search for posts, read your reviews, and if you want them to stalk you elsewhere, make your social media links in your sidebar easy to find.

Yes, it definitely comes down to your personal preferences, but thinking of your readers as a whole, consider how to make their visit easier and more enjoyable - especially if you want them to stick around. First impressions are a HUGE part of blogging, and most bloggers won’t hang around trying to find your menu bar or social media links if it takes them more than a few seconds.
Layout can be a real pain, but most of the time I’ve found that keeping it simple is better.  

Is there one thing you wish you'd done differently to your blog from the start? One thing you regret?

Di says....png

There’s been a couple of times (when I’m fighting with HTML or would love to install different plug-ins) that I’ve wondered if I should have gone with a WordPress based blog. I’ve also thought about the blog name itself a few times (however I’m not the most imaginative and haven’t come up with anything I’d rather use at this point!).

If you’re looking to start out in blogging definitely consider and research those two things carefully! And if you DO want to change it I’d recommend doing it as early in your blogging career as you can! I can imagine it would be really tough to get hundreds of followers to move over to your new site/blog URL!

Amy says.......png
I think the thing I’d do differently to my blog if I could is change the name. It’s not that I’m not happy with A Magical World Of Words, it’s just that - if I’d given myself time to think carefully about it - I don’t think I would’ve chosen that particular title.   
When I first created my blog, it was called Words of a Wordaholic. THANKFULLY I changed it. But because I was in a rush to get the URL sorted out and get a new name before I lost visitors or followers or whatever, I scrambled for a name that would encompass what I wanted my blog to stand for and one that would fit my personal tastes.  I wanted it to have Words in the title, and so in rush I decided upon A Magic World Of Words - since I believe words are magical, and obviously words encompasses every single post I write.
To cut a long story short, I eventually ended up with the title I have now. I do regret being in such a rush that I chose about the first name I thought of, and if I could do things differently, I’d change my blog name to something shorter.

So here’s some advice!! Think about your blog name long and hard before choosing one and don’t rush! It’s isn’t a nice thing to be unhappy with :(  

What is the next item on your blogging 'To Do' list?

Di says....png

Other than finding more time to actually devote to blogging and being able to visit lots of blogs all the time, the thing that I’d really love to complete is my blog roll page. At the moment I have a small blog roll in my sidebar but I want to devote an entire page to the blogs that I love and love to follow. Unfortunately I don’t want this JUST to be buttons and a description but I also want it to contain links to the latest posts and graphics etc - so it’s not as simple as it might have been! I also want to create a Reviews Archive page listing all of my previous reviews. Hopefully 2017 affords me the time to get all of the above accomplished!

Amy says.......png
I really really really want to do more discussion posts! I’ve got a few lined up in my head, but haven’t gotten round to them yet. Also, I’m kinda nervous about doing them (#procrastination) because discussing can be daunting and intimidating and SCARY BECAUSE IT’S YOUR OPINION, but hopefully I’ll be able to tackle them soon.

If you'd like to read my responses, hop on over to their collab posts!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our ninth discussion post! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below.


Stay tuned for next week’s questions!  

No comments:

Post a Comment