Tips for improving your blog design

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Blog design is a very subjective activity. The fact of the matter is that some things that appeal to one person, in terms of blog design, won’t appeal to everyone. It’s axiomatic, but it’s true: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Still, there are some consistent elements that continue to appear in the design of good blogs. While following these tips for improving your blog design is not guaranteed to get you more readers or make you a better blogger, you might find that they can help make your blog a little more pleasing to most folks:

* Customize your theme. Make your blog memorable by making it stand out. Nearly every blog on Blogger.com looks the same. While there are some variations, so many of them just seem to be the same old thing. The same holds true for self-hosted WordPress blogs, although there are a great many more themes for these blogs. Taking a little bit of time to create a custom theme or have one created for you can make the difference between having a memorable blog and having a forgettable one.

* Focus on your content. If your content isn’t front and center in your blog, that’s OK. However, you need to make sure you’re listing your recent posts and your favorite posts in your blog’s sidebar. Make it easy for readers to find your best writing and they are likely to come back. Use a good number of categories, but not so many that the reader has to spend hours scrolling through the category list.

* Don’t be too flashy. Animated gifs are a thing of the past. No one wants to have a constantly-flashing banner pummeling their eye sockets. Bright colors are fun for some, but many people will instantly navigate away from a blog with a hot pink background. Be noticeable and have your own flair, but don’t let your blog design get to be obnoxious.

* Create a sense of community with your blog design. Use plug-ins that show your most recent comments or your top commenters. Make your readers feel like their voice is so important to you that you give it space in your blog design. This will keep your readers coming back to share their ideas again and again.

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