Hello! Happy Monday! Today I’m kicking off Marianne’s Design Your Own (lovely) Blog blog tour, which is a movement aimed at supporting women around the world create a life they love. Starting today, 14 incredible female bloggers will each be writing one blog post on their own blog, about a tip, tutorial, etc. that they want to share to help women improve their blogs, mainly through design. That’s 14 FREE tips shared over 3 weeks!
So who is Marianne? Marianne has been helping women to create lives they love by giving them confidence when it comes to their own blog designs. So many women know they want more out of life. They are smart, creative and hard workers. But too many think that in order to start a business, you need to spend a lot of money. This is just not true. It’s totally possible to build a business, large or small, by bootstrapping from the start. Marianne’s goal is to provide economical DIY ways for them to get started and help them feel better about who they are and what they have to offer.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the blog tour, let’s get to the good stuff: how to make your blog easy to read!
We’ve all seen it before — that one site that assaults your eyes and is just a disorganized mess. The site might have amazing content, but if it’s not easy to read, it doesn’t matter. Here are some tips to make sure your content really shines.
Colors + Contrast
The thing I see most often that makes a site hard to read is color! I know you’ve seen it too. Ever been on a site where the text is such a light shade? There’s no contrast there, which makes it difficult to read. Similarly, picking colors with too much contrast can be jarring on the eyes. White text on a black background comes to mind.
When designing your blog, I think it’s always best to keep things simple. You don’t have to stick with a white background, but I would keep the color fairly light. Similarly, while black text is probably the easiest to read, you can branch out and choose other colors. Navy, eggplant, or dark grey would work. The idea here is to keep your text dark, so that it contrasts nicely with a light colored background.
If you want to have fun with colored text, save them for headings or links. A larger, bolder font will work better with a lighter color than a smaller, light weight font will. Which brings us to…
Font + Size
What is your font size set to? Is it 12px? 10px? If so, change it! Maybe I’m getting old, but these tiny fonts force me to squint. And if I have to squint, then I’m sure plenty of other people do too. I would suggest a minimum font size of 14px. Ideally if your design allows, I would go with 16 or 18px. However, with some fonts you might even have to go larger. The typeface you choose plays a huge part in the readability at certain font sizes.
Again, simplicity is key here. There are tons of gorgeous fonts out there, but many are only good as a heading. When it comes to your body text, keep it simple. Arial, Times New Roman, etc might not be the most exciting choices, but I’d say they’re popular for a reason. But that’s not to say you have to stick with them. There are plenty of other fonts out there that can add flair to your site while still being easily readable.
Breathing Room aka White Space
Your eyes meed a place to rest, which is why it’s so important to incorporate white space into your blog. There should be space between any two elements on your site. For example, there should be enough space between your blog posts and your sidebar, your menu and your header, one paragraph and another. Don’t think that every inch of your site needs to be filled. Breathing room is never a bad thing.
Width of Content
How wide is your site’s content? Nowadays, it’s common to feature wide images, which usually means that your site’s text will match that width. Unfortunately, the wider the text, the harder it is to read. For optimal readability, aim for about 50 – 75 characters per line. The width you can go also depends on the size of your text. If the text is on the larger side, you’ll have a bit more freedom to go wider than you would if your text were smaller.
Your homework: analyze your blog with the above tips in mind. Are there any areas you can improve on? If so, get to it! Not sure? Ask a friend to give you honest advice.