Of course, a lot of design is personal preference. Maybe you want a lot of bells and whistles, or maybe you take a more minimal approach. It’s your choice! However, a general rule of good design is: less is more.
Have an eye-catching header.
I tend to choose a blank/solid background; I find a simple white background is best so readers can really focus on posts and images. However, headers should stand out more + catch the eye. Even if it’s something simple, make your header visually attractive. Use interesting fonts, try some color, maybe use a combination of all upper and all lowercase.
Really consider your theme.
If you use WordPress, there are a lot of options for themes. (Unfortunately for Blogger users, the customization options are more sparse.) Take your time browsing through available themes and pick one that really speaks to you. There are a lot of free themes out there, but you can also purchase them (and many don’t cost a ton of money) that really up the design factor + look of your blog. Also, as you surf through other blogs, take note of what you like (and don’t like!) about each. Keep this list of likes and dislikes handy as you shop for your own theme.
For example, I really wanted a slider at the top of my blog to showcase recent content. It rotates through my most recent posts to give my reader a quick glance at what I’ve recently published. I had noticed this feature on a few of my favorite blogs, and wanted to make sure the theme I chose had that as an option.
Customize, but don’t over-customize.
This goes back to the idea of less is more. The more custom your blog is, the more it’s really yours. You don’t want your blog to look like everyone else’s! Change fonts, plugins that show off your Instagram feed, add brand-specific social media buttons, etc. (For example, our TBC social media buttons are the same mint green as our brand.)
Now that I have said customize, customize, customize– don’t go over the top! Customize in moderation. Just like you don’t want to over-accessorize an outfit, you don’t want too much going on with your blog’s theme. You want the design to compliment the content (because you’re churning out killer content, right?), not the other way around. You may not need a button for every single form of social media out there; focus on the social platforms you’re most active in. Or you may want to scale down the graphics you’ve got going on, pull back on the size of headers, or limit your blog’s colors to just a few. Remember– customizing is good, overwhelming is not.
Good luck on the design front, Team TBC! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments!
Nikki blogs at The Fashionable Wife and is a co-founder of The Blogger Collective.