10 Quick Blog Fixes

10-ways

Everyone deserves a good looking blog. You don’t have to be nutty like me and tweak your blog on the daily, but a once-over every couple months will make your blog easier to navigate and a pretty space for your readers to visit.

1. Give your posts room to breathe
Increase the width of your blog to add a little white space between your sidebar(s) and main column.

2. Bigger photos are better
Try making all your photos (vertical or horizonal) one standard width that fills your main column. The photos on my blog are all 620 pixels wide and it helps make my posts look organized. You can use Pixlr.com to crop and resize them if you don’t have Photoshop.

3. Clean up and organize sidebars
Think about what can be deleted, moved into a page, or shuffled around to make content on your sidebar easier to find. Do you really need two sidebars or will everything fit into one?

4. Be social
Is it easy to find your Twitter, Facebook, Email and RSS subscription links? I like having mine toward the top of my sidebar.

5. Make your titles stand out
Use the Google Font API to make your blog titles a little fancy, but play with the sizing to make sure they’re still easy to read!

6. Pick a color palette
Keep it simple – choose a main color and an accent color and keep the rest black, gray and white.

7. Everybody to the left
Aligning your text to the left or justified (instead of having it centered) will make it much easier to read and keep your columns nice and clean.

8. Prune your tags
Don’t overwhelm your readers with a list of 200 tags, pick the top 10 or 20 you use the most and feature just those. More info on organizing tags and categories >>>

9. Use your head
If your header space is, say, 920 pixels wide, fill it up! Make your photos, graphics and text stretch across the entire space. On the height side, I wouldn’t go taller that 250 pixels or you risk pushing all your content too far down on smaller monitors.

10. Get out of the shadows [ instructions ] This one is for Blogger users…I recommend turning off the automatic shadows on your photos so graphics and text looks like…

There…now doesn’t that look better?

P.S. If you follow my blogging tips I’d love to see before and after screenshots, post them in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Jess [tenpenny splendid] says

    Love this. I’ve been working hard on pruning my tags and getting rid of ones that only appear once. Also have been planning for bigger photos (+ getting rid of the shadows!) in my next layout update. And centered text makes me cry a little. Thanks for pointing out these awesome tips!! :)

  2. lauryn says

    Great tips! There’s so much I don’t know about html and Blogger in general that sometimes it all gets ridiculously overwhelming. I should go through and do a quick clean up!

    • sillygrrl says

      Your side bars look pretty good to me! The headings really break everything up and make it easy to find. If you’re still thinking it’s image heavy, try adding more text :)

  3. liz says

    Hi! Great tips! Quick question though! How do you turn off the drop shadow on images when using blogger? They show up on my blog when I use Firefox, but no other browser. Let me know if you know how!

    Thanks!

    Liz

  4. Nessa says

    All great advice. Blogs without the clutter are a lot easier to navigate and read, without distractions or confusion. I love blogs that are simple that way.

  5. sydney says

    wow. pretty good tips! totally agree with the photo ones :)

    im frustrated at my own banner. i am aware that it looks like shyt and nothing special.. but i dont know how to style it! :(

    sydsense

  6. Stephanie says

    Every single one of these tips are completely on point. Every time I’ve “cleaned house” I’ve straightened up something that I never noticed before and I feel like my blog looks better than ever. Wonder what I’ll notice next time!

    (PS: I ended up with 304930493 tags so I just gave up. For some reason I struggle with tag organization. Maybe I’ll give it another shot soon!)

  7. Katie says

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips – my blog is a work in progress – I quite like how it looks, but it could be better! I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I love the process and continuous journey of blogging :) Katie. xxx

  8. Melissa says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I was just trying to figure this out this morning. So thankful that Google searches pointed me here to fix this and discover your neat blog!

  9. Debbie says

    Hi Sarah! I like your blog, and that you have made it available to those of us who know enough to be constantly challenged! I have been blogging for a few years now but with the new “Blogger” format have run into some problems. I can’t figure out how to create spaces between my pictures in order to insert text. Any ideas? I appreciate any help you can give me! Thanks, Debbie

    • sillygrrl says

      If you can pick through the html you can add a

      after each photo and that will create space for you to add text. Or try clicking on the photo, hitting the right arrow key and then enter and that will make space as well. I know Blogger doesn’t make these things very easy sometimes!

  10. Aubrey says

    Thank you so much for this post! I agree with Whitney, yes, yes, and yes!!! I couldn’t agree more! I’m not a designer but I have learned quite a few things from my computer programming and graphic designing husband, as well as from blogs I visit and what I like and don’t like. After reading this post I turned to my husband and said, finally a blogger’s tips that you (and I) agree with!

    There was one that I just came around to. For some reason I have this urge to make some of my text center-faced event though I know many of us read top to bottom left to right. So I just recently got out of that bad habit. I’m working on a completely new design now that I think incorporates all of this and much of what he’s tuaght me. Thanks for the info and I’m going to go on and read your other blogging posts!

    ~Aubrey

  11. Tasia of Ruffles & Sequins says

    Great tips! These are really helpful. haha Shadows drive me nuts (and I find that for some reason on different web browsers they still show up even after removing them). I don’t understand why they are a default anyway :( Down with shadows!

  12. Farhana says

    I can’t help but feel that the shadows look nicer in that example? Haha! Each to their own I suppose!

    I actually have the opposite problem with my sidebar at the moment… It’s so ridiculously empty!

  13. Chelsea Ward says

    I have a question about changing something in blogger that I can’t figure out for the life of me. Right now I have my sidebars background color as transparent but what comes out is a grey color. When I change it to white, it’s becomes a solid white bar and you can’t see the background of my blog at all… Is there a way to have them transparent entirely, where you would see no color behind any of my sidebar gadgets aside from the background of my blog scrolling behind them?

    • Chelsea Ward says

      Scratch that comment, somehow figured it out! AND! I just edited my blog HTML for the first time thanks to you! The CSS edit for the photo shadow didn’t work but I managed to find the code and delete it! Happy nerdy dance! Thanks for all the awesome tips lady! You are a gem :)

  14. nindy says

    Hey there :)

    What a coincidence, I just wrote some tips like this on my blog (but written in Indonesian) and I can not be more relieved to know someone finally gets exactly the same thoughts as I do :D

    Do you mind if I put your link into the post? :)

  15. nindy says

    Oh, and I named Popular Post with Reader’s Favorite too! I swear I’ve never visited your blog before this (I googled how to remove shadow on blogger and found yours), so I hope you didn’t think I’m a copycat :(

    Love your blog! x

  16. Keating-Mariee says

    I’m quickly falling in love with your site! I’m loving all the blogging tips! I went through these one by one and fixed up my blog tonight. It’s looking amazing now! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Op Craftzine verscheen onlangs een artikel over hoe je gemakkelijk je blog banner kon aanpassen bij blogger en wordpress.com blogs. Uiterlijk is belangrijk, dus als je nog geen aanpassingen aan het uitzicht van je blog hebt gedaan, dan raad ik aan om dat als eerste te doen. Weg met de standaard banners en hello to een gepersonaliseerde feel (+ hier een paar tips voor een ordelijke blog). [...]

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