Blogging effectively (I) – 5+1 easy design tips!

Hands writing in a laptopSurely blogging is easy – what’s hard is to pay attention to the thousand details you need to take into consideration while writing.

Everything in order to make the experience better for the user. That includes things like: easy to read, scannable, useful and accurate, easy to understand, etc. The design is crucial for blogging effectively.

So we’re writing and we have that incredible piece of content that we want to share immediately with the world. That’s perfect, most of the times writing something useful, informative or interesting is not easy. But before making it live we should pay attention to some details. Make sure your users find it easy to read it. Your blog’s design is crucial.

I’ve been to websites in which even if the content was interesting, I didn’t feel like reading it because of the poor design. Nobody likes to be welcomed with a wall of text without a specific structure, without signs to guide the user throughout the whole experience. Also there are some elements that make the reading much easier. Now let’s see what those signs and elements are:

1. Headings and subheadings.

They’re so useful. It breaks the content into sections so the users doesn’t feel lost. They know exactly what they’re going to find in each of the sections, and if they’re only interested in one particular piece of it they can just go to it directly.  The reason behind this is that we want our content to be useful – No matter if that means that people won’t read the whole thing.

2. Lists

Surely you’ve seen that people love to do lists. And that’s for a reason. It makes really easy to the user to grasp the information. I personally like lists that only have one line each bullet. Makes the list much clearer. If you make a list but you write whole paragraphs in each bullet point, you’re missing the usefulness of a list.

3. White space

This is one of the things why lists works. White space is a wonder in your users’ eyes. Check where there are white spaces in your posts

  • Between paragraphs
  • On the right side of lists, headings and subheadings.
  • Space from one line of text and another
  • Between words

I don’t recommend playing with the space between words: too much space would make the content look bit weird. But it worth it to pay attention to the other three elements. Specially space from one line to another in the same paragraph is important. You need to find a good balance: if it’s too small, it’ll be hard for users to go through one line to another. If it’s too much, it will look too wide.

4. Use simple words and no abbreviations (There are exceptions!)

Try to avoid writing for yourself. What does this means? The knowledge you have it’s probably not the knowledge that your users could have. They might talk in a more plain way. There’s way to simplify what you write. As a general rule, make it simple. The more, the better. Also be careful with abbreviations and not everyone might be aware of what they mean. The exceptions I’m talking about are if you’re writing for a highly technical blog and stuff like that where the vocabulary level might be higher.

5. Use bold text if needed

If you feel that you can’t use subheading or lists, and the content looks too “empty”, try to use bold text. I didn’t see much of it in other blogs but I truly think it should be used if needed. Don’t overuse it of course. We don’t want to remember our users those times when they were studying for a subject and they were underlining everything in each chapter. Not everything is important and should be used carefully, not every post will need it.

6. Bonus tip! Make a good introduction

We said earlier that our objective is not for our users to read all our content. Our goal should be for the user to find it useful. They might be looking for a specific tip/information, there’s no need for them to have to read everything to get to that tip. So a good introduction should be one in which the users know exactly what they’re going to find in that post and decide, without reading more, if they could find something useful in your post.

Blogging effectively is composed of several little details like these ones, but eventually you will start to do these things without even realizing. Mainly because you will realize that it really helps a lot on the reading.

So that’s all for now, if you feel I should add more simple tips for the design in blogging don’t doubt on contacting me! Either leave a comment, send me an email or let me know in my Twitter account! (Follow me, too!)

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