August 2, 2011

Blog Page Elements

When you visit a blog, what areas – besides the main post – do you check out?

I like this question because I would really like to tell other bloggers the stuff I notice on their blogs. You know, for validation.

First, I read the post I went there to read. And comment if I think of something to say. Then if it’s my first time visiting the blog, I read the “about me” page to see if this is someone I can relate to in some way. And then I will check out their sidebar.

I look for their follow buttons so I can follow if I want. I look at their tags/labels to get a better sense of what they write about most. I even look at the third party buttons they display and if I see a new one I click it to see what it’s for. I also check out the blogs they follow to see if we have any in common or if any look interesting to me.

I personally really appreciate a blogger who makes their content EASY TO SEE. Tiny fonts, light colored text or difficult to see contrast are not my friends! But I know most everyone else can see just fine so I try not to hold it against the blogger if their site is hard for me to see. But, just for me personally, it may keep me from coming back because it just frustrates me.

Anyway, why not make your site bold and easy to see? Why not make it POP and engage your reader? These are good things, right?

I don’t mean BUSY or flashy. In fact, I don’t like those widgets that have a continually updating stream of something. I see it out of the corner of my eye while I’m trying to read a post and it’s distracting.

In conclusion (I sound like I’m writing a school essay), I do check out many aspects of a blog, I appreciate being able to see it without pressing my nose up to the monitor and I don’t think the page should be too busy.

Have something you’d like to say about my site? Please do! But be gentle.


  1. Hey! I love this prompt, in fact it may be the next one I do.

    So there isn't much I don't like about your blog! It is pretty sweet looking and way easy to read.

    I love the Suggested Reading at the bottom of the post. (So much I just added it to my blog!)

    The one thing I see on there that I would remove are the share buttons on your side bar. You already have them at the end of your posts and it does the same thing.

    Other than that I love it!!

  2. That was really helpful to read! I agree with you, but am wondering if my blog is guilty of a few of these things. Hmmm....

  3. When I started my blog (very recently), I had been a longtime blog reader, so I knew the layout things I liked and the ones I didn't. But I never realized how difficult it would be to put the knowledge into action. I like to keep my font pretty small because I tend to write more per post than the average blogger (I think... Maybe...) and I don't want people to be intimidated by the length of the post. But I don't want people to squint either. It's a tough balance.

    I gues what I would like is reader feedback about this issue. If someone told me they won't come back because of my layout (not my content), I'd work hard to fix it.

  4. Busy, cluttered sidebars are so distracting! Glad to know you read the About pages.

  5. Oh, I totally agree- it has to be easy on the eyes. There are some I click away from b/c I just can't read them.

    I'm getting old.

  6. Great thoughts, I love reading what everyone likes and doesn't like about a blog and I totally agree about things being too busy or flashy.
    My only advice for you would be to shorten the length of your sidebar a bit.
    You could do two things:
    List the names of your popular posts only and not include an excerpt.
    Reduce the amount of tags you have listed under "What I Talk About" to only things that you have tagged in a certain number of posts. I know in WP you can set a minimum number, not sure if you can do the same in blogger.
    Other than that your blog looks great. Sorry for writing a book here!

  7. I always forget to use tags and labels. I have to remember to do that. I also read the About Me pages. I like learning a bit more about the person behind the blog.

  8. I love your title: Just Plain Jennifer...or just plain awesome. Makes me smile every time. I love your background and how easy it is to read. I love your tabbies at the top. Oh heck, I just plain love YOU!