Millions of people use blogs to share their thoughts, get closer to their audience, establish their expertise and even sell.
If you are a fempreneur, you want to stand out from this noise with valuable content and a design that makes your blog easily readable.
What should you consider to achieve a clean look that sticks your reader to the screen?
Here are 7 tips to help you.
1. Choose a clean font type
Now that Google Fonts makes a lot of different fonts easily available, it's easy to be tempted and use ones that aren't necessarily the most readable. When choosing your font, you have to consider where you want to use it (in your headings or in body text).
For your headings, you can use display fonts or a text font with more weight.
On the web, sans-serif fonts are more recommended for body text. In print, serif fonts are more readable. (There's a debate over this even among designers, this is a general point of view. Always try to consider the picture as a whole and go for what seems right. Think with the head of your visitor.)
Choosing your font can be influenced by your brand in general.
Never choose a cursive font for your body text.
2. Make your font size big enough
Choosing a clean font is one thing, making it big enough to be easily readable is another.
I wouldn't give you a general size in pixels, as different fonts can act differently.
Make sure your font size is comfortable on hand-held devices too.
Line height can also influence readability. A good rule of thumb is setting your line height at about 150% of the font size.
3. Choose your background and font color wisely
Contrast is essential for readability. I almost always go for a light background on the websites I design and choose a darker font color for the text.
Light backgrounds don't necessarily mean white, you can use light grey like #fbfbfb.
As for the body font color, you don't need to choose black. Go for dark grey, blue or brown. Black text can be hard on the eyes on a white background.
Have you noticed my body fonts are dark blue? :)
It's nice to use one of your brand colors for the headings and URLs on your website. Just make sure you don't go with a color that's too light. (If you have pastels, then choose a darker shade of the desired color.)
4. Neither too short nor too long lines
The ideal character count is 60-75 per line, according to other sources it can go up to 95, but it's not recommended to use a higher number. Why?
If your lines are too long, the eye of the reader will find it hard to focus on them from the beginning till the end. It's difficult to follow where the next line starts and to see where the eye should jump at the end of the line. (Have you experienced this reading a book with too small text and searching for where to go on?)
If your lines are too short, then your eye keeps jumping from line to line, which brakes the rhythm of reading. As a result, you can skip important words.
Now, as having a responsive website is a must, line length should be flexible. Good design displays text differently on different devices.
5. Break up your paragraphs
If you have long paragraphs in your body text, nobody will read them.
A good practice is hitting ENTER after every one-two sentences. (First, this was strange to me too, but it gives your posts a really nice, neat look.)
Use lists in your posts if you can. Lists can make your post appearance overall clean.
6. Highlight important thoughts
As many visitors won't read all the sentences and words in your post, only scan through, it's helpful to highlight the most important thoughts with bold text.
Italics should go only with quotes, author names etc.
Highlights should be highlights, so don't emphasize whole paragraphs.
7. Remove clutter
Don't make your blog appearance messy by displaying redundant elements like hundreds of badges, recommended posts, social media and other widgets, tags, categories, ads in your sidebar.
I'm not saying you should remove everything (though there's a trend for it). I'm asking you to consider this: is having that item in your sidebar really necessary for achieving the overall goal of your blog?
If you remove clutter, your reader will be grateful, and hopefully, stay on your site longer.
Is your blog readable? Have you found ideas you can go with to improve? Let me know in a comment below.