How Complicated Should Your Blog Be?

blogs

Having been at it for a good few years now, I am always struck by just how fussy many blogs are. What do I mean by fussy – overly complicated!

Many bloggers, particularly new writers, believe that they must add endless details to their blogs, such as apps to show all of their followers as well as their book covers. Not forgetting things like photo archives. The list is endless. Take it from me, you don’t need to add countless numbers of apps. If you do, to anyone encountering your blog for the first time, all you will do is confuse them. The first thing any reader should see is the post! Anything that distracts the reader’s eye from your post is counterproductive. It’s bad enough that blog systems like WordPress and Google’s Blogger, insert adverts. Thankfully in WordPress’ case, they restrict the add to below each post.

Unless your blog is an alternative advertising source like The Storyreading Apes’ excellent blog where he introduces writers to one another as well as potential readers, or Derek Haines’ WhizzBuzz where writers pay him to advertise their work, its far better to follow the ‘KISS’ principal (Keep It Simple Stupid).

All you will find on mine is the blog title, header picture, archives and posts, plus a short list of the best places I have found to ‘share’ a post as well as the ‘Like’ button, and hopefully the gravatars of followers who like a specific post. Not forgetting highlighted links.

I prefer using this tried and true method. You will note that I do not use a coloured background either. Why? Because reading black print on a white background makes it far easier to read the text of each post. Populating your blog background with dark colours is never a good idea. Yes, you may like it. But once you have created it, your blog is no longer your own. It becomes public property. Sooner or later, if you are lucky, people will like what you have to say and follow it. Always providing that they find it easy to read, and navigate their way around.

So, think about it. There is a lot to be said for a clean looking easy to read blog…

23 thoughts on “How Complicated Should Your Blog Be?

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I agree with you that ‘simple is best.’ I’ve observed this is the case with many photo-blogs, too: things are just too ‘sophisticated’ (complicated/cumbersome).
    Best wishes,
    Takami πŸ™‚

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  2. WOW Thanks for the shout Jack πŸ˜€
    I agree and try to keep mine simple by using pictures & titles for the home page, so it showcases posts, but each article is simple and I limit ads on the right column to events or services visitors may be interested in.
    πŸ˜€

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  3. I just finished reading Derek Haines’ post on using good blog content to attract readers through search engines. I’ve always tried to do that (and to provide a blog that’s easy to read – I have bad eyesight and white on black or yellow on purple is just painful). My blogs contain material on grammar and mythology, as well as some personal nostalgia posts and serious book reviews, and of course posts about my books and publishing progress. People continue every day reading my post on Formatting Books with CreateSpace (2741 views since March,2021), and you would be surprised how many people check out my only recipe post – on how to make Bishop’s Cake! Whether all this ever gets me any sales I couldn’t say.

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  4. Good article. I think my blog is simple enough. I like the separate page tabs for things like my reviews excerpts. My posts enjoy the main space, black type on white background. I hate those blogs with dark backgrounds and neon writing. Hurts my eyes, and they’re bad enough already πŸ™‚

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  5. I’ve only been blogging since it was invented, Jack. And I’m still learning! But one point that I am only now starting to understand is that blogging is more about self-publishing – than self publishing. We always think of ebooks, but blogs are so similar to magazines, newspapers or even old op-eds. I’m also becoming perfectly comfortable with carrying advertising, because it costs me to host my WordPress blogs and pay for a WordPress developer to keep things ticking, on top of how much work I put into them.
    And you are right. Black on white always.
    Thanks for the plug for Whizbuzz mate!

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