Does this sound familiar? You spend hours crafting the perfect blog post and when you finally hit “PUBLISH”, you’re disappointed by the lack of response from your tribe.

Even with the best content in the world, if your website’s user experience is poor, your visitors won’t hang around for long. With a few simple tweaks, you can make your blog posts more user-friendly. And that translates into visitors staying on your site longer and engaging with your content.

Navigation

Website navigation doesn’t directly tie into a blog post, but it’s one of the first things visitors see, so it must be user-friendly. Always display your logo at the top of the page so visitors can identify your site. Your navigation bar should also be located at the top of the page.

  • Make sure the page the visitor is currently on is clear in the navigation. Bold or change the color of the navigation link to make it clear. On my website, the page you are currently on is represented by a magenta color and the rest of the links remain light pink.

Build a Better Blog Post - Navigation

  • Navigation should be consistent from page to page. Do not change the order of navigation items from page to page on your website. As visitors become familiar with your site, you do not want them be confused and leave due to an inconsistent navigation.`
  • Use universal terms people recognize. All stop signs say “STOP” because it is universally recognized. If cities could use “HALT”, “PAUSE”, “FREEZE”, or an another synonym for stop, it would confuse the everyone. You don’t want to confuse site visitors. Instead use common terminology, not cutesy or specialized terms.

Design

Making a few tweaks to the design of your blog post will make it easier for any visitor to read. This will make your site’s overall user experience better overall.

  • Select an easy to read body font. A plain, san serif font is a smart choice for blog post copy. Good options are Arial, Open SansPT Sans or Lato. If you prefer a serif font, Times New Roman, Vollkorn or PT Serif are safe options. A size 16 pt font or bigger is optimal for on-screen reading.

Build a Better Blog Post - Serif vs San Serif

  • Left align your text. You have the option to center or left or right align text. Text that is left aligned is easiest to read because your eye can naturally find the beginning of the line. If you center or right align text, your eye will have to search for the beginning of each line.

Build a Better Blog Post - Text Alignment

  • Choose the correct colors. A dark font on a light background is easiest to read. (This hasn’t changed since the printing press was invented.)  If you want to experiment with a colored background, be sure there is enough contrast between the font and background.

Build a Better Blog Post - Color & Contrast

Skimmable content

I’ll admit it, I’m a skimmer. I don’t read ever word of every blog post (or Instagram caption). In today’s fast-paced world, no one takes much time to read a web page thoroughly so make sure your site is easy to skim.

  • Use headings to break up text and create a scannable outline of your post. It will direct visitors to the content they are looking for quicker.
  • Use a combo of short paragraphs and bullet points. Longer blog posts look much less daunting to read when the posts are broken down this way.
  • Bold or italicize important words and phrases to make them easy to spot.

Links

When writing a blog post, you will want to link to pages within your website or other’s websites. Following a few simple rules will ensure a better experience for your blog reader.

  • Links should be easy to identify as clickable. Select a link color that will stand out in the text. Make sure the color leaves the text easy to read. You can also underline links.
  • Set all external links to open in a new tab. External links are links that lead to other websites. If a reader is in the middle of your blog post and clicks on a link, you do not want them to be navigated away from your site. Instead, set external links to open in new tabs so it is easy to return to your blog post.

FREE BLOG POST CHECKLIST

Ready to make these tweaks to your blog post? Grab a free printable checklist so you can start making your blog posts more user-friendly today!

If you have any question about the above content, feel free to let me know – I would love to hear from you!

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6 thoughts on “Build a Better Blog Post (Plus a free checklist!)

  1. I’m getting more serious about blogging so these tips are a great help! I used to center my text, but yes, it makes sense to align to the left. Thanks for the tips!

    Posted on August 8, 2016 at 8:38 pm
    1. Hi Kat! I’m glad to hear that the tips helped you out. I just checked out your blog and I’m loving your content! So fun! xo katie

      Posted on August 12, 2016 at 10:55 am
  2. Great post! I have one question…how do you make it so the title of the page the reader is on is highlighted or a different color? Thanks!

    Posted on August 13, 2016 at 9:36 am
    1. Hi Katie! Thanks for stopping by! Are you talking about changing the color of the link in your navigation?

      Posted on August 13, 2016 at 10:43 am
  3. Great tips! As a new blogger, I’m always looking for ways to improve my site. Thanks!
    – – Rachel @ Tidy&Teal

    Posted on August 13, 2016 at 9:23 am
    1. Hi Rachel! Thanks for stopping by – I’ll be sure to check out your new blog too! I’m so glad you found this post helpful. If you have any questions, just let me know! xo

      Posted on August 13, 2016 at 10:31 am