No blogger wants to hear the words, “Your blog is ugly”.

Although most bloggers are concerned how they are perceived online and will ask fellow bloggers what they think of, or how they can improve their blogs, some bloggers REALLY don’t want to know.

They like their blog just as it is.

And that’s okay.

Today’s Lesson

I’ll admit, I don’t like receiving nor giving criticism. If not done correctly, it can project a negative vibe.

In fact, if you asked me what I think of your blog, I’d find something I like about it and pay you a compliment.

And, I’m not saying that just to please you.

Just like I wouldn’t come into your home and say “You need to move that picture.”, I don’t feel it’s my place to tell you how to design your own online space.

After all, your blog a reflection of YOU.

That said, I will share what I like to see on blogs.

  1. What is the blog about?
  2. Oftentimes the name of a blog does not reveal what a blog is about. That’s where the tagline comes in. A simple sentence will let readers know what our blog is about and what they can expect from us in the future.

  3. Recent/favorite and/or random posts
  4. When I land on a blog I’m not familiar with, I may want to read something other than the current article. If I can’t find older posts, I leave. I don’t have time to dig for them, nor do I want to keep hitting “previous” or “next”.

  5. Where’s the “about me” page?
  6. An “about” page doesn’t have to be long, but I like knowing a little about the blog author(s). Need help writing one? See this post on how to write an “about” page.

So there you have it, three things I look for when I land on a blog.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

What do you look for when you land on a blog?

Would you want others to tell you how to improve your blog?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

P.S. The same may not apply to business blogs which should look as professional as possible.

P.S.S. I’m not saying my blogs are perfect, rather they’re a work in progress – always evolving.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    (Your link is broken in item #3 above — it has an extra http://.)

    The ugliest blogs for me are the ones I never look at because as soon as the page loads, their idea of good music starts playing. That turns me off right away and I’ll never see if there is anything good there, because I leave right away. I say, “If you want me to view your blog, leave the music off.”

    Other than that, I’m like you. I’d rather find something I like and comment on that rather than comment on the parts I don’t like.

    There is one blog that really clashes for me. A respected scientist comments on science related topics on a blog that has garish colors and a background with Japanese. cartoon characters — I think he’s located somewhere in Eastern Europe. Even though I’m interested in the topic, the blog setting is unsettling and I seldom stay there very long.

    • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike .. that Scientific blog would drive me nuts – I too would definitely avoid them like the plague. So for you to visit – must mean he has useful information .. cheers Hilary

      http://positiveletters.com

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for letting me know about the broken link, Mike. I fixed it.

      That’s sad, isn’t it? You’ve found a blog with information you’re interested in, but due to the way it’s designed/laid out, you’re discouraged to even visit. I’ll bet there are countless others who feel the same way.

  2. Synchronicity…I’ve been wondering if the continued sameness of my blog is a bore to readers. I notice some bloggers like to change, rearrange, renew or redecorate their blogs. I haven’t changed the appearance of my blog since its creation – for two reasons.
    1. First impressions – it doesn’t matter how many changes are made to a blog, my impression was made the first visit and, if I’m still coming back, it’s because I like the writing.

    2. Identification – A logo is an identifier. My header and layout is like my logo. If I’m always changing my blog, could it distract and possibly confuse more than attract? I have one blog buddy who has a number of blogs and who keeps redecorating them. I’m so confused that I just subscribe and count on the button to tell me if I’m already on board. She’s an excellent writer so I go with it. If she wasn’t, I would give up.

    As a reader, I like uncluttered blogs that let me know a bit ABOUT the writer and what sort of THEMES am I going to find. Like you, Barbara, I want to be able to quickly assess which old posts may be of interest.

    http://souldipper.worpress.com

    • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Amy .. I love your header and contents .. but having just been over the link above didn’t work .. and it’s not a comment luv one – that isn’t working for me .. but then I’m a blogger blog!

      Amy’s recent post will take you through to her site ..

      http://souldipper.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/dear-media-new-theme-non-violence/

      Also your content is always just such a wonderful read.

      Cheers for now .. Hilary
      http://www.positiveletters.com

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Amy,

      Changing our blog theme can be a big decision. I know when I switched to this one, I made announcements weeks prior so my regular readers wouldn’t be too surprised.

      I think for a new blogger, changing our blog until we find a theme which “fits” is less of a worry than when we’ve been blogging for a considerable amount of time. Like you mentioned, your header (and layout) is like your logo, however I think if you’re feeling like you need a change, your regular readers will understand.

  3. maddieNo Gravatar says:

    I like sites that are easy to navigate and don’t have a ton of pop-ups asking me to sign up now before I’ve even had a chance to look at their content.

    I also don’t mind people giving me advice on site design. It’s nice when people do that because it says they care about my site and want to help me make it better. So I don’t take it negatively. I actually hope people tell me what to do better. Otherwise, I’d have to guess.

    BTW, I do like your site design. It’s pretty cool.

    • Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Maddie
      I’m with you on the pop ups – hate them!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Maddie,

      I hear you. Those pop-ups that show up before you can even check out a site is my newest pet peeve. :) The way I see it is I’ll happily opt in if what they share on their blog is valuable information.

      I just clicked over to your blog and see you made some changes. I like how it’s so easy to navigate. Thank you also for including me in your blogroll. I truly appreciate that.

  4. Deb DorchakNo Gravatar says:

    Ah Barb, every now and then you pull me away from the feed reader to come visit you for a comment!

    Whenever anyone asks me what I think of their site, I tell them straight-up what I think, good or bad. Why? Because it’s my job.

    But…even bad news can be delivered with a smile and the good news is that much more fun to give.

    Hmm…what I look for in a site…Organization. The very first thing I notice is where my eyes go. If the site’s all cluttered and chaotic, I’m out of there. I need to be able to find what I came for in a few seconds. Just like the book by Steve Krug says, “Don’t Make Me Think”.

    After that, it’s readability (do the fonts work? are they too small? too fancy?), then it’s over to the sidebar to check for social links, opt-ins and again, clutter or lack of.

    Navigation links get checked to see if they’re all working and I’ll look at every page. I’ll read the blog. If I like it, I’ll get a subscription.

    So, I poke around like a tourist in a brand new hotel room, but that’s just for the technical aspect. There’s also “Does the design fit the client’s brand?”, which is the main reason we get hired to redesign a site.

    Would I want others to tell me how to improve my blog? I hear it from my business partner all the time and I’m always looking at it myself with a critical eye. Believe me, we’ve got a list of improvements waiting in the wings. However, when someone suggests a change to us, we do take it into consideration. We’ll talk it over, see if it suits our needs, and then either do it or not.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Deb,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your viewpoint from the eyes of a web designer.

      I like that you brought up “organization”. Like you, I think that’s important. If we don’t give our readers a place for their eyes to rest or additional links to click, they’re more likely to click off and possibly not return.

      That’s also a good point about if a theme fits the “brand” of the blog/blogger. Even though a blogger doesn’t plan to commercialize their work, whether we realize it or not, we are branding ourselves online.

  5. Paul GlessNo Gravatar says:

    I have to agree with Mike and Maddie, keep the music off and make the navigation as intuitive as possible and definitely no pop-ups. I’ve visited a couple of websites and they refuse to let you leave without clicking through thousands of pop-up. Very annoying but the most important thing is the content.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Paul,

      I’m with you. Those persistent pop-ups are terrible. I’ve landed on sites where they claim my computer needs to be “scanned” for some reason, and then it shows it supposedly scanning. Yikes! Get me out of there.

      You’re right. The content is the most important feature of a blog, but like you said, navigation is at the top of the list, too.

  6. Dear Barbara:

    You’re quite right in saying that negative comments rub the wrong way. Even negative comments can be delivered positively. I venture away from giving any negative criticism, just like you but at the same time I do convey what I really felt by using the right words.

    Criticism, good or bad has to be honest but it should be conveyed in the right manner.

    As for me, I read atleast four of five posts before making a criticism. If one post is well-written, I would use that post as an instrument to compare the other posts.

    Have a good day and week, Barbara.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Susan,

      Yes. Anytime we’re handing out criticism it’s important to choose our words wisely. Words can have a lasting affect on others.

      I like your idea of reading a handful of posts prior to deciding if a blog is worth following or not, especially if the current post is on a topic we’re not interested in.

      Have a great week, too. :)

  7. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I hate music coming on, I hate pop ups, I hate having to wait, and I hate flashy ads constantly flashing at me .. and I do like blogs to be organised and simple.

    I obviously need to take account of Deb’s comment and in general everyone’s likes and dislikes ..

    Not sure why comment luv is working for Mike and Deborah to name 2 – but for Amy and I .. it’s not .. strange.

    I just bumble along and am so pleased if everyone’s happy! I’ve always loved your honest approach to blogging and your obvious interest in helping others find their way along the blogging path: I was just very lucky to find you …

    Cheers for now – Hilary
    http://www.positivletters.com

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Hilary. I’m happy we connected, too. :)

      You’re right. Deb’s comment is filled with value. As a web designer, she knows what works and what doesn’t.

      As for CommentLuv, I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I thought it might me an incompatibility issue with another plugin, but it works for some but not for others. Until the problem is resolved, just keep leaving a link to your site. That’s a-okay with me.

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hilary,

        I just did more checking on CommentLuv and found this post by Andy Bailey (the creator). Hopefully it gives the answer you’re looking for. CommentLuv Not Showing in the Latest Post

        • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Barbara .. I’ve just printed out the post – as I’m a dummy and need to see it .. I might unsubscribe from you and resubscribe …

          … something funny’s been happening with my reader Recently – not sure I understand what – but this may help me solve Comment Luv and Reader ..

          Cheers – I’ll let you know … Hilary

  8. susanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! I like blogs that are simple, both on the eyes and brain. Lots of ads and distracting side bars make me kinda nuts. Your’s is perfect by the way :)
    hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      I hear you. Sites which are “busy” are hard on the eyes. It’s like you don’t know what to do next – read or click off. For me, the latter is often my choice.

  9. VeraNo Gravatar says:

    First time poster, long time listener(reader?) – Personally, I don’t need a lot of graphics and flash animation and so on. I like a simple straightforward banner telling me what the blog is about and something clever to keep me reading. I don’t personally like a lot of colour either, just keeping it simple, keeps me reading what I’m interested in – the content!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Welcome Vera,

      It’s great to have you here. :)

      I like you suggestion of having something clever to grab a reader’s attention. As long as the content matches the tease, readers are more apt to return.

  10. Hi Barbara,

    For me, an expandable archive in the sidebar is very helpful in finding old posts compared to other types of widgets. Another thing that I usually look for is the name of the author. An about me page is good but a brief intro on the sidebar (like the one here in your site) lets me know the author even just his or her name so that I can address him/her on the comment. Sometimes, its hard to find their names on the post because of too many buttons and other stuff. :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Cass,

      Good point. By letting our readers know who we are on our home page, they may be more comfortable to comment. Although an “about me” page is important, even a short “welcome” can be enough to entice readers to get to know the blog author better.

  11. MiaNo Gravatar says:

    First thing I go to the about me page of course, and then i start browsing through posts. Of course, that any feedback is welcomed, and should be regarded as lesson which needs to be learned.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mia,

      Like you, I also head to the “about” page. It’s nice to know who’s behind the blog and its content, isn’t it?

  12. Sarah CowanNo Gravatar says:

    Good post. The title sure grabbed my attention.
    I think that general good Navigation, design and layout all geared towards the user and the peopl who will be reading your blog is what really matters.

    And yes, it’s always good to have something positive to say, as opposed to naughty negativity :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sarah,

      You’re right. Whenever we pick a theme or design our layout, taking our readers into consideration should be of one of the most important aspects. Without readers, our blog ends up being a public journal.

  13. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    For the longest time, I thought the words a blogger writes should speak for themselves. I didn’t care about anything else.

    In some ways, I still don’t. I don’ t visit blogs often. I have them come to me instead using Google Reader. This way you just get plain text.

    However, when first discovering a blog, a nice “about me” page is definitely good to see. And I also need to see an archive so I can dig through older posts easily.

    If I like what I see, I subscribe. Simple as that.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      That’s true. If we read blogs via a reader we don’t necessarily see what the blog looks like, however, like you said, being able to dig through old posts (archives) is essential – especially if we’re not interested in the current one.

  14. Wise EarsNo Gravatar says:

    Well my IT Girl does the physical layout of the blog…If it needs changing I always love an email – like you and Davina letting me know I needed to change the comments reply buttons.

    Since my goal is connect with the reader, it is helpful if the reader says so every once and awhile.

    I like these kinds of posts because they allow me to check into something and look with new eyes

    I love reading the about pages on folks blogs…I usually start there before I read much of anything else…

    more good words – thanks Barbara

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patricia,

      You’ve raised a good point. One thing about a blog is how we can ask our readers how our blog can be improved – what they like or don’t like, or how we could make it easier for them to comment. All it takes is for us to write a post and be open to the responses.

  15. crayonNo Gravatar says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, to me a blog is like visiting a room. You want the ambiance to be nice, organized so you don’t fall over the furniture, and the company should be enjoyable!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Crayon,

      I love your analogy. By looking at our blog as we would a well designed room, we’re more apt to find areas where we can improve our navigation.

  16. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I usually look for is the name of the author. An about me page is good but a brief intro on the sidebar (like the one here in your site) lets me know the author even just his or her name so that I can address him/her on the comment.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      I’m with you. It’s maddening when we land on a blog and have no idea who the blog author is. Not only does it make it difficult to address them by name, but in some aspects, it can also make us question the legitimacy of the content.

  17. Barbara, your blog is still beautiful!

    I think it’s all about looking into the soul of the blogger, as a person. But until we get to that stage looks do matter, our first impression counts a lot.

    As to your questions…

    What do you look for when you land on a blog? Since I cruise a lot of poetry blogs these days, I look for something visually artsy first. I like what I see to be as creative as the bloggers’ words paint.

    Would you want others to tell you how to improve your blog? Sure — bring it on. I’m a big girl. I like seeing what I can improve. The input of others has shaped my blog for the better!

    Great to be back here. Was wondering if your blog is still going strong, and I see it is. You keep peeling back the blog layers and I like that.

    xo

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      Yes. Our blogs can reflect our souls. Having said that, that’s one of the reasons I would hesitate to critique blogs except to say something like “your navigation could be improved” or “your about page should be updated”. What we see when we land on a blog is definitely a reflection of the blogger’s personality.

  18. AdelineNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with everyone else here who hates popup ads and those that have videos or music that automatically plays the moment that it loads.

    What I look for in a blog are the posts, then I go and read through the about section. Lastly, how the blog author communicates with those that leave comments.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Adeline,

      Those pop-us are maddening, aren’t they? As are the automatic videos and/or music. I say, let the reader decide if they want to listen or watch – don’t assume they do.

      I agree. Checking to see how and if the blog author communicates with those who comment is important too.

  19. ArunNo Gravatar says:

    The only thing I see first is.. whether my search query get answer?? If yes then I go on reading that post, the next thing would be loading speed of the page to browse other post that’s it. I don’t bother about the ads on the page.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Arun,

      Thank you for bringing that up. When we’re searching for something specific and land on a blog that claims to answer our query, it’s important it does. If not, the blog author could easily lose credibility.

  20. I felt the same when you said that if you ask me to critic your blog I would just end up saying good things about it. I am also like that in a lot of ways. I can accept criticism yes, why not? as long as you are kind enough to speak properly. Ever blog is really a look on who and how the owner of the blog works with his readers and the visitors. I am attracted to sites with both simple and understandable english grammar and a layout of how it looks which is not cluttered. I have seen this both in your site and that is for sure would be a part of the reason why your blog works.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Charles,

      I think what you said is key – about criticism. If done properly, we won’t hurt another persons’ feelings, but instead could help them improve on what they’ve built thus far. If not, we risk hurting others with our words.

  21. Barb,

    I find that I look at a lot of the same things as you.

    My first time on a blog I am usually wondering if this might be “blogroll worthy”, and that usually involves looking at the number and amounts of ads and their about page. I like my blogroll to be more about folks who are blogging about something they are interested and excited about, and not trying to use it to be the next millionaire.

    I think the look of the blog can be pretty basic, the content is ultimately what will make it shine.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi David,

      Oh yes, blogrolls. I don’t use one, but I like how you determine who you add to yours. By linking to sites we enjoy, we can not only build a reputation of trust, but credibility, as well. Plus, I think when our readers take note of the blogs we visit, they learn a little more about us, too .

  22. I thought about what I wanted to see when I land on a blog page. I guess I can see where you are coming from with the About page. You want to have that just so that the readers have some sense of who you are.

    I do know what absolutely annoys me about some blogs, exit pop ups. Arrrgh! I know why people use them because they are effective but they REALLY get under my skin, lol.

    Jessica

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I hear you. I not only dislike those “entry” pop-ups, but the exit ones are just as bad. To me, they make the blogger look desperate. I’d much rather see a short note in the sidebar or at the bottom of the post reminding the reader of additional links (or products) to check out.

  23. This is a great post a lot of people don’t take the time to put the work into their blog. By adding headers, footers, etc you can really make your blog stand out. It will also increase the traffic and make your visitors hang around longer.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Gears of War 3,

      That’s true. If bloggers take the time to look at their blog with a critical eye, it’s easy to see ways in which they can improve the look. As you mentioned, by adding a different header and/or footer, a blog can get an instant face lift.

  24. SeanNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a good thing if we will be able to ask someone or some people how our blog look like. But it’s also important that we follow what our hearts’ desire and be satisfied with what will be our finished product. :)

  25. PeteNo Gravatar says:

    actually – you are right, my blog is ugly.

    But for sentimental reasons then I really can’t bring myself to fix it. Instead I started a new blog!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Pete,

      That works too. If what we created the first time isn’t to our liking, we can always start anew.

  26. Personally, I hate white letters on a black background. Blog has to me extremely interesting and my life has to depend on reading it for me to stay there. I also, almost never watch videos posted on blogs. But that’s just me.

    As for my own blog, differently from you, I like to hear criticism. I listen to all the negative stuff, brainstorm and make the changes that I believe are for the better.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ana,

      You’ve raised a good point. The color of the fonts we use, as well as the background for the text, can be a detriment to our readers. Even though we might think it looks “cool”, if our readers have difficulty viewing our posts, they not apt to return.

  27. >> The same may not apply to business blogs which should look as professional as possible.

    I think different types of layouts are appropriate for different types of business or sites. I definitely (consciously or subconsciously) pre-judge sites and blogs based on how they look; people tend to take you less seriously if your blog looks like it came right out of 1997.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Freddy,

      That’s true. If our blog theme/design doesn’t stay up with the times, readers may think the content is obsolete.

  28. bakgrundNo Gravatar says:

    In the beginning when I started to blog I spent hours reading comments on what people saying about my blog. It was that, it was ugly bla bla. But now I dont care about what other people thinks about my blog, like if you dont like it then you dont have to read it. By the way I think your blog is very cool 😀

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Bakgrund,

      Your comment reminds me of how there comes a time when we need to say, “This is MY blog and I love it just as it is.” and not worry about the opinions of others. We certainly can’t please everyone, but could go crazy trying. 😉

  29. vhienNo Gravatar says:

    Back to days as a novice blogger, I really care about what people might say about my blog. For readers-author communication is one way of learning and getting in touch with the outside world as said. Now, the best thing that keeps in my mind is to ensure that my blog has valuable content, correct grammar and spellings, has interested subject so that I can receive less hate note. After all, we can’t please everyone.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vhien,

      That’s so true – we can’t please everyone. Although it’s important to listen to what others have to say, I also think we need to consider who we are and not let the opinions of others influence us into making our blog something we don’t identify with. After all – we’re the ones who are looking at it every day.

  30. Hi, I just landed on your blog from a Google search and thought this was a fitting post to leave a comment on. I think your blog looks absolutely amazing, it’s got a nice classy feel to it, well done!

  31. I am double dipping, Barbara, because I see the typo that is causing my link problems. So I have now corrected it and am looking forward to your next post.

    Man 0′ Man…what a large number of responses. Proof that quality pays!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Amy.

      I’m happy your figured out why your links weren’t showing up. Double dip all you want. :)

  32. BrukerNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting post barbara, any blogger never wants hear that his Blog is Ugly. it will defiantly hurt that person. Blogger should write their blogs presentable which makes users to read the whole article and blogger should also try video on their blogs because it attracts user as comparison to normal articles.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Bruker,

      That’s a good point. If we mix things up and add some videos from time to time, it could ensure our readers don’t get bored.

  33. Raxe DesignNo Gravatar says:

    Nice post. I think every blog should be eye-catchy in some way yet most importantly readable. If you must have ads, avoid pop up banners as they are very discouraging. Thanks

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Raxe Design,

      Yes. A good design is important. Like you mentioned if we can incorporate eye-catching elements, a reader is more apt to stick around and read the content, as well.

  34. I am really trying to change the look and feel of my blog. I don’t have a Biography and now realize how crucial it actually is to have one. Not only that, I want my website to really offer something that people want and can learn something from reading it. Sometimes reading posts such as this, really makes you think more about the importance of having a nice blog that visitors enjoy going too. Thanks so much for this post.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Edward,

      I think the “about” pages are very important. Even though not everyone will read it, it’s important to have it there for those who want to know who is behind the blog.

  35. Son NguyenNo Gravatar says:

    First of all, thank you for sharing. But in my opinion sometimes ugly blogs do better SEO. Specially adsense blogs, they are “usually” ugly. Ugly blogs make people want to click away, so they click into adsense ads.

    • vhienNo Gravatar says:

      Well,I find it hard to see your view. If blogs are ugly, readers would not click adsense ads instead I’m thinking maybe they will prefer to click the “X” button or the “<–" button instantly. I'm making sense right?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Son,

      That’s an interesting observation, but for me, instead of clicking an ad, I just click off. However that’s not to say it wouldn’t work to generate AdSense income. Hmmmm.

  36. Hi Barbara,

    When I land on a blog, I look for ease of navigation and the ACTUAL information I’m searching for. Having an attractive blog is nice, but if a good looking site doesn’t have what I want, I won’t stay.

    My blogs are not all that fancy looking, not because I don’t want them to be, but because I’m still learning code, etc. Once I figure things out more, I’ll spice it up a bit.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chas,

      Yes. We do want to give our readers that which they’ve come to our site for.

      Blog don’t have to look “fancy” to have value, but I’ll bet you’re having fun learning code, knowing you’re able to dress up yours and make other changes real soon. (I love coding. and am also self taught.)

  37. AshNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara

    I’m new to blogging, but i have always been very creative and the design element of blogging is much more favorable to my skills then the SEO/ marketing aspects!

    For me, the first thing that will draw my attention to a blog is synchronicity between the content and design. If it doesn’t match it’s like my brain snaps off and refuses to take any of the content in. Also, i like to feel a bit of personality. Which i must say yours achieves!

    I think that any advice is worth taking in however, i am quick to defense if i feel like something is coming across to critically so i suppose it comes down to how it is said.

    With much more practiced needed, i thank you for today’s design lesson!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ash,

      You’ve raised a good point. If the design of a blog doesn’t match the topic, it can feel “out of place”. That’s another important aspect for bloggers to consider when choosing a theme.

      I agree. Sometimes it’s not WHAT is said, but HOW it’s said.

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Albert,

    I’m with you. Music which automatically plays on blogs is maddening. I feel if a blogger wants to share music, they should leave it up to the reader to click a link and not assume the readers will enjoy the same music as they do.