Your blog layout matters

Imagine that you’re a realtor and you’re trying to sell a house with neon green walls. Sure, the odd house hunter who comes through might really like the colour, but for the majority of customers, seeing neon green all over the walls is going to be something they cannot look past. It can, in a lot of cases, be the deal breaker.

Sure, they might stay. They might finish looking at the house. But they also might just look at the walls and walk out. Neon green walls take work. Not only are you spending a profound amount of money on a home, but you’ll have to put considerable effort and money into repainting the entire home when you move in.

This is why when people are getting ready to sell their homes, most people will paint any bright walls a neutral colour. Neutral colours are easy on the eye. Neutral colours go with all sorts of different furniture. Neutral colours allow a house to feel as though it can be made into a home.

Now, imagine this same notion applies to blogging. If you’re blogging as a hobby and don’t care who, if anyone, ever sees your blog, it’s perfectly awesome to have ‘neon green walls’. But if you’re blogging in hopes of garnering an audience, to gain followers and reach new people, those neon green walls are going to be a deal breaker.

In laymans terms – if you want people to love your blog as much as you do, your layout needs to be neutral. Your layout needs to be one that appeals to the mass population. If people stumble upon a blog that is difficult to navigate, has broken links or empty pages, crazy colours and designs that make scrolling difficult and reading tedious, they’re not going to fall in love with your blog, regardless of how good your content is.

Your blog layout matters.

If you’re seeking blog growth, pretend you’re a realtor. Pretend you’re enticing potential buyers into paying attention to your content. If you want people to notice your blog then you need to give them reason to get beyond the layout to see the content that you share. That is considerably harder if you have the equivalent of neon walls.


Disclaimer: As with all advice that I provide on this blog, please take what you like and leave what you don’t. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to running a great blog, so if you don’t like the advice shared, don’t use it! You know what is best for your blog, these types of posts are merely to lend a helpful suggestion.

45 thoughts on “Your blog layout matters

    1. I like neon green walls. But TBH, I don’t follow you because of anything to do with your layout. I follow you because I think you’re 15,000 times smarter than me and I hope that if I hang around/read your stuff/talk to you enough, some of that smarts will rub off on me.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I know what you mean. The room I grew up in hand been painted eggshell blue by the Amish. (They paint the interiors of their houses eggshell blue, either to better reflect lantern light or to drive down the resale value of the house.) I spent many hours as a child looking up at that blue ceiling.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel like my sites layout is catered to what I want from my audience. A neutral or dark feeling to initiate and they pick what they want to read based on titles. I want people to pick a title that “speaks to them”. Maybe that’s too artsy but I’m not interested in a large audience, just people who can relate.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I feel like you’re a unique perspective on the matter. Your layout speaks a lot to who you are and the content that you promote. A post like this is definitely not geared towards yourself. It’s more geared towards the people who say ‘How did you get so many followers so fast, V’? And ‘How do I get followers, V?’ The marketer in me comes out. You know what I mean?

      If someone blogs to blog, much like you, then a layout like yours really does work!

      Like

      1. I figured I was the oddball. ๐Ÿ˜
        I completely get that most people want a bigger readership, but felt like throwing my opinion into the mix. Thanks for the advice though! Always love reading about marketing and blog input.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the analogy you’re using. While my creativity comes off as colorful, I try to stick with a web page design that is easy to read and user friendly. It’s been a challenge teaching myself how to combine simple with my style but that’s the fun side of blogging; doing things that have yet to be done!
    Thanks for sharing a different perspective,
    xo Bri

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing Bri. Being user friendly is a great way to keep your blog as something that everyone can read and navigate. Especially if you’re looking fro growth. And there are definitely ways to combine a simple style with pops of personality. It’s all about finding what speaks to your personality that other’s will enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That could be a great advice, and I know it is there to either take it or leave it, but can I just comment on it? ๐Ÿ™‚ – “your layout needs to be neutral” – there is a fine line between neutral and boring – I mean, you don’t want YOUR house to be painted in neon-green walls, but won’t you agree that it is fun to VISIT such a house – such as when you visit someone’s site – heh – that is the fault in your reasoning – readers want to go someplace where it is interesting, comfy and fun to be – they don’t want to end up in a neutral, white-painted hospital ward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might be seeing a different point from this than I was trying to convey, and for that I apologize if I have offended you.

      From a Realtor’s perspective, people turn a house into a home by looking at the bones of the house. And a lot of people, not all, but a lot of people have a hard time seeing past neon walls. For a lot of people it just looks like a lot of work. People would walk into the house and either picture hiring painters or having to buy the paint and spending countless hours to turn it into something they would like.

      Some people do walk in and see neon green wall sand think ‘that’s badass!’ But’s not everyone. The point I was trying to make is, as a blogger, if you’re interested in growth a neutral layout will allow your content to speak for you. Much like neutral walls will allow the house to speak for the home. The people who like neutral will walk in and say ‘That’s beautiful’ and those that like green walls will walk in and say ‘I can make this green in my mind!’

      Hopefully this makes sense. I have absolutely nothing against neon green walls. From a marketing perspective, though, they’re harder to work with if someone is looking for growth. That’s all I was trying to suggest.

      Like

  4. A proper blog layout is additionally essential for SEO, which in turn is essential for organic search traffic that brings relevant visitors to your site. Thinking this through before starting out will save you a lot of work later down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you’re right about this. I remember reading years ago about colour psychology, and how use of colours on our blogs can determine who sticks around. I guess it’s not unlike using calming colours in the waiting room of a dental office or the majority of fast food chains using red in their logo (it’s supposed to make us hungry, apparently).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You add very valid points. Layout and colour play integral roles in virtually all aspects of our lives. That red in fast food logos was something we learned in University. Fast food logos often also include bright colours to entice younger patrons (have kids say ‘Mom can we go please?’) because when the logo looks fun and inviting, companies know how much of purchasing is actually dictated by trying to please kids.

      Hospitals are painted white because it’s the easiest for people who have vision impairment(horrible vision, or no vision, or colour blindness) to navigate.

      And yes, dental offices are calming colours, grocery stores (on the inside) or often neutral colours as to let the colours of the food and the packaging be what stands out.

      There’s a method to the madness in every aspect of our lives…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been blogging for 12 years now (the vanilla one I have up now is a brand new one after 12 years of baring my soul on the first one that I went private on as it’s a bit too excruciating to share during this particular excerpt of my life) and I found the most important thing for me is that I respond to people who comment. I absolutely don’t understand those blogs were people never respond to commenters! I’ve always been obsessed with customer service and I guess it’s just the same for me in blogland . But yeah format is nice particularly if people understand mobile, since so many folks put such effort into desktop layout but then their mobile looks like crap. ๐Ÿ™„

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Commenting is so important! When I comment on someone’s blog and they don’t ever respond, or even like the comment, I’m less likely to return to their blog. So I completely agree with you there,

      The mention of the layout being responsive (looking good on phones and desktops and tablets, etc) is an important point that I forgot to touch on when I was writing this. If something looks great on a computer but looks like shit on a phone, then anyone who uses wordpress from their phones will likely have a hard time navigating it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree about the format of a blog.
    I have tried different variations over the years, but I think my current one is inviting.
    What I am finding most frustrating lately is one I go to look at the blog of a new follow there are no posts. Yet, for some feat of magic they will have tens of tens follows
    Several other blogs were totally deleted.
    It makes me want to pull my hair out with these things!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really like your current account. It’s easily navigable and allows for the words your share to speak for themselves. That being said, are you the present victim of spam bots? Sounds like it from what you’re suggesting. If you want some help with that, send me an email with what’s going on and I’ll see if I can offer any suggestions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Umm… my knowledge of them is very minimal. I just know that they’re rampant right now. I’m trying to get to the bottom of what’s happening with Dwain and once I do if there’s any insight I can share, I will.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And it’s nice when something is easy for everyone to read. I’ve seen some blog layouts with really intense calligraphy font that’s hard for me to read. That just turns me off. For example: Someone could have incredible content but if I can’t see past the hard-to-read calligraphy, then I know I’m not the only one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well said. I like simple,sober & light colors especially in a house. Same applies to blogs. Blog colors & layouts are very important. I have seen many blogs which have so bright colors and contrast that you can’t read the content. Some blogs use block letters for content which makes content unreadable. Some use such calligraphic fonts that you can’t read the content.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! You’re so right! If it’s difficult to read the content, hard on the eyes, hard to make out what the letters are for any reason, people will just leave a blog and not come back. I’m all for people evoking their personality into their layout, but they have to realize that if they want others to read it they need to make it easy for others to read!!! You absolutely hit the nail on the head with this comment.

      Like

    1. Thanks my dear! For the record (and I know you’re not asking for my opinion) I just want to say that your blog is beautiful! I want my blog to look like your blog. But I don’t want to copy you. lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really ? I just selected a theme.. I didnt do anything clever, I dont know how too. Lol. But thank you anyway. I think my blog is a mess. My tags and categories are all over the place. My page menu well that isnt professional. And there is a few more thing that aren’t right. Because I have muddled along.

        I love you logo/ image. I love the cleanliness of your blog. And I love blogging advice it is so helpful. And i enjoy your rants..lol. your site is so clean and perfectly organised. I wish menu was clean like yours. Anyway, you know what your doing, I just accidentally do stuff on my blog.. lol

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Agreed! I’m sure there may be some that see a house with neon green walls and say ‘by gosh, this is JUST what I was looking for, and the windows without any glass in just scream contemporary chic’, but yeah, they’re going to be in the minority! It may be different, but it’s not practical. Neutral keeps it easier for everyone. There have been a few blogs that I’ve been on and found it really difficult to see the writing when against a bright and animated background, so while it may be eye-catching at first, it’s damn difficult to navigate.
    Caz xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right, sometimes it can be really difficult to read the writing! My dad likes reading blogs but he has vision impairments and so when he stumbles upon a website with bright colours or weird fonts, he just closes it immediately. If it’s hard to read, people will leave.

      If people don’t want viewers, then that’s totally fine they can make whatever they want! But, if they want to appeal to the masses and grow and get more readers and more followers, etc… then they need to think about what the masses will find easiest to navigate!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Wall color is a deal breaker for me… I have turned down a potential home in the past because it had these ugly bright orange walls that I just couldn’t get past, and dark navy walls in the next room. No, just no. The house owners could not figure out why they couldn’t sell this house. That being said, I actually like those bright lime green walls in your photo and it’s not off-putting to me.

    As for blogging, we can’t please everyone. Some blogs that may be off-putting to some people, I like, and vise versa. What I cannot tolerate is writing that is impossible to read! It comes down to color choices and fonts (for me, anyways). It can’t be too hard on the eyes. Same goes with writing that is too squished together, lacks punctuation, or has way too many of these !!!!!!!!!!!! Because I have seen all of these things, and they’re huge pet peeves of mine. Just like bright orange paint. ๐Ÿ™„

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some people really like bright green walls. But I think what people fail to realize is that the people who like bright green walls can walk into a house with white walls and know they can turn them green. People who walk into a house with green walls, well like you said, it’s a deal breaker.

      A layout that is hard to navigate, has broken pages, is hard on the eyes, etc… can really off-put people from wanting to see your content. Font colour can play a big role in it to, like you say. And font choice. Some people love blogging but they have vision impairments. If they have vision impairments they can’t read colourful fonts or wacky letters!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Re: blind girl. Le me ๐Ÿค“ Once I had to ask a teacher to use white chalk because I couldnโ€™t read the colorful chalky writing… it was hard on the eyes. The teacher thought it was funny but I was being serious. ๐Ÿ˜“

        As for house buying, if Iโ€™m gonna spend a ton of money on a house, the last thing I want to do is repaint the walls. Like white walls should be included in the package haha ๐Ÿ˜† tbh I have not bought a house. The housing prices are $$$$$$$$$$$$

        Liked by 1 person

  11. #Facts100 Layout definitely matters! Often times I wanna give a blog a chance but just can’t get over the busy, disorganized layout. Just because WordPress.com is free, doesn’t mean it has to look like it. Investing a little time in creating a good clean layout makes ppl wanna spend more time on a site– at least it definitely does for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This advice is spot on! I once stumbled upon someones blog on tumblr that had this colorful rainbow background that shifted colors but the frequency was too high. I’m surprised i did not have a seizure .
    I feel that my layout is easy to navigate if a bit spartan in it’s design. But seeing as I want to highlight my photo’s rather than the blogs layout it makes sense to stick with neutral colors. I should probably play around with the layout at some point during the weekend…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TUMBLR was so notorious for having layouts that were impossible to navigate. For me, I have really poor vision. I have to wear contacts or glasses. But even with glasses and contacts I’ll get to some people’s blogs and the fonts they’ve chosen, I just can’t read. With a rainbow layout, the colours would probably all bleed together for me.

      When highlighting photos, a simple layout is a great idea because what you really want your blog to be about is the photos, not the layout itself. So you’re totally right on that one.

      Liked by 1 person

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