5 Easy Ways to Make Your Blog Look Better

Make Your Blog Look Better

The way your blog looks is just as, if not more, important than the content you’re putting there. A good looking blog that functions well plays a huge part in keeping your audience engaged. The last thing you want to do is turn people off with illegible fonts and crazy colours as they will simply leave at the click of a button, never to be seen again.

This blog has been through its fair share of awful design, but over the years I’ve learned more about what visitors expect to see when they find themselves landing on a blog. On top of that, there are ever-evolving trends to keep up with too but since blogging has taken a turn for the mainstream, it’s easier than ever to make your blog look good on a budget. Here are 5 quick and easy things you can do to make your blog look better…

1. Choose a Style and Stick to it

I’m sure you’ve heard it said before that your blog needs ‘Branding’. All this means is consistency running through the content you’re putting online, from your writing style to the quality of your photos.

When it comes to the look of your blog, choose a colour scheme, a few fonts that work well together and an all-over visual style for your blog and stick to it. You might also consider creating a logo or having a designer create one for you.

Once you’ve got everything sorted on your blog, carry it across your social media too – everything should be recognisable as YOU!

2. Buy a template

Unless you can design and code a blog yourself, you’ll need to make use of the services of a designer at some point. Best to get it out of the way early by biting the bullet and investing in a template for your blog. There’s no need to spend hundreds on a custom design at first (or ever, if you don’t want to) as you can pick up beautiful premade templates for anything from £10-£50.

Whatever blogging platform you’re using, there’s a template out there for you. Some of my favourite places for browsing templates are pipdig, Blog Milk and Etsy but there are quite literally hundreds of places online where you can buy a good template.

3. Learn basic HTML

When it comes to formatting posts and tweaking the design of your blog, HTML knowledge is a huge advantage no matter your skill level – a little goes a very long way.
I learnt basic HTML as a teen when I started customising my MySpace profile (back then, you could customise your social media profiles in a BIG way!) and it’s paid off both in terms of my personal blog and my career, even though I only know the very basics. I can’t code a whole site from scratch, but I can go in to the code and tweak things without worrying about completely breaking my blog!

For me, the main advantage of knowing a little about HTML is that I don’t have to consult (or pay!) someone else every time I want to make a small change to the way my blog looks or functions. I can decide this font needs to be a bit bigger or that share function needs changing and go straight in and do something about it.

I know it’s very intimidating when you look at 2000 lines of code and don’t know where to start, but you can learn it all online! I find reading help articles is the easiest way I learn but if you’re more of a visual learner, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials to help as well. Although nothing compares to using these skills in practice, seeing the results of your work and learning as you go.

4. Design Your Own Graphics

Now I’m not talking about overhauling everything on your blog, but basic design skills are invaluable for any blogger. If you own and/or can use Photoshop and other design programs, that’s awesome and you can probably ignore this point! I personally use Adobe Photoshop for all of my photo editing and design but if you’re not so savvy with the software, there are plenty of free services out there to make graphic design easy for beginners.

Tools like GimpPicMonkey and new kid on the block Canva are at least partially free to use for editing and creating stunning imagery. They can be used to create everything from banners to pinnable images for your blog posts. Even though I am technically capable when it comes to design, I’m not the most creative when it comes to creating graphics so I frequent sites like Canva, Creative Bloq and Pinterest for inspiration and to keep up with current design trends.

5. Keep it Clean

There are a few exceptions but generally speaking, anything that doesn’t add to the reader experience probably doesn’t need to be there so it’s important to regularly clear any clutter from your blog. When there’s too much to look at, visitors can get overwhelmed or confused and may not stick around for very long. This is especially true for first time visitors.

In order to clean the clutter, slowly scroll through the front page of your blog and take a look at each individual element that makes up your blog. Decide whether it’s necessary or useful to the reader and if its not, get rid of it. I’ve made it sound quick and easy but I know that it’s not because I’ve been through it myself! I culled a lot of ‘stuff’ from my sidebar this year and at the time, it’s always a hard decision to make but I don’t miss any of it now! It really helps if you can be objective about it. I always try to think about it like I’m viewing someone else’s blog, not my own.

Now I’m going to leave you with a challenge! One thing that you can do right now, in 10 minutes… clean up any clutter on your site and take that first step to a better looking blog.

  • I totally agree with you. As a reader I’ve been always drawn to blogs with a clean, easy to read design where I can find anything I need easily. I get really put off if I have to look for the search option or the social media buttons for minutes, and specially if the blog is so cluttered that it distracts from the content.

    As a blogger I try to reflect this on my blog and try to keep it as clean as possible. I’ll most likely invest in a custom design in some time, when I’ve saved up a bit for it.

    Thanks for the post! Nice advice overall. 🙂

  • Thank you for this post! I decided that I absolutely need to buy a template)
    Though I’m still not sure about the logo

  • Very helpful this is! Totally bookmarking, thank you!

  • Thanks for the amazing tips and tools! <3

    Beatriz ||

  • Great post. I completely agree I just re-branded my blog and changed the name. I was worried at first, but since then I have noticed that my views have increased and I have a few more readers. Re-branding saved my blog.

    Georgie

    xoxo

  • ValiantlyVarnished

    This is a great post Sammy! I have been thinking about what I can do to sharpen up my blog and brand it and this has given me some great ideas and tips to start from. The first thing I need to do (and something I should have done a loooong time ago) is buy a template!

  • Such a helpful post, Sammy! Thank you!

  • Kate

    Thanks for all the tips. You really helped me.

  • Cindy H

    Great tips! I really can start with some of them because I’m not satisfied with my blog looks.

  • Good post. I am still playing around with my design. I used to have Adobe Photoshop elements, but the version I have is so outdated & I need to get a newer version.

  • very helpful – thank you 🙂

  • Very helpful tips. I’ve recently started a new beauty and fashion blog and looking for some trips and blog posts like these. Thank you x

  • Yes I agree I love the way your Blog is set out clean , fresh and simple and I love the font you are using it’s not hard to read. I am quite a new Blogger so I always enjoy reading posts like these. I have been debating whether or not to buy a template but I didn’t know if it was worth it just yet as I am new and apparently most blogger give up after 3 months hah xox

  • Laina Turner

    Great tips. I also enjoy a more clean look. Less distracting.

  • hungryxanthe.blogspot.com

    I’m so glad to see you mentioned Picmonkey! I wanted to add some supplementary info on what it offers for anyone new to blogging and feeling a little intimidated. I am lucky enough to have access to Photoshop, but it’s not an investment that every new Blogger is ready for – or quite frankly, capable of using to it’s full potential! Picmonkey provides oots of easy to use overlays and editing options that get you used to creating a unique graphic identity, although I definitely recommend learning the skills to work with Photoshop or something similar if you plan on blogging for the long-haul! Picmonkey is a great starter, but you can only do so many different things with their short list of fonts and free filters.

  • Fantastic article Sammy! Though I’ll disagree about HTML. When you don’t have time to learn a new skill, it’s much easier, faster AND cheaper to get a professional to do it for you. I could look for another 48 hours at the code trying to figure out how to change that “share” button… But why? A web developer can do it in 5 minutes. I think it’s more efficient to focus on and do what I’m really good at and leave things I have no idea about to the professionals. Just my two cents…

    • Thanks Maria!
      For sure, I wouldn’t spend more than half an hour or so trying to fix it myself before paying someone a few $ to do it for me. My HTML skills are rudimentary but I can still pick out important parts of code and figure out the changes, and Google is normally there for me when I need any big answers. I do think stuff like being able to create text/image links from scratch, cleanly format a blog post or pasting in script in the right place is essential for bloggers as it gives us so much more control over our own content.

      • Yes, you’re right but it depends on the blog and your goals. The first blog I had was just a customised wordpress template with a few widgets. The second is more complex and some template just wouldn’t do. I had to build it from scratch. So I guess it’s important to know when to DIY and when to outsource. But yes, some rudimentary knowledge of HTML is useful. I was writing my first comment thinking about some complex codes. In the past I had some struggles with the code then I learned to outsource and life got significantly better 🙂 So that’s the background, just to explain the logic behind my first comment. Hope that makes sense! x

  • Great tips! I’ve been hunting for the perfect template for awhile but haven’t found one I’m super thrilled on, so I’ve been muddling along with my own pathetic html skills haha

  • Great tips! I’ve been doing a lot of research into trying to brand yourself and your blog. It’s actually quite difficult trying to come up with that “thing” that makes your blog recognizable as ‘you’.

  • I’m just starting up my blog now…better late than never and currently ‘under construction’ this is really useful! Thank you!x

  • Agree, simple things like fonts, colours, etc – yes, that’s totally doable. But other than that I prefer leave it to pros.

  • Chloke

    Hi miss, Thank you for your good advices.
    I’m a french blogger who own a blog since a long time and I’m thinking hard about starting all again and I have to say that you are encouraging me doing so with all your keys ♪
    So thank you so much ♪