My thirteen-year-old self would probably be gawking at this blog post, thinking what the hell was she doing over at www.oneteenybopper.blogspot.com.
Okay, I know I said I would never, never ever, ever (!!!) give away my old blog’s url name but there you go, I guess! No, but in all seriousness, I’ve really come a long way and I can’t even think of how my blog in 2012 looked like without cringing. Hoooo boy, did I learn a lot! And the hard way, mind you.
Oh what I wouldn’t give to be thirteen again with a cringe-inducing blog so I could learn about the blogging business all over, with the right tools this time! But I guess, without all that cringe we wouldn’t be here now, yes? I used to think Comic Sans was a good body font, and that Curlz MT was literally the PERFECT heading font. And did I mention a fuchsia pink background?!
I really thought I was making the right choices (what the hell)! But don’t worry, I’ve made notes ever since. And with that said, let’s finally talk about the things I have personally learned so far, on everything visual and content-wise when it comes to blogging.
READABILITY IS EVERYTHING
After all, blogs are meant to be read and not just looked at.
This was something I had only recently learned, because as you can tell, Comic Sans and Curlz MT weren’t really… the best choices. Anyway, let’s give thirteen-year-old Chia a break, those were probably a trend back then (no, they were not). While it is fun to experiment with fonts that look aesthetically pretty, and really, the smaller the font size, the more pleasing it is to the eye; fonts like Georgia, Times New Roman, or, personally, Lora are your best choices because they are easier to read. Especially when they’re at 16-18px.
Aside from good typography, things like easy navigation (categories and tags to make it easier for readers to navigate around the posts), and the blog posts’ length also matter. Casual blog readers usually prefer short and concise posts, that’s about 500-800 words , in my opinion at least. I know Google has a standard 300-word minimum only for SEO purposes and I always have a difficulty keeping my posts at 300 because I just have a lot to say, but I swear if I could I would!
KEEP IT CONVERSATIONAL
Write as you would text a friend, and be natural as much as you can.
Blogs are casual, people read it for fun, and I have learned that the more conversational the tone is, the more readers are likely to connect with the blog post, or with you, basically. SEO matters, I get it, and I used to be so crazy about it in my first year with this blog, but most of the time, bombarding your post with unnecessary mentions of keywords might get a little… unnatural. And readers notice that.
A friendly, everyday-casual tone, I think, is perfect. Just let the mind flow and write as you would talk, or as you would text a friend. It keeps you on a level with your readers and makes it more fun for them to read your posts.
MAKE IT COHESIVE
Keep. It. Together!!!
I know, it’s as important as keeping your Instagram feed cohesive! From your font choices to your visuals to your overall theme, the blog has to have a uniform feel to it (am I making sense). When it comes to my photos, I try to maintain a certain aesthetic to make my visuals look more appealing and pleasing. For example, I am currently obsessed with the minimal white aesthetic, so I really try my best to make sure my photos have as much white elements in them as much as possible.
When it comes to the way I write, I try to keep it casual but nothing too casual nor comfortable, and I make sure my tone is consistent in every post. Nothing like ‘Hey guys!!! Yay !!!!‘ or ‘Guess what???! Y’all wouldn’t have!!!‘ Get what I mean? Okay. Great. And I also keep it at a maximum of 3 fonts: a heading font, a body font, and a miscellaneous font. Having too many variations, I think, is too confusing for the reader.
SERIOUSLY, JUST HAVE FUN
It sounds cliche, but at the end of the day, this is the only way to make your blog truly yours.
Yes. Make it yours. Have it your way. Write about what matters to you. You can only keep the blog going when the things you write about are personally interesting to you, so write about what interests you the most. And don’t limit yourself. Of course, a niche is important and narrowing your categories down is a must, but where’s the fun in that?
Personally, I like many things, I swear I am a fan of a lot of things. And, I always have a lot to say about them. I love books, I like makeup, I like music, I like to enjoy various forms of art, and I’m very much interested in the topic of feminism—see, I love alternating between these topics on the blog. I don’t want to just talk about beauty and makeup, because literature means so much and if not not as much, maybe even more, to me, but so does art… and a couple other things.
And guess what? It makes maintaining this blog sooo much fun for me.
Oh wow, this became more reflective to me than what I originally expected, but I think it’s cool and I had fun writing about blogging! I hope you’re still with me and I hope my blabbering wasn’t just blabbering and that it all actually made sense. Cool? Cool. See you on my next one!