Let’s talk about anything bookish!
Do you judge a blog by their cover or theme?
As readers, it is safe to say that we judge books by their cover. I mean, I am personally more likely to pick up a book that has a gorgeous cover rather than a cover that doesn’t catch my interest. Well, book bloggers, this week, I wanted to talk about blog designs or themes, because I realized that they actually influence my preferences in following or even subscribing to a blog.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not being snooty or whatever but I have noticed that I tend to follow blogs that have certain characteristics.
These are the following characteristics that I noticed in blogs I follow:
I’ve been blogging since 2006 and since then, I’ve probably changed my blog theme a bazillion times. Through the years, I have culled my blog theme and made it, even more, cleaner, with fewer widgets and add-ons. Naturally, it is safe to say that I tend to read blogs with minimalistic themes.
I also noticed that I love light backgrounds, regardless of the design. Out of the blogs that I follow, there are a couple of blogs that have a darker palette than the others, but mostly, the backgrounds are either plain white or very light design. This doesn’t mean that I don’t visit blogs with darker themes. It just means that I tend to follow blogs that are lighter.
Less clutter on the sidebar.
This is related to #1. A blog with a lot of stuff going on in the sidebar distracts the heck out of me. Honestly, I get enough of those on Facebook and GoodReads. Again, it all boils down to minimalism.
How about blogs that have their blogroll on the sidebar? If you have about 10 or less on your sidebar, that wouldn’t be an issue for me. Now if there are more? Yikes! Again, I easily get distracted.
Here’s a tip: How about showcasing all the blogs you follow on a dedicated page? Or better yet, have a scrolling widget on your sidebar showcasing your blogroll? Keeping it to a minimum is key (well, my preference).
One of the major turn-offs I have is the subscribe now pop-up. It’s been gaining popularity the last year or so because it helps increase your subscriber count. Well, let me tell you that it’s a major turn-off for me. I usually browse/read during my break time and usually on my phone or iPad and those pop-ups are NOT mobile friendly at all. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to close those pesky pop-ups (without subscribing) every time I visit.
Here’s a tip: How about having the subscribe here pop-up appear when someone scrolls down your blog? I have mine set so it pops up when a reader has scrolled down to about 85% of my blog.
Have an about page. One of the things I look at before subscribing is reading the about page. This is to see if the blogger and I have the same preferences/type of books. Plus, I personally want to get to know the blogger on a personal level, or as personal as one can get. I also blog mainly about books in the Young Adult and Adult Historical Romance genre, so it goes without saying that I would follow blogs that more or less have the same genre preferences as I do.
I also love to see a short About Me snippet on the sidebar, complete with a photo. Obviously, there are some bloggers who prefer not to show their photo at all. That’s fine, and I respect that. However, I love seeing what a blogger looks like without looking at their about me page.
No auto play/music
This is sort of related to #3. I hate blogs that have music playing in the background. I hate blogs that have videos in their posts that auto-play the moment I visit their blog. This drives me freakin’ insane!
As I’ve mentioned above, I usually visit blogs at work during breaks, so having music play in the background is an annoyance. Yes, I do not mute my phone at work. I already modified my alert tones to beep once so I don’t annoy my co-workers. So yes, the music playing is not helping me at all.
I’m actually happy that majority of the blogs don’t do this anymore, but I can remember a time when this was the in thing. I was actually guilty of this at one point.
Here’s a tip: How about not having your videos auto-play? If a reader wants to listen to the video, they can always click play.
Mobile friendly blogs
I love mobile friendly blogs. Again, this is related to #3. If your blog is not mobile friendly, set it up to make it so. This is especially true to blogs that have a lot of things on their sidebar. With the mobile view, it actually hides the sidebar and your blog will just be showing your front page or the blog post when viewed on mobile. There is also a link at the bottom of the page to view the full site, so readers who want to see your full blog will be able to do so.
Subscribe via email option
I really hate it when a blog doesn’t offer this option. I personally love to get updates on my favorite blogs via email because it’s easier for me. I may follow someone on bloglovin or via RSS but I hardly open bloglovin or my RSS reader (I’ll probably open my RSS reader once a month). That being said, email is just my personal preference. There is one blog that I love and have subscribed via email but it seems to be not working. As a result, I hardly visit that blog at all.
Here’s a tip: There are some who hate email subscriptions and love RSS. Offer both options on your blog so your readers can choose an option that they prefer.
Do you have any blog preferences? Do you think I’m a snooty blogger? Share your thoughts below!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: