Today I’m exploring some of the things that I look for as a blog reader.
The Prompt – “When you visit a blog, what areas – besides the main post – do you check out? Do you visit the Nav Bar pages? Look at the sidebars? Check for a list of categories or tags? Talk about the elements of a website that are most important to you.”
I spend a lot of time reading blogs. Probably far too much time, actually. There are a few things that I’m particularly drawn to.
I come to most blog posts via either twitter or google reader. Without a doubt, the most important thing is the post itself. If I enjoy that, I’ll click through to the main page and start to look around.
My personal taste is for
:: A clean, uncluttered style.
:: Dark-ish text on a light-ish background.
:: Lovely headers and great design (I’m ridiculously envious of people who achieve this one!).
:: Sidebar(s) at one side, preferably the right, with everything in a reasonable order.
:: Design elements (social media icons etc) that follow through in the style of the blog.
:: Pictures that complement the posts.
:: I love to know a little more about the blogger, and I’ll often read the ‘About Me’ page if there is one. If there are other pages, I’ll go to those if there’s something there that sounds interesting.
:: I also like to see a ‘top posts’ bit on the sidebar. I like to know the other posts that readers have enjoyed; they’re often a great place to start.
And a few irritations…
:: Blogs that are difficult to comment on and don’t allow sign-in with a plain old dot com address (without a blogger or wordpress.com profile). So many times, I reach the end of a great post and have something to say and find myself unable to join in.
:: Distracting styles and backgrounds, including things like sidebars at both sides and really busy layouts.
:: Pop-ups and strong sales pitches for things I don’t want to buy.