Blogging 101: 5 Major Mistakes to Avoid

By Alana Brooks

It seems like everyone at Likeable is jumping on the blogging train, and I couldn't be more excited. Blogs are the perfect vessel for self expression, updates and sharing. That being said, not all of the millions of bloggers do it well. In addition to having truly stellar blog content, bloggers need to consider the look and feel of their blog. While I could show you blogs that really "get it", I think it will be more productive (and more fun!) to share with you 5 major mistakes that need to be avoided...at all costs.

Here we go:

1. Don't add your own soundtrack- blogs (and Websites!) with music that plays at launch are truly the worst for a few reasons. First and foremost, people often forget to turn off the sound on their computers. Imagine you are minding your own business, catching up on your Google Reader while waiting in the airport, and Britney Spears/Justin Bieber/Ricky Martin starts BLASTING from your computer. How embarrassing! Additionally, few people have the exact same music taste. By forcing your readers to listen to your own music, it interrupts the music they're probably already listening to.

2. Keep your background neutral- Sure, you may be a fan of all things bright and sparkly, but that doesn't mean a hot pink background is the right decision for your blog on Politics, or any blog, for that matter. Always keep in mind: a dark or overly bright background is often daunting. Keep it neutral, simple and light so your content stands out.

3. Text needs to be readable- yes, CurlzMT was a super fun font...in 4th grade! When choosing fonts for your blog, it's important to remember to stick to just 2 or 3. Choose a font for the titles of your post and a different font for your content. Feel free to bold and italicize text for emphasis, but don't start using a new font halfway through a post simply because you feel like it.

4. Paragraphs should NEVER be centered- this drives me absolutely batty! For a while, I couldn't figure out why. My response when questioned: it just looks...bad. I was thrilled when my intro to web design teacher at BU listed it as a no-no. I'm no designer, but that was definitely the validation I needed.

5. Clutter is never the answer- ...especially when it's flashy. Sparkly animated .gifs, flash ads and an overwhelming amount of buttons and awards are a total turn off. As I've said previously, simplicity is always best. If you have a ton of awards or buttons you want to display, why not include them on a separate page, or in a drop-down? Always remember, your content is the most important part of your blog, so it shouldn't be hard to find!

As Internet Savvy readers, I know you've come across blog design atrocities. What blogging mistakes drive you crazy? Share in the comments below!