Does the design of your book review blog really matter? How do the color and images of your blog represent who you are as a reviewer? How does blog design affect how your "clients" perceive your skills and abilities as a reviewer? How did you design your book review blog, and what impression are you hoping to make by the choices you made?
I think it matters a lot.
If I come across a blog that is dark on has unpleasing color choices, I pass it up. Also, if it's crowded with too much stuff on the main page, has images that either seem immature or risque, I also move on. You are trying to sell yourself, so to speak, by your blog. You want to draw people in to read. There may be some great content on these blogs, but because there's so many other blogs out there and little time, I can't afford to weed through so much "stuff" to get to the core. Too distracting.
It much like a job interview. You wouldn't arrive wearing sweats and a t-shirt. You'd arrive neat and orderly. First impressions are so important!
I think the design matters a lot when I'm choosing to follow a blog in the first place. I'm attracted to pretty things, LOL.
However, I read most blog posts from my google reader. So after I follow I blog, I only click over when I feel the need to comment on something.
Joy at Edgy Inspirational Romance
Oh wow, thank so much for the compliment! You must be the reason for the increased hits this week. :)
It matters to me. I often don't even bother reading a blog if it's cluttered with a bazillion widgets and badges and god-knows-what-else enclosing in on the main content, flying marquees everywhere, difficult to navigate, a strange mixture of fonts -- in other words, overwhelming in stimuli, aha. I don't care what colour scheme a blog is -- pink, black, purple, blue, whatever -- as long as it's not blinding me (ex. neon coloured backgrounds or neon coloured fonts are not cool).
Having a presentable blog is important because it's easier to navigate and read the content. When I stumble upon blogs with things distracting me on the sidebars, it's hard to stay focused on the content. The way you present your blog is how people will see you, so if you have a simplistic design, then perhaps people will view you as "professional" or if you have one with cute little graphics in the header, then maybe people will view you as more "down to earth". There's no right or wrong way to want to be viewed, but I'm sure nobody wants to be viewed as disorganized and messy.
Yes, I agree -- blog design matters a lot. However, in my opinion, simplicity is not always effective. So, I'll go out on a limb and say that I do prefer very creative blogs with an "artsy" design to them. Other people might call them cluttered. Well, in matters of aesthetics, I guess there are all kinds of opinions... I was an art major in college, so my blog reflects that. Perhaps to some it will look juvenile. I don't know. I review mostly YA fiction, but I do review adult fiction as well, including literary fiction.
I have to be honest and say that I totally dislike blogs with a lot of white. To me, they're very boring. In fact, that's one major turnoff for me when I visit a blog for the first time. I enjoy all the widgets, all the color. I like a blog to be creative. Granted, the sidebar should not be longer than the blog posting area (I've just shortened mine), but still, I find the widgets very attractive. I also prefer blogs with dark or semi-dark backgrounds, and light text. Of course, it's important for the text to be easy to read, so, if the background is pretty dark, then the text should be light enough to allow for easy reading. Sometimes, though, I'll find a blog with a light background --- NOT white -- and I'll totaly LOVE it!
Here's my blog link:
Here are some examples of blogs that I love, not only for the content, but also for the very creative design:
I think that what some people are calling clutter, others might see as complexity. When I was a teen, my room was cluttered and disorganized. To my Mom's eyes. To mine, it was in a state ot flux, of creative disarray. I knew where everything was, so I didn't see her point. Lol.
Maybe it's the same way with blog design. Some people just need to see things in very organized, tidy patterns. Others might get bored by that, and want to see a monkey wrench thrown into the works, just to make things more interesting.
I agree -- having things flying around would be cool. However, I wouldn't do it for a book blog, but for a strictly art-related blog. People reading reviews might not enjoy having the text suddenly taken over by a flying giraffe, or something wacky like that... Lol.
Collage is a very freeing art form. I like it a lot, too! And now that computers are growing increasingly sophisticated, digital collages are even more fun to create!! I really need to learn PhotoShop, though!
Hey, whatever floats your boat! Free expression is the name of the game, especially where blogs are concerned. I'm actually not as wacky as I might sound, by the way. Lol. In person, I'm rather shy, believe it or not...but when I'm writing, another side of me comes out...
I hope you and others don't feel bad that I have criticized white blogs. Again, that's just me. I hate white on the walls of houses or apartments, too. I love the look I've seen now and then in Architectural Digest, where a room might be painted in teal, and the doorjambs are pure white. LOVE IT!!
One of my very favorite artists, right up there with Michelangelo, is Vincent Van Gogh. I wish I could have met him! Maybe I would have been able to persuade him not to commit suicide... he was a truly BEAUTIFUL soul. If anyone's interested, I recommend the collection of his letters to his brother, Theo. They were both very close. Vincent was just too BEAUTIFUL for this world...
I think the blog design is important. I like a good design but nothing ti flashy. It's also hard to leave a comment on a review when it takes forever to load the page cause of all the extra bits and stuff. I like a organize blog. As far as client as me for review, I have gotten turn down based on my blog name alone. Cause they thought it wasw just paranornal reads. Which is not true. I chose the name cause what books done to me. They bit me, making me an avid reader. I love reading in general. I almost change my blog name cause of this but decied to stand by it instead.
I went for a simple, uncluttered design, so white with blue titles, black font.
My pet peeves are blogs with lots of ads, badges and widgets everywhere. It reminds me of the geocities sites of the 90s and makes it hard to read and concentrate.
Exactly! If your blog is wild and crazy, then you'll attract all the wild, crazy people. And isn't that what we artists are called -- wild and crazy? Actually, I'm a very sane person. I simply enjoy gallivanting across galaxies with Mr. Spock, going on purposeful quests with Mr. Frodo Baggins, or through weird mirrors with Alice.
In fact, I just got back from a trip to 14th-century Italy, where I hobnobbed with Sir Marcello Forelli, of Siena.... : )