9 Ways Time Blocking Will Help You Grow Your Blog

Feel like you're struggling to find the time to run your blog, let alone grow your blog? You're not alone! Here's a key blogging productivity tip for you: block schedule your time! Click through for the 9 ways time blocking will help you grow your blog.

Every once in a while (read: all the friggen time) bloggers feel a bit crunched for time. You’re working a full-time job, and after 8 hours of work, plus your commute, plus assembling a bunch of items from IKEA, you just feel exhausted by the idea of running your blog, let alone growing it.

Not that I’m talking from experience here or anything.

So, how does one find the time to blog in an endless world of busy? Well, unfortunately you can’t just whip extra time out of thin air, so you’ve got to prioritize.

My favorite way to enforce those priorities? Time blocking.

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Typography 101: How to Pair Fonts

Choosing fonts is one of the hardest parts of design, but it doesn't have to be intimidating! Click through for a basic overview of fonts, font types, and what to look for when choosing fonts for your brand!

**this post contains affiliate links that I could make commission off of. all opinions are my own

One of the most intimidating aspects of design and branding is typography. There are so many fonts out there, it always seems impossible to choose!

And even after you’ve slimmed it down, how the heck are you supposed to figure out which ones look the best together without spending hours upon hours of putting random fonts together?

I promise: it’s actually not as hard as it seems! It will still be time consuming, but these tips will make it a bit easier!

Typography 101: Types of Fonts

In order to know how to pair the fonts, we need to know what all of the different types of fonts actually are.

Because think about it… are you going to know how to create a cohesive meal if you don’t understand the different types of foods? Probably not. You might end up pairing cotton candy and caviar, which… no thanks.

There are so many different types of fonts, and they might be grouped differently depending on who you’re talking to, but getting a general understanding will help you out a lot when making difficult typography decisions.

Serif

First up, we’ve got serif fonts. As the name implies, they’ve got serifs, or small lines attached to the end of each stroke. Think of the classic Times New Roman here.

Rules

Serif fonts are commonly used for large bodies of text because they’re easier to read than sans-serif fonts (which we’ll get to in a second). The serifs help guide your eyes across the page. However, this is typically only true for printed text, like books (which is why you’ll notice most books are written in a serif font).

They can easily be written in Title Case, CAPS, and all lowercase while still keeping their readability.

Sans Serif

Conversely, we’ve got sans-serif fonts. You’ve probably already figured out what they are, right? They don’t have serifs. (In French, sans means “without,” so the name is literally “without serif.”)

It’s commonly shorted to simply “sans,” so if you hear people talking about sans fonts, they’re referring to sans serifs.

Rules

Sans are my favorite fonts, because they’re super simple and modern. You’ll notice that my blog’s body is in a sans serif typeface (Lato). While a lot of people argue that serif fonts have better readability, plenty of people use sans serif fonts because they align with their brands better (myself included!).

It’s not that they’re hard to read by any means, just that they’re not quite as easy to read. But the difference is negligible. Plus, while serif fonts help your eyes scan across a page, you’re typically jumping around on a web page from the headings to the sidebar to the social media icons, so the benefit of the serifs don’t really matter.

Just like serif fonts, sans fonts can be written in Title Case, CAPS, and all lowercase while still keeping their readability.

Script

Next we have script fonts. They’ve typically got letters that connect together, much like cursive lettering. Script fonts are very popular right now; it seems like everywhere you look in the blogging industry (here included!), you’ll see some sort of script font.

Depending on who you ask, fonts that look like brush strokes (like the “And Possibly” in my logo) could be considered script or display. I personally group them in with script fonts, but don’t be surprised if you see them called display, too!

Rules

Script fonts should really only be reserved for small bits of text. The more words you have written in script, the harder the text is to read. It’s also best to have them in a larger type size rather than a smaller one; you’ll notice in the image above that the “Script” title is much easier to read than “Viktor Script” below it, even though they’re the same exact typeface. The size makes all the difference!

And please, for the love of God, do not use ALL CAPS with script fonts. They’re specifically designed to be written in Title Case or all lowercase, so ALL CAPS just looks trashy (plus it’s really hard to read!). Please don’t do it.

Display

Similar to script, you’ve got display. These are typically more unique fonts that are meant to be more novel. For example, one of my main fonts is Bebas Neue. It’s very boxy and only comes in ALL CAPS, even if you’re typing in lowercase.

Rules

Use display fonts sparingly. They should never be used as body text, and for the most part are going to show up best in a large type size. For example, Rosewood Std would be really hard to read if it were any smaller than it is in the image above.

Use these for headers, text-based logos, and other short snippets of text. Less is better when it comes to display fonts.

Blackletter

As a Michigander, Blackletter fonts are super common to me. They’re the old, gothic-style fonts that seem to have a million lines and swooshes with them. I know Blackletter best as the style of the Detroit Tigers D logo! (Fun fact: the Tigers actually have two different Blackletter D’s!)

If you’re not a Michigander or a baseball fan, you’ve also seen this around thanks to the New York Times!

Rules

Similar to display, use Blackletter sparingly. It’s pretty chunky and hard to read, so the less you use it, the better. (That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place, though!)

And just like with script, please don’t use Blackletter in ALL CAPS. It can be hard enough to read in Title Case.

Dingbat

And finally (for the purpose of this post, at least), we’ve got Dingbat. The most popular Dingbat font is the choice of most grade schoolers: Wingdings. (You might even hear people refer to Dingbat fonts as Wingding fonts!) Rather than your typical letters, numbers, and symbols, Dingbat fonts have icons. So, a capital R might end up looking like a person instead of an actual capital R.

While this may seem really impractical, they’re actually super useful! Just remember, the point isn’t for people to understand the letters you’re typing; the point is to have easy access to awesome icons.

For example, the script font I use on my blog, Hello Beautiful, came with a Dingbat font called Hello Beautiful Swashes. It’s literally just different styles of swashes you can use to underline your text. The designer included a convenient PDF guide that shows all of the swatches and their coordinating letter so it’s easy to find your favorites!

Rules

Just remember, you’re using Dingbat fonts for easy access to icons, not to represent the letters you’re actually typing. So don’t try to spell out things with Dingbat fonts (unless you’re a grade schooler sending secret messages to your BFF, then it’s cool).

Pairing Fonts

Okay, now that we’ve got the six basic font types down, how the heck are we supposed to pair them?! There are a few ways…

Type

First, there’s type. When you’re choosing fonts (I recommend sticking with two, especially when you’re just starting out — any more than that can get complicated fast), choose two different types of fonts. So, for example, a serif and a sans serif. Or, like I did with my logo, a display and a script.

Serif and sans serif combos are the most common, because they’re the easiest. So if you’re overwhelmed, look for one of each of those!

It’s really hard to find two serifs or two sans serifs that go well together. They typically look too similar, so it’s not very attractive. That’s why you want one of each.

Once you start getting into display, script, and blackletter fonts, the pairing gets harder. That’s when we add a second layer into our pairing strategy.

Theme

Next, make sure your fonts have the same theme. For example, if you go with an old-worldy Blackletter font, go with another classic font like Times New Roman rather than something super modern like Bebas Neue.

What emotions do the fonts bring out? They should be pretty similar!

Weight

And finally, take weight (that is, the thickness of the lines) into consideration. It’s going to be easier on the eyes to pair a thick font with a thinner font. You don’t want two big, bold fonts, or they’ll fight for attention and be hard to look at.

One nice thing about pairing fonts based on their weight is that, if you find a font with a ton of weights (like Lato, for example), you can just use the one font and choose two weights with it.

For example, you could choose Lato Black and Lato Thin, and then you wouldn’t have to deal with finding a second font!


Picking fonts is one of the hardest parts of design, but once you understand the basics of typography, you’ll be a lot more comfortable with it!

What are your favorite fonts to pair? Let me know in the comments!

Let’s talk about YOU: Reader survey time!

One of my favorite things to do is to help people find answers to their problems and encourage them to keep following their dreams.

But… that’s hard to do if you don’t know people’s problems and dreams!

So, would you take the next two minutes or so to fill out my seven-question reader survey? I’m going to use your answers to plan out all of my content for 2017: newsletters, blog posts, courses, and more!

Take the reader survey now!

And if you leave your email address at the end, I might follow up with more questions and a gift card for saying thank you!

Thanks, friend!

xo, Caitlin

How to Set Achievable Blogging Goals (plus a FREE workbook!)

Setting blogging goals is an awesome way to get shit done with your blog. But how do you prevent overwhelm and actually achieve these goals? Here's how to set achievable blogging goals, plus a free worksheet to help you out! Click through for the freebie!

Aaah, the end of the year. The time when we plan out our New Year’s Resolutions and get super ambitious with our goals.

But, as everyone knows, we set these awesome goals in December and January, and they’re history by February.

Let’s take my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, for example. At the end of December, I decided that in 2016, I was going to create two courses and two ebooks for my blog.

This is great if you’re blogging full-time, right? Lofty enough to make you work for them, but still relatively achievable if you’ve got the time for them.

Well… I ended up creating one ecourse and zero ebooks. And I had already started creating the ecourse in December of 2015.

So what stopped me from achieving my blogging goals? Oh, it might have been the fact that three days into 2016, I moved to a different state and wasn’t sure when or where I was going to find a job.

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Using Affiliate Links? Here’s How to Not Get in Trouble

Using affiliate links is an awesome way to make money from your blog. But there are some rules to know before you use them. Here's how to use affiliate links on your blog without getting in trouble!

One of the most common questions I get as a blogger is how the heck do you make money from your blog?

Well, one of the biggest ways I monetize my blog is through affiliate links.

In 2016, almost 18% of my blogging income was made with affiliate links. So, how can you do the same thing, and what rules do you need to follow to prevent you from getting in trouble?

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