There are a lot of bloggers out there. We all know that. But here’s the thing: some blogs are better than others. Yeah, I said it.
In fact, a lot of blogs are better than others. But what is it that separates the good blogs from the great ones? Sure, content is important. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: blog design is just as important.
So I’m going to help you out. Let’s work on your blog’s style guide.
Why Does My Blog Need a Style Guide?
Style guides are absolutely critical if you want your blog design to be top-notch. It helps keep you consistent and prevents you from making any off-brand mistakes
What do I include in my style guide?
Well, good news. I’ve created a free worksheet for you to fill out. It doesn’t have everything you need to include (so much if it varies based on your brand and its needs), but it’s a great jumping-off point!
You’ll want to include all of the basics that you will be using every day for your blog. Namely, you’ll want to decide on the fonts (no more than 3) and colors (also no more than 3) you’ll use every day for your blog.
Once you get those decided, you’ll figure out the combinations. What color and font will the title be? What about blog post titles? The actual content of your blog? These are super important.
But the most important part?
Here’s the kicker with the style guide, though: you have to stick to it. You can’t just fill out the form and then totally ignore it. Once you decide on your fonts and colors, use them.
It’s totally fine if you want to change your style guide a few times until you really feel comfortable with it. I’ve changed my blog style guide many times, but I’ve finally nailed down the fonts and colors that I really like.
So fill out the worksheet and then adjust your website settings as soon as you’ve nailed down the fonts and colors you want.
Take your time updating old blog post images; you don’t want to feel super overwhelmed by it (especially if you might change it up in a few weeks anyway). I recommend doing your most popular blog posts first, because those will be the ones people see the most often. You want them to match your site.
Having a style guide seems overwhelming and a bit limiting, but I promise it’s 100% worth it. Stick with the same colors and fonts, and your blog will be top knotch in no time.
And don’t forget to download your free worksheet to help you!
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!
Heather Serra says
This is awesome advice, as usual. 🙂 It’s so important to have a signature style. Btw- I took your advice from a previous post and put in a side bar pic. Big improvement. Thank you. Always great tips here.
Thanks, Heather! That’s so awesome! I’ll have to check it out. 😀
Sue Oxley says
Intereting discussion. I have a style guide that was put together for me when I moved from Blogger to WordPress but as I learn more myself, and grow my blog, I feel I need to change so much. How often do you think you should tweak or full on revamp your blog?
That’s a really tough question, Sue! There’s a fine line between tweaking your style and changing too much. You want to make sure readers still recognize your site, but you also want to make sure it represents you and your brand. If you don’t think it doesn’t represent you any more, I’d say switch it! 🙂
Emily Vanderhoof says
It’s so hard for me to make decisions that are permanent or semi-permanent as a new blogger. It’s sort of a guessing game on how I’m going to feel about things I choose now and what I see that I like better. I’ll keep trying though and try to stick with it!
So true! Luckily, websites are easily changeable. 🙂 You’ll find one you love eventually!
I love the style of my website. But everyonce in a while I want to change it but it has stayed consistant.
It’s so great that you love your website’s style! It makes it easier to resist change. 🙂
Veryyy helpful insights on blogging all related to blog branding. I have to admit, the hardest part about blogging is commitment from your font styles, frequent posts, and topics! Thanks, can’t wait to use the worksheet or keep it for future reference.
Joua to the Rescue
So true! Thanks so much for visiting!
Dina Farmer says
Yes Caitlin! That’s what I’m doing right now! I’m under an overhaul of my blog style to better reflect where i’m at in the blogging world. Great tips as always!
So glad I can help, Dina! If you need any help with the blog overhaul let me know. 😉
Donnica Smalls says
Some blogs are some better than others lol. But I totally agree style guides are critical. Excellent advice as usual, Caitlin!
Thanks so much, Donnica! 🙂
Trish Nicholas says
This is excellent advice! I’m still working on finding a new theme, but I’m bookmarking this 🙂
Glad I can help, Trish! Let me know if there’s anything else I can do. 🙂
Alice - The Geeky Burrow says
Great advice! It’s so important studying your brand identity.
Thanks so much, Alice!
Maru | Fashiony Fab says
Great post Caitlin! Having a style guide can save you so much time, plus you can show a cohesive brand this way.
Thanks, Maru! It’s seriously so important to show that you’re put together.
Style guides are sooo important. It definitely makes a big difference in how your site is perceived. Great post!
Thanks, Allyssa! My style guide has seriously saved me. 🙂
Emily Finta says
My style guide was always just in my head and I finally made one last month! Going to download your worksheet to see if there’s anything I need to add! Style guides are definitely super important.
Awesome! Thanks for stopping by, Emily! 🙂
Very informative and very true!
Thanks, Neely! 🙂