10 Tips to Improve User Experience on Your Blog

45
  July 3, 2021 blogging tips 🕑 7 minutes read
El Valle de Anton Panama

El Valle de Anton Panama

 

(Updated 7/3/2021)

 

Improving blog user experience often makes the difference between a casual visitor and loyal follower.

 

Even skilled content creators struggle to grow a blogging community if they come up short in the UX department.

 

Every blogger clings to various blind spots concerning glaring blog user experience errors. For example, I recently added a dependable search bar to my blog. I used Google’s search feature prior but suspect programming bugs caused loading errors and affected my blog speed too.  After receiving feedback and getting clear I added the search bar as the most prominent widget on my sidebar. Google seems to appreciate the change, too; my page 1 results jumped recently.

 

Enhancing your user experience offers glowing benefit benefits including:

 

  • increased time readers spend onsite
  • an increase in traffic as readers click from post to post and page to page
  • an increase in profits as readers gradually see you in a more credible light in proportion to how much time readers spend onsite

 

Success grows by making blog followers happy. However, making readers unhappy accelerates your struggles. Observe your blog in its current state. Do you struggle blogging-wise? Walk through your blog from the perspective of a 3rd party to find issues with your user experience.

 

Don’t worry; changing the user experience for blog readers is a simple process. One financial investment here, a few formatting changes there and your readers will be happier.

 

Business titan Jeff Bezos acquired massive wealth by designing Amazon into perhaps the ultimate user experience. Imagine a website that gives you what you want as quickly and easily as possible. Even less sophisticated online users have few problems buying anything on Amazon because the UX is elite among online stores. Read user reviews – if you want to – then buy with 1 quick, easy click.

 

Keep Amazon in mind as you improve the experience for your blog readers. Even though bloggers follow a different business model than Amazon every blogger has room to create a more seamless UX.

 

Use these 10 tips to improve blog user experience.

 

1: Upgrade Your Theme

 

Upgrade your theme to create an appealing experience for your readers.

 

Themes tend to get stale after a while. Perhaps you cling to an old theme for some romantic attachment.

 

A theme upgrade may be in order for you.

 

Think clean, simple, lightweight, mobile responsive, and align it with your blogging brand.

 

Ubud, Bali

 

Give your loyal readers an entertaining, visually-appealing experience. Align with your brand. Make it easy for followers to get what they want through your blog design.

 

Every blogger needs a theme upgrade from time to time to be current, to recharge their brand and to give readers a fresh perspective.

 

2: Write Short Paragraphs

 

Readers like to follow snippet-sized pieces of content for easier scanning and reading.

 

Write short, concise paragraphs to please your visitors. Tighten your writing. Chop up longish paragraphs to make it easy for followers to digest blog content.

 

Imagine readers following the movement of a typewriter. Left to right. PING. Next line.

 

Go vertical. Think up-down.

 

Practice writing short, curt paragraphs to make this writing style a habit.

 

3: Use Headers

 

Headers break up blog posts.

 

Breaking up blog posts makes your blog easier to scan.

 

Use H2 and H3 headers to give a sense of flow to your blog posts. Employing blog header fonts gives readers a chance to breathe. Headers also arrest attention spans to stress important points. Observe the 10 numbered headers for this post. Followers know each H2 header beside a number reflects the content promised through the blog post title.

 

4: Invest in a CDN

 

Invest money in a CDN.

 

A CDN is a content delivery network. Imagine server clusters sitting in different locations delivering your blog content like:

 

  • videos
  • images
  • HTML pages

 

to your blog. A CDN basically frees up your blog server resources to ensure readers experience a quick-loading blog.

 

Speed has always been a big factor for blog readers as well as Google but the current level of technological advancement in society makes site speed a critical factor in enhancing a blog UX. If readers cannot read your blog posts quickly and easily most will leave your blog just as quickly and easily.

 

Invest in a CDN for a quick-loading blog and happy blogging readership.

 

5: Upgrade Your Comment System

 

Assess your current comment system.

 

Nai Harn Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Nai Harn Beach, Phuket, Thailand

 

Can readers easily share their thoughts to allow their voice to be heard?

 

Consider upgrading your blog comment system to leave behind:

 

  • commenting bugs
  • painfully slow load times as readers wait for comments to go through after clicking the publish button
  • sneaky spam dancing around filters

 

I removed all No Follow links from comments to reduce my spam by 90%. Removing links guaranteed every legit commentor on Blogging From Paradise desires to genuinely be a part of our community without wanting a backlink or anything else in return.

 

Upgrade comments to foster a sense of closeness among your readership. Make your blog a two-way street for both you and your loyal readers to enhance your UX.

 

6: Post Images Liberally

 

Post images liberally throughout your blog to allow readers to rest their weary minds.

 

People think in terms of images. Imagining images as you read words taxes even diligent readers. Pictures do leg work for readers by making it easy to imagine the picture.

 

Pictures also create flow throughout blog content. Readers enjoy seeing pictures to break up blog post text.

 

Use multiple images for every blog post you publish. Be generous. Improve your user experience by making your blog easy on reader eyes.

 

7: Tidy Up Your Sidebar

 

Tight, sweet and neat; consider this your blog sidebar holy trinity.

 

Remove sidebar bloat. Trim fat by removing non-essential widgets. Leave only what enhances your blog.

 

Review each sidebar widget carefully. Demand that every widget improves your user experience.

 

Consider trimming down before adding anything to your sidebar. Set up a blog header menu to direct readers to business pages, bio pages and contact pages. Be efficient in allocating sidebar real estate. Keep your sidebar tidy to focus readers predominantly on your blog content.

 

8: Go Heavy on White Space

 

White space makes your content pop.

 

Giving readers ample white space creates an “easy on the eyes” experience.

 

Giving readers little white space creates a “I want to tear out my eyes” assault on the senses.

 

Use plenty of white space. Enhance your blog content by creating a strong sense of contrast between text, images and white space.

 

9: Ask a Non-Blogger to Poke Around Your Blog

 

Bloggers often impress meme’s on fellow bloggers.

 

Pro bloggers in particular become so fixed in their blogging perspective that they miss obvious user experience errors easily spotted by people who do not blog.

 

Savusavu Bay, Fiji

Savusavu Bay, Fiji

 

Non-bloggers think outside of the blogging box by *not* thinking like a blogger. Pro bloggers often parrot the piece of advice to build an email list. But after plastering your opt-in form on your sidebar as the sole widget, a person who never blogged asks why you don’t have your eBooks, disclaimers and your smiling headshot on the sidebar?

 

People who do not know how to blog have not been cursed by sometimes narrowing thinking schools of blogging thought greatly damaging user experience. Ask a non-blogger to poke around your blog for 20 minutes. Listen to their feedback honestly. Observe how free thinkers see what you forgot to see in your rigid blogging mind.

 

Enhance your UX by asking for feedback from someone who knows nothing about blogging but everything about getting what they want quickly and easily.

 

Enhance your UX by asking for feedback from someone who knows nothing about blogging but everything about getting what they want quickly and easily.Click To Tweet

 

10: Do Regular UX Audits

 

Audit your blog for user experience every 3-6 months to be current.

 

Spot potential changes evolving after your personal desires get the best of you.

 

I refused to add a search bar to my blog because I wanted readers to buy my eBooks as solutions versus visiting other posts on my blog. Needless to say, this ego-drunk experiment did not work out well. Observing my sidebar during an audit revealed this UX weakness. I added a search bar as my most prominent widget and never looked back.

 

Review your blog regularly to spot user experience issues. Adjust accordingly to make your followers happy.

 

Conclusion

 

Put your ego to the side to do user experience audits honestly.

 

Every blogger turns a blind eye to at least a few aspects of their blog requiring some updates.

 

Patiently follow each one of these tips. Put yourself in the shoes of a blog follower.

 

Making minimal time, energy and financial investments can do wonders for your reader user experience.

    • Phillip Dews says:
      at 12:19 pm

      Just a thought, and to make the UX that little bit better for your readers. Can I slightly modify the theme fella and add a scroll to top button, just makes things that little easier for you readers and makes it a little bit more professional.
      Will keep it the same green as above!

      • Ryan Biddulph says:
        at 12:23 pm

        No need PD, only because they already have the sidebar scroll 😉 Thanks though!

      • Phillip Dews says:
        at 12:35 pm

        Fair enough dude. your blog anyway fella!

  1. Phillip Dews says:
    at 12:07 pm

    Hey Dude, thanks for the link back fella, I had left a huge comment on the BloggerAuthority post you wrote a few days back but my comment is still not showing up as yet! Still there is a tonne of info on that post!
    I may have to write a book on speeding up and securing wordpress site’s. In the meantime I am trying to figure out why
    if(password_verify($p, $db_pass_str)){
    // Create session and cookies
    } else {
    // Login failed
    } is not working for me on my little project. WordPress is great and is my main earner but you cannot learn a lot from it and it’s very restrictive trying to build a social network from scratch hey!
    Hopefully one of your readers will have an idea!
    All the best buddy, great post as usual fella!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:14 pm

      Hi PD,

      Thanks a bunch brother for all you do.

      As for the BloggerAuthority post I do not have admin rights. You can @reply the Twitter account though to let Tony know; he’s an awesome guy and responsive:

      https://twitter.com/BloggerAuthorty

      As for the book that sounds awesome dude. Maybe some readers will catch this and shout ya some feedback.

      Thanks as always!

      Ryan

  2. Phillip Dews says:
    at 2:06 pm

    OK So I have done a little, Well tell a Lie actually quite a bit of Housekeeping on the theme fella as GTMetrix was showing some really bad scores. In fact both were showing F for scores and was about 8 – 10 seconds.
    There is one thing I cannot do and that is the origin URL for your CDN is bloggingfromparadise.com and now http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com which is causing plugin redirect issues and the site is advising this…. Remove the following redirect chain if possible:
    It may be worth sending in a support ticket to Krystal fella and asking them to change the origin url to www.
    Here is some info on the situation that you have fella…
    https://wordpress.org/support/topic/gtmetrix-remove-redirect-chains/

    Got the site down to under 5second https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1d1ed263e088d4a4cb69ac99fe52c724b081ea2086e0ee8198bb85f57a08257f.png s though dude….

  3. Lisa Sicard says:
    at 6:59 am

    HI Ryan, looe the new look. I’ve been thinking of making my white spacee white, it’s a blue right now anad has been for years. I’m always leary of making too many changes and causing any SEO changes with it. I did my sidebar over last year and love the simplicity of it. I”m not sure if I like your share buttons on the side, I know on mobile they tend to cover the text and make it hard to comment, I’ll check yours on mobile later today. I would add large typeface. I still come across pieces in tiny text that I just cannot read or take the time to squint. Great info Ryan, thanks! And I can’t believe an eBook every Friday!!!! Wow.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:49 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      That’s a helpful note with the sidebar; have to think about it. Because even though I check it on mobile sometimes – like now, after your comment 😉 – I spend 99.99999% of my time on the Chromebook.

      Neat-ly enough, my share buttons scroll across the bottom/end of the post on my Samsung. Have no clue in hell if Phill did that or I am aligned with the mobile Gods LOL.

      Love the look of your site. Seems to be working for ya but your intuition always wins out so trust any nudge and you will be OK.

      Thanks Lisa 🙂

      Ryan

      • Phillip Dews says:
        at 5:03 pm

        Hmmmm, who developed the theme Ryan?

      • Ryan Biddulph says:
        at 12:18 pm

        Phill did that….;) Although I make offerings to the mobile Gods regularly too 🙂

  4. Don Purdum says:
    at 10:39 am

    Hi Ryan,

    Kudos to your site! It’s looking great and I couldn’t agree more about the user experience.

    I’ve used DISQUS for years. I briefly experimented with CommentLuv and found that I didn’t like it nearly as much and it attracted the wrong audience.

    The last few months we put a premium on our site layout, colors and look/feel. We made the message come through clearer. For example, on the home page we added “Unleash the Untapped Potential of Your Digital Marketing… and Discover How to Make Your Brand Irresistible!”

    The sidebar on the blog is clean but powerful… there is a link to a resource guide (which is a massive hit), webinars and how to get our weekly content exclusively via email.

    In the blog itself we are focusing monthly on massive articles (4,000 – 6,000 words) with a variety of formats designed to attract influencers. This months infographic and article have earned 550 shares to date (and growing daily) and we are being approached to contribute to SEMrush and Moz, as well as several other large sites.

    Plus, we have been approached by several businesses to hold live Twitter chats with them. We have one coming up in a few weeks with Express Writers.

    I think it’s important to state that your message is partly embedded in the way a site communicates, looks and feels.

    Love what you’re doing here as always Ryan!

    Happy New Year!

    ~ Don

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:40 pm

      Hi Don,

      Your UI is dazzling!

      Love the changes you have made. Because before it rocked to begin with but I noticed how clearer and clearer you are getting on your overall brand.

      Awesome to see you are being approached too, for contributions and chats, by the Big Dawgs. This is a true sign you are clear on your user experience because when the biggies reach out to you, you are doing things right.

      Well done! Thanks as always for the comment and Happy New Year to you and your family 🙂

      Ryan

  5. Pennies and Dollars says:
    at 2:57 pm

    I find it interesting that Disqus actually encourages comments. Maybe its because my phone is screwy, but for whatever reason, when I try and leave a comment on disqus in my phone browser, I almost always have to re-log in to disqus. Not worth the effort, so I almost always just exit the page (and leave the blog completely). I happened to be reading this post on my laptop, or I would have done the same thing. Otherwise, great tips!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:37 pm

      Hi Dan,

      Is it a cookies issue? Any time I checked from my mobile, if I log in, I stay logged in and can comment. Or could just be a deal with a bug between Disqus and phone.

      Oh well, I tried LOL. This is my first Disqus issue compared to a slew of issues with my old blog commenting system and interaction with spam plug in. The perfect comment system eludes us 😉

      Thanks for the heads up and for reading 🙂

      Ryan

      • Pennies and Dollars says:
        at 4:49 pm

        Could be. So far I’ve been very happy with traditional WordPress commenting system, bundled with akismet spam blocker. Only very rarely does it block a legit comment, and had yet to let a spammer through. Ah well, to each his own.

  6. Donna Merrill says:
    at 8:31 am

    Hi Ryan,

    I am loving the “new look” of your blog. I like the way you are using your sidebar….Smart!

    This screams you…and that’s the point isn’t it? Why put a bunch of stuff on the sidebar that is not branding you.Inc?

    Indeed, we are all speed demons and need to have our stuff loading lightning fast….yours does. And what about your MOZ score? A whopping 46….that is proof of the pudding that you are doing so well.

    -Donna

  7. Rohan Bhardwaj says:
    at 7:01 am

    Ryan…Much needed post.

    I am glad – I switched by theme to Genesis a while back and am putting the white space thing for real.

    For me, I don’t need to worry about comment as I have made the comment availability only for 7 days.

    Hope you are having a wonderful start for the year. Stay blessed. 🙂

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:46 pm

      Hi Rohan,

      Happy you dug it bro. White space provides readers with the perfect contrast; amazing how such a simple, seemingly little change makes all the difference in the world when it comes to enhancing user experience.

      Likewise 🙂

      Ryan

  8. Tamal Anwar says:
    at 7:05 am

    That cat image on top took forever to load on my connection. Looks like it was a freaking .png image which is 430KB, you could have made it under 50K if you had used jpg as compression. Talking about UX, that image load hurts a lot.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:37 pm

      Hi Tamal,

      Hmmmm…strange buddy. Because I have an image compressor installed. And I also resize all images to 650 X 450, or in that area. What connection speed do you have? May be time for an upgrade 😉

      Now that I think of it, I cut this image from my Instagram account. Making it a PNG. Because all of my other images are in the 50 to 80 K areas. Must be it.

      Thanks for the heads up 🙂 I’ll convert the image now. And you can get your connection speed upgrade LOL.

      Ryan

      • Tamal Anwar says:
        at 3:52 pm

        Hi Ryan, that particular day the connection was a bit low. But where I am from, this speed is still a godsend 😀

        Every other image loaded nicely, but the cat one took forever, that’s when I knew something was not right. So I downloaded it and examined it to find it 400+ KB size.

      • Ryan Biddulph says:
        at 4:44 pm

        Hi Tamal,

        Oh OK, cool. Again, thanks for noting the 400 KB, that’s huge LOL! Now I know to trim those suckers I nab from IG to improve load times.

        Have a fab weekend bro 🙂

        Ryan

      • Tamal Anwar says:
        at 6:59 am

        You too! And thanks a lot for dropping by at my new blog 😀

      • Ryan Biddulph says:
        at 8:03 pm

        Always my pleasure 🙂

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:45 pm

      Changes made Tamal, thanks again for the 411. Now I know to convert those PNG files to JPG if I snag some sweet Instagram photogs from my feed 😉

  9. fetchprofits says:
    at 10:43 am

    Makes me want to think to Switch to discuss, in the sense that it might be a good way to overhaul the commenting system.

    Right now, it’s just as dry as the native WordPress thing can get.

    I need to work on the white space, clearing clutter, making the design pop, and all those things you list. This is in addition to trying to hunt you down while you are on some paradise? Eh, Ryan?

    Ash

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 6:45 pm

      Hi Ash,

      Hunt away my friend 😉 You can stalk me here and on Instagram; that’s where I am easy prey LOL.

      I really love Disqus. Genuinely. And it’s funny because I resisted it for so long because I felt I was not giving commentors enough love by going to Disqus because they did not get the direct link in, like native WordPress.

      However, Don Purdum said it best: sometimes, having the native, direct-link style commenting system can attract the wrong commentors (link builders, etc) and you can have a headache on your hands with all the broken links too.

      Thanks a bunch, as always.

      Ryan

      • Julie S Kalungi says:
        at 10:17 am

        Aaah talk about broken links I have spent an hour cleaning them out over 500 what! So I am seriously considering disqus too!

      • Ryan Biddulph says:
        at 10:02 pm

        Who Julie! That’s a lotta links!

        With the ease of Disqus – a few weeks in – I cannot see myself ever using another platform. Only because it is so darn easy.

        Happy Comment System Hunting 🙂

        Ryan

  10. Jayce Ooi says:
    at 1:33 am

    Speed up blog helps a lot. And using DISQUS is great to filter all the SPAM comments. Using it too. 🙂

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:52 pm

      Hi Jayce,

      No doubt. Glad Phillip Dews knows that stuff. Because I am lost in that area 😉 Loading & using Disqus, smart add buddy 🙂

      Ryan

  11. Renard Moreau says:
    at 12:38 am

    [ Smiles ] Ryan, I was pleasantly surprised when I encountered the Disqus Commenting system on your blog (You probably know by now that I love Disqus).

    Well, I plan on improving the reader experience by continuing to providing them with the type of blog posts that they love.

    Keep blogging, my friend!

  12. Julie S Kalungi says:
    at 3:23 pm

    Hey Ryan,

    Another smackeroo. Yes I love the clean cut Blog you have not. 🙂 I noticed immediately. SO I was gonna ask. You answered the question perfectly thanks a bunch.

    Remember when I asked about Blog themes last summer/ I changes Themes and I wish I hadn’t! While it looks the beesnees, white spaces and all. There is something not quite right with it.
    Also I lost my Google analytics…cant seem to get em back…So I need some technical help on that front. Would appreciate a FB Inbox.

    Love the Choc chip, and The Fruit n veg on the side 🙂
    Keep serving up a Michelin star menu Ryan!

    Julie Syl

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:39 pm

      Hi Julie,

      Glad to see you’re resolving that tech glitch per our Facebook chat.

      I myself had some weird stuff going on with my blog theme, between comments and my theme because no spam plug in seemed to work. Changed to Disqus, no probs since.

      I am happy you enjoyed the chocolate chips. Finally, somebody found them!

      Ryan

  13. Lewis LaLanne - NoteTakingNerd says:
    at 7:52 pm

    I’m wondering if a CDN has been set up for my site?

    I’ll look into it.

    I love including pics in my pieces but I’m also hesitant to do so because I know they slow down the loading time. So unless I’m in a IDGAF mood, I’ll just include one at the top and call it good.

    The other thing I’m hoping a CDN can help with is freeing me from have to cheat the quality of the images I use. I hate shaving pixels and cheating the effect I wanted to have with the picture.

    I never even knew what a CDN was until today and I’m glad I stopped by today to get all learned up by the homie Ryan. Thanks for the tip!

    PS. Speaking of tips, the Bhat Butt Bandits are missing you! Hahaha

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:51 pm

      Hi Lewis,

      Aha the Baht Butt Bandits LOL! It’s been too long 🙂

      As for the CDN it won’t usually be set up for your site by default, per your developer.

      Oh yes; that’s exactly what a CDN is for: speeding up your site by storing all those images offsite. Or, on a server separate from your site hosting. You can include a high volume of images – and heavy/non-shaved ones at that (that sounds like a fetish) – because the images themselves are not bogging down your blog server.

      I observed a night-day difference with my blog speed after spending some dough on a CDN. I just went with my host, who offered the service, but https://www.maxcdn.com/ is another fabulous service too.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

      Ryan

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 3:29 am

      Hi Sam,

      You betcha they are 😉 Get those 2 aspects down and things should come together nicely.

      Ryan

  14. Shubha says:
    at 4:05 am

    Quite impressive article Ryan. I am amazed to see your changed writing skills😊. Now you have started to write like an SEO expert. I must say this article is going to help a lot of audience. Great work.
    Regards,
    Shubha

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:00 am

      Hi Shubha,

      Thanks so much for checking out the post. I finally figured it was time to SEO-optimize blog posts LOL.

  15. Digital Pravakar says:
    at 11:08 pm

    Hi Ryan Sir,

    I strongly believe that without good user experience, ALL CONTENT is useless because user is not reading it.

    This post is literally amazing and one of the best post I’ve read on blogging. Thankyou for sharing such a valuable information with us.

    Best Regards,
    Digital Pravakar 🙂

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:40 pm

      Hi Pravakar,

      Agreed 100% brother. We need a good UX for readers to actually stick around and read our content. Thanks my friend. 🙂

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