Welcome to my new year of Writer’s Tips. In this edition, Ruth Harris talks about 13 Ways to Drive a Writer Crazy; Anne R. Allen’s blog, guest writer, Jessica Bell, talks about Choosing Proper Fonts for Book Covers; Sally Cronin is rewinding her Public Relations for Authors series, – the importance of an Author picture. Hugh Roberts with a great list of 7 Ways to Clean up our Blogs for the New Year; Diana Peach, writing for the Story Empire has a helpful post for writers – Writing the End; Ruth Harris shares 6 Writing Tips from Famous Authors; Diana Urban at Bookbub shares various examples of Writing Your Author Bio.
Entertaining post from Ruth Harris at the blog of Anne R. Allen about the concept of writing, and how many outsiders have no clue what goes into writing – including friends and family.
Jessica Bell guest writer at the blog of Anne R. Allen’s blog – Using the right Fonts on your Book Covers
Sally Cronin’s, Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Series – The importance of an Author Profile Picture and How to Create one
Hugh Roberts with 7 ideas to clean up our blogs
Diana Peach featured at the Story Empire, shares a post about different types of endings for books, Part II
Ruth Harris at the Blog of Anne R. Allen, shares 6 great tips on Writing from Professional Authors
From Bookbub Insights, Diana Urban shares 20 Examples on how to Write Your Author Bio
I received a lovely comment from a newcomer to my blog last week, complimenting me on how nicely I relay information on my blog without adding a ‘lot of filler’ as he put it, and with legible font size and good white-space. What a lovely compliment!
I do try to live my life with the adage of ‘Do unto others’ mantra. That’s what inspired me to share this comment I received. I try my best to keep my blog ‘clean’ and not crowded, and thought I’d pass on a few tips. Now, I do know that sometimes my blog posts will have the occasional wonky formating in them – courtesy of WordPress and theme not playing nice. But I do use the ‘preview’ before scheduling a post to make sure it doesn’t look wonky, and sometimes, there are conditions beyond my control, which I will always state on my blog so that others don’t think I’m being sloppy. So below, I’ll mention a few options we have in our WordPress editors to enhance the reader’s experience.
Some Things to Keep in Mind When Drafting a Post
Are you aware you can alter the font size, color and styles on your blog? Are you previewing your posts before you hit schedule or publish? Are all your paragraphs conjoined without proper space breaks? Are you using sub-headings to break up your points of conversation or information? Is your font too light or too small for some of us with vision impairment? These are some of the things I take into consideration when drafting a post.
How to Give Your Post a Clean and Inviting Appearance
I like to summarize what my readers will find in my opening paragraphs so they can get a gist of what they’re about to read without having to scroll to get ‘to the point’. And using subheadings for talking points is a good way to direct attention.
Leaving enough white-space in between paragraphs and headings make a blog look crisp. Reading a blog shouldn’t read like a newspaper article, but should feel welcoming with white-space to give us a pause.
White-space is kind of like a giant comma where we can take a breath and read (or scan) through a paragraph with ease then take a breath for a pause before reading the next paragraph, enabling us to take what we want from that paragraph with ease, and without having to scroll through mounds of information to find what we’re looking for in a long tome of information not broken up. With no white-space, it’s comparative to talking non-stop without taking a breath where all the information that comes out is in one monotone long announcement.
Font size is also important. I know from my own experience, if I go to a blog with tiny font, it hurts my eyes, and doubly so if there’s barely any white-space. This will often cause me to leave.
Some bloggers, like myself, like to use colored fonts, which is a great idea to make headlines or words stand out, but not so much a good idea if the chosen font is too light – especially when used on a similar colored background for the whole post – not reader friendly.
You can use the ‘paragraph’ drop-down box in the editor to enlarge headings and sub-headings to make them stand out. You can also use the little box underneath the paragraph sizing box to change size of font for the whole post or just for parts you wish to emphasize.
I’m not sure if you all get a choice of fonts in another drop-down box in your editor with free WordPress blogs, which allows us to change the font and to add some flair to a post. My blog is self-hosted, which gives me the opportunity to add any new Google fonts to my font options. If you’re self-hosted or on the WordPress business plan, you will have the option to add new fonts. Have you noticed how I bolded some key words in the above paragraphs? By bolding certain words, it attracts the eye in those paragraphs at quick glance and indicates what the topic of that paragraph conversation is about. The same goes for highlighting and/or bolding and using italics – these tools are all there for the benefit of bettering our blog content.
Lastly, it’s also important to ‘preview’ your posts before hitting publish because trust me, the way we have set up a post in draft does not always display the way we think it will once published if the WordPress gremlins are at play, or if some of your plugins are not playing nice with your theme.
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I hope you found this post helpful, and if anyone would like to add to the conversation, please do so in comments.
This week’s edition of Writer’s Tips features some great info on creating book trailers, how to protect your blogs, writing tips, instructional on downloading fabulous fonts, Writers Beware, and knowing and breaking writing rules.
Fantastic How To on creating videos for our books with Canva