This may come as a huge surprise, but I have a few thoughts about blogging.
Not that I have the perfect formula for doing so – far from – but I’ve written enough posts and watched enough analytics and designed enough themes that I’ve learned a few things I lean on that help a blog be useful, be read, and be successful.
And it’s through that lens that I was looking at Stratton’s blog when I said, “hey, that’s pretty dang good.”
There are always things I’d change about a blog, but in this case there are three really simple, effective things they’ve done that I want to highlight.
#1) Narrow Reading Width
In this case, the max-width for the content area is 720px. This is a small thing, but a huge thing.
I sometimes go even narrower (SlopeFillers is 620px) but sooooooo many resort blogs rae 800, 900, 1,000 pixels wide. At that width, readability drops significantly.
#2) Plenty of Line Height
Another thing a lot of resort blogs do is have almost no space between the lines of text which creates heavy, dense blocks visually. Stratton, however, goes with 150% (1.5) line height which gives these lines plenty of room to breathe.
I may bump up the text size a touch, but it’s not bad and not as small as many blogs I see.
#3) Short and Sweet
The five random posts I looked at had word counts of:
My rule of thumb has always been that if you’re gonna write more than that you’ve gotta come with some time, skills, and planning. Anything under 500? Easier to crank out in one sitting, even with average skills.
Short and sweet is such a smart approach.
Please note that I have said nothing about the voice these are written in, the topics, the use of images, etc. Stratton does all of those well, but I wanted to separate the foundational pieces – the design and expectations around content that fits – from some of the strategic pieces.
Sometimes we put too much weight on that strategy, on the actual words themselves.
The reality, however, is that a big chunk of your blog’s success will be determined by how readable it is. And width, height, and length are three key factors to be sure you keep in check as Stratton has done.
Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Comments are old-school, click here to grab a 15 minute slot on my calendar and let's chat.
New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.