The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration Part IX


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.


BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett




What do you think is important about blog layout? How did you decide on your particular one?


Uma says...

Of course there’s no fixed way as to how your layout should be or not. Go ahead, edit it and make it “you”. I think the blog design is a way of expression and it should be your very own. Of course you can be inspired by other blogs but don’t try to recreate others’ blog designs.


That being said, there are some things that are important to layout. Some things that readers like to see and some things that can put off your visitors. One big thing to remember while deciding your layout and design is -


Blog layout = easily navigable and MUST NOT HURT EYES.


Things about Layout and design that make yours truly cry and burn down the building-
  • Finding a wonderful blog but WHERE IS THAT FOLLOW BUTTON?!
  • Sidebars dressed in flashy widgets from head to toe
  • Fonts so fancy that I have a headache!
  • I love me some graphics but WHAT IS THAT THING GLOWING AND FLASHING? “My eyes! MY EYES” (Read that in Phoebe’s voice)
  • What an amazing discussion post, let me leave a comment -*searches for comment box* - *Can’t find comment box*- *cry*
  • So graphic heavy that the page takes an eternity to load. #messingwithmytimemanagement


As for my layout, I went with two sidebars because I didn’t want my readers to have to scroll down for too long to get to the links in my sidebars. Also since my header is kind of ‘filling’ and heavy, I kept my background plain to even it out. And I decided on flowers because well, I LOVE flowers. Even my bookstagram looks like an explosion of flowers! (but in a good way!)(I think?)



Amy says...



I think it’s important that your blog layout shows you: Your style, your tastes, your choice of colours….don’t try copy someone else’s, be true to what you like and who you are. I guess that applies to more to design than actual layout, but still. It’s your blog, so make it yours.   Design it and arrange the layout in the way you’re comfortable with. Make it your blog :)


That said, I do think another important thing you should probably consider when designing and layouting (I think I just made up a word?!) is your readers and their impressions. I personally think a blog layout should be very organised, with fonts and graphics that are easy to read and don’t hurt the eyes, and preferably without too much clutter in the sidebars, etc. It should be easy to navigate and very reader-friendly. With my layout, I’ve tried to keep it tidy, simple, and organised, and have resisted the urge to fill up my sidebars. Your personal tastes play hugely into this, but I do think it’s important to remember your readers - however much you design for yourself.  Keep it your style, your colours, etc, but make it easy for your readers to search for posts, read your reviews, and if you want them to stalk you elsewhere, make your social media links in your sidebar easy to find.


Yes, it definitely comes down to your personal preferences, but thinking of your readers as a whole, consider how to make their visit easier and more enjoyable - especially if you want them to stick around. First impressions are a HUGE part of blogging, and most bloggers won’t hang around trying to find your menu bar or social media links if it takes them more than a few seconds.

Layout can be a real pain, but most of the time I’ve found that keeping it simple is better.    

Is there one thing you wish you’d done differently to your blog from the start? One thing you regret?



Uma says...

Okay this is going to sound cheesy but I’m gonna say - no regrets. Sometimes, like Di, I do wonder if i should have started off with a WordPress blog but truthfully I’m content with my blog and how it looks right now. I am kind of having some technical problems with blogger currently but hopefully I can sort that out soon.


I think blogging is a learning process and while some things like blog name, platform among others must be decided right at first, it’s perfectly okay to plan everything else as it comes. For example, I didn’t know about Bloglovin until quite later and I learnt a bit of CSS when I had some problems with my layout. Do I wish I’d known about these beforehand? Maybe. Do I regret not having known them? Nope.



Amy says...



I think the thing I’d do differently to my blog if I could is change the name. It’s not that I’m not happy with A Magical World Of Words, it’s just that - if I’d given myself time to think carefully about it - I don’t think I would’ve chosen that particular title.   
When I first created my blog, it was called Words of a Wordaholic. THANKFULLY I changed it. But because I was in a rush to get the URL sorted out and get a new name before I lost visitors or followers or whatever, I scrambled for a name that would encompass what I wanted my blog to stand for and one that would fit my personal tastes.  I wanted it to have Words in the title, and so in rush I decided upon A Magic World Of Words - since I believe words are magical, and obviously words encompasses every single post I write.
To cut a long story short, I eventually ended up with the title I have now. I do regret being in such a rush that I chose about the first name I thought of, and if I could do things differently, I’d change my blog name to something shorter.


So here’s some advice!! Think about your blog name long and hard before choosing one and don’t rush! It’s isn’t a nice thing to be unhappy with :(  


What is the next item on your blogging ‘To Do’ list?


Uma says...




Writing more discussion posts, posting more about writing, and exploring the blogosphere more! I’ve been posting only twice a week lately due to having exams and once that’s over I hope to get back to posting 3-4 times a week. I also want to find new blogs and make more friends. Hopefully I’ll get to accomplishing all of these in the summer holidays!

Amy says...


 I really really really want to do more discussion posts! I’ve got a few lined up in my head, but haven’t gotten round to them yet. Also, I’m kinda nervous about doing them (#procrastination) because discussing can be daunting and intimidating and SCARY BECAUSE IT’S YOUR OPINION, but hopefully I’ll be able to tackle them soon.




To see my answers make sure to visit the other collab posts!


We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion post! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!

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