Blogging: Make it readable

I read a lot of blogs. Not just fandom blogs either, but (original fiction) author blogs, writing blogs, and a smattering of home design and DIY blogs. I use google reader to keep track of them all. If you’ve never used a feed reader before, it is a web, desktop or mobile app that grabs all the updates from the blogs or news sites you follow, and gives them to you in a nice, readable format.

If you’re lucky.

It helps if the blog in question has paid any attention to what their site looks like in a reader.

Some blogs give me their posts in pale yellow text on a white background. As you can imagine, it’s hard to read. That generally happens because the blog theme/layout/template has a dark background and the blogger has manually (using HTML or CSS or the editor) changed the text colour. You can probably see yellow text fine on a black background when viewing the blog on the web, but it’s near impossible to read in a feed reader with the default white background without selecting the text.

Some blog posts come to my reader in paragraph blocks of black with white text. While readable, it’s ugly O.o. The layout for this blog on the web is white text on a black background, but it appears in my feed reader as if each paragraph has been selected and had black background, white text, applied to it in the blog editor.

Okay, what I’m saying is… Bloggers – blog owners, mistresses, bosses, whatever. Check to see what your blog looks like in a feed reader. Then, when you (or any of your staff) mess with text colour, think about how it’s going to look in a feed reader.

Actually, think about how that post will look down the line if you change your blog theme/template from a dark background to a light one…

Go, look at your blog in google reader. If you have a gmail account you’re already signed up.

Blogger- vampireisthenewblack - Create Post

The best advice I can offer to ensure that your blog posts are readable in a feed reader, is let the blog template worry about text and background colours. Use the built in tools in the editor to make headings, emphasis, quotes, etc. Changing the text size, colour, etc manually is when things will break. Cutting and pasting in from Word will often screw things up as well.

I feel weird about recommending a Micro$oft product, but the best tool I’ve ever used to remove all these issues is Windows Live Writer. It’s a desktop blogging app that works with a ton of different blog services including wordpress, blogger, livejournal and more. Makes blogging a shit-ton easier, too, as you’re not reliant on your internet connection (mine gets dodgy when we have bad weather) or subject to the danger of a browser crash.

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