20 Blog Usability Tips from IRBW

Do we really need another roundup post of best practices for blogs? Not anymore because Tom Johnson of I’d Rather Be Writing has put together the definitive list of 20 principles for usable and readable blogs. The post offers good advice you may have seen before, but it’s carefully edited, includes solid examples and contains links to helpful plug-ins. What’s more, you’ll find about 30 links to the original posts that inspired the column — a step that less conscientious bloggers skip. Nice flagship content, Tom.

The only blogging point not covered that often comes up is whether or not to display social media bookmarking options, such as Digg and del.icio.us buttons, and Technorati tags. Here’s a summary of the list.

  1. Pick a topic for your blog
  2. Encourage comments
  3. Make it easy to subscribe
  4. Include an About page
  5. Present your ideas visually
  6. Keep posts short and to the point
  7. Use subheadings for long posts
  8. Link abundantly
  9. Make headlines descriptive
  10. Archive by topic
  11. Include a list of related posts beneath each post
  12. Allow users to contact you offline
  13. Present your real viewpoint
  14. Write for your future employer
  15. Include a Top Posts section
  16. Provide an index
  17. Get your own URL and match it to your blog’s title
  18. Include a Recent Posts section in your sidebar
  19. Reward commenters for commenting
  20. Post often

If you like Tom’s post, Daily Blog Tips, is another site that will give you a regular fix of similar advice.

What would you add to the list?


2 thoughts on “20 Blog Usability Tips from IRBW

  1. We’ll make that a top 22 list instead of top 20 with those wise additions about posting frequency. It can be frustrating when following a favorite blog to see that it goes dark for longer than usual.

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