All right, so I said that I'd do a post on blog layouts one day. "One day" has become today because I decided that I hate the font used for my posts.
In the four years that this blog has been up, there have been many changes and tweaks to the layout. Sidebar to the left, sidebar to the right. Two sidebars on either side. Two sidebars on one side. I can't show you any of the past templates and designs. Just know that there was a lot of purple.
Ads here, ads there. Solid background, picture background.
What you do with your blog is up to you. But there are some basic webpage design tenets, if you will.
1) Make your text easy to read and make the background darker than the text. Also, make sure the text and background don't clash.
2) Do not write in a big block of text. Separate your paragraphs with space (white space makes things look cleaner and more manageable). Use pictures. Embed videos. Do something to break up the text.
3) Images, people. I don't pepper all of my posts with images, but visuals make a difference.
4) Clutter. Don't. It's one of the reasons why I changed my layout to a sidebar on one side instead of on either side of my posts. I feel like it's neater.
5) Navigation. Make it easy for people to go from post to post or page to page. On Blogger, labels are a huge part of this; label every post under a category, so when readers click on a category, they can find it.
I'll leave other suggestions to you, readers. In the meantime, I'm going to fiddle with some minor things on my blog, things people probably won't even notice.