Having a successful blog is a combination of a lot of components; good content, good pictures, and a good blog design. While having good pictures and content is extremely important for keeping a good followers base, a good blog design is your very first impression to new visitors. The design gives the reader a subconscious opinion of your blog before they've even started reading. However, sometimes new, professional blog designs can be really intimating; especially with a hefty price tag. So here are some ideas on some little things to do to make your blog look more professional, without coding.
This is something that shouldn't be taken too far, but should be at the back of your mind as well. Your blog should have the right balance of the same colors, without going overboard. For example, you don't want your blog to have blue font, bright pink links, an orange title, etc. But you also don't want everything to be all one color, either. A good rule of thumb is to have two or three main colors that look good together. For example, my blog colors right now are peach and light orange. Alternating these colors makes the blog flow well to the eyes, without being overwhelming.
This is big. Oftentimes new bloggers, even myself, started out by playing with a lot of different fonts. Not only do difficult-to-read fonts distract the reader from what you are trying to say, but they also force the reader to pour much more focus into reading, which is tiring and leads to an easy excuse for the reader to give up reading and move on. Easy to read, classic fonts make the blog look sleek, professional, and it is much easier for the reader to get what you are saying at a glance.
A floating title is when your title is on a white background without a frame, and the background is white as well. This limits distractions and your title is the first thing your viewer sees. Minimalism is big right now, and for good reason. This is not to say that a header with pictures or a colored background is unprofessional, but having a simplistic design is popular right now and brings the design together. You can make headers on the "Design" feature of both befunky.com and picmonkey.com.
(I recommend and use them both frequently, so if you have any questions/problems, shoot me a email.)
Well, there you have it. What are some small things you do to improve your blog design?