How to design a blog? No, I am not going to teach HTML and CSS here. But hang on you’ve got some juicy stuff in this post.
First impression – it matters a lot.
I can clearly remember my first encounter with any person. Its hard for me to forget if the impression they made is bad, ,especially.
If someone “wow”ed me on our first meet, sure the person is gonna be my friend as long as possible.
First impression is that chance you get to express yourself.
If you make it bad you’re gonna appear bad for the person you encountered; it doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad in real life.
Like it? Feel free to embed it on your blog (use the code below)!
Why am I telling this to you? A lot of my blog readers ask me: How to design a blog?
Your blog’s design will help you make that good (or bad) impression about your business to someone who visits it for the first time. No your content won’t.
I know, you believe that content is king. It is indeed.
But, will the king be recognized if he is dressed in a sack cloth with no ornaments, no crown and is walking by the road side, alone?
A king will only be recognized as a “King” if he appears in his own costumes and as a king.
So is your blog. You have to do justice to your awesome content (assuming you create awesome content) by supporting it with a clean and a professional design that “wow”s your readers.
I am going to discuss below a few important factors you should consider for an amazing blog design that will wow your readers and convert them. I am going in, straight to the point.
Design a clean blog
Think this is a no-brainer? If so, just do some random browsing on the internet to find blogs in various niches and tell me what percent of them have a clean design!
All the content is treated with very less respect; that’s all I can say!
Now, go back to your blog and take a closer look. Step aside. Forget that it is your own blog. Visit it as one of your casual readers. Are you amazed by the clean design?
If you think that every ad banner that makes a few pennies per month is so important, think again.
You are missing that great opportunity to showcase your great content and capture leads. You are missing out on conversions!
Here are the simple things you can do to maintain a clean and a professional blog:
1. Get a professional theme like Thesis or Genesis. Free themes are usually clumsy.
2. Reduce the number of ads. In most cases, this will solve the problem altogether.
3. Reduce the number of details, especially on your homepage.
4. Pay attention to your sidebar. Remove those unnecessary widgets.
5. Give importance to your content and let the rest stay aside.
Design a blog that assists easy navigation
No, I am not talking about placing one or two navigation bars in your blog. Although that is pretty much needed for most blogs/websites.
I am talking about the EASE of navigating through your blog.
If the reader wants to know more about you, he/she will look for a link to your About page. Is there a link to your About page on all your pages?
And if you have any money-making pages that are important for conversion, can your visitors get to that page from any page on your blog?
Go back to your blog and analyze.
Will this WOW your readers? Yes, because they will have an amazing user experience if you design your blog in a way that your readers are not left confused.
A confused reader will only bounce off. Don’t forget the “ease of navigation element” in your blog design.
Design your blog to convert
Most of them say: I get XXXK hits on my blog per month. This is a huge number. But I am not getting even 1% of them to be my clients. I am not generating income.
While there are a handful of aspects that will contribute to conversion, one of the most crucial factors is your blog design.
And this is one of the easiest factors that can be implemented once and be forgotten. Your blog design will work for you 24/7 to get you clients and business (assuming you have awesome content in there!).
Naturally, a blog that is designed to convert will offer the user/reader a great experience.
Such a blog will cut down the BS, offer great value to the readers and will direct them to action points (without leaving them confused).
It is a win-win.
In my opinion, a blog that cuts off the BS and teaches people something valuable will wow the reader and will help with great conversion.
So how can you implement this in your blog design?
1. Have clear call to actions. Make them enticing. Make them un-annoying, yet enticing enough for the reader to click through. And, oh, don’t forget to make them beautiful. Two plugins will help you on this (i) Immediate List Building Pro (read my review), and (ii) Optin Skin.
2. Create specific landing pages for specific purposes and design those pages such that they have only one purpose. For instance, if you have an email optin page, let that page serve ONE purpose – to make people optin to your list. Don’t add adverts, put up a sidebar and sell your video course on that page.
3. Stand out from the crowd. Make your blog unique in terms of design. People will easily remember you.
In short, a blog that is designed to convert will cut off the flab and get to the point. That’s what most readers consider to be amazing, including myself.
How to design a blog: Takeaway
While you could have read numerous posts on how to design a blog, I’m sure you’ve picked up one, two or three unique tips from this post.
Most of these tips are simple, but they’re very effective.
And it wouldn’t have occurred to you that a clean blog, a blog that assists easy navigation and a blog that is designed to convert will have to be incorporated into your blog design.