Last week I’ve shared some key benefits of using photography to promote your blog or business, which also is a big and important part for your blog. My not so little experience has showed me that if not the photography, I wouldn’t get as much interest and attention as I do get now. I will be talking more about that later on this blog (*PSSST. I will soon also be sharing some photography editing tutorials & so), but today I’d like to talk about another very important bit and that, m’friends, is a Blog Design! Yeah, you heard me right.
So my huge love for the brand and blog design has really grown to that point, where I’d like to do & talk more about it. I’ve been working with some pretty big bloggers and companies on their branding, and web/blog design for the past year, been learning a lot and spending lots of time doing research.(Thinking about a rebrand or new design for your blog? Check out my services!) Thus till the very this day I still, sometimes, come across a blog or two which are great, or being honest – would be, but their visual identity and online presence is really poor. Yes, what matters the most is the content, and that is probably the only thing you’d always come back for, but the visual also matters, it’s actually the first thing you notice, and that is very much about the blog’s design. So in this post I will be talking why the heck that blog design is so important, and what makes a good one! :)
What Makes A Good Blog Design?
• It has to be attractive, cohesive and unique.
First things first – when you come across the blog, first what you notice is it’s look. So it has to be outstanding, unique, but very much the one that reflects you and your blog’s content. It should be a start of your branding if you haven’t got one, or a part of it if you do!
• Responsive & SEO friendly. These are the main reasons why you should consider getting a blog design, and also what makes a good one. I guess I don’t need to tell you why a good SEO is important, and why responsiveness is so necessary, but take these two into account while getting a new blog design.
• Professional layout – flow. Make sure the layout isn’t too busy with too many ads, too many colors and fonts mixed all up which then leads to a headache and not the enjoyable reading and user experience. The way your blog flows is how your reader’s eye moves around the page. Make sure that’s easy and pleasant! I’d highly suggest sticking with a 2 or 3 fonts, and couple of colors. And obviously – no dark background and white writing on it. Come on, that’s older than 90’s. As for a sidebar – I’d always say 1, and definitely on the right! And make sure everything fits! By this I mean your photos fit nicely in the post area, so does the designed parts, whole content and sidebar gadgets.
• Easy to navigate. Yes, as much as it’s popular to have the sticky menu at the very top – it’s also very professional. Make sure the menu is easy to find, and so are the social media icons, blog topic categories, search, archives, back buttons and so! You can add a little color in those if you’d like them to stand out. Tho obviously, don’t put everything into one place, for some of them you also have a sidebar – so use it wise!
• Easy to comment. Well, that’s actually one of the most annoying things for me. It just drives me nuts, when I come across a blog, spend 10min on reading a post (or sometimes even more), and then when I actually decide to leave a comment – I either can’t it find where, or after typing it – can’t see it showing up. Or even worse: I need to log in to my google account first and then the comment disappear, or sometimes I’m not even able to log in… The story goes on, and I don’t really enjoy it. There are various of plugins, my favorite so far is disqus. They make your and your readers life easier, so go on, make sure your blog’s easy to comment!
• Photo of you! Don’t forget to add that, and I highly recommend at the very top of your sidebar. Why? Cause when I enter a blog I wan’t to see the person who’s behind it. They say it’s a very attractive and friendly gesture to your reader, and I can’t disagree with that!
• Easy to find contact form. Alright, this is another thing that’s bothering me the most: I want to contact a person behind the blog, but I cannot find how or where! I mean, seriously… This is painful. Not to mention – a huge loss. PR companies don’t really have much time to look for your contact details, neither do I or anyone else. The contact details should be something super easy to find! And even having few of those on one page won’t hurt. You can add your email address to your blog’s sidebar, as well as in the footer + mail icon next to other social icons, and then a separate page called Contact where you definitely must have your email address, other social media handles and contact form! Now make sure your blog’s got all of those!
I hope you will find these helpful! I know that at the very beginning it’s hard to understand what exactly your blog design needs, and what’s missing. Start with the less! If you’re on a budget – google some free templates, real good ones out there! If you think you want something more special, more friendly and professional – try checking out etsy.com there you can find some pretty awesome affordable templates, or check out my Blog Templates page! If you’re looking for a Custom Design, which is also a great idea (actually the best one), then check out my services over here and give me a shout!
My Pre-made Responsive Blogger and Self-Hosted WordPress templates are pretty much minimal, yet stylish and unique! I took the minimal part into consideration as I really think that blog’s content is still the most important, and usually it consist the photography, most of the time a lot! And that needs to stand out. If you have a busy design, your blog looks too busy overall, so I highly invite ya to stick with the minimal one. It also shall be friendly, with a hint of touch, and inviting, not to mention – responsive! So don’t forget to check out my templates and let me know if you have any question! I will soon be adding more of those, so stay put! And happy blogging, friends! May it be lotsa fun :)
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