Design plays an important role in determining how your visitors will view you and your blog. A sloppy, poorly-organized blog will convey to your visitors that you’re either an amateur or that your blog is very low-budget. Either way, this is a bad signal to send to visitors who are seeing your blog for the first time.
For these reasons and others, it is important that you work to improve the design of your blog. Below, I will consider 7 tips you can use to improve your blog design.
1. Choose Your Theme Wisely
If you use WordPress or another popular blogging platform, then you will have access to hundreds or possibly thousands of different blog templates. Instead of picking any old theme, spend some time to find one that matches your niche and looks clean and professional.
2. Customize Your Theme
Now that you have selected a WordPress theme, it is time to customize it and put it to work for you. If you’re using WordPress or another popular blogging platform, you will be able to make the majority of these changes through the administrative panel.
This might include things like re-arranging your sidebar or adding widgets that track traffic statistics.
In addition to this, you can make other changes. For instance, you can limit the amount of posts that will be displayed on your home page; or alter how the comments will appear on your blog.
3. Customize the Icons
Many blog themes will come with a set of their own icons. However, it’s still possible that you can still improve the situation by finding better or less-used icons, so that they stand out more.
4. Be Social
If you make it hard for people to promote you, then fewer will do it. And if you make it easy for people to promote you, then more people will promote you.
This is precisely why it is important to incorporate social media into your blog. If you make it very easy for people to take content on your blog and refer to it in tweets and on Facebook, then people will do it more frequently.
For this reason, you should be thought when placing your social media icons on your blog. Make sure it is easy for people to access them immediately after reading a post, so that they can quickly tweet about you or reference your post on Facebook.
5. Keep Your Sidebar Tidy
Many bloggers mistaken fill their sidebars with all sorts of junk, including widgets, tag clouds, and other items.
What they do not realize is that the sidebar is the gateway to extra income, repeat visits, and increased pageviews. Thus, if it is poorly constructed, then there is profit to be had in improving it.
6. Use a Blog Post Image
This may depend on your theme, but in general, using an image to accompany your blog posts is an excellent way to improve the visual appearance of your blog. For starters, you can use free stock photographs drawn from places like Free Images. Just remember to make sure that the photographs are legal to use and will match well with your posts.
If you find that this process is getting tiresome over time, consider only doing it for important blog posts. In fact, this could even act as a means of signaling when a post is important.
If your blog eventually becomes very profitable, you may even consider hiring a freelancer to create graphics, charts, or cartoons that accompany your entries and are exclusively for your blog.
7. Take Advantage of Your Footer
In the past, the footer portion of blogs was often underused or left entirely unused. Today, things are changing rapidly in this area. It is common to find a number of different items in the footer now, including a latest posts section or a popular posts section.
Additionally, people have begun using footers to add contact forms, so that visitors easily send emails or submit feedback. It has also become common to add your subscription form to this area so that anyone can subscribe to your email list from any page of your blog.
So, next time you logon to your administrative panel, consider re-vamping your footer (via widgets) to take advantage of this otherwise wasted space.
Blog design is often overlooked as a secondary consideration.
In reality, however, it plays an important role in determining who stays on your blog, what they do when they’re on your blog, and who and how many people they refer to your blog. If you take time to make even small design improvements, you will reap benefits for the remainder of the blog’s life.