Design is an essential component of starting a successful blog. If you get the design right, your site will be better optimized for SEO, social sharing, and conversions. As a result, you will generate more traffic, leads, and sales.
Most people don’t pay any attention to the design and only focus on the content. As a result, they drive some traffic, but they don’t build a self-sustaining blog, and it tanks within a few months.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, I have shared my top tips for getting blog design right below…
Choose a vision:
Your blog design should reflect your long term vision and immediate goals. Before you start designing, you should get a pen and paper or a mind mapping tool and note down why you are creating a blog. Don’t just write to make money or a hobby. You need to get into the specifics.
For example, if you want to make money write down how you want to do this. Will you be earning through consulting, or selling a course, or ads, or promoting affiliate products. Make sure you list both short term and long term monetization methods.
For example, monetizing through consulting could be a short term plan, and monetizing through affiliate products and ads can be long term as you need far less traffic to achieve the former.
Your entire blog design should be built upon achieving these goals.
Choose a blogging platform:
You can design a blog these days without the help of a designer. As there are so many blogging platforms out there that simplify things. They include drag and drop builders, templates, themes, and plugins. Anyone can use these to design a beautiful website within a day.
The blogging platform options are endless, so make sure you do the research and pick one that suits your needs best. If you want something very basic for your blog as a hobby, Blogger will suffice. While if you want something more professional and you have some technical skills, WordPress will suit you better.
And if you want a platform that is very easy to use, you can get Wix or Squarespace. Make sure you put a lot of thought behind picking the right platform, as moving from one to the other after you start a blog is a pain. A good place to start is this blogging platform review. It discusses the pros, cons, and various other details of some of the top platforms.
Keep design simple
One of the things you will love about using blogging platforms is themes. There are both official themes from the platform itself and third party designers. Many people get mesmerized by all the themes available and pick a sophisticated option.
A sophisticated template might look stunning, but it’s not worth it. These themes contain a lot of features and other elements that distract visitors from the important bits of the website. This can affect your load times and conversion rates.
It can also lead to you spending more time designing your website. So, instead of buying a sophisticated theme, get something simple and spacious. I do the same thing. Whenever I am redesigning my website, I use the most minimalist theme I can find.
Design with conversion in mind:
As aforementioned, conversion is important. Whenever you are adding a new feature, always think about how it is going to affect the conversion rate of your website. A website isn’t all about looking pretty and making you look good. It’s also about how many people you can convert and how much money that will make you. So, whenever you are adding something, always think about how it is going to affect the conversion rate.
One thing you will notice these days is that a lot of the top bloggers don’t use the sidebar anymore. Newbies think that a sidebar is a nice place to promote products. But advanced bloggers have already tested the option and figured out that only a small percentage of people click on the sidebar. This is why most have removed it and now place adverts to products within the blog post itself.
More people will see an ad that’s right within the blog post and click on it. So, try this out.
Remember it’s always a work in progress:
You will never finish designing the final version of your blog. It’s always a work in progress. After you design your website, you should track metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, goal conversion rate, clicks, etc., and figure out how to improve this.
And after you make modifications, you should continue testing and improving it even more. It’s always going to be a work in process. Don’t ever think it’s complete, and stop redesigning your blog.
This is the step by step process that will ensure you get the blog design right. Start by choosing a vision and goal. Next, pick your blogging platform, theme, and template and design a simple blog with no sidebar.
After that, you should monitor your blog’s design constantly. Your first aim should be to reach your industry’s conversion benchmark. Then work on beating it and leaving the competition in the dust.