How to Create a Perfect Blog Design
The goal of every blogger is to create a blog that stands out from the crowd, not only in relation to the quality of the content but also for its design. However, not many people make this dream a reality. That is why most of the blogs that exist never live long enough to make money for the blogger let alone getting him or her known.
If you fall in this bracket of failed bloggers, there is a good chance your failure is not a result of the topics you choose to talk about but how you design your blog.
This post looks at some of the key tips you need to use in order to create a blog that bears results and puts you ahead of the herd. The post discusses the fundamental pro tips you must always remember when setting up your blog.
Pick a blogging platform carefully
Your success as a blogger will be affected significantly by the platform you choose to use. There are many platforms available for bloggers out there but only a handful of them offer the features you really need to excel. This is more so if you choose to work on your Web design on your own. Needless to say, the platform you choose will depend on what you are comfortable using as well as how involved you wish to be during the development process.
One of the most recommended platforms for bloggers is Joomla. This is an open source content management system that offers a wide range of features to make it easy for you to design your blog as well as create powerful applications. The best thing about this platform is that it is free to use and has unlimited resources to help you setup with ease. WordPress is, of course, the most widely used CMS on the market and other options include DNN, Sitecore and others (for a top-50 list, click here).
Choose your content wisely
Now that you have found the best platform to use, the second most important thing you have to do is to decide on the content you will be posting. A mistake most bloggers make is that of blogging for the sake of just blogging. More often than not, this is usually pointless and such bloggers end up getting bored and their blogs become dormant.
It pays to make a list of all the topics you would love to blog about before you even start developing your blog. The list of topics you wish to cover will offer a great reference whenever your ideas seem to dry up. It is always recommended to blog on topics you are passionate about. This means you will love what you do and will not feel forced to write new posts.
Brainstorming tools like BuzzSumo or others can help ensure content is relevant to the audience you serve.
Keep it simple
From your Web design to the content you post, you must always keep everything as simple as possible. When working on your blog, it is easy to be tempted to be crazy. After all, your goal is to create a blog that stands out, right?
The fact you need to understand is that too much of anything is dangerous. Combing a range of fonts and colors will only succeed in confusing your audience. The key is to keep your blog as simple as possible. Don’t use more than three colors and no more than three fonts. Your content will also need a heading, subheading and the body copy font. Maintain consistency throughout your blog.
Contrasting colors are great
In the right Web design, contrasting colors will work magic. The general rule in blog design is to have a primary color, a shade of gray and a color for the call-to-action. Highlight the most important elements with a different color so as to redirect the attention of your audience. HubSpot breaks the mold a bit but wisely uses colors to separate its different areas of coverage:
Once directed to the actual channel blog, the color stays to keep consistency.
White space is a must
White space is fundamental and will significantly enhance your Web design and make it more professional. Don’t focus too much on utilizing all the white spaces in your design. Leaving some parts of your design empty will make your website even better. White space should also be used as borders to highlight the key parts of your blog. All in all, don’t overdo it.
Giving your readers a voice is a great thing to have. Make it easy for them to leave their comments. But which commenting system should you use? The most recommended system is the threaded comments, because it typically increases the number of comments left. Here's an example from the HubSpot blog:
The more comments you have, the more text you will have on your page. This could, in turn, boost SEO because it adds more long-tail keywords if commenters leave robust responses.
Snippets are essential in blogging because of two things. First, readers have a short attention span of eight seconds (some reports say even less). Showing snippets allows readers to choose from a number of posts. Snippets help readers to easily find the posts that grab their interest.
Second, snippets will help you deal away with the duplicate content problem. Placing full posts on the homepage will only succeed in creating duplicate content, which will automatically hurt your search engine rankings.
Scrolling social buttons
Another important feature to add to your blog is the scrolling social buttons. This makes it easy for your readers to find your social buttons within your blog posts. Limit the social buttons to three. Select the three most important social networks that your users frequent and add them to your Web design. Adding too many option will only succeed in deceasing the social traffic. Here's a WordPress plugin for scrolling social buttons.
Place the sidebar on the right
The most optimal layout for any blog design is to have the content on the left and the sidebar on the right. This makes it easy for readers to go through your content while at the same time giving you more flexibility of promoting other items on the sidebar. The main content area should always take up more than 60 percent of the Web design.
Other crucial elements your blog design must have include; ‘Your Bio’, subscription options, essential widgets, SEO plugins and relevant images. Following the aforementioned tips will help you design a blog that boosts your traffic.
David Wicks is an avid online marketing blogger. You can read his posts on http://howtostartablogonline.net/.