Jan 11

Blog Design – Is it important?

Blog Design Tips
I often get questions regarding Blog Design. It has been noticed that some very ugly sites generate massive traffic flow. Why? Because Content is King. Google doesn’t look at your design. And many visitors will often read your content from their favorite RSS reader so they don’t even see your Blog Design.

So really, how important is Blog Design for your business?

Does it affect your traffic? Does it affect your subscriber base? Does anyone care?

In short – Yes!

Here’s a few observations I have made while surfing the web checking out Business Blog Design

I should also mention that I’m not even talking about things like floating angels, snowflakes that follow my cursor or background colors that automatically change every 30 seconds thanks to the wonders of javascript (for these sites I’ll stay around only long enough to laugh for a bit, then surf elsewhere). The following is a reference for bloggers who are actually trying to succeed online but may be using their blogs default template or a poorly designed alternative.

1. The search engines don’t care if your site looks any good, but I do as a protentianal customer and you’re writing for me not Google. If you’re not writing for me then I’m not coming back anyway.

2. It’s about perceived value. If I hit your site and see you’ve clearly put 0 effort into your design, I’ll automatically question how much time you’ve put into your message. I may still read your post depending on how I arrived, but I’ll be reading with a filter that didn’t need to be there in the first place.

3. There’s no shortage of competition out there. So unless you happen to be the # 1 voice in your industry and provide indispensable information with every post, which is unlikely, give me a reason to stay, not a reason to leave.

4. If you break new design ground you may generate a temporary buzz but if you have nothing to say your creative wonder of a blog isn’t going to convince me to come back a second time.

5. If your site uses yellow, red, pink or other light font colors I can’t read it… I’m partially color-blind and you just lost me.

6. Your job as a blogger is to keep people coming back to the SITE. You can’t have a conversation if your readers stay at arms length so give them a friendly place to come back to!

7. There’s something to be said for image. You don’t go to a dentist with discolored, cracked teeth or a chiropractor who sports a cane and you generally wouldn’t buy from a sales man dressed in a speedo! People are coming to your blog with certain expectations, understanding those expectations and exceeding them is better than the alternative.

8. Don’t design for your tastes (unless you’re an historically proven trendsetter). Let me put that another way: I don’t care that you really like yellow and black; the colors of wasps, bees and danger signs don’t belong in large quantities on your blog template!

9. This won’t apply to all blogs, but I read a large sampling of business related blogs and this one is for those bloggers. If your blog template NEVER changes, you obviously aren’t trying new things or testing the results and I’m going to question your online business savvy.

10. Having a great looking blog doesn’t mean you need to break the bank hiring a designer. A blog platform like WordPress offers free templates that can be customized to suite your Company Brand.

A lack of a unique and trendy Blog design shouldn’t hold you back from starting a blog. At the end of the day, it’s your message that brings people in, not your design (unless you are a blog about design). That being said, a sleek design should be at the top of your ‘To Do’ list once you get the ball rolling!

A blog’s template should always serve to Enhance the presentation of your content and never overshadow it, and what’s really important in a Blog template is speed, accessibility and clarity.
My preference for wordpress templates is StudioPress.    StudioPress makes WordPress templates that are functional and stylish.

Do you have any great tips that I haven’t covered here? Or do you disagree with any of my advice? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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