As I mentioned in my previous post, your blog design must incorporate three critical elements:
- Branding/Personality (Banners, logo, photos)
- Navigation/Simplicity (Layout, use of white space and read more)
- Quality Content (Problems you solve for your readers)
Your blog design should offer easy navigation, easy ways to find solutions to their problems.
Layout and the use of colors (contrast), fonts, and features are critical for the blink test. When choosing colors and fonts, focus on contrast (the greater the contrast, the easier it is for tired eyes) and be consistent with your font: larger is better.
The choices for adding features and widgets to your blog can be overwhelming. Don’t confuse your readers by offering too many things to click on that distract from your business. To organize your content, include a navigation bar – most blog platforms offer the option of a navigation bar across the top. This way, you can include special stand-alone pages you don’t want visitors to miss.
Here’s a suggested list of must-have items for any small business professional who wants to use a blog for getting business. At the very least, your blog should have:
- An email subscription form, in addition to RSS options (Feedburner)
- Your picture
- An ‘About’ page, that tells your core message, your backstory
- Cornerstone content: free, free for email, and some for fee
- ‘How Can I Help You’ page, clearly giving options for hiring or buying
- Typical clients page: who do you work with?
- Testimonials, showing social proof of what happens as a result of working with you
- Your other accounts, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- A way to see and hear you with a video clip
In addition, these are other features you might want to include:
- Affiliate links & banners
- Blogs you read
- Books you read
- Top blog lists
- Use a Vizu poll to get readers to vote on their biggest challenges
- Or, better yet, use a professional, custom-designed survey
- Use Google analytics or SiteMeter or Feedburner analytics to monitor results
There are other details that are important on your blog. When it comes to look and feel, small things matter.
Always write with your readers’ needs in mind.
Content is king, and your readers will recognize in an instant if you can offer a solution to their problem.
This is just an overview of the big things that matter.
If you need a blog review, don’t hesitate to contact me. Getting an outside expert’s opinion can set you up for success.