Visitors can have three very different reactions to your blog design:
• They fall head over heels in love with it, which pushes them to bookmark your blog and read every single post.
• They think it's ugly, unprofessional or 'template-ish'. Templates are totally fine as long as you have some CSS knowledge and can put your stamp on it. If not? You have to acknowledge that you design won't appear all that personal or professional.
• Lastly, they can be indifferent to your design. That's when your chances of turning visitors into followers becomes dangerous because your design is doing nothing for them. It's all down to your posts. (Which is great if every one of your posts are ah-MAZING, but let's be real here. Not every post is gonna knock people's socks off.)
If you can hire a designer then you don't need to worry about the points I'm about to mention, but if you're on a small 'DIY budget', then take heed of these do's and dont's of blog design:
1. Don't automatically play music, and if you do, try not to hide the pause button. Most visitors will leave your site when music starts playing- especially when it overrides the tunes they're already playing on Spotify!
2. Do include videos in your blog posts/pages, just don't set them to automatically play. Videos give visitors more insight into you- video allows them to feel like they're interacting with you and learning more about you. Even becoming your friend!
3. Don't get crazy with colors in your blog design if you want to have colorful blog posts. Stick to neutral colors, or maybe one popping color. The last thing your visitors want is to be blinded when they visit.
4. If you don't use images in your blog posts, then feel free to experiment with beautiful, bright colors in the rest of your design. Sometimes posts without images look boring, so jazz up the rest of your site for maximum impact!
5. Don't use more than 3 fonts in your entire design: one for headers, one for body text and one for titles.
6. Do take advantage of your blog footer and use it to push visitors into action. If you want them to follow you on social media, then add your social media buttons. If you want them to join your newsletter then add your opt in! Utilize your footer if you don't already.
7. Don't have a never-ending list of blogs you follow in your sidebar. Unfortunately, it's not attractive and will lead visitors away from site and over to your friends blog. I don't think that's what you want!
9. Don't copy other people or use their graphics. You don't want to look like anyone but yourself!
10. Do make your ads the same width. Ads that are all different widths make your blog look untidy and amateurish.
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If you're wanting a blog design that will pop and sparkle but don't want to handle it yourself, check out my portfolio and drop me an email! I'm now offering an end-of-year 10% discount on all my design services, but only for a limited amount of clients.