Building a blog is a beautiful and creative process. A blog is the culmination of an artistís or writerís endeavors. Yet itís easy to let building a blog get out of control. Many blog authors donít take the time to find a voice and a cohesive message before they start a blog; this is why many blogs are confused, muddled and chaotic.
To ensure a blog does its job and is enticing to a large range of readers, authors can make their blogs simple, eye catching and easy to use. Blogs that cut out the fat and keep it simple are more likely to reach their viewers in a concise manner.
- Consider the Menu
The menu is one of the most important parts of the design of a blog. The menu tells blogís visitors how to find the pages theyíre looking for, where to find out more about the creator and how to contact the creator.
All blogs should have at least three items in their menus:
- About Us
- Contact Us
These are the main pages the visitors have come to expect on a blog. The Home page is simply your landing page. If the author of the blog wants a seamless and simple blog, this should have no more than two pictures or one infograph at most.
The About Us page tells visitors who the author of the blog is. It states what the blog is about and tells gives a little bit of backstory. Many authors choose to include a photo, though itís not necessary.
The Contact Us page tells visitors how the author wants to be contacted. This could be through email, phone, social media or web form.
- Use Photos Wisely
Many authors get a little too crazy with photos. Visual aids are a great way to tell a story. Video is a great way to keep visitors on a page longer. Yet too many photos and videos can confuse the audience and distract viewers from reading on.
A simple homepage should have one or to visual aids. Each blog post should have at least one visual aid, and simplistic posts shouldnít have more than three visual aids. Chances are that a reader will bail if he or she has to wait for the photos to load on a smartphone, laptop or tablet.
Authors should choose a photo that best represents the blog and a few photos that help in the storytelling of a post.
Photos are not filler content. Many authors make the mistake of slapping a few visual aids into a post to keep readers on a page without determining if the photo adds value to the story. Authors should analyze every photo to ensure none need to be cut.
- Be Careful with Ads
One of the best ways to monetize a blog is to use Google AdWords or affiliate marketing. Authors should definitely take advantage of these tools but use them carefully and sparingly.
All ads should be within the scope of the blog. If the blog sells sports ware, the ads should have something to do with sports.
Authors should try to keep ads down to three sections per site at maximum. Sometimes blog hosting sites place their own ads on blogs. WordPress does this but also lets bloggers know beforehand that the ads will show up when the article is posted.
Authors who want to avoid these types of ads should pay for web hosting through their blogís hosting site or through an external site.
- Think About the Point of Difference
A point of difference is what sets one blog apart from the next. Many blog authors donít think about this before starting a blog. Sadly, this is why so many blogs fail or get lost in the shuffle. Many blogs are very confusing at a first glance. Authors who want to learn more about why a blogís design works should look at as many blogs as possible.
What is the blog selling? Do the photos tell a story? Is it easy to find products, services or articles? How long does it take to find a relevant product or service?
The point of difference can help with streamlining this process. This is the theme, plot or armature of the blog. If a blogís point of difference is showing guests how to travel the world on a budget, every photo, font and article should support that theme.† Cutting bits of information that donít support the point of difference is one of the easiest ways to simplify and streamline a blog.
Keeping a blog streamlined and simple can seem like a daunting task. Yet the process is relatively painless. When you start a blog, it will look better and attract more readers if it only has information that is pertinent to the authorís message.