Hey, Y’all! Today I wanted to share with you ways to improve your web or blog design to attract more readers and to keep them coming back for more and…possibly make more MONEY, HONEY! I have learned through trial and error and through a couple of “design experts” on how to enhance my design layout to gain more readers and how to keep them on my site. So, here are 9 tips to get you started…
TIP 1: HAVE AN EYE-CATCHING HEADER OR LOGO.
The header is the first thing a reader sees. It has to draw them in during the first couple of seconds of viewing your site. It doesn’t have to be flashy, it can be really simple. But it has to be clear and gives the reader an idea of what the rest of the blog will be like. Below are some of my favorite logos/headers.
TIP 2: COMBINE COLORS THAT COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER.
Design Seeds is the perfect resource for finding the perfect color combination for your blog. A pop of one color, a soft color, and dark color it always a great color combination. Consider using Color Psychology from Spruce Rd to see what kind colors you need to set the mood of your design. For example, pink will attract feminine readers and it has a friendly appeal. Purple, my favorite color, evokes serenity and artistry. I also recommend using Adobe Color to create color combinations that compliment each other.
I definitely use almost all the colors contained in my logo throughout my site. However, I limited the color use when it comes to my content. The body of your content should be one basic color (black or dark gray) with the color of links being one contrasting color.
TIP 3: MAKE YOUR WEBSITE OR BLOG USER-FRIENDLY
Always make sure your readers can navigate throughout your blog or website. If readers are confused about where to go or how to get to a point on your website, they may not return. Make sure your search bar is present, I always look for a search bar. Also, DEFINITELY make sure your social media icons are visible and accessible. If I like a blog or website, I usually go and follow them elsewhere. Some people like to have their social media at the very top of their website. For me, it doesn’t fit my design well being placed at the top, so I have it above the fold on the blog page and in the footer of every page on my website.
Make sure your content reads left to right and is not centered. Remember to use headers or bullets so readers can go through your content quickly and with ease.
My Grocery List
For the Kids:
TIP 4: LESS IS MORE AND MORE NEEDS TO BE LESS.
Too many graphics can overtake the content of your blog. Too much of a bold or bright color like neon green or neon pink can blind the content of your blog. If you like a neon color I recommend using it as an accent color. This website, Robin Jansky Photogprahy, is a great example of how a neon color is used as an accent color.
TIP 5: DON’T USE OVERLY ORNATE PATTERNED BACKGROUNDS, USE THAT WHITE SPACE.
Seriously, a bold chevron background makes it hard to read a blog. If you decide to you use a patterned background, use a very subtle one. I personally like white backgrounds, but if you like make your blog seem cozy, use grays and creams.
TIP 6: LIMIT YOUR FONTS TO 3.
Too many fonts just makes reading confusing. Do not use overly scripted fonts for your headings in your content or navigation. Use something that is very easy to read like a serif or sans-serif font. DO NOT USE display font for your content, trust me, it could be very hard to read and you will not retain followers that way.
TIP 7: DON’T MAKE YOUR SIDEBAR JUST A SIDEKICK OR THE SIDE CHICK.
Use that sidebar, girl! Well, if you still believe in sidebars. Use your sidebar to market you and what you are selling. First have a photo of your pretty face. Under your photo, tell readers a little about you and direct them to a link to get to know you more.
This is a great place to show your readers other places they can catch up with you using your social icons. Regina, from byRegina, suggests that you place your free stuff and products above the fold. This is also a great to place your CTA’s (call to actions). Whether it is a newsletter sign up or a sign up to join a Facebook group, or whatever!
You could also include your most popular posts or pins on your sidebar. This will keep readers actively engaged on your site and it will lower that bounce rate by having readers stay on your site just a little bit longer.
My rule of thumb is, if the item on your sidebar is NOT benefiting you or your reader in any way, whether it is traffic or money, don’t put it on your sidebar.
TIP 8: ADD SHARE POST BUTTONS + MAKE YOUR POSTS EASY TO PROMOTE.
Make it easy for your readers to share your content and to do that you must have visible post-share buttons. I recommend having your post-share button match the look of your website. Hey, who says YOU have to do all the promoting? Get your readers excited to promote your content!
Also consider adding some RELATED posts to the end of all of your post entries. This will keep readers engaged and they will stay on your site longer…and possibly buy something!
TIP 9: DON’T EVER, EVA, EVA, USE LOW-QUALITY IMAGES.
Ugh…my biggest pet peeve when it comes to web design. You can have the most beautiful website, but your low-quality images are throwing off the vibe of your website. If you have no quality photos, there are tons of stock photos you can buy or get for free to add to your blog or website. You want your images to be pin-able and re-pin-able!
Also, make sure all your big photos are the same width as your content. Squarespace does this automatically. Some WordPress templates may do it automatically. For other templates and blogger users, here are some instructions on how to format your pics automatically.
Keep in my mind these are just my opinions on what makes a great design and what will attract and retain readers!
disclaimer: this article is not mine