How These 6 Great Design Strategies Can Help Your Blogging Business

“Good design is good business.”

-Thomas J.Watson Jr.

The relation between design and business was best articulated by the former president of IBM – who led the company and the USA into the computer age. While no one in the present digital age will disagree, it helps to understand exactly why and how design can help your blogging business.

In this blog, we’ll cover :

  • How great design can help your blogging business
  • Some great blog designs to inspire you

Some definitions – When I say ‘Design’, I’m referring to everything that your Web Design agency or your website team does – including the visual design, the ‘cutting’ or development, interaction design and any installations on choice of infrastructure, plugins etc.

Let’s first list a few questions that are necessary to have answers to when considering blog design :

(Q.) What are the goals of your blog?

(Q.) Who is your target audience?

(Q.) What makes your blog unique?

(Q.) What should visitors do once they land on your blog?

(Q.) Do you know what metrics you will use to measure the success of your blog?

How can good design help your blogging business?

 

1) Improve SEO:

Good user experience is also good SEO. To ensure your content is accessible to your target audience, your blog should be optimized for SEO and its design plays a very important role. Some tips include :

  • using H1 tags for titles
  • using main keywords in your blog structure
  • optimizing images by adding alt and title tags to ensure search engines find and display them in search results.

 

2) Increase site speed:

Your site’s design (visual and architectural) can have an impact on its speed which correlates directly with the number of visitors you get, the amount of time they spend on your website and also your SEO ranking. Here are some ways better design can speed up your blog include:

 

  • Optimizing images on your website
  • Splitting large, content-heavy web pages into smaller ones
  • The quality of your Web Host – For example, if you are using WordPress, pick a WordPress Hosting solution with managed support
  • Design and development optimization i.e when your design and development techniques have been geared towards creating websites that have zero-lag, attract high traffic and increased conversions.

 

3) Increase Conversions:

    • Create a great first impression

The top reason for great, thoughtful design is to create a great first impression with your web visitors. It can take just a few seconds for web visitors to decide whether to stay on your website or leave. A good metric to look at is your website’s bounce rate. It indicates how engaging your website is to your traffic. A blog that is well-designed will not only have your visitors stay on your blog longer but also keep coming back for more.

    • Help navigation

Once a visitor lands on your blog, she/he shouldn’t have to think too much to figure out where to navigate to. While it’s great to experiment to stand out from the crowd and make an impact, sticking to some design conventions-like standard and consistent placement of sidebars, headers,etc will be useful.

 

4) Attract mobile users:

responsivesites

An unresponsive site can mean a loss in traffic from mobile users-which today make up a higher percentage of website traffic. This will also affect  your blog’s ranking as Google penalizes unresponsive websites.

 

5) Be more accessible to all users:

Another way to increase visitors and thereby increase conversions is a blog that is designed to cater to every kind of web user. Here we refer to users who may be differently-abled and may have some visual,sensory, auditory or other impairment. Optimizing your blog for accessibility will also help your SEO ranking. Click here for more details on how to make your blog more accessible.

6) Increase brand retention:

Branding will help establish an unique impact with your customers and help them recognize and recall your brand image and products.

Other Tips :

  • Blog banners:

Gizmodo blog Gizmodo blog

If your revenue model involves affiliate tie-ups, make sure you think about this during the design phase of your blog. How many banners would you want added to a page on your blog? Where would you want these banners placed? Blogs with too many banners can take the focus off your content and look unprofessional to your visitors.

If it is absolutely necessary to add a lot of banners, a good tip is to add a close script like Gizmodo (which also happens to be among the top 10 blogs that earn the highest revenue-Forbes, 2017.). If the banners are too distracting, the user can click the close button to have a few banners disappear.

Smashing Magazine keeps their affiliate banners in a consistent location

  • Affiliate links:

A few more good dos for adding affiliate links in your blog can include:

  • Adding a few clickable product images linked to the product page your blog is talking about will hook your readers better.
  • While adding affiliate links in the midst of written content is more common, other ways you can choose to present this is by adding;
  • Links/banners on the sidebar
  • A video with a shout out about the product/service
  • Colours:

A rule of thumb in web design is to stick to not more than 3 main colours and fonts for your blog. Also, use contrasting colours for headlines, call-to-action elements like buttons,etc. This can help keep your blog simple, uncluttered and professional.

 

  • Themes:

If you have used a theme for your blog, resist the temptation to change it too often. Your visitors might get put off by the frequent changes to structure and navigation that they were once familiar with.

Once you’ve finalised on the right theme for your blog, customizing the design it to make it unique will be a great way to stand out in the crowd. Popular blog themes today can be shared by hundreds or even thousands of users making several blog sites look quite similar.

 

  • Plugins or widgets:

If a plugin or widget is not necessary, take it off your page. This keeps your site less cluttered and distracting to your readers and helps them focus squarely on your content.

 

  • Content presentation:

Internet users tend to scan or skim through content. Capturing their attention on your blog can therefore be crucial. Present your content with headings, bullet points,shorter paragraphs, images and videos to hook your visitors.

Another tip is to keep your best content above the fold to encourage visitors to scroll through the rest of the page.

 

Inspirational blog designs :

Copyblogger.com:

Copyblogger.com

This blog is a simple,clean site with headings that stand out and a very prominent call-to-action.

 

Webydo.com:

webydo

Webydo’s blog design is innovative, beautiful,easy-to-navigate and goal-driven.

There main two call-to-actions are stationary while the rest of their content is scrollable. Their long menu is opened-up by default and selection of their hamburger menu, opens up a large main menu (below) with their most useful content large and bold.There’s no way to miss it.

It is also wonderfully responsive.

webydo

 

CSS-tricks:

csstricks

One look at this blog tells you that this was definitely designed keeping mobile views in mind. The best elements of this blog are fun and the easy-to-use navigation and the strong focus on content.

csstricksmobile

 

Tutsplus.com:

tutsplus

While the content blocks on tutplus’s first fold are large and colourful, some textual content is lost on the background images.

If you do decide that design isn’t really your forte, you could always use the many CMS themes available to design and build your blog. WordPress is easily the most popular option in the market today with over 60 million users worldwide and a great place to check for a vast collection of WordPress themes is Mojo Marketplace. ResellerClub’s WordPress Hosting package comes equipped with a QuickInstall tool powered by Mojo Marketplace which allows for a fast, easy installation of WordPress.

Conclusion

For your blogging business to grow you need to be able to focus on what you do best – networking, writing, researching etc. which means your hosting should be fully managed by experts. I recommend using a service like ResellerClub’s WordPress hosting which takes care of installations, email, backup, security etc. and allows me complete peace of mind.

We hope you found this post helpful. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

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About Jitendra Vaswani

Jitendra Vaswani is the founder of SchemaNinja WordPress Plugin, prior to SchemaNinja he is the founder of big internet marketing blog BloggersIdeas.com. He is successful online marketer & award winning digital marketing consultant. He has been featured on HuffingtonPost, BusinessWorld, YourStory, Payoneer, Lifehacker & other leading publication as a successful blogger & digital marketer. Jitendra Vaswani is also a frequent speaker & having 5+ yrs experience of in Digital Marketing field. Check out his portfolio( jitendra.co). Find him on Google+, Twitter, & Facebook.

7 Comments

  1. Hello Jitendra,

    Thanks for this great and informative post. Design will definitely help bloggers to attract visitors to their blog. Thanks for the list, I am a big fan of Copyblogger. It helps me a lot in my blogging journey.

    Reply  
  2. Hi Jitendra,

    Keeping in mind the tips you have mintioned on post to design a website, will help you to develop a well functioning and nice looking website. Visitors first notices the design of your site, speed and then relevant content.A very very useful stuff to design a great blog for business. Some of tips are really very interesting with witch I was anaware of.

    Exactly the css-tricks looks great in mobile view. Design and developed very well keeping in mind the mobile friendly. Responsive website are very famous among people who use mobile and search things through mobile. A informative article to me, learned many things which require to look your business website perfect.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    – Ravi.

    Reply  
  3. Gemma Koponen

    I like the way explain your article. Thanks for sharing such useful information. Keep writing this awesome post, really inspired

    Reply  
  4. Danish Amin

    HI,
    Thank you so much for sharing such a nice article. Its really help a lot.
    please keep sharing these types of articles in future as well. Thumbs up for a great work.

    Reply  
  5. Nice article, Jitendra. Very insightful. A good design is like a strong foundation of a building. Without it you cannot improvise and build great things. Aesthetics of a blog are equally important. Nobody want to spend their valuable time in crappily designed websites. For those starting out, I have a suggestion: make your website as beautiful and simplistic as possible. It will pay off in the long run.

    Reply  
  6. IADMS

    Great blog design will tends to improve the UI and user experience, which in turn will engage more traffic. Nice post, enjoyed reading it.

    Reply  
  7. Ajay Sharma

    Hello Jitendra,
    I have made changes in my website according to your advice and hoping for good results. Your article is very amazing and informative. Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative article.

    Reply  

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