Do you want to create a successful blogging business? You could make a decent living by building a niche blog. You could dedicate your blog to personal finance, holistic living, weight loss, political discussions or any number of other niches.
However, you are going to need to make it a priority to come up with the right design to improve the user experience. The good news is that this isn’t as hard as it might seem.
Neil Patel is a leading authority on online marketing. He has a great article on choosing the best website builder, which can be an invaluable resource for any blogger. Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He has also assisted Amazon, HP, NBC and other major corporations with their design practices. Due to his expertise in the field, you can trust his recommendations for website builders.
You can learn more about the importance of a good blog design below.
The Survival of Your Blog Hinges on a Great Design
Unfortunately, the percentage of bloggers that successfully create a full-time living is not very high. One study by Blogging.com found that only 17% were able to support themselves and their families from the revenue from their blogs. Another survey from ProBlogger found that only 13% of bloggers made over $1,000 a month.
Does this mean that you should give up on your passion for blogging? Not at all! Most failed bloggers don’t follow through with their efforts and don’t make it a priority to handle things properly. Your chances of succeeding will be much better if you do you do diligence and execute your strategies effectively. You will need to pay close attention to detail.
One of the most important factors to get right is your design. The right design will make or break the success of your niche blog. Here are some important statistics on the importance of a good blog design:
- 74% of Internet users state that they are more likely to return to a website that is optimized for mobile design
- 94% of visitors say that their first impression of a brand is determined by the website design
- 75% of users say the website design is the most important indicator of credibility
These statistics focus on web design for all brands, including offline businesses. A great design is probably even more important for a blogger. You can’t afford to get it wrong.
Important design practices for bloggers
Coming up with the perfect website design is not as difficult as it might seem. You will have an easier time designing your blog if you follow these practices.
Design your site for speed
Most users are going to leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load. It is important to optimize the site for speed.
Start by designing your blog around your objectives
Too many new bloggers come up with designs that are meant to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Your goal should not be to impress your visitors. Instead, you should be focusing on designing a blog to achieve your profit-driven objectives.
Although a beautiful and enticing design might play a role in driving conversions, the two objectives are not always perfectly correlated. You need to use Google Analytics to monitor results, which means understanding the ways that it might be inaccurate and rectifying them.
Your blog is going to need a strong call to action (CTA). Examples of CTAs for a blog might include:
- A banner meant to drive visitors to an affiliate offer
- An email opt-in form to build a subscriber list to promote products or affiliate offers
- Links to drive visitors to blog posts with ads
Your CTA won’t work as a standalone element of your blog. The entirety of your design needs to support it.
You might need to remove unnecessary visual elements from your blog that are competing with your CTA for attention. You might need to tweak the color of your layout, so that your CTA stands out more. You may also need to add more navigation options to make it easier to find your CTA.
Choose a uniform color for all hyperlinks
In the early days of the Internet, it was standard practice to make all links dark blue. Over the last 20 years, web designers have changed things up a bit. Instead of using a dark blue font for links, they choose colors that stand out more with the aesthetics of the blog.
You can use any number of colors for your clickable links. The important thing is to use the same color for every link on your blog. You also should not use that color for any other design element.
You can’t afford to confuse visitors with your links. You need to make it easy for users to navigate your site and click affiliate offers.
Use white space effectively
New bloggers have a bad habit of cramming as many visual elements into their design as possible. We can’t overemphasize the drawbacks of this approach. As stated above, excessive visuals can distract visitors from your call-to-action.
However, there are other downsides as well. Your users may feel overwhelmed with a cluttered layout, which will cause them to navigate away from your site.