Chad Arrington | How to Design | What can I say about blogging? It’s amazing and has changed the way I interact with the world. It has allowed me to share my knowledge in a way I was never allowed to do before. But, you need to keep in mind that the entire process was a struggle because it did take me some time to learn how to get things done. I did have to practice my content writing and make sure I engage my readers. If you’re not able to engage your readers then you’ll not be able to compete with the other blogs. There are a few things you need to keep in mind about engagement. First, the content you write will need to be valuable because this does determine the amount of engagement you’ll get on your blog.
Next, much of your success will depend on the design of your blog. Think about how many blogs you have left because the design was totally off. Think about the reason why you left, and you’ll notice it’s because there were too many banners, bad fonts and the colors irritated your eyes. With that said How to Design,
We will be discussing the main areas you should be focusing on when designing your blog for engagement. These are things which I learned from helping my clients build and brand their blogs. For example, we will be focusing on layout, font, colors, spacing, and typography. These factors will influence the overall success of your blog. Let’s get started and if you have some other points which you think matter, then please leave them below in the comment box.
Again, I will be starting with research because you can learn a lot from your competition. Let’s go.
One of the main things which will teach you a lot about design. Much of what I learned came from observing others and what they have done to better their website. For example, by doing a search on Google, I was able to determine what blogs had the best designs because of the engagement. When a blog has a lot of reads, you know that people feel comfortable reading their content and spending time on their website. So, I encourage all of you to start by doing a search in Google targeted around your mind keyword How to Design. For example, if you are planning on designing a health website, then do a search using the keyword “top health blogs” and then pay close attention to the results. Skim through the blogs and pay attention to the following –
- Font type
You also want to pay attention to what other cool features they have on their websites like social buttons and the placement. Write down what you have learned or simply bookmark these blogs so you know where to look when you start getting ready. Then you can start with the first important thing which is the layout.
One of the first things you should be worried about is the layout of your website. I recommend you to always look at competing websites to see what they are doing when getting started. You can learn a lot from your competition and you can use what you learned to better your websites. However, after working with many websites from different niches, I can give you the following tips about layout –
First, statistically, sidebars which are located on the right will perform better than others. Secondly, avoid too many banners because these can get very distracting. Third, navigation should be at the top not on the side. When the menu is on the top, it’s easier to view and visitors can find the categories they are looking for.
Another important factor when designing your website because you want to make sure people can read your content. If your font is off and hard to read then people will leave your website and not return. They will read before pulling out the value and sharing the knowledge they picked up through your blog. This will lower your engagement and overall activity so it’s important you choose the right font and it’s very easy to read. Here are a few pointers to follow right now to make sure that you select the right font when designing your website. These I have learned after working with several clients and helping to build their engagement.
Browser compatibility -when choosing a font, you need to make sure to select one that all browsers support. If you don’t then some of them won’t appear good on the screen. Do a quick search on Google and you’ll find which font’s work best with browsers and which ones don’t.
Color – the font color should be clear and visible. You don’t want to choose a color which is heavy on the eyes and hard to read. This will push people from reading your content and slow down your progress. Stick with what you know so choose a color like black or dark grey.
Spacing – make sure you space the line enough so the text doesn’t look cluttered. When text is right above each other, readers can lose track of where they are as they read. For this reason, I encourage you to make sure space is just right. From my experience, you should keep it at 1.15 or 1.25.
The Site Speed
Many people don’t know how the website speed does fall into the overall design of your website. Certain elements do make your website much slower so it’s important you make sure each of them loads correctly and doesn’t ruin the user experience. For example, when using WordPress, the plugins you use can cause enormous delays in the way your website loads. For this reason, I do keep a close eye on which plugins I am using and is they are necessary to meet the purpose of my blog How to Design and optimize. Anyways, you need to make sure you test your website all the time because a slow loading website will rank lower on the page then one which loads faster than others. Here are a few things you can do if you are using WordPress which will help you speed up your website.
How to Design
First, you can use Google speed test to keep checking how your website is performing compared to others. Pingdom speed test is another cool test which will allow you to test from different servers to see how your site is performing. Secondly, if your site is performing below average then you should focus on deleting some unnecessary plugins which you do not need. When your sites load’s plugins it does lower the overall time so that’s something you want to keep in your mind.
Third, you have the option of installing plugins on your website that will help your website load faster but you will need to tweak them beforehand. For example, I’ve used WP Cache which is an awesome plugin which creates copies of my site and loads them to different servers across the world. Depending on where my visitor is located, WP-Cache will load the copy nearest to them. It’s an amazing plugin and does help increase the performance of your website within a few minutes.
Here’s the thing,
You want to ensure that your website is loading within 3 seconds. This is a good number and is a consensus among all the experts. A time below 3 seconds will keep you very competitive.
I think one of the best ways to increase engagement on your blog is by adding a comment box to the bottom of the content. This is something you need to enable and do by yourself when designing your website. This is something which will allow people to leave comments and share their opinion. It’s user-generated content and will start a debate which Google loves and ranks within the search engines. If you are using WordPress this option can be enabled by going into settings then reading and selecting enable comments. If you are not using WordPress, then you will need to get your programmer to install the box for you.
Freelancing this job out is your best option because you’ll be paying a fraction of the price you would have paid here within the United States.
One of the best ways to get people to come back to your blog is through an opt-in box. You should place one in the sidebar of your website and below all of your content How to Design. When people opt-in they will be added to your newsletter list and this means you can send them an update quickly when you post new content. It’s even more important to have an opt-in box because it’s so affordable and can be set up within a few minutes. There are a lot of tutorials online which will show you how to set this all up quickly How to Design your blog.
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