Flashy elements and cool themes are necessary for your blog. When designing your blog to build a following that eventually leads to monetization, you need to consider how your content will come across.
Content is what builds your community, and doesn’t actually make you money itself. But, because content is so imporntat, you need to have a blog design that delivers your content well.
I am going to go over the 5 most crucial elements when it comes to designing your blog. Your design can make or break the success of your blog, so don’t miss a single step.
1. Content Emphasis
Content is the most important element of your blog because it builds your readership. So you need to make sure your blog design points everyone’s attention to your content.
So, you want to create a large spotlight that highlights your content, and your readers will better understand what your blog is all about. Your design must focus on not only the main area of your blog but also anywhere on your blog that you may have content.
Your design focus should also be on your opt-in form, your affiliate links, and subscription box. Keep your readers eyes directed where they should be and make relevant sources of income noticeable.
2. Simple Structure
You want as little distractions as possible so your readers can focus on your content and move around your blog easily. So the simpler your design, the better it will be for your readers to navigate. This also means you will get far more pages visits from yoru blog readers.
Your content should be easy to distinguish from other areas of your site. You also want readers to look at something on your site and know what’s going on immediately. So clearly label your navigation and don’t throw in a bunch of widgets and icons that look cool. They are likely just annoying.
3. Be Good Looking
Every element of your blog should look good and have a good feel to it. Match your colors, your fonts, and your photos to the theme of your blog. Use no more than two font sizes, and no more than one font and one font color.
So many bloggers put an emphasis on their home page and neglect everything else. Behind your home page, the most viewed page is your “about” section. Following close behind is your contact page. So make sure you put a good amount of effort into both of these sections.
You want your blog to be memorable. Not everything will be, but some element of your design should stand out and attract readers back to your community.
This could be anything. Your logo, your color scheme, yoru typography, or some other element that is eye-appealing and attractive to your reader.
Memorability follows close in line with branding. So make sure that people will look at your blog and immediately recognize your brand. Good examples of thos are Copyblogger and Clicknewz.
5. Expands Easily
Anytime you approach your advertiser, they will likely ask you for demographic information. Though you can get by with just offering up gender percentages and age categories of your readers, it’s a good idea to get a little more dirt on them.
Other great information to ask is geographic location, household income, marital status, number of children, ect. You can get this information by posting polls and surveys, or get more detailed status reports with sites like Quantcast.com
Stay Away From Adsense and other contextual advertising
If you are really into making money with advertising, this might pain you. But, Google Adsense really devalues your site and makes it seem unprofessional. If you want to generate real revenue from your blog, then you have to let go of Adsense and move on to bigger and better things.
Attracting advertisers to your blog will take some effort, but with the right tools and tactics you are well on your way to posting ads that generate a good source of revenue for your blog.
A few more pointers: remember to keep your blog professional. Don’t go on rants about how bad traffic was that morning or how your dog never keeps his food in the dish. Stay on topic, have an “About Us” section to let advertisers know who you are, and maintain a professional voice in your writing.
Now, go out and sell those ads!