Blogs are an essential part of any modern-day website design. Your reputable web design company will tell you that blogs immediately improve the usability and relevancy of your site, no matter which topic your website intends to cover, and make it easier for your target audience to engage and . They also form an important part of your eventual search engine optimisation campaign if they’re kept up to date with unique, keyword-rich content.
Here’s a basic list of the dos and don’ts of blog design to help you make the most of your site!
Spend time creating a simple, solid visual design. Incorporate a sense of style and branding into your blog with logos and images but keep everything clean and modest. Employ a professional web design company to take the hassle out of this task for you.
Consider your user’s needs above all else. This means that you need to make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Usability is key. Include the following for the best blogging experience:
- Structured archives
- Clear article categories
- Effective widgets
Write about what you know! This is the number one rule within any blogging community. Readers want to stumble across well-written, thought-provoking content and this won’t be what you’re offering if you don’t know what you’re writing about.
Make sure you’re putting together 100% unique copy. Firstly, plagiarism is frowned upon and won’t score you professional brownie points; if you’re worried that your article is too similar to another, get hold of one of the many plagiarism checkers available on the web and run a check before you publish your work. Secondly, if users feel that they’ve heard your message before, they won’t be inclined to stick around. Try to put a distinctive spin on your posts where possible.
Write with your audience in mind:
- If you’re a business, write about your expertise rather than your opinions. Users want to know that you’re the authority on your chosen subject and don’t want page after page of subjective waffle.
- On the other hand, if you’re creating a personal blog, make it just that – personable. Try to offer your readers wit, humour and insight along with really useful information.
Add links to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to make it as easy as possible for users to share your content.
Write an introductory blog post. This helps your readers understand your mission as a blogger and get to know you a little better before they read on. If you’re writing on behalf of or for a company, be sure to include a short profile about yourself and your experience within the particular field and readers will be more inclined to take you seriously.
Overcrowd your blog with the following:
- Graphics (including Flash animations as these slow down the load time of your page)
Too many of the above and your blog will look cluttered, unprofessional and too difficult to read.
A light-coloured font on a dark background is considered a sin by many professional web designers, as it can make your text very difficult to read. However, in some cases a dramatic backdrop may help communicate your message and suit your brand.
Stray too far from the topic. By all means present different aspects of your work to your readers but don’t write about something that’s too far removed from the norm or your credibility will suffer.
Forget to update your blog! Many bloggers start their project with a lot of enthusiasm that wanes over time. Once users realise that your blog hasn’t been kept up to date, they’ll simply head elsewhere and consider your output out-dated and irrelevant.
Cram too many links into your articles. While the odd high-quality link to a relevant source here and there can greatly improve the visibility of your blog in the right circles (and help your SEO campaign!), too many links scattered throughout your page will look spammy.
Ultimately, you need to experiment within your niche to determine what works for you. There are several elements that lay the foundations of a blog, such as the layout and structure, but once it’s been set up by a web designer its direction and success are entirely in your hands!