Written By Marie Rimmer
Blogging can be so much fun once you get started with writing the content. But when it comes to actually putting the site together it can be something different. Not only do you have to decide what your blog will be about, you may also think about the overall look and design of your site. What will it look like? How many menu options or pages will it have?, what will be those menu options? When people come to your website they are not just looking to read your content, they are looking at your design and overall flow of your site. If your site is too cluttered with stuff it can be a turn off to many readers, too much going on no where to really focus. If you have too much white space it can seem boring and not enough going on, so you have to work to find that balance. Here are some tips on what you should have on your blog to make it look good and flow nicely.
These things will help your blog look nice and appeal to your readers.
1) Menu Bar
This will allow people to be able to have options of what they want to do, and you have pages of certain things like your contact me page, blog posts, about me, etc. But what you don't want is too many menu options. There is nothing I hate more than a menu bar a mile long when all of the information can be reduced down to its own page, so have the main things that are important on your menu bar. You also want to place it in an area on your blog where it is easily able to be found. I also hate having to search for it, either have it at the top, or have buttons where they can go to different pages like what I have on mine. Your menu bar is the reader's navigation through your page, so try and make it simple and easy for them to navigate.
2) Share Buttons
When it come to your content, not only do you want people to have something good to read but you want people to be able to share your content easily with an audience, so having easily accessible sharing buttons on your blog makes it easier. You can have them on the sidebar of your blog as a pop up,or as buttons at the end of each blog post as well. This allows the reader to be able to let people know about your blog by sharing your content to their social sites like Twitter, FB, Pinterest, etc. So others can come read it and share it as well then it just keeps going and going. It also makes it easier if you actively participate in group promotional threads, you can get shares that way as well, but without the right buttons or any at all it can be hard for people to share, so make sure you have those buttons installed and ready to be used.
3) Comment Section
Every blog should have a comment section. There should be a place for people to be able to leave their feedback on your content you write, not many will email you what they think, most want to be able to read it, then get to the end and post what they feel right there at that time. There is nothing more annoying to me than to go to a site and there are no comment sections anywhere. So I cannot tell them what I think of their post, and that is not good. So make sure whatever site host you choose to use, there is a comment section installed on your blog, how else can you give the people what they want if you don't know what it is they do want?
4) Content Upgrades
Content upgrades are things extra that you give to your readers for coming to your blog, like a freebie. You can include these downloads in your blog post or on your home page as an opt- in option, or you can have both. For example if you are a food blogger, you can create a recipe guide that can be downloaded and kept. Usually in pdf format or a word document. If you are going to choose to do the opt-in route, then you need to have an email marketer for collecting the emails into a list. I personally use Mailchimp's free account for my opt in form for my resource library. But there are many providers to choose from. You just have to decide which one is a good fit for you. Content upgrades not only help grow your list but it helps you to grow as a blogger. People love to learn and be informed about things, so when you have good stuff to offer that can be a benefit to someone else, you are most likely going to turn into someone favorite blogger. You can learn more about content upgrades on Pinterest with an easy search on the topic.
5) Good Sized Font
When people are reading your blog posts and site, it is always good to have a pretty good sized font, it makes it easier on some of us who have different vision. Font that is too small is never good, we have to strain to read it all and font that is too big can be a bit messy. You also want to make sure your words and paragraphs are in alignment correctly, nothing worse than having sentences just going off in every direction. You don't want your headers to be too big either. You just want everything to line up right. Think of it as a nice written letter to a business, you want it to look good and stand out.
6) Nice Pictures
7) Nice Sized Logo
Another thing you want to have is a nice sized logo if you choose to use one. It goes along with branding. You want the site to be your personally. You work hard on it, you spend time on it, you even spend money on it, it is your baby. So, you want your site to speak your language and tell who you are. When people come to visit your home page what will they get from it? What is it saying? You want to stand out and showcase your talent as a blogger, your blog should show confidence, boldness and professionalism. Think of it as your resume.
8) Contact Form
You want to always have a way you can be contacted by others. You never know when someone may have a question or just want to contact you for something. Always have a contact form on your blog or a way for you to be contacted either via email or some sort of app you may use. You never know when an opportunity may just come your way, and if you do not have an easy way to be contacted you can miss out. Make it easy for someone to say hello, not say goodbye to your blog.
9) Social Media Accounts
If you are on social media and you want followers, you want to make sure it is easy to access those buttons so people can follow you on whichever sites you choose to use. Some bloggers may use one or two sites and that is fine, you do not have to use them all. Just whichever you choose, have your buttons big enough to be seen and in a place where they can easily be accessed. I hate trying to follow a blogger and I am searching all over the site only to have passed the buttons because they are either placed where I wouldn't normally look or they are too small for me to notice. Make your social connection buttons noticeable. I chose to have mine right on my home page so they can be seen and in your face.
10) Descriptive About Me Page
Your about me page should be just that about you. But what it should not be is about your life on a personal and intimate level. You should be able to tell what your blog is about, who you are, and why your blog is interesting enough to be read, without going into a mile long paragraph. Your about me page should have very descriptive words and tell the main points of why, who and what. Too much text is like just talking and talking and talking all about you. You just want to get to the point in a professional and nice manner. Not too long but not too short, have a balance. Don't unload as if it is a therapy session. If you add your picture make it a nice one.
11) A Disclaimer
Well, these are my tips I have to share with you, I hope they are helpful to you and you can benefit from them. Enjoy blogging and remember it takes work and time so don't give up. Thanks.
Here is where you will find my mind on a page. I will be sharing with you many blog posts of many topics. So be prepared for the ride of excitement and inspiration. Enjoy and leave some comments before you leave, I love to hear what you thought about my words.