Nowadays, almost everyone has a blog. There are millions of blogs out there covering almost any topic imaginable. Therefore, if you have a blog, you need to work extra hard to ensure that it stands out among the competition. One of the best ways of doing this is by having a blog design which is usable as well as professional. The following are some guidelines which will help you enhance your blog design.
1. Choose the Right Theme
If you are serious about blogging, you should avoid using the default WordPress theme. If you decide to go for this theme, readers might not take you very seriously. However, this does not mean that you should spend money on a customized theme. There are numerous free WordPress themes which you can use to create a professional and attractive blog.
2. Keep the Content and Ads Separate
People who visit your blog are looking for quality content and don’t really care about your advertisements. Therefore, make sure that your blog is focused primarily on content. Make sure your advertisements don’t distract readers from the content. It would be advisable to place your ads in a banner or a sidebar.
3. Use Plugins and Widgets Moderately
Badges, widgets, sidebars and plugins can be useful for any blog. However, when they are overused, they become a distraction. A cluttered design will have a negative impact on your blog’s usability. Therefore, it would be advisable to use only a few features which will improve your blog’s usability. This could include the RSS feed, recent comments, social media sharing buttons and categories. Keep your design as clean as possible.
4. Use a Unique Header
Even if you are using a pre-designed template, you can find ways of customizing it. One of the first things you need to do is change the header. Free WordPress themes normally come with very generic banners/headers. You need to replace it with a unique logo or design which will make your blog stand out. You can either design your own header or look for premium WordPress headers which would be compatible with your theme.
5. Use Videos and Images
Videos and images can be very effective in breaking up the content, captivating your visitors and emphasizing your key points. However, make sure you don’t use images which are copyright-protected. There are numerous stock photo sites where you can sign up and get access to free images.
6. Have a Readily-Accessible RSS Feed
Every blog should have an RSS feed where readers can sign up to get updates. This will encourage them to keep visiting your blog. Make sure the RSS feed button appears in a prominent position above the fold where it can be easily seen. Remember to test it frequently to ensure that it is in good working order.
7. Have a Comprehensive about Page
The people who visit your blog would want to know more about you. Therefore, you need to have an about page with some basic information, as well as a photo. This will help you build relationships, as well as establish trust with your visitors.