The dream of every blogger, whether personal or for a company, is that they will write it and people will come. That their site statistics will skyrocket and their blog will be a big hit. But the truth of the matter is, that doesn't happen. In the world of blogs, simply posting current content isn't enough to raise your blog to the top of the pile. According to Nielsen there were over 181,000,000 blogs around the world at the end of 2011, with that number growing rapidly. With that many bloggers out there, how do you make your blog stand out?
The driving force behind your blog has to be content. Blogger Sentral states that no matter how cool your blog looks, if there is nothing worth reading, they won't stay or return. Without good content, no one will want to read your blog. However, equally as important is blog design. All the great content in the world won't save a blog if readers can find it, read it, and navigate around the blog. So setting up your design to fit your blogging needs and making your blog stand out from the rest is essential.
But how do you determine what the best design for your blog would be? Before you even take the first steps to creating your blog – do your homework. According to the collaborative network of successful bloggers at Blog Brunch there are things you should look at before creating your blog.
Before You Start
- Surf the blogosphere and take notes on what you like and don't like
- Look at how the different layouts look
- Identify colour schemes that you like
- Choose fonts that you think might work on your blog
- Determine what draws you to some blogs and away from others
Once you have looked at enough blogs to see what you like and don't like and built up some ideas of how you might want your blog to look, you might want to jump right in and start creating your blog. But we aren't there yet. Next you have to answer some questions about your blog. These questions are going to help you create a blog that works for you.
Start Up Questions
- What am I blogging about?
- Who do I want to read my blog?
- What type of things will I be posting? Videos? Pictures?
- What is the goal of my blogging?
- How often will I post to my blog?
By answering these questions, you can determine exactly how you want your blog to look and work for you, where you want the main focus to be, and how you want your blog to flow. If you are blogging a lot of pictures, the layout would be much different than if you were going to blog large blocks of text. If you have a lot of links that you want to have visitors to access at any time, a sidebar can offer that.
Choosing where you want to create your blog is a matter of preference. Some of the most popular and versatile sites are;WordPress, Weebly, and Blogger.
One of the nicest aspects of blog creator websites is the large selection of themes that you have to select from. Many of them are customizable to fit your needs.
While creating your blog keep these top tips from blog designing pros in mind.
- Pick a colour scheme and stick with it
- Choose only one or two easy to read fonts
- Create an eye-catching header
- Align everything vertically with left-justified text
- Make all images the same size
- Leave some white space
- Make content easy to find with search options
- Be sure to select the Mobile option to make it viewable on mobile devices
- Offer options to connect with you
- Make it easy to comment
Creating a blog can be fun, easy and rewarding with the right design. Matching excellent content with the right design is the key to a blog's success. Whether you are looking to pull in more readers or find more customers, a well designed blog can achieve that goal. Once you have created your blog, keep it fresh with new content, respond to comments, and watch your number of followers grow.