For those of you who missed part 1 of the blogging for money process, here is where you can take a peek at it. Blogging For Money – Part 1.
Blogging For Money Process – Part 2
Choosing your template design (themes and layout)
You may or may not like the theme and the layout I’ve chosen for my blog. This is such a personal choice, that it is difficult to recommend a standard or specific blog template and layout for you to use. While content is the holy grail of a blog, you should also have in mind that a good and well designed blog will give you the best of two worlds. I have seen many blogs with good content, but, due to the poor choice of colors, ad placements, navigation structure, download time, etc., I for one, have never returned to those blogs again. When this happens, we lose traffic, and no traffic = no money, period. For this reason, here is a checklist of items I suggest you verify, to provide your readers with a waterfront view, when they visit your blog.
Where am I?
An easy to use navigation structure is essential to any well designed blog! Information that are important should never be more than a few clicks or scroll away.
DOWNLOAD TIME is probably one of the most important factors in your design. Most visitors will not wait for more than 10-15 seconds for your page to load before they decide it is taking too much time and move on. While images are worth a thousand words, excessive use will hamper your blogs loading time. Use images sparingly or use thumbnail images to avoid this from happening.
Aggressive pop ups, widgets, plug-ins, banners, flash ads, badges, running animations and other intrusive ads annoy your visitors, makes your site difficult to use and bury your messages in a sea of clutter.
Updating your blog with outdated information is like telling you now that Brad Pitt married Angelina Jolie as breaking news. If you stand to correct it or use it as a reference, fine, but do not blabber about something that is not fresh news.
Keep your backgrounds simple
White or light colors usually work best. Your background should not compete with the content of the page for the users attention. Make sure your text can be seen and understood by contrasting the background with the text color. If you would like to use a background image, select one that uses muted colors or format your picture as a watermark. If you do this, be sure that the text colors will contrast well with the background picture.
Enjoying the music?
Unless you are promoting or selling MP3’s, your visitors probably won’t enjoy it either. Normally, it is best to skip the tunes, but if you must add music, be sure you provide a way for them to turn it off! Have you ever taught that your visitor may enjoy classic music and instead hears Pump Up The Jam when landing on your blog? What do you think they will do? Worst than not re-visiting your blog? Blacklist you:)
Check Your Spelling
Misspelled werds and impropr punktuation, make yur web look amaturish, and unfinishd. Plees ensur yu run a spel chek befor yu publis!!!!!
While Internet Explorer is still widely used, there are other browsers that are available on the Internet. Different browsers, such as , Google Chrome, Firefox, Flock, Opera, etc., may display your page very differently. Check your website in as many different browsers as possible and avoid components which only render properly in specific browsers.
Images not loading properly, broken links, hyperlinks leading to wrong pages, orphan pages, etc, are also reasons for driving your visitors away.
As I said, there is no specific recommendation for a perfect blog design, but avoiding certain things that I have mentioned above, will help your blog stand out far better.
Do you have anything else to fill the gap? Please let me know so I can update this post. Also, and while you’re at it, is there anything you find annoying on my blog?
Next: Part 3 – Hosting options