( featured pic by: @takemoreadventures )
So, let’s chat about 4 blog design mistakes new online entrepreneurs make, and how we can fix them together!
Personally, I am at fault for one of these issues below, but, like you are and will now, I am going to fix that issue here shortly. But, let me just say this real quick, if you think you do not need a website and blog today, good luck to you here, and, if you think any old content management system will work, well, good luck to you too!
Here we will go over what works best for what, and what common mistakes beginners and new entrepreneurs online make when it comes to website and blog design. Let’s go!
A rush and a push.
So, you’re in a rush to get rich quick online, great, because now, you’ll never be. And, with one more person out of the way, the rest of us serious online entrepreneurs can get rid of the “Blanes” in life, and become the “Duckman!”
what I mean for you Non-80’s types is that for those looking to be more methodical, planned out if you will with their set up and startup of their online business venture, well, YOU WILL SUCCEED here. It is not if, it is a when for you.
One of the best places and platforms every smart lifestyle entrepreneur and marketer starts out with (in most cases and with most business types) is WordPress.
This simple and best content management system and the platform is easy to learn and is perfect for the business owner looking to build, brand, and grow their business and traffic. As a matter of fact, a great blog and website with WordPress can increase your traffic by triple digits!
Never be in a rush, though, when it comes to building out your website and blog, take your time, and whatever you do, do not fall into the worst practices below. Many do, but you, you can avoid them if you pay close attention here.
Let’s look at the 4 worst practices when it comes to the design of your blog and website as a whole with WordPress, and how it should look and feel!
By the way, I will not share ugly sites I have seen, I wish not to embarrass anyone.
Too many pop-ups.
Pop-ups are great. Too many pop-ups are horrible.
I use wallpaper style opt-in pages that would take over the whole screen when you showed up on this site here, and my others as well. But that is it, no more.
Eventually, however, I will drop it, the wallpaper style opts in will be gone like the wind.
Actually, Google hates them, I hate them, and you hate them as well. So, I asked myself, “do I really need one, does it really matter?”
I think there is a good argument for them, but, just so you know, I have been less than intrusive thing the past 30 days and I have not noticed a single drop in opt-ins, actually, to tell you the truth, I’ve actually seen an increase!
I know, weird huh? That is what I thought.
But, I do have an exit pop-up, and, of course, as you can see, I have a notification bar that is present on any screen you are consuming my content on, mobile or otherwise.
That is all you need if you ask me.
“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” -Milton Glaser
You can’t force people to opt into your free offer or whatever you are using as a lead or list magnet, they either will, or they will not.
Too many pop-ups are a killer, I’ve seen sites, many actually today that include more than two, and two is a max for me. Personally, like I said, I will eventually drop the main one myself soon enough.
Nothing can ruin your SEO come 2018 and your bounce rate faster than too many opt-in pop-ups.
Keep it to a minimum, keep it simple, one or two pop-ups at the most, and make them count!
Lame, lame, lame, lame theme.
I am a junkie when it comes to WordPress themes, hey, I am about to go and check out StudioPress and ThemeForest for new ones, seriously, right now.
Okay, I am back! Themes today, much like the WordPress content management system are, for the most part, mobile-friendly, and that is the most important aspect that should be considered before you buy one.
Personally, I am a StudioPress.Com and SoloPine.Com design fan, hey, they are pacwesty! if that is even a word (and it should be).
The two best practices behind avoiding a lame theme issue for your business is simple; 1) choosing the right theme, the right layout and style that matches your needs and, 2) making sure it is a mobile responsive theme.
I love this theme here. Is it a little more than I need, maybe, but I love it, it is scalable as I grow, and it is mobile-friendly and I simply put, I love it!
I love clean, but that does not mean I am a total fan of “minimalism” when it comes to web design. I like minimalist designs when they are needed, but the minimalist design is not for everyone, and I myself opted for something a little bit busier, not much, but a bit.
The other best practice, I guess you could say there is three in the end but, it is a simple one or rule to follow. Go with YOU. What I mean is go with your gut, and go with what you find appealing, don’t let people fool you with “best templates” crud, that is all made up to sell stuff.
Besides, the only bad templates or blog designs out here are non-mobile-friendly ones, that’s it.
One page and magazine themes. It seems that not only do the looks of a blog design come in a million and one choices, but layouts as well. The One Page have become not only awesome ways to turn a plain ordinary WordPress blog into a full-on business-focused website!
And no, I have no issues with people or businesses using one-page plugins or software on blog posts themselves. I only warn you of this; make sure it flows smoothly and loads well, or forget it!
Oh, yeah, Visual Composer, Beaver builder, plus quite a few others are the most popular today as far as page builders are concerned. you can click here to learn more (and that is not an affiliate link!)
And, before we move on, the learning curve to use such software is about 30 minutes, even for a non-techie guy like myself.
Navigation is non-existent.
Where am I? Where do I go from here?
If these two questions at any point enter your readers or website visitors mind at all, game over! They are gone, and most likely, well, they will never be back. Sorry, but we are that picky, even me.
Navigation is of the utmost importance when it comes to website and blog design.
The most important navigational best practices are, of course, your nav-bar, sidebar, and any calls-to-action you might have.
The navigation bar like mine above with the about link and other links in it, all contain public pages I wish to rank with and help you discover more about myself, my business, and or, my services and products.
The sidebar should contain at least one search box. Search boxes help people to find more specific content for the subject matters that are most important to them. And yes, search boxes are used rather frequently in blogs and websites today.
Tags, categories and the rest should be a consideration. I think, personally, if you have a search box and your theme template allows for tags and categories at the end of individual blog posts, then you should be fine without them on your sidebar.
But, if it enhances your look and feel, why not? Why not add some extra opportunities for your readers to learn more about their favorite subjects within your blog?
Calls to action, and I mean landing and sales pages!
Notification bars, a pop-up here and there, and even sidebar opt-ins or in-content prompts, all help people navigate to where you want them in the end, on your email list. I don’t care, I think you should add that FREE tab in the navigation bar too!
Sidebar or no sidebar?
Unless you are a minimalist, a sidebar is actually a good thing to have. I know, the many themes and voices today say it is just “clutter” if anything at all. Well, and I mean this with all my heart, “they are clueless, wonderful people I am sure, but clueless nonetheless.”
I am partial to a sidebar, not a real busy one full of advertising and crazy animated stuff (unless it needs it), but I do like me a good sidebar!
First off, it is a great place for branding. I like a little picture of you leaning against that fence with coffee in hand and a little note about yourself and your business underneath.
It is also a great place for furthering navigation. Through a simple search box to ‘popular subjects’ or, drop down categories, it sure can make things easier to find on your blog.
And, last but not least, it offers some great onsite real estate for calling to action readers and new readers the chance to subscribe to your email list.
However, the one eyesore that is worse than any other is a truly cluttered and wild looking sidebar that takes away from the content on the page itself.
That is the biggest danger of a sidebar, especially for new online business owners and marketers, the opportunity to make it crazy, instead of making it effective.
4 blog design mistakes, you’ll never make.
Well, there you have it, the 4 blog design mistakes that now, after reading and listening above, well, you’ll never make them, ever!
And, before we go, let me say this; “you are a brilliant marketer and business owner because you understand the power of a blog in the first place!”
So, with that, I see you on this side of success… (If you need further help, just look below for the free video series!)
Do You Have A Second To Share?
What say you? Agree with me? Disagree? Drop me a comment below and let me know if you think in regards to this article, share it around if you agree and I hope that this helps you! And thank you very much…