If you are one of those people who closely follow the top bloggers in your niche, then you will discover that their blog designs have similar features. This is why web design experts advice that you check out other blogs before you design your own.
First impressions count a lot when it comes to generating money online from home. Therefore, spend time choosing the right template and knowing the right plugins to install. Your blog design determines your visitor retention rate thus increase or reduce your online sales conversion.
Since the foundation of your blog design is paramount to your online business success, we are going to share insights on this valuable topic. Learn some of the common attributes and features that almost all top bloggers have installed.
Note: This article is for bloggers who use wordpress as their platform.
Here are the 9 top blog designing features to have on your wordpress blog:
1. Header theme: The size of your header should not be too big or too small. The recommended size is 100 pixels high. Take your time a pick a color for your header that is appealing to your niche. Cool colors are better than colors that scream in the faces on your visitors.
Remember that the header is the first thing that visitors will see when they land on your blog. Hence it is advisable to include a banner advert to one of your products or affiliate products.
Most wordpress templates already have the option for adding a banner at the header section. Alternatively, you can include Google Adsense in the header.
2. Category Section: This section plays a pivotal role when it gets to people navigating through your content. The menu segment also helps search engine to crawl your web pages easily thus indexing and ranking them faster.
The best place to position the category section in your blog design is at the top bar, side bar or at the footer. But when you observe what top bloggers have done, you will note that they have at least two menu sections; one at the top bar and another at the side bar or footer.
Note: Having extra categories links ensures that visitors have an easy time moving from one page to another.
3. Search Box: Installing the search box is important since it offers visitors another option to navigate through your content. It will also assist you to know what your target audience are looking for thus provide them with what they want or need. In short, a search box acts as a research tool for helping you generate relevant content.
Most top bloggers have positioned the search box at the header on the right side. You can also have a blog design where the search box appears on the right side bar but at the top.
In case you get a template that has no search box you can add this code “<?php get_search_form(); ?>” in your header.php editor section.
4. Logo installation: In most cases the best place to put your Logo is at the upper left corner of your blog design. The advantage is that most wordpress templates position the logo at the place that is recommended.
The logo is also hyperlinked to your blog homepage automatically when using wordpress.
Features contained in the Content Section:
The ideal blog design structure is to have the content area on the left while one side bar on the right. It has been noted that when most people are browsing, the cursor is usually on the left side of their computer. Hence the reason to position the one side bar on the right side.
This means that if you add adverts on the side bar you will have a higher probability to generate leads.
a) Popular Post tags – Having a blog design with popular posts will help introduce your target audience to your best articles. A close observation of top bloggers in the world, have their popular posts on the right side bar somewhere in the middle.
Again wordpress has great plugins to add this feature (upload the plugin called “Popular Posts +” and then drag it to your side bar).
b) Related Articles tags – To further help retain visitors on your blog and reduce your bounce rate, add a related post plugin. This will assist your blog visitors to access other related articles when reading a post.
The ideal setting is to have related posts appearing below every blog post. This will encourage readers to have a look at more content hence retain them on your site.
A recommended plugin to install so as to be able to add this feature is “SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2″
6. Social Networking Icons:
a) Social Media Share Buttons – All top bloggers have installed a plugin for sharing their web content. This is a great strategy of implementing viral marketing. Some of the common social media share buttons include twitter, facebook, google +1, Digg and LinkedIn.
The best share button to have is the wordpress sliding Sharebar. The recommended position is to have the share icons floating on the left of your blog.
b) Social Media Profile Links – Adding your social media accounts will help you get more people to follow or become your fans. There people who rather be your fans on facebook rather than subscribe to your RSS Feeds or Newsletters.
Most top bloggers have included social media accounts like facebook, twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and StumpleUpon in their blog design.
7. Call to Action Message: If you visit most top blogs you will find that they have a call to action message at the bottom of their webpages. This message could be; asking readers to subscribe to their opt-in list or purchase a product.
The other approach to take is a call to action where you ask visitors to share your content on social sites, post comments or click on a link. Either way, you need to include a call to action in your work online blog design in order to generate sales or build your mailing list.
To implement this feature you can add the call to action message in the footer using a plugin called Ad injection. At the section called footer ad in the Ad Injection plugin, you can add a call to action message or advert.
8. Email List Builder: The best positioning of your email opt-in form is on the side bar preferable at the top. As we earlier stated, most top bloggers have placed one side bar on the right side.
These sites have detailed instructions that will help you to embed the opt-in form and have it to look the way you desire.
9. Product Ads Display: The one thing you want out of your blog design is to make money. This is why it is imperative that you know how and where best to position your adverts.
A study carried out revealed that blogs that generate a lot of income are the ones that have products displayed on the right side bar. In addition, blogs that include an advertisement at the bottom of a post also recorded high sales volume.
For you to add products with ease you can install the “Ad Injection” plugin that will help you to even rotate your adverts. It is a simple plugin to use where you just copy and paste your banner HTML codes in the required sections within the Ad Injection plugin.
Conclusion: The overall appearance of your blog design can mean the success or failure of your quest to make money on the internet. Therefore, set aside some time to implement the above mention features.
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