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Golden Rules for Powerful Blog Design

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Do you know that, first time visitors spend only 22.8 seconds on your blog?

It means they will leave your blog within 23 seconds or even less..

Too less, isn’t it?

Within that short time, you have to hold them and make them addictive to your blog. But, how?

What it takes your visitors or readers to come back to your blog again and again?

They will come back, either if you have better blog content or a powerful blog design.

To be frank, most of the readers prefer to read the content on the blogs which have effective blog design.

No matter how good your content may be, your blog design matters a lot.

Here are few optimized golden rules for you to make your blog design more better.

Golden Rules to Make Powerful Blog Design

Better Blog Design

Golden Rules for Powerful Blog Design

 

Typography matters

Don’t make your font size too short. Most of the readers prefer the standard font size(it ranges from 14 pixel to 16 pixel).

Your readership is the major asset for your blog.

Why do you strain readers’ eyes by making your font size too small? In fact, no one likes tiny font size, do you?

If you really want to make your blog design better -

Change your typography NOW.

Change it to appropriate font size, which is easy to read and big enough to read without having any strain.

Put Email subscription box at the end of your posts

You should give only two reasons for your readers.

****************************************************************
                                        One: Get addicted to my blog

                                         Two: Go away
*****************************************************************

I can’t say anything more about point ‘Two’

To achieve the first goal (i.e making your readers to stick with your blog), you must capture their leads.. How can you do this?

By using Email optin forms..

Use the Email optin forms or subscription boxes at the end of your each blog posts, then see the results.

Actually, I am not using them as of now. Currently I am working out on a freebie. After finishing it, I will change the entire view (blog design, email optin forms, and freebies :))

Till then, you have to bear.

Opening links in new tabs or staying on same page?

I am sure, most of the bloggers confuse at this point.

OK, let’s make this simple.

I observed this among A-listed and B-listed bloggers..

Most of the A-list bloggers open their links in the same page

Even I wonder why they are not using new tabs even for the external links. May be because, they are doing this from the starting of their blogging career and not want to change it to new and not to confuse their readers(my opinion).

Most of the B-listed bloggers are opening their links in new tabs

Not every one. But most of the B-listed bloggers are opening their links in new/fresh tabs. The reason may be, they don’t want to lose their readers and bounce rate.

Then, whom should you really follow? A list or B list? (i.e Opening links in new tabs or keeping them in the same page?)

Confused?

I can write one more 2000+ word article alone on this topic ;) But, I won’t do that(you should be thankful for that)

Better way to do this is..

If the links are “interlinks” i.e linking to your own blog then – open in the same page.

If the links are “external” or going to other blogs then – open in new tabs (to not lose your readers).

Simple, right? (I am doing the same BTW)

Please share it with your friends using “Sharebar” if you find this post useful.

Simple VS fancy design

Most of the top blogs have simple design. Once look at the big blogs like zenhabits.net, dailyblogtips, and learnblogtips.com ;)

Simple is good sometimes (all the time I think) because, you don’t need to customize much, easy navigation and your readers feel better reading the content on your blog because simple blog designs have less clutter.

If you are really good at coding or if you can afford extra money on a premium web designer, then you can go for fancy design. If you can’t, let it be simple.

Include archives or sitemap

 This is really a golden rule for any blog. Every blog should have an archives page or a sitemap.

No excuses if you don’t have one. Go and make them for your blog.

It makes your readers navigation easy on your blog. They can search the whole content on your blog at one place. It may decrease your bounce rate too.

Check out my “Archives” page to better understand this, if you have any problems in creating one, just ask me in the comments.

Don’t paste too much ads

Top blogs have started their blogging with no intention of making money. This is the reason why they didn’t put any ads initially. The only goal for them was to create useful content and make their readers get addicted to their blogs.

After creating the right content for their blogs, they went for monetizing.

There is no reason to stay on your blog, if you have bunch of ads rather than having good content. Readers come to your blog, to make their blog more better – not to click on your ads.

Be consistent with your theme

Most of the “experts” say that, go for a custom blog design.

I would suggest, 2 options..

1 is: Buy thesis, genesis or something else, and bring a child theme for that, then try to customize it slightly.

2nd option is: Customize yourself with the help of guides, pdf’s or videos. Just google it, you will come up with many results.

The main point to consider here is, “be consistent”, don’t update your theme often unless if you want to make an impression as a newbie blogger :P

Try to stick with one theme and make it easier to search, navigate.

Use post excerpts

Rather than showing the full article on your home page, it’s better to show excerpts or teasers of the posts. So that you can show as little as 10+ articles in one page(you can change the number though).

Your readers will love this, because they can easily find what they really want instead of searching the whole blog.

Show your popular posts

Popular posts are your assets to show off in your blog. Make them visible.

Show them to your readers so that they can also learn few things.

It also creates great impact on your blog. Try to use 10+ popular articles. Normally you can use a plugin for this, if you don’t want to use a plugin, then you can make them visible by using “text widget” and link the popular posts.

Please share it with your friends using “Sharebar” if you find this post useful.

Never use infolinks

Personally, I hate infolinks(I don’t visit the blogs which have enabled infolinks). Most of the readers are same like me.

Though you can make good amount of money from them, but they will kill your blog’s credibility. There are many ways to monetize your blog, don’t go for infolinks. It’s not a clever decision.

Browser support

Check whether your blog is compatible on all the browsers or not.

Run your blog on different browsers. Because your readers may not use the same browser which you use.

Here is the best tool to do this..

Go to “BrowserShots” and submit your blog’s URL and check whether your blog is compatible on all the browsers or not, including the screen shots.

Here is the screen shot of my blog.

Browsershots

Almost running on all the browsers

Never underline the text unless it’s a link

Recently, I’ve came across this tip about underlining the text.

Don’t underline your text unless it’s a link..

Why?

If you want to make you readers easy navigation and to recognize your links easily, use “Underlines” for the links.

Moreover, if you use underlines for the normal text, it creates confusion among the actual links and normal text with underlines.

So, try to use underlines only when you create a link.

Let me know about this tip, if you don’t agree..

In Summary

If you have

Ordinary blog content + bad blog design = Your blog sucks

Bad blog content + good blog design = It takes bit time to suck

Quality blog content + powerful blog design = Exceptional blog

Always keep this in mind and try to maintain better blog design with the above tips.

What are your tips about better blog design? I love to hear from you..

About the Author: Hey, My name is Rahul Kuntala. I love writing detailed posts on blogging tips.

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Comments

  1. Great post rahul. Even I hate infolink blogs, because they are too disturbing. Also you mentioned that stick with one theme, this is very important to stick with one theme. No matter hows it. If you really want to change the design then do it one by one don’t confuse the readers at once.

  2. Despite all these features one need to make sure that his/her website is loading fast and the overall look of the webdesign is clutter free.. no one likes to stay longer times for the sake for loading pages..

  3. Hey Rahul, great post with good tips newbies and some reminders for us more seasoned bloggers. And, I like your answer about links – new tab or stay on page. Very helpful.

  4. Thank you for stopping by. Your recent post is interesting :)

  5. Trung Nguyen says:

    I’m going to install inforlinks for my blog (not blogging24h.com) – thanks for your point and I won’t do that thing :)

  6. Amrik Virdi says:

    These are all very good tips – There are so many great themes out there that you can easily tweak to make your favorite one. That has to be one of my favorite features of WordPress.

  7. Great tips you have here, i definitely agree with the “too much ads” on a blog, that’s just a huge no, no. It’s so annoying going to a site with many ads popping in my face.

  8. All I can say is the above tips mentioned completely describes my Blog ;) And superbly targeted especially for noobs and newbies!

  9. CommentLuv

  10. Nice post. Just 2 questions, Where to place the related posts widget and how to make each title available for crawling for Google Bot? Firstly, I have been using the related posts widget below the post for a long time now and have recently shifted it to the sidebar. Hope it works. You use linkwithin, which I too have been using until recently when I found out that it lowers page speed because it doesn’t use CSS sprites for images, plus the related titles it shows are displayed in the text version of any blog and thus Google cannot crawl those posts. So I had to stop using it and had to use a text-only widget although the titles in this widget too cannot be crawled by Google. I hope you got my message?

    • I suggest placing the related posts widget right under the posts.

      As far as I know, there is no need of crawling for “related posts” text. It’s important to decrease your bounce rate by using related post wideget using image thumbnails plugins like “LinkWithin”. I use it because it takes less time to load.

      Instead of crawling that text, you can make it crawl for each of your post by ‘interlinking’. This gives more authority to your blog posts and the best way to reduce your bounce rate. Don’t worry too much about the bots and crawling. Give more importance to “readers usability”. We are writing for humans not for ro’bots’

      Thanks for stopping by and dropping your comment Adi.

  11. Hey actually the Related Posts widget in the sidebar works! I see a little hike in my pageviews graph in analytics. Hope it works consistently and I agree with the rest of what you’ve said!

    • I have never tried it before, so I can’t comment on this Adi. But I saw yours, it’s cool :)
      But, I suggest you to try once with the thumbnails and check the difference in stats. If it’s not working well, then stay with the current one.

  12. Check it out now, Brought it back to the original position. I ma actually not using linkwithin right now because I’m making changes to my old posts which have been lying with cobwebs around. So once I’m done with them, I’ll contact linkwithin to reset the cache and updated titles and images will show up. Thanks for the advice though :)

  13. A really detailed post . I agree that nobody should use InfoLinks in blogs as it really destroys the experience of reading and will only lead to frustrated readers . Also Thanks for sharing the Cross Browser testing tool BrowserShots, Its really useful , also It causes a sudden burst in traffic when you test, A kind of a traffic booster :P

    I am weak at Maths but will remember this formula by heart

    Quality blog content + powerful blog design = Exceptional blog

  14. Nice post as usual.

  15. You have very good information here. One point is that I prefer to open in separate page as it helps me to go keep the original one intact. Infolinks is good in many ways as it integrates well but its a matter of choice.

    • Yeah, they both are totally optional. They depend on every blogger, even I used to open in new tabs, but came to know that it annoys the readers experience. So, opted out that.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views Sharma :)

  16. I picked out two points for my blog. One is that my blog font is below 14px which i should fix now and second thing is that i am using Email subscription box at the top of my blog which is also wrong according to you.

    • Have you changed your font size? If not, it’s good right now, don’t change it. And wow. You have wonderful email subscription box above the fold which surely attract your first time visitors.
      Good luck Zeeshan :)

  17. sreekanth says:

    I think its time to change my theme
    i tried changing font size but my theme not allowing that , i simply left it with low preference
    i have to take font over my theme

    • Two words from my side about your blog theme..
      Overall design is good(I love minimalist themes like yours)
      I hate that type of font size(personal view). If you are also like me, then change it asap.

  18. Andreas Pazer says:

    Great post rahul. Even I hate infolink blogs, because they are too disturbing. Also you mentioned that stick with one theme, this is very important to stick with one theme. No matter hows it. If you really want to change the design then do it one by one don’t confuse the readers at once.


  19. Twitter:
    I have seen in many big traffic blogs using Infolinks text ads on their blog, So how is it not good?

  20. I Will Add Sitemap But Archives Not At All Not Look Good.

    According To Me Navigation Is Most Important In Powerful Blog Design. Font Size Is Also Important >= 16px. Color Combination Is Also Important. Good Design Also Looks Bad If It Takes Too Much Time To Load.

    Suggestion: Your Blog Design Is Simple But I Like Your Color Combination (No Problem In Reading Your Blog No Eye Strain), Why You Add Comment Policy In Footer You Already Add Lines In Home Page At Top.
    Better Use Menu Then Tag Cloud.

  21. Hello Rahul,
    Some great tips you have shared with us. I read each and every post of yours and must admit that your blog design is addictive. I want to implement these tips but I have a really ordinary looking blogger blog. I was wondering if you would help me out migrating from blogger to WordPress and have a nice design for my blog. Will you help me out? Waiting for your reply.

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  1. [...] Read: How to Attract Your Readers With Your Blog Design [...]

  2. [...] Read more: Golden rules for powerful blog design [...]

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  4. [...] course, there’re so many ways which you can find here, here and [...]

  5. [...] Remove all the clutter in your blog  (make it easy to navigate) [...]

  6. [...] if you’ve great content, without a great blog design you can’t make your readers [...]

  7. [...] the best typography to make your readers stick to your [...]

  8. […] that looks (and feels) better. Make sure your design reflects you and your brand yet simultaneously appeals to the audience you want to reach – your blog will grow and so will your following. […]

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