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I’ve been looking at a bunch of websites lately, and unfortunately, a fancy design does not always translate to an interface that will attract potential clients to your business. I think that sometimes web designers are more impressed with their graphic skills than creating a site that is actually functional. I love WordPress blogs because they naturally have style and are interactive to attract customers.
Below are some tips to build a rockin’ blog even if you are struggling to make your rent
- First and foremost know exactly who you want to attract to your blog. This is very important in developing your brand identity. What types of content, images and colors will your audience enjoy? For instance, it is pretty obvious a blog with a pink theme, whose content revolves around kids, is probably not going to attract many men.
- Keep your branding consistent throughout the blog. Hard coding is not required when building a Word Press blog. You can configure your header (logo), colors, background, icons, as well as images, videos, audios, etc., without using the services of a highly skilled webmaster. Certain themes are easier than others to manipulate for a non techie person. In general premium themes offer more support than free themes.
- Make your blog human. Infuse it with your personality, whether that is friendly and warm, or radical and abrasive. There should always be a reason for others to want to come to your blog. Write with your own voice in a way your audience will relate to. Use humor, compassion, or whatever is necessary to get your message across. Most people will get turned off if you write a post to read like an academic essay. Although. . . if you are a rocket scientist, this may be appropriate.
- People are looking for information and get turned off if you are directly selling to them. Use a soft sell approach by linking products to your text rather than outwardly proclaiming buy from me. It is okay to promote your products but always make sure to give value first. If you are building a team, you may want a page that reads Work With Me rather than Sign Up Now.
- Make it easy and enticing for others to contribute to your blog. Collaborate with experts in your field. Encourage people to comment. Gravatars, (a photo image that comes up when a person comments based on their email address) or the ability to link to the website of a person who makes comments on a post, gives your readers a compelling reason to leave comments. I love the Comment Luv plugin for WordPress. If a fellow blogger comments, their comment will include a link to their last blog post. Once your audience begins to build, and you are receiving comments, you might also want to add a top contributor’s plugin. In business, whether it is online or face to face, it is always important to make people feel important.
- Your blog content must be visually easy to read. I personally like having a light or white background in the post area and dark text. I have seen websites with images or black under the text and although it goes with the overall theme of the website, it is hard on the eyes, especially if you have a small computer. A clean and easy to read blog is a better blog in my opinion.
- The blog’s theme editor is your friend. Download a copy of color cop to find out what colors are on the theme of your blog to get the hex or rgb color. Go to your theme’s stylesheet and use edit/find on your browser to change any colors you desire. Make sure to make a copy of the stylesheet on notepad or another plain text editor in case you make a mistake. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, get someone else, who is experienced with WordPress to do it for you. To find find various elements in your blog upload the Firefox addon Firebug. There are plenty of video tutorials on how to use it if you do a search.
- Changing fonts sizes and styles are included in the stylesheet as well. Changing images is a little more complicated. Usually, you will need to FTP an image into your blog from your server. A theme like Lifestyle by Studio Press, and many others, allow you to upload your header image directly from the back office of your blog.
Tip: Never use script or unusual fonts for your main post content. Easy fonts to read on the web are Tahoma, Arial, Calibri, Verdana and Serif Sans-serif
- Mix up media. People have different personalities. Those who are visual prefer text. Other may prefer to get their information by viewing a video or listening to audio. Polls and surveys are also useful and entertaining tools.
- Do you have an international audience? Use the Global Translator plugin. It will create a widget that you can use on your sidebar or header to translate your content into every language imaginable.
- Make your blog smart phone friendly. There are plugins to make it easy to read your blog from a phone. Personally, I still have a dumb phone so I cannot give you an accurate review of which plugin is best, but I am working on it.
- Blog navigation is super critical. On this blog there are two navigation bars. One is for pages and one is for categories. If a reader wants to learn more about a particular category they can click on the category navigation bar. StudioPress has a plugin that allows you to customize unique sidebars for categories, pages, and tags called Simple Sidebars. Besides the navigation bar, include multiple ways to search, including a search bar, recent posts, category cloud, icons, Sitemap, etc. I personally go nuts if I go to a blog and cannot find a way to find information I want.
Don’t let techno-phobia stop you from building a WordPress blog that works. We can help and make it very affordable for you. For more information click HERE.
What do you look for in a blog that makes you want to come back over and over? Please leave a comment and tweet and share this post.