Blogging Tips A-Z: D for Design

When it comes to blog marketing one thing can instantly establish your professional expertise. Even if you’re a rank amateur with no experience good blog design can make you look like a star.

Setting up a blog quickly and cheaply is the biggest online business marketing mistake ever and it’s so commonly made. Many business owners think they setting up a cheap blog quickly is a good way to test the waters but it’s a false economy.

An amateur looking blog is a waste of time for you because it makes you look bad. It’s also a waste of time for your clients who are looking for your services but don’t want to deal with an apparent amateur.

You only have one chance to make a good first impression and if your want to win business online professional blog design is the best way to do that.

1. Use WordPress for your blog design

If you haven’t started blogging yet choose WordPress. It’s easy to use and powerful enough that it will be able to do anything you want in the future.

If you’ve already started blogging and don’t use WordPress consider making the switch now or find out why I use and recommend WordPress. The sooner the better because you probably will loose readers and subscribers so it’s better to do it before you get too far down the track.

2. Get a custom domain name

Another way to look professional is to have your own domain name. For example www.mybusiness.com and definitely not www.mybusiness.blogspot.com. There are probably hundreds of companies that offer what you have to offer, so make sure people know you’re an established and real business not a fly by night upstart.

3. Include your blog on your website

Many businesses set up their blog on a separate website from their main company site. It’s easy to incorporate your blog into your business website and doing so will:

  • Make you look professional and experienced;
  • Simplify your online marketing because  you only have one website to update;
  • Allow your readers to naturally hop from your blog to your services or products page with no interruptions;
  • Help improve your search engine ranking and grow your business faster.

To find out more about incorporating your blog into your website or adding a dynamic blog to a static website please contact me for a quote.

I’ll need to spend a lot of time finding out about you, your business and your clients so I can best advise you.

4. Invest in professional blog design

A professional blog design will pay dividends. I’d love to design or update your blog. Our blog design set up gets you a unique blog complete with a professional design, a clear navigation system and the social media buttons set up so all you need to do is start creating content and promoting your blog.

Too many new bloggers waste countless hours designing, redesigning and reredesigning their blog and it still looks terrible. If you really believe blogging will help you shape your writing career or grow your business then this small investment is well worth it.

Simply put a professional blog design will set you apart from the many amateurs.

Premium blog themes like Thesis which I use here are harder to set up and better done by a professional. But having a premium theme will make it easier for you to maintain your blog. For example, I use Thesis because it makes search engine optimisation easier and allows me to create a blog design which the free templates can’t provide.

Your writing and your business are unique and you want your blog to reflect that so avoid free, badly designed blog templates.

5. Keep it simple

Your blog needs to look professional and instantly tell people who you are, what you do and why they should stick around. To make sure your blog is user-friendly consider why people will read it then pare your blog design back to the essentials.

Learn about branding and use it to show people that you are trustworthy, professional and the right person for them to do business with.

Minimise the number of links on your home page, avoid annoying animations or ugly advertisements and use clear, simple language with calls to action so your readers know what to do next.

The Internet is a powerful tool and great leveller which can help you win business online but only if you use it to your advantage.

Every day I see blogs and websites that don’t do the business owners justice. Many websites look highly amateur and are so hard to use that they will actively turn customers away.

A strong, simple and professional blog design will instantly give you the edge and a clear advantage over your competitors. It’s a small investment which will pay you back many times over the course of five to ten years.

Remember you only get one chance to create a great first impression.

What are your pet blog design hates?

Need more blogging help? Check out my workbook and audio book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps.