Jun
13

Powerful Blog Structure And Appearance

By

Simple blog structure and appearance will keep your visitors happy.  If your blog appears to be too complex, they may click off before reading any of your content.  You have 3 seconds to make an impact… or their gone.  Here are a few powerful blog structure tips that will help you to keep your readers on your site long enough to read your great message.

Header:

Keep your header simple.  Complex graphics will do more to confuse your readers right off the bat than anything else.  You don’t want the graphics to supersede your title and subtitle message.  (This area is not the place for your web designer to show off all that he learned in design school.)

Title and Subtitle:

Make sure your title is bold so it can be read quickly.  It should or can convey the subject of your blog.  If it does not…make sure the subtitle does.  Your  title and subtitle must communicate your message within 3 second or your reader may be gone. (I’ve seen header messages that read like a novel…. I never get past the first few words.)

Content:

Make sure you have enough white space throughout your content.   If your message is over 400 words… you may want save some of the material for a new post. (I look at content in a post and decide whether I have time to read it… if it’s too long… often I’ll click off.  I always think I’ll go back and read it later… but I usually don’t.

Opt-in box:

If you have an opt-in box on the side bar.. make sure it’s at the top… above the fold.  (The fold is the area that you can immediately view on the screen without having to scroll down.)

Side Bars:

Side bars can be used for promotion.  I know the square banner ads are there to monotize your site.  However, they are not as effective as they once were.  They are becoming so common place that no one pays much attention to them anymore.  (Do You?)

If they make your site too complex and busy… you may want may want to consider another way to promote your affiliates.

Comments:

Make it easy for someone to make a comment on your site.  If you have lots of hoops your readers has to go through in order to make a statement… they’ll leave before doing so.   (I find it irritating to make a comment and then find I’m required to give my email address before I click submit.  Chances are… I won’t be making another comment…  that is… if I ever go back to the site.)

Simple and clean is the best blog structure to use if you want your reader to stay one your site and spend time looking around.

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  When you view other blogs… notice their blog structure and general appearance.  Does it invite you to stay… or do you click off immediately.  If you do stay… what keeps you there.  If you decide to leave… ask yourself why?

Technorati Tags: blog, blog appearance, blog structure

Categories : Blogging

Comments

  1. Thanks for the info I am new to blogging so like to read up on how I can improve

  2. Good information – sometimes we need help getting back to the basics! You really have it mapped out for us. Thanks for taking time to write! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
    Jeanne

  3. Kathy ~

    Now we’re talkin’ turkey!

    You’ve mentioned each and every critical facet of a blog. I’m with you on the “comments” issue. For the life of me, I can’t understand why a blog author would expect someone to type in some special code, choose some particular profile sign-out method, squint their eyes to attempt to read some blurry thnigy-me-jiggy, etc.

    I prefer the “No Hoops” procedure for posting comments! 🙂 I might leave a comment ONCE on a blog like that, but I’m in no big rush to go back for more of the same.

    As far as banner ads in the gutter of my blog, I’ve actually made some affiliate sales as of late, so I’m not quite ready to bid adieu to those.

    One thing my tired old eyes can’t tolerate is “flash” of any kind on a web site or blog. That’s a big No-No for me.

    Very good tips!
    Melanie
    #blog30

  4. Great information Kathy – I really like the suggestion to make Comments simple. I have left many sites that required an elaborate sign-up process, so I’m trying to make mine easy!

  5. Suzie Cheel says:

    Hi Kathy,
    Great points you make,and I garee with them, Question did you mean a code rather than an email address as you say. I’m required to give my email address – is that why you haven’t been back to my blog?:)

    Your comment box as most do requires an email address????? I am now going to try to comment here without leaving my email address

    I also find people with blogger blogs put you through too many hoops so I rarely comment on a blogger blog unless it has amazing content

  6. Suzie Cheel says:

    Hi Kathy,
    Great points you make,and I garee with them, Question did you mean a code rather than an email address as you say. I’m required to give my email address – is that why you haven’t been back to my blog?:)

    Your comment box as most do requires an email address? I am now going to try to comment here without leaving my email address- I did that and it went into moderation? Isn’t that making more work for the blogger?

    I also find people with blogger blogs put you through too many hoops so I rarely comment on a blogger blog unless it has amazing content
    Just my thoughts
    Suzie

  7. Gwen Tanner says:

    Hi Kathy,

    You have made lots of great points here. I know people like to decorate their blogs, it makes them look interesting and full – and it’s probably often due to a lack of content. But all those decorations are very distracting. You don’t know what to look at or what you don’t want to click on by accident. A lot of these sites truly make my head spin – and now that one can add followers from any number of different network sites, it doesn’t mean you have to put them all on there! We know they’re popular, but we shouldn’t have to wait 20 minutes while all their friends load onto the page.

    I appreciate you making this post!
    Gwen

  8. This advice is really simple and straight forward. A lot of beginner bloggers could really use this. I think it’s also important for bloggers to learn some basics, so that they can tailor their widgets, so that they fit in with their website and don’t overlap the edges. Awesome post 🙂

  9. Lisa Raymond says:

    Great information, Kathryn! I’m in the process of redesigning my website and blog so some good information here. I don’t recall seeing an “opt-in” box but I’d guess that’s a plug-in. How many words should be in the headline of an article? Is there a fast rule other than quick and easy to read? I ask because what I deem “quick and easy to read” may not really be so to others. Also, how do you keep the look simple yet coincide with keeping your branding going (besides the mug shot – I remember that! 🙂 ). Thanks!