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BLOG DESIGN JOURNAL


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Express Your Brand Message through Effective Blog Design

Posted on November 24, 2012 by Blog Design Journal

From the content to the layout and design, a business blog should accurately portray your brand message while keeping readers continuously interested and loyal. If your blog content or design is stale and no longer an accurate portrayal of your brand image, it’s time to consider a major makeover. When there is a disconnect between your message and what you are portraying, you run the risk of losing your targeted audience and key influencers.

Below are 4 blog elements to consider changing:

Design / Theme: If you’ve had the same blog theme for a year or two now, it’s time to update your look. When brainstorming how you want your new blog design to look, consider how your brand story has changed / developed over the past year or two. Your company might have drastically evolved from what it once was. Your blog design should reflect this new image and express it accurately.

If your current theme is too difficult to customize or you need a skilled programmer to do so, then search for a new blog theme. If you plan on blogging for years to come, then it would behoove you to consider purchasing a highly customizable and user-friendly theme such as Thesis or ProPhoto. The amount of time and money you save in the long run with one of these platforms is huge—trust me.

When you use a Thesis or ProPhoto theme, you don’t have to hire an IT professional to customize the coding. These themes’ dashboards have easy-to-use features that enable you to customize your blog’s colors, design, layout, and fonts. You don’t even have to be tech-savvy to use them. And, you can change these elements whenever you want a fresh look, without having to constantly switch your blog to a new theme or hire a programmer.

Sidebar: Nothing is worse than an overcrowded, outdated sidebar. Many times, bloggers will continue adding items to their sidebar without deleting old items. I call this sidebar hoarding. Weed it out, if you haven’t done so in a year. Many times, the links on your blogroll will be inactive, or they won’t be in line with your current blog purpose. Or, you might have another blogger’s widget on your sidebar that doesn’t make sense to have.

Always take into account the needs of your blog audience. Every element on your sidebar should be active and pertain to their needs or interests.

Layout: Your layout should be set up in a way that complements your target audience’s online reading style. For example, if your target market is constantly on the go, you might consider changing your layout from full-length posts to excerpts in magazine style. Or, if you find that there is a high click-through rate on your sidebar, you might want to add a second sidebar to increase features for readers to click on.

But no matter what your layout looks like, it should always be easy to navigate and user-friendly. In fact, according to a recent study by Eyetrack III, navigation features located at the top of a web page receive more attention than if they are located somewhere else on the page.

With proper, easy-to-use navigation, you reduce your chances of having visitors leave due to frustration. Make your navigation bar as obvious and user-friendly as possible to ensure that blog visitors can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

Content / Blog Copy: Take a look at your blog post topics for the last month. Do they all sound similar? What about the month before? Now, look at your blog readership. Has it decreased or stayed the same? If so, it’s time to freshen up your content and start raising awareness about other topics of interest pertaining to your blog purpose.

A great way to prevent repeating post topics is to create a blog editorial calendar that outlines posts for the month. This makes it easier for you to compare topics from month to month and gage your target audience’s interest in particular topics.

 

Discover simple marketing strategies to attract and convert prospects. My bimonthly ezine, Sumer’s Secrets is packed with tips on how to improve your web copy, promote your website, and market your brand.  Sign up and receive a FREE report on creating web copy that will increase sales and site traffic.

Original Author: Michelle Salater Full Bio

Michelle Salater is an award-winning writer and president of Sumèr, LLC, a company which specializes in web copy writing, SEO copywriting, and the promotion and marketing of websites after they launch. As an avid business blogger, Michelle has grown her marketing blog, Copy Doodle, to be a powerful lead generation and client education tool, and frequently guest blogs and lectures on blogging. In 2009, Michelle won the Charleston Business Journal’s Forty under 40 award for her business and community leadership.

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