Lately, I have been thinking a lot about blogging as an industry and how it has changed over the years. I started my blog in December 2016 but I have been following some well-known bloggers for years before starting my own blog. As much, as I love their writing, photography skills, and travel advice, I found some of the blogging tips quite outdated. Of course, I don’t want to generalize here nor point fingers at anyone, I just want to show you that blogging has changed a lot nowadays and how you can use that information to your advantage.
1. Your blog is your business card
The first thing you need to realize is that your blog is your brand. As a designer, every time I read “Just choose a theme, install it, and you are done!”, I want to scream! No, I don’t have anything against WordPress themes, not at all! I just want you to think before acting. Let me explain you this with my favorite quote about design:
“There are three responses to design: Yes! No! And WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” ~ Milton Glaser
How would you feel when you tell a brand/follower/friend a name of your blog and he quickly opens it in his/her phone and says “wow!”? I can tell you, it feels very good. And is a great starter for any collaboration conversation.
Now, you are probably thinking “I am not a designer, I can’t do this.”. Yes, you can! Using WordPress is easy if you know what you are doing. More on that below.
2. Understand UX and how it matters in blogging
UX stands for user experience, which is everything from your website layout to how long your images load. When a reader comes to your site, you usually have only about 0.5 seconds to impress him. A vast majority of the people will decide if they will continue reading your blog post within the first few seconds.
Here are some facts about website design:
- 48% of people mentioned a website’s design is the most important factor in deciding the credibility of a business
- 94% of people mentioned web design as the major reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.
- Nearly two-thirds of people would rather read beautifully designed content instead of something expressed plainly.
- Users Typically Make An Opinion Within .05 Seconds After Jumping On Your Website – Kinesis Inc.
- 95% of the visitors agreed that good user experience is everything that really matters – Econsultancy
Basically, your blog needs to be a seduction machine both for brands and your readers. First, you impress them with your neat design, then you keep them interested with amazing content and finally, you convert them into email subscribers.
Let’s be honest, the times of “write good content and readers will come” are gone with the wind. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the popular, well-established bloggers in the industry. They also know the power of web design (below are some pictures of before & after).
Bottom line, good design is good business!
3. You need to have a coherent brand
Another important thing to keep in my mind is that your brand needs to be coherent. If someone gets to knows about you through Instagram and then visits your website, he/she needs to know immediately that it is the same blogger. This should be reflected in your brand colors, the theme of your blog and Instagram feed, your fonts, etc.
Are you struggling to define your brand online?
Then, I challenge you to take part in my free training “Define your blog style: from vague idea to an impressive blog design in just 5 days!“
I will show you exactly how to create the visual foundation for your brand/blog and decide on your style.
You will learn:
✓ The most crucial question you need to answer before creating a blog
✓ How to choose THE RIGHT colors and fonts for your designs so that your brand screams YOU
✓ How to arrange elements to have a strong visual impact and the biggest mistakes to avoid!
4. Be crystal clear about how you want to be described...
Imagine now that tomorrow Forbes knocks on your virtual door and tells you: “We love your blog posts. We would love to write about you. Tell us what defines you, how do you want to make your mark?”.
That is why you need to know exactly what your message is. I am not talking here about the niche, but about your why. Why do you do what you do? What makes you get up in the morning?
Niche is important too, but it doesn’t need to be narrow. Of course, it is easier to explain what you do if you narrow the subjects down: I am a travel blogger vs I am a travel blogger focused on solo female travels. But if you want to write about more than one subject like travel and healthy eating, for example, you can as well do that!
5. ...and who you want to target
Know your target group, but don’t focus only on empty stats like age, nationality, etc. Think of what they do, where they are in life right now, what are their dreams, goals, etc. In this way, you will be able to imagine them easier and understand what they need from your blog.
My strategy is to create a persona: Just draw a person, give him/her a name, assign a profession, write down his/her hobbies and life challenges. Now, ask yourself: how do I help this person?
I hope this was useful! If you want a more in-depth strategy for creating a WOW BLOG, join my Free 5-day challenge “Define your blog style: from vague idea to an impressive blog design in just 5 days!”