If you’re anything like me, you crave change! Designing and changing the look of things around here is something that I frequently do to improve the user experience and ensure that my content is presented in the best way possible. As I’ve rebranded and refreshed the Bliss & Faith site, it has been through quite a bit of changes over the past few months, but as a creative and designer, I’m never satisfied. Not being satisfied isn’t a bad thing, however, it simply means that maintaining my site and keeping up the appearance of it is a priority to me.
In my quest to grow my little corner of the web into a thriving resource for creative female entrepreneurs, I realized how important it is for me to have a cohesive, strong, and clean design. This is essential, because the way in which my content is presented is a direct reflection of my brand. Everything from the minimalist layout to optimizing my blog for SEO, has everything to do with my brand being perceived as trustworthy and professional.
While I can consult and brand others all day long, its most hardest for me to do it for myself. It takes for me to approach it slowly and diligently. This is one of those times where I just can’t drive in head first, but rather dip my feet in little by little. You, yourself may need to do the same when it comes to your blog design, or even brand. I’ll talk more about branding in the coming months, as it is something I’m very passionate, especially as a part of my business.
However, today I’m going to hit a few wickets on how to easy spruce up your design if you’re feeling the need to do so or still brainstorming the direction you want to take your blog. A little bit goes a long way, and by starting small you give yourself plenty of time to let your creative juices flow or tell a designer exactly what you want. As a designer, one of the hardest things to do is to try to create something for someone who has no idea of what they want. I know what I like, what I would do, but do you?
So whether you are doing it yourself or have hired someone, these tips will help to get you going.
1. Start from top to bottom.
Your header, is in essence, the focal point of your blog. It is the first thing people see when they visit, and one of the main things that will give visitors an idea of who you are.
Here are a few things to consider when creating your header:
- Is your header attention getting?
- Does it represent you?
- Is it consistent with the rest of your design
- What feelings, emotions, thoughts do you feel it conveys and evokes when you look at it?
- Do you think that your header makes people want to know more about you?
2. Consistency is key!
From the font to color scheme, to additional design elements on your blog, you want it to flow. There’s nothing worst that visiting a site that has an inconsistent design. This is an immediate turn-off, and can even be seen as unprofessional. You want visitors to know you value your space, and just like keeping yourself looking presentable at all times, you want your blog to be as well.
- Unclutter that sidebar
- Make use of additional Pages
- Have an organized navigation bar. If you have two, that’s fine, but don’t have 15 links in them. Use parent pages and drop-down options when organizing your bar.
3. Give everything a title.
This means that your sidebar should be broken down into different sections.
Consider using the following title in your sidebar:
These are just some of the titles you can use to title different elements in your sidebar. By doing this, it gives the appearance of a neat and organized sidebar, that is easy navigable.
4. Utilize that footer.
The poor footer oftentimes gets forgotten, but it’s such an important area. You can put almost anything in the footer. Most blog designs allow for footer widgets, where you can additional social media buttons, ad space, and pretty much whatever else you may not want to display in the sidebar. Your footer and respective widgets appear on every page of your site, so it’s part of your prime real estate.
5. Set featured images.
Some designs do this automatically, but other times you may have to manually do this. When someone lands on your page, they want some visual stimulation to give them a reason to stay a while and click around. While content is king and words are great, people respond to visual aids. Think about shopping, what grabs your attention? The words on the sign, or the colors, graphics, and other design elements that catch your eye, and then make you read the words. Same thing with design. It’s all about the visual.
Note: You don’t have to use fancy graphics, stock images, or photos all the time. Use a simple graphic, just words overlaid on a pop of color with a border is just fine. It only takes minutes to create, and adds that something extra to your post. However, if you want to go fancy, by all means do. Just makes sure it isn’t distracting and does detract away from your content.
Making these minor changes or keeping these considerations in mind can do wonders for your blog. Not only that, it can do wonders for your motivation and inspiration. I know for a fact that every time I re-design or refresh my blog, I’m that much more encouraged to take my blog to the next level. It’s so easy to fall off, so these few things might just give you what you need, at least visually, to stay encouraged and keep putting awesome content out there for both your current and potential audience!
Want to know more about how to step your blog design up? Get on my mailing list to receive my free 30-page Build An Authentic Brand Guide, exclusive blogging, branding, and design tips, freebies, and more!
You can also drop by my design space take a look at my services. I’m more than happy to help!