It is true that content is king. However, people judge a blog or site first based on appearance. A blog which is well designed is likely to generate more interest than one which is poorly designed. Here are some of the elements of an effective blog design.
1. Look and feel
The overall appearance of your blog is very important. The look and feel selected will be determined by the interests and needs of your target audience. For instance, a very technical audience is more concerned about technical details. Therefore, a plain and simple look would be appropriate. However, a more colorful and complex blog design would be suitable for an audience of artists. In addition, you need to ensure to make your navigation as intuitive as possible to enable visitors to find what they are looking for easily.
Make sure you include all the main topics in your list of categories. Under each category, you could also have sub-categories. In addition, you could consider including a category cloud widget. This will enable your visitors to identify the key subjects of your blog with a fast glance. However, avoid having too many categories since this will only confuse your readers.
3. Recent comments
Most blogs have a comment section which allows people to share their comments and questions after reading your content. Therefore, it would be advisable to install a recent comments widget on your blog. This will show visitors that you have an active following and will encourage them to also add their voice to the discussions.
4. Blog roll
Blogging is all about sharing and reciprocity. Therefore, it is very important for every blog to have a blog roll of other related players in the industry. Linking to other blogs will enable you to build strong relationships in your community. In addition, you are likely to attract more traffic to your blog when other bloggers link back to you.
5. Blog search box
Whereas some people navigate a blog using links, others prefer to use the search box. Therefore, be sure to include a search box on your blog. This will encourage visitors to explore your blog beyond just the home page.
6. Email subscription
One of the most common features in many blogs is an RSS feed. However, this is not a suitable option for some readers. Since some people would prefer to get updates via email, make sure you include an email subscription box in your blog.
Make sure your commenting feature is turned on and working properly. To promote conversation, make sure you respond to all the comments left on your blog. This will show readers that you value their contribution and will encourage them to participate more actively.
Charles Mburugu has a great passion for sharing blogging and web development tips. At the moment, he is writing for MotoCMS templates.