Elements to Consider As You Design Your New Blog

If you’re a new blogger, one of the biggest decisions you will have to consider as you try to establish a successful internet presence is the design and layout of your blog. Despite the well-known saying that content is king, a blog’s design is just as important, not for the search engine indexing spiders, but rather for the human audience that will visit your blog.

Here are a few ideas to help you create a well-designed blog that looks great and keeps your visitors coming back for more great content day after day.

Support Your Content

Whatever design and layout you select for your blog, be it a template or something of your own creation, make sure that it supports your content. For example, if you are a photographer who wishes to use your blog share your photography, then use a layout that does not interfere with your art. Likewise, if you’re writing longer posts, then a layout that makes it easier for a reader to read might work best. Take a look at some of your favorite blogs to see what other bloggers do; do not be afraid to borrow design elements from your favorite blogs. The design of the blog should compliment your content; the design should blend in, even if it has excellent images, and not stand out in any way.

Make it Reader Friendly

Your blog’s design and layout should also be friendly to the reader. This means that all elements, from the title of your posts to your blogroll in the sidebar, should be easily accessible to the reader. When a reader clicks on a post, it should layout cleanly on the post page, for example. A reader should be able to glance at your blog’s main page and figure out what exactly is important and how he or she can access it quickly. Don’t make your reader go searching for good content.

Decrease Load Time

On the internet, time is extremely valuable. Forcing a reader to wait even a few extra seconds to load your blog can spell disaster for your bounce rate. This means that you should limit the kinds of content that will affect load rates: flash animations, excess code that creates jiggling hyperlinks, and other gimmicks. Of course, you can have a few more intricate bits of content to load; however, just make sure you test it every now and then to make sure it’s not hampering a reader’s ability to get to your content.

Use an Intuitive Comment System

An important feature of any blog is the presence of an intuitive comment system. Comment systems allow the conversation that you’ve begun with your blog posts to continue among your readership. If you have a comment system that makes it harder for a reader to engage in that discussion, you’ll quickly lose your audience. A comment system that loads comments quickly, defeats spam, and allows for readers to subscribe to the conversation is a pretty standard, but worthwhile feature to have on your blog.

Place Effective Advertising

Finally, we all know how important it is to monetize our blogs in some form or another; however, we should be very selective in the kinds of ads we seek out and in how many we place on our blogs. Too many advertisements can clutter a blog and frustrate your readers. Likewise, advertisements that popup or force readers to close them before they can access your content can also turn away valuable traffic. You have to find a balance between the right amount of advertising revenue and accessible content. Look at some of your favorite blogs and see how they incorporate ads into their design and layout.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to [email protected]


42 thoughts on “Elements to Consider As You Design Your New Blog”

  1. Fazal Mayar says:

    nice tips mariana, having a good blog design is a must for sure. 🙂

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Another tip: consider hiring a professional blog design team like Unique Blog Designs.

      1. design flyer says:

        Perhaps these tips are provided to design blog without the use of professional team. Think about the newbies.

      2. Abhik says:

        UBD is no doubt a great company to hire, but there are several others who can also deliver excellent designs.
        UBD is too much costly IMHO.

        1. Fazal Mayar says:

          exactly thats very costly. You can hire a freelancer but the problem is what if you dont trust him but anyways, if you just starting your blog i dont see how he would hack you.

    2. Not only design but along with that it should be light coding and onpage optimise.

      1. design flyer says:

        very important point, onpage optimization

    3. For a big time blogger a custom design is a must.

      1. Fazal Mayar says:

        yes, having a professional designer is always better but we can all upload premium themes ourselves after buying one :0

  2. Tony says:

    Very nice pointers, thank you! I realize that content is very important, but I agree that a good design is also important.

    Load time can be a problem with blogs, especially if you’re going crazy with plug ins. I recommend choosing your plugins carefully, and not going overboard with them. Having too many can significantly slow down your site, as well as more potential for problems because of conflicts.

    Tony

  3. PPC Ian says:

    Great tips, awesome guest post. Really enjoyed reading it!

    1. I enjoyed the post too Mariana. As opposed to Ian I’m not sure about using UBD though, especially for beginners it may be too costly.

  4. Justin says:

    I keep looking at professional blogs and I think it is time to upgrade to a professional series. I am using a freebie right now.

    1. Abhik says:

      Go for a unique professional design and you’ll be amazed after seeing the result.

  5. Hi Mariana Ashley thank you very much for your design tips! especially the Decrease Load Time.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I agree decreased load time is huge! John has been providing a lot of great info on accomplishing just that, now I just need to implement the tips! 🙂

    2. You can’t have people waiting around to read your content. If you do, they will leave and your return visitor ratio will be way low.

  6. Very good post. I am in the middle of a re-design and kook forward to implementing some if these suggestions.

    1. So you got this post at right time my friend.

  7. All these elements are great but I liked the “Place Effective Advertising” element because without ads and placing them correctly you get $0.00.I also liked the “Make it reader friendly” element because without people who come to your blog liking your blog or website you will be in the dumps and also that reader will never come back to your blog/website and tell their friends not to either.

    Thanks for sharing John,
    Bradley Nordstrom

  8. design flyer says:

    Very good effort Mariana, Designing is very important part and these elements are critical in it. Comment system must be good for user interaction.

  9. Anna Watson says:

    Thanks for the tips. Great job..

  10. Mike says:

    And a lot more other stuff :). When you start a blog you don’t have visitors or advertising, load time won’t be a problem and you could do it or not reader friendly. You’ll be the only one reading it. 🙂

  11. Abhik says:

    Nice Post.. But, I guess you missed one of the most essential part.. Onpage Optimization.

  12. You should never put those things which are not related to your niche or to your blog.

    Saw many bloggers add fancy logo, images and all. Big NO to that.

  13. WTF says:

    great post Mariana, thanks for taking the time to write this up.. some really good tips in there.

  14. fas says:

    There is much more and most importanly testing is the key.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Agreed there is so much you can do to optimize your blog, but these are definitely a good starting point!

      1. A post can’t contain everything. The number of good points this post contains is enough.

  15. Allen Walker says:

    Some great tips for people who are creating new blog designs for themselves. 🙂

  16. I think of the all points listed here commenting system and readers friendly are the very important ones. If the article is readers friendly then certainly they would like to make a comment. If we use the best possible system in these two areas then we can make the most our of our blog.

  17. Graham Lutz says:

    My real questions between learning enough to be dangerous or completely outsourcing the whole thing.

    I’ll be buying a theme from someone in the next few weeks, but would you suggest spending the time to learn how to configure and customize it myself or pay for that work?

    I have neither a lot of time or a lot of money to put towards it, to throw in another wrench.

  18. anitha says:

    it will be more useful for the people who all creating new blog etc

  19. You can buy professional themes by StudioPress or another really popular one is the Thesis theme. They give you the training you need to get yourself started and they have forums so if you don’t have money for a professional designer to do it for you, you can learn the stuff on your own.

  20. anitha says:

    design which attracts a lot to others so we have to make it perfect

  21. Health Blog says:

    This is very important post for me as I am deciding to redesign my blog (at present using free design). Thanks for the useful post and thanks for guiding me in deciding how to design my blog.

  22. jasmine says:

    i think it will be useful for me, when i m going to do convert my free domain to own domain

  23. Kay says:

    Thanks for the tips, Mariana

    I’m just starting out and brainstorming on how to layout my blog. This helps alot.

    Peace.

  24. design is the main thing which can attract the readers

  25. singer divya says:

    some times, even free domain getting more visitors compare to own domain also most attractive designs are available in online for free.

  26. anitha says:

    thanks for the tips will work it out

Comments are closed.