+ Have you ever thought to yourself, my blog would be more successful if I could only afford a better design, or a custom design?
+ When I first started Blog Genie…
+ Design can distract you from the real work
+ Hide behind the technology to avoid putting ourselves out there
+ Design just a small piece of the big picture
+ Blog Design is about…
+ Because connection turns visitors into readers, subscribers, advocates and customers
+ Challenge to connect in a digital world…
+ Now comes the hard part, we know we need emotional connection but everyone is different
+ Ask yourself…”How do I want my readers to feel when they arrive on my blog?”
+ Emotional space model (Barbara Wright)
Question: Free or self-hosted?
I like to look at a blog design kind of like renovation a home…
free or self-hosted everyone needs their domain
+ Cheap + Let it go + Name isn’t taken
+ Hosting can be confusing
+ Home vs Apartment + restrictions vs freedom + long term commitment + annual cost
+When should you self host?
Whether you DIY yourself or hire a designer, it’s important to understand how choice affects your readers.
Blog design isn’t just about pretty stuff and swirly fonts, it’s about function and usability and the reader experience.
How many things can a visitor click at once?
+ not a trick question
+ It’s not uncommon for a blog homepage to have 60 plus clickable elements
+ we do this because it seems like more choice is better, right?
I’d like to introduce you to the jam experiment…
(Sheena S. Iyengar, Mark R. Lepper) (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000)
30% vs 6%
Fear of missing out
How can you apply the less is more to….
Clearing clutter shows your readers that you know what you’re doing,
it guides them along the path you want them to take…
Because it’s not your readers’ job…
If email subscriptions are important to you, make that front and center, make that top of your sidebar.
If social media is important, highlight your accounts and remove as much extra clutter as you can.
Ways to keep costs down while still evoking those emotions and creating a connection with your reader.
most important visual element familiarity brand recognition inner pages
time to learn to create one VS money to outsource
Learn to design yourself (Lynda.com, Canva, Picmonkey) Buy a premade logo Recent Design grads
Your theme is one of the most important design elements your blog has. It’s controls the fonts, colors and pretty much everything you see when you land on a site.
A great theme helps you stand out.
Premium themes, or paid themes, are a great bridge between a free theme without a lot of options and a full custom design
Even if you can’t find the exact theme you want, a designer can customize things like colors or fonts fairly easily Inquire with a designer a head of time to make sure the theme you like works for this type of customization
Premium themes run between 20-100 and are usually a one time fee. That doesn’t include customizations. This approach is cheaper and faster than custom.
Since today was just scratching the surface of all this design stuff and this is a lot to take in,
I’ve put together a list of all the resources talked about today and some extra goodies at bloggenie.ca/blogfest.
BlogFest Blog Design Presentation
Blog Design Tips and
Tricks on a Budget
Blog design is about creating
an emotional connection
between you and your readers.
How do I want my readers
to feel when they arrive
on my blog?