I recently read a blog post by popular Nigerian lifestyle blogger, Sisi Yemmie in which she suggested four things you could do to make your blog pop. I commented beneath the post adding to what Sisi already mentioned. Sisi then suggested that I write a blog post on this f I haven’t already. So here I am starting a series on some tips and tricks that will take your blog to the next level. If you are not a blogger or just hearing about blogging bores the hell out of you, please go and read about my adventures and misadventures, recipes or features. There’s enough in the “Precious Topics” tab on the blog menu to keep you going before my next post.
If you are still here, I take it that you are interested in blogging so you are in good company, my friend! Please grab a cuppa because this is going to be one detailed read. I’ll have to give you the details if I really want to help you, right?
I started blogging 2 years ago. In my first year, I was totally an on-and-off blogger. I started blogging consistently last May so I’ve been blogging effectively for one year! I am not some professional high-earning accomplished blogger (yet). But there are some things I have learned along the line in my quest to build a blog which I would love to share with you.
We’ll be starting this series by talking about YOUR BLOG DESIGN.
Your blog design is the first thing that is noticed when someone clicks on your page so make an effort to have an appealing design. The best way to do this would be to get a blog template. Whether, your blog is on WordPress, Blogger, Joomla or some other host, there are lots of free templates out there for you. Simply Google, “free and responsive blog templates” and you will get many free ones. I’ll explain what “responsive” means below.
Here are some direct links for you:
To buy one, which I prefer (for security and constant online help when needed), you can visit online shops such as Etsy
and do a search for “Blogger templates”or “WordPress templates”. I tell you the truth, you will weep for joy when you see the variety of blog templates that will pop up. Pick one that resonates with the theme of your blog and is affordable to you.
When you see many templates, picking the right one could be hard. At least it was for me and I wouldn’t want you to go down that path. Here are some things to look for when choosing a blog design;
- You can view the template live. This is so important, so you will be able to see what it will look like on your blog.
- It is easy to find most recent posts. I hate going to a blog and I’m unable to trace the most recent post. So discouraging. Some blog themes are so obscure. You want one that clearly shows you where to go.
- It encourages comments. Comments make a blog livelier so you totally want a blog template that somehow encourages comments. On posts with no comments, it may say something like. “click to add a comment” or “leave a comment” instead of just saying, “no comments.” This makes your readers see that their comments are welcome.
- It has social share buttons on each post. Social media is where you will get most of your readers so you want to make sure your template has the social media share buttons to encourage sharing.
My blog went through various stages of design. I started with a boring in-built template, tried to customise it myself and right now I am running on a purchased and customised template which I totally love. If you are not a web designer, designing your blog all by yourself usually leaves many loose ends.
So if your blog has not been professionally designed, run now and look for a template. Installation instructions usually come with the package so don’t think you need a web designer or some professional to accomplish this. You can do this!
One very important thing about your blog design is that it should be “responsive”. This means it should adapt well to other screens like those of cell phones and tablets. It shouldn’t look like a text book on a tablet. That is just so unprofessional.
If you do not have Photoshop, no worries, PicMonkey
will greatly help you with your blog picture design jobs.
That’s it for design, my friends. If you have any questions or contributions, please add below so we can grow together. See you in the next blogging post.