The layout of your blog can make a big difference in your traffic, how long visitors stay, and how often they return. Having a layout that is clean and easy to navigate as well as conducive to selling, branding, community engagement, social sharing, etc are all part of how you will make money from your blog.
Let’s talk about some things to do – and not do – with your blog layout.
Blog design has changed a lot over the last couple of years. What used to require the help of a web designer has been made simple with advancements in WordPress and WordPress themes.
You can choose to use one of the WordPress themes that come with your install or purchase additional themes from sites like ThemeForest. Some themes come with additional tools and functionality such as the Genesis Framework available at StudioPress.com.
Whichever theme you choose – whether a standard WordPress theme or if you invest in a Genesis Theme – there are a few things to keep in mind.
Here is a screenshot of my personal blog which is running on the Genesis Framework using a Child Theme from Studiopress.
Gone are the days of the enormous cartoon headers that take up have of your screen. A huge header does nothing for you except rob you of precious real estate.
Instead, opt for a short header which clearly displays your brand, leaving room for other important aspects such as social icons and room for advertising “above the fold.”
Depending on your theme you can organize your content to display by category or all content posted.
You want to make sure that your content is easy to read – that the font is clear and large even on a small screen – and your images are bright and beautiful.
Sidebars should always be neat and tidy, not distracting or overwhelming. Each item in your sidebar should serve a purpose – either to create income (linking to your company website) or to drive traffic to other content on your site.
You can also include a place to sign up for your newsletter/RSS and a search feature as well. Some Plugins will go on your sidebars as well.
Your Footer, Like your Sidebars, should serve a purpose – IF you choose to have one at all. Tag clouds are a thing of the past!! Instead, put things in your Footer that people will actually find interesting.
You can use tools such as Facebook Widgets, Instagram Feeds, Archives and more!
Other Design Elements to consider for your blog: