7 Strategic Steps I Took To Redesign My Blog - © 2012 Herman Drost
7 Strategic Steps I Took To Redesign My Blog © 2012 Herman Drost - All Rights reserved http://www.iSiteBuild.com
Why are there more abandoned blogs on the Net than live ones?
If you jump into designing or redesiging your blog without proper planning you won’t be happy with it. Like any journey it starts with a strategic plan that’s followed up by taking action.
Here are the 7 strategic steps I took to redesign my blog at: DrostDesigns.com
1. Clearly define the blog’s purpose
The purpose of my previously designed blog was to provide great content to visitors and search engines plus generate some money through AdSense ads and various affiliate programs I promote.
The main purpose of the new design is to generate subscribers for my Marketing Tips Newsletter. By subscribing to my newsletter I can build a large list of subscribers over time and continually drip feed them valuable content to build long term relationships plus recommend products and services.
When a person first visits DrostDesigns.com they get 2 opportunities to subscribe to the newsletter. I added a large sign-up box at the top the home page plus a smaller opt-in form in the sidebar.
Other pages and posts don’t include the large sign-up box at the top but still display the opt-in form in the side bar. After I review how many people subscribe over the next few weeks I may decide to offer an extra incentive (e.g. free report) to get them to subscribe.
2. Create a beautiful design
You only have a few seconds to attract the attention of your visitors therefore I used bright colors for the heading, a clearly defined tag line (web design, marketing tips and tricks), and plenty of white space between the design elements.
I also increased the web page width to 960 pixels as most people have large screen sizes these days.
The grid design on the home page enables visitors to view the latest posts as well as the previous posts all on one page.
3. Use Genesis Theme Framework
I customized a free theme for the design of my old blog. This meant the designer no longer offered support when I wanted to make changes plus the code contained lots of errors.
I chose the Genesis Theme Framework for the new design because it is easy to update, secure, cleanly coded by professionals and offers many child themes that can easily be customized to suit my online business. It also makes it easy to change themes and most of them are mobile friendly.
4. Choose a search engine optimized child theme
When using free themes you have to install a number of plugins to make the site search engine friendly. Adding lots of plugins slows the loading of your blog. I chose the Generate Child Theme (built on the Genesis Framework) because it already has search engine optimization built into it that offers multiple settings e.g. adding your own title and description meta tags to individual posts and pages.
5. Create clear navigation
I located the navigation links in the header using the right header widget and creating a customized menu within the administration panel. The purpose of locating the navigation in the header was to is to have a small footprint on all internal pages. Google prefers websites that display their content above the fold so users can read the content without scrolling.
6. Install social media plugins for sharing content
I installed the social media plugin to enable visitors to easily connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, RSS and my YouTube channel.
I also installed the sexy bookmarks plugin so readers can share my content with their friends after reading the content of my posts.
7. Use large headings and font
Don’t you hate it when you come across a website with tiny text which makes you squint to read it? Even though I used 10 pixel font height in my previous blog’s design it looked rather small compared to my new blog design which uses 14 pixels.
Large headings with lots of white space around them makes them stand out and easier to read particularly for the expanding population of baby boomers whose eyesight may be deteriorating.
Even though the main focus of this blog is to build a large subscriber list it won’t get accomplished without offering great content on a regular basis. My intention for DrostDesigns.com is to continually and consistently provide fresh, unique content that can be shared and commented upon by my readers.
My monetization strategy is to offer products and services to my newsletter subscribers plus optimize each blog post so it gets indexed by the search engines thus generating more traffic.