Contrary to some beliefs, your blogs design could actually be responsible for your lack of traffic. Why? Because when we visit a blog we normally decide within seconds on whether we want to hang around or whether we click away. This “reflex action” is mainly induced by two factors.
Factor one: is the headline of your latest post as this will show at the top of your blog. If the headline is weak, then traffic will be slow unless you already have tons of faithful readers. Most of us don’t have this luxury, so we have to make do with other attraction hooks that keep readers on our site.
Also, if the post is interesting enough to your readers, then the chances of them hanging around for more are much higher.
Factor two: is your blog design. The design doesn’t just incorporate the look of your blog, but also navigation, usability, functionality, interaction and feel.
Navigation is perhaps the most important part of the blog design as nothing is more frustrating than having to click around a blog to find relevant information. The easier we make this for our readers, the higher the chance of keeping them on your blog a little longer.
Usability is directly related to navigation and helps your reader to find his/her way around your blog with ease.
Functionality adds interactive interaction in the form of plugins and widgets.
The feel is really the feeling we get when we visit a blog for the first time. Does it look cluttered or too loud with too many bright colors? Or worse, is the blog stuck in the 1980s in terms of looks? All these and more can have a huge effect on how we perceive a blog to be and determines on whether we stay around or not.
Some bloggers spend hundreds of dollars to have a blog make over done by a professional designer. While this may sound like a lot of money, in terms of the potential payoff, it really isn’t. One of my friends bragged that her traffic increased tenfold after a re-design.
But before you freak out and say that you can’t afford an expensive make over, don’t worry. Most people can’t. So what do these guys do?
Well, if you are a little bit knowledgeable about coding you might want to take a shot at redesigning your blog theme and clear up your sidebar. Often small changes can have a huge effect. Changing a few colors, will sometimes be just enough to give your blog a brand new appearance.
For those that are interested in affordable custom designs, there are two blog designers that come to mind.
Another designer that comes to mind is Garry Conn. In addition to providing excellent information on his blog, Garry creates some awesome WordPress blog designs. He doesn’t have prices listed on his site. My guess is he quotes prices based on what you are looking for.
Do you know of any other great designers? If so, leave a comment and let everyone know about them.