Day 4: Blog Design
So you’ve got your blog up and running. All of your settings are entered and you’re ready to get on your way.
The next stage is getting a template for your blog and getting the look and feel just right so that it complements the tone of your blog and compliments what you have to say about your topic.
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There are a whole host of free themes available on the internet for all types of blogs. You can chose a theme based in the administration areas of your blogging software or you can look further afield by typing the name of your blogging software into Google and adding the word ‘templates’ or ‘themes’. For example, you would run a Google search for ‘Wordpress theme’.
Don’t worry if you like a template but there are a few things that you would like to change about it. Many themes come with different color alternatives and you can also change more specific aspects of the template through the control panel or ‘dashboard’ of your blog.
The template that you chose will be important. This is because, when people visit your blog, the first thing that they do is take in a view of the page. If your blog doesn’t look professional enough or friendly enough they may just leave and not read the content that you have to offer.
Try to find a theme or template that reflects the ‘feel’ of your blog. For example, if you want to write a blog about cute little kittens, having a metallic finish to your template will trigger indications of an electronic or technical nature in your visitor’s mind and they are likely to leave. My blog targets women, specifically mums who want to build a business online and benefit from learning how to stay motivated and healthy via personal development. With this in mind I have designed my blog with light colours, that are welcoming but also appeal to my demographic and gender target, but at the same time my design is also neutral for the men who will also benefit.
Target Audience & Your Theme
3 - The Theme I Chose
I am so grateful for this theme, it has opened up my blog to more possibilities than I ever thought possible. In the summer of 2017, I struggling to find a way to create my site in the way I knew it could be, I started looking around at other websites, and was compelled to work on my own. The look, the design, everything, but it was as easy as just making a decision to change the look, I needed to know how, with what, how much was it going to cost, do I have to hire a web designer? All of this and more was going through my mind, it kept me up and night because i was so determined and after studying, with less than two years to go before having to return to work, I didn’t want to wait. So i began researching, hired a designer and was just about to make the first payment, when this themes marketing popped up on my screen, intrigued; of course! I did more research, immediately cancelled my web designer and began downloading this incredible theme.
I chose the premium version, for me it was a no-brainer. I was just about to pay £350 for a basic web design and here comes Generate Press with it’s premium version for $39.95, inclusive of a years worth of updates, able to use on unlimited websites, it also gives full access to their library and trusted by over 30,000 successful bloggers – which was all I needed to know.
But there’s one other thing that Generate Press does that I cannot and will not live without….
Generate Press is fully compatible with most of the available drag and drop builders and the one that was highly recommended to me was Elementor.
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Elementor is a true God send, without it I truly believe that this blog would be a Hot Mess!
As I mentioned before my budget was a crucial Factor in my decision making process as you are just starting out in the world off blogging chances are you do not have a lot of money to spend on fancy £100 per hour web designers either. Elementor is the perfect solution for you and the other 1,000,000 users to date.
Elementor saves you timeOne of the main features that attracted me too elemental was the time saving aspect.
I had been busy researching other blogs and had seen great designs and layouts with colourful backgrounds and scrolling images I didn’t think it was crazy to think I could achieve the same , but once again my budget was a factor.
The Elementor templates, made building my site a joy. All of the beautiful and appealing functions in one template, you just have to access the Elementor library, pick a template and select insert.
Your new blog post will be uploaded with the full design, you then just play around with the settings, swap out or add features and images, replace placeholder text with your own, change the colours to match your brand and BINGO, you have a professionally designed post in under a couple of hours or less.
Design Tip: Use An A4 Jotter Pad
I like to use an A4 jotter pad , to outline the design of my post; that way I’m not overwhelmed with the design tweaks and then the overwhelming task of including appealing text to attract my readers attention. Sometimes as a blogger, we can tend to overthink this step. However all it takes is some well thought out notes, just remember, they are just notes and a rough outline – remember to K.I.S.S each post (keep it simple silly) and you’ll have great content in no time.
Elementor: Featured Widgets
The feature widgets include some of my all time favourites for creating great blog posts, that both professional and engaging:
Some of the widgets included are video i.e. you can simply link your own or someone elses youtube video directly into your blog post, all you’ll need is the youtube url. Text – is of course self explanatory as well as images. Social media share buttons are crucial to grow your following and traffic stats and my all time favourite, forms* and html which can be used to include affiliate banners and widgets (discussed in later post).
Here is a snapshot:
Elementor can be downloaded in wordpress now and many of it’s features are included for Free. I had the initial version and upgradrd after only 30 days to the Pro* version for just $49 for 12 months with a 50% discount on renewal – Brilliant!
The main reason I upgraded is as I mentioned earler, I wanted my blog to look and function as other more experienced bloggers as created and the only way to do that was to invest in the pro package. Features like forms are essential to growing your email list and is only available in the pro version of Elementor. Whats even greater about this feature is it allows you to seamlessly integrate your mailchimp or other email platfrom directly into the widget settings with your unique API key. You do not have to leave the design interface to update your plugin, everything is readily available in one screen, genius!
Elementor has made my blogging experience a breeze, I’m glad i came across it (by pure chance) I wouldn’t change a thing about it and I’m confident you’ll feel the same.
My name is Marie Tavernier, I am a coach & the author of From Little Acorns Grow a Forest, a book about finding your purpose and living your dreams after taking the wrong path. I also have 15 years experience in Online Media Creation, this blog will teach you how to earn in excess of £100,000 per year, whilst staying grounded and improving your well being, because success requires motivation. Here I teach you both. Connect with me on Social Media via the follow links below.
If these don’t help you with your blog, it will definitely help with keeping you on track to reach your goals
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