Jack Sarlo

"How To Design A Blog That Your Audience Will Love (11 Tricks)!"

blog design tricks
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  • Build Your Sites

You can design a blog using certain techniques in order to get more readers, leads, and sales.

This guide will reveal how to design the overall structure or template of your blog. 

There are also 11 tricks so you can build a professional blog. Your audience will be much more likely to consume your content, subscribe to your list, and buy the products and/or services that you recommend.

Table of Contents

Why Start A Blog

Almost every type of business can benefit from a blog, e.g. an Information Business, Affiliate Business, Brick & Mortal Business, e-Commerce store, etc.

There are three main benefits:

  • You can easily publish content especially articles or videos. This content can get you a lot of traffic if you optimize it with SEO techniques.
  • You can build an email list from the traffic you get to your blog.
  • You can promote your own or affiliate products and/or services. And monetize your blog in other ways e.g. with ads.

Of course, if you haven’t yet, the very first thing you have to do is pick a profitable niche for your blog.

First, let’s see the ideal way to set up your blog.

Blog Platform

 WordPress is the most common blog platform as you can see from these stats.

Wordpress Popularity
WordPress Popularity
Source: Built With

It is popular because of its vast number of free and paid plugins. These give you a lot of features/customizations and complete control over your blog. And it’s free.

If you use other platforms like Blogger or website builders like Wix you’ll have less functionality, customization, and control over your blog.

If you want to create a quick blog you can use one of the free (or paid) themes and begin publishing your first blog post immediately.

But you can extend the capability of your WordPress blog by using page building plugin.

Elementor (my review) or Thrive Architect are two of the best page building plugins.

One of their benefits is that you’ll have way more features and customization options.

You’ll be able to build a unique template for your blog. And you’ll be able to implement all the tricks in this guide.

Most page building plugins have the same set of features. So whichever plugin you use it’s just a matter of preference.

Blog Template

The template contains the layout or structure of the pages of your blog.

Your blog consists of two types of pages.

  • The pages that contain your content (blog posts).
  • And other pages such as homepage, contact page, about page, category pages, etc.

You have two options to choose from when designing your blog templates.

Option #1: You can build one template and use it for all your blog pages and posts.

This is what I do.

The homepage, contact page, blog posts, and every other page uses the same template.

Example:

Homepage Example
Homepage
Blog Post Design
Blog Post

In that example, the template consists of a header and footer, a sidebar on the left, and a content box.

Option #2: You can design two templates. One for your pages e.g. homepage, and another one for the content pages (blog posts).

Example:

Homepage Design
Homepage
Blog Design
Blog

In that example, the page template contains different sections with a bio, video, testimonials, etc. Every other page will have the same top navigation menu and layout.

While the blog template contains a right sidebar and a content box.

Option #2 is useful if the blog is just one aspect of a much bigger website.

The website might contain many pages e.g. product page, portfolio page, shop, forum, and so on. And the blog can be placed in its own folder e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/blog

Here’s another example of two different templates.

Homepage Design
Homepage
Blog Post Design
Blog

Most page building plugins like Elementor, Thrive Architect, Divi Builder, etc. contain done-for-you templates. These are fully customizable.

You can also create a new template from scratch.

A template is useful because it is re-usable.

For example, you can build a template for your blog posts. Whenever you want to create a new blog post you just load the same template.

You won’t have to design a new blog post from scratch each time.

Here’s how to build and customize a template with Elementor: 

First, create a new page and Choose “Blog Post” for the type of template from the “Category” drop-down menu.

Elementor Template Selection
Elementor Template Selection

Once you pick a template, customize and save it.

You can also create a brand new blog post template from scratch. Here’s how:

To create a different template for your homepage or other pages first create a new page in WordPress.

Then from the “Template” selection window search for “homepage”. And pick one of the templates.

Elementor Homepage Templates

You can discover varies tips and trips to design an attention-grabbing homepage in my other guide.

7 Template Design Techniques

You can use these techniques to build high converting and professional-looking templates.

#1 Use A Swipe File

The pre-built templates within your page building tool can help you build a template. 

But you can be inspired and get new ideas just by looking at different blogs.

You can get ideas for the overall structure of your template.

Or even for smaller things such as what to include in your sidebar or footer sections.

For example, I was inspired to use tiny and simple graphics for my posts like this one:

InfoBusiness

From NJLifeHacks.com a blog about Stoicism. They use tiny and simple images:

Custom Small Images
Custom Image

You can search Google using the keyword “blog” e.g. piano “blog” to find a list of blogs. Or use a blog search engine.

You can search for “blogs” on Awwwards. These have won awards so some of them have stunning designs. But you’re not trying to build an identical blog, you’re just looking for ideas.

Save blogs you like to your bookmarks or a file e.g. notepad.

Here are some of the blogs in my swipe file:

https://prochurchtools.com/free-tools/?tab=blog

https://www.paleoplan.com/blog

https://expertphotography.com

https://charlimarie.com/blog

https://www.marieforleo.com/blog

https://www.inthefrow.com/blog (very unique design)

#2 Make It Yours

You should try to design blog templates that match your personal taste. Try to use a layout/structure, features, graphics, and other elements that you enjoy and like. 

Find out what works well for you.

For branding, try to design something that’s different as much as possible than other blogs in your niche.

It should be unique to you not an identical copy of someone’s else blog.

Here are two very successful blogs. Both have a unique style. Notice the stark difference.

PaleoPlan.com has an optin box at the top of each blog post.

Large Optin Box
Optin Box

ProChurchTools.com has a very large headline and a background image at the top of each blog post.

Large Headline
Large Headline

PaleoPlan.com has a section with related and featured articles using thumbnail images at the end of each blog post.

Related Posts
Related Posts With Thumbnails

ProChurchTools.com features an article with a big headline and a background image at the end of each blog post.

Related Post
Related Post

Of course, not all blogs will have huge differences like those two examples.

When designing your template keep in mind your audience as well. Think of what they might prefer to see. After all, they’re the ones who will use the blog.

Here’s an obvious example: In the photography niche your audience will probably prefer to see large high-quality images.

It’s a good idea to take a look at your competitors’ blogs. They can give you insights and ideas, after all, they’re targeting the same audience as you are.

#3 Simple Works Best

All page building plugins come with a lot of design features.

Here’s a list of some of Elementor’s features.

elementor elements
Elementor Features

There’s the flip box, animated headline, media carousel, site rating, tabs, toggle, accordion, etc.

A plain and simple design will always work best. 

This doesn’t mean boring and ugly. It means there shouldn’t be too much distracting stuff going on.

Some blogs load with a bunch of popups, share icons, and all kinds of distrustful elements that you have to close or scroll past them.

Your actual content, whether it’s articles, video, podcasts, etc., is what matters the most to your visitors.

A confused visitor is highly likely to give up and leave your website. They want easy to use websites.

For most blogs these are some of the more useful features:

  • Toggle - e.g. for FAQ sections
  • Google Maps - useful for contact page
  • Table of Contents - useful for long articles
  • Portfolio - e.g. to display a list of recent posts
  • Star rating - useful when creating review posts
  • Call To Action box - e.g. at the bottom of each blog post
  • Share Buttons - try to avoid using all social media icons, less works better

#4 Navigation Structure

Your visitors also want to find your blog content (blog posts) quick and easy.
 
These are the most important part of your blog. They should be accessible from your homepage within 2 clicks or less.
 
That’s why you’ll typically find a list of categories on the homepage. And each category page contains a list of blog posts.
 
Try to use as few links as possible in your navigation menus; the header, footer, and sidebars.
 
Put just the most important things. Keep it clean and simple.
 
Less is always better because you’re much less likely to confuse and frustrate your visitors.
 
Think of your visitors/audience. What would they prefer to see? What works best for them?
 
For example, they would prefer to see a list of categories instead of a bunch of affiliate links.
 
You might not get this right straight away. Designing a blog is also a skill that has to be learned. At any time you can make tweaks and changes to improve your design.
 

I’ve modified my website several times as I’ve learned more about my visitors and my niche.

Information overload is a problem in my niche because there are a TON of different strategies and techniques.

I used to have a lot more links in my sidebar, but to avoid that problem I’ve simplified my entire strategy and reduced the number of links considerable.

Once again, you can look at a lot of different blogs to get ideas for your navigation structure.

#5 Above The Fold

One thing you should consider when designing your templates is the “Above the fold” section. 

This is the portion of your website that is visible without having to scroll down.

Here are three things to consider for this section.

A Headline

You only have a few seconds to capture their attention. You can use a well-written headline that clearly explains what the page is all about.

For blog posts, the headline is the article title.

Copywriting will help you write better headlines. You can check the “Headline” section of the free copywriting course.

Your Content

The hardest part is to get them to start reading your post. 

So for your blog post template try to make the first paragraph or the few lines of your post in the “Above The Fold” section. 

Some blogs feature a large image that covers the entire “Above the fold” section. You’d have to scroll past that to start reading the content. 

That’s an extra unnecessary step that can be avoided if possible.

In this example the post is not visible:

Invisible Post
Invisible Post

In this example, a few lines are in the “Above The Fold”:

Visible Post
Visible Post

Of course, this is just a recommendation. If you find you have to use large images you can do so.

Optin Box

You should try to include an optin box in the “Above The Fold” section as well. 

Building an email list is critical. So you want to offer them a good freebie to allow them to optin immediately.

Here are two examples:

Optin Form
Optin Form

In the first example, the optin form is underneath the headline. In the second example, the optin form is on the sidebar.

#6 Lead Capture Mechanism

You need a way to capture your visitor’s email address.

There are different kinds of popups and optin forms. 

One of your optin forms should be in the “Above The Fold” section…

At first, a single optin form is enough. You don’t want to include too many forms and popups that annoy your visitors.

Over time, as you get more visitors you may consider testing some other kinds of popups.

Here are some of the more common options. Use what works best for you.

Content Upgrade

This is placed somewhere within your blog posts, usually at the very top. 

It offers the reader a condensed version of the blog post in the form of a checklist, swipe file, mind map, infographic, worksheet, etc.

You can also offer a pdf, audio, or video version of the post.

A content upgrade uses a 2 step optin popup. Meaning once you click the link the popup loads.

Example:

Content Upgrade
Content Upgrade

Lead Magnet

Within a blog post, you can also offer a lead magnet that’s relevant to the post.

For example, if you write an article called: “Why Does My Pup Do This: The Science Behind Why Dogs Eat Grass!” 

You can offer your free “Dog Obedience” special report.

For example, Aweber is offering free email templates within one of their articles:

Optin Within Content
Lead Magnet

Floating Bar

This is a horizontal bar that you place in the header or footer of your page. This can stay visible as the visitor scrolls up and down the page.

Example:

Floating Bar

Slide-in Scroll Box

This is a small popup that slides from the right/left side of the screen. It loads after you scroll down a certain portion of the page.

Slide In Form
Slide-In Scroll Box

Lightbox Popup

This is similar to the previous popup but it loads in the center of the screen.

The popup can be set to load after a visitor scrolls a portion of the page, after a specific time, or if they’re about the leave the blog (exit-intent).

Example:

Lightbox Popup
Lightbox Popup

Inline Form

This is the normal optin box that is typically found in the sidebar.

You can put this at the bottom of your post as well. This is known as the “Call To Action” box. Ask your visitor to optin after they read your post.

Example:

Inline Form
Inline Form

The best tools to build these popups and forms can be found with your page building plugin.

Check out Elementor’s popup tool (currently it does not integrate with Aweber).

Thrive Architect has a popup tool as well but it’s very basic. You can only build few types of popups. And you have no targeting options (such as showing a lightbox on multiple pages).

Thrive Leads (by the same company) has all the features you should ever need. This is the one I use.

Layered Popups – This is not very easy to use. For example, to insert images, bullet points and so on I had to calculate widths and heights to align them properly. But it’s cheap.

It’s good to create very simple optin boxes.

#7 Choose A Color

Colors have meaning. You should pick a color that’s relevant to your niche.

For example, I chose “green” because it is associated with money. It’s also associated with other things e.g. nature. So it’s also good if you’re in the “gardening” niche.

Red is associated with power and energy. Yellow with kids and fun.

This color should be used throughout your website for branding purposes.

Your prospects start to associate that color with you. This builds trust. 

The more often you use it the quicker your visitors associate that color with you and your business.

Try to use your main color in as many things as you can e.g. logo, background colors, font color, etc.

You can use a variation of your chosen color, say a lighter version for different areas of your website.

No Blog Is Perfect

It’s unlikely that you design the perfect blog right off the bat. 

You need to find out what works best for you. And you may have to try different things to figure that out.

You also have to understand what your audience prefers.

Once again that doesn’t happen overnight. As you publish content on your blog and grow an audience you’ll start to intuitively understand what they want.

For example, you might find it easier to create checklists, swipe files, etc., as a “content upgrade” instead of converting the blog post in a pdf version. 

You may also realize it works better for your audience as well.

You can tweak, modify, and improve your website structure or layout to better suit their needs.

As you get more blog visitors you don’t want to confuse them by re-designing your blog completely every few months. You only want to improve it.

And of course, you can’t wait until you have a perfect blog before you start publishing content.

3 Features To Implement
From The Get-Go

Try to implement these features in your template as quickly as possible. Because it will be more time-consuming once your blog has a lot of pages.

#1: Synchronized Updates

Almost all page building plugins provide this feature.

Here’s how this works:

You design a thing e.g. your sidebar. Once you have a lot of pages you can update your sidebar in one place and the changes affect all pages.

This feature is useful where you have sections that appear on many pages e.g. header, footer, and sidebars.

Say you have 50 blog posts. If you want to tweak the header or sidebar you don’t want to edit all posts one by one.

Elementor calls this feature “Global Widgets”. Thrive Architect calls it “Symbols”.

Here’s how to use Elementor’s global widget:

The feature works well for short sections such as bios, call to action, tables, navigation menus, etc.

For larger sections say your entire sidebar, header, or footer you can achieve the same result with “Shortcodes”.

To do that In Elementor first you create the section e.g. the sidebar from the Templates menu:

Elementor - Create Template

Customize it however you like and save it as a Template.

Each template has a shortcode which is something like this:

Elementor Shortcode
Elementor Shortcode

Now just place that code in the sidebar section of your template. And the sidebar you made will appear there.

Other page building plugins have their own instructions to set this up properly.

#2: Responsive Website​

mobile siteYou should also try to make your templates tablet and mobile-friendly from the beginning.

This means your blog will look well on tablets and mobile devices.

Almost all page building plugins make this quite easy to do.

Here’s how it’s done with Elementor:

Here’s how it’s done with Thrive Architect:

Screenfly is a free tool that shows you how your website looks on different devices.

If your template design is simple it will be easier to build the tablet and mobile version of your website.

#3: Fonts

This doesn’t have to be done from the beginning because most page building plugins make it easy to change font families, styles, and colors anytime across all pages. 

For example, Elementor has a “Theme Style” feature. With it, you can adjust those options and changes affect all pages.

But it’s still a good idea to specify these options from the start.

Here are some general guidelines:

Font Sizes

Every page needs to have one H1 header. This is the title of the page. It should have the largest font size e.g. 36px.

H2 headings can be used on any page. These should have a slightly smaller font size e.g. 23px. These are like the chapters in a book. A page can have as many H2 headings as you want.

They’re useful to split a large piece of content e.g. an article into different sections.

H3 headings are placed within an H2 heading. These are like subchapters. And once again you can have as many as you want. These should have a slightly smaller font size e.g. 19px.

You can also use H4 headings which are nested under H3 heading. These are usually used less frequently.

H2, H3, and H4 headings are very useful to format long blog posts so they’re easier to read.

Heading Structure
Heading Structure

If you’re going to optimize your blog posts with SEO techniques it’s important to use these headings. Google loves well-structured blog posts that are easy to read.

The text of your blog post should have the smallest font size e.g. 17px.

Headings are usually bold and center-aligned.

You can use different font sizes than the ones I suggest. But keep the same ratio between them. Therefore the H1 should have the biggest font size, then the H2, and so on.

Font Family

You can use Google Fonts to find font families that you like for your blog. 

You should pick one font family that will be used for all your headings (H1, H2, H3…). And a different font family for your body text.

Google fonts allow you to pair fonts. This means if you pick e.g. “Amethyst” for headings it suggests fonts that match with it for your body text.

Google Font Pairing
Google Font Pairing

The important thing to remember is to pick a font that is easy to read.

Font Color

Your body text should always be black. But headings can and preferable should have a different color.

You should use the same color that you’ve chosen for your overall blog template. So for example, my blog’s main color is green, so all my headings use the same color.

Here’s a quick recap:

Fonts Mind Map
Font Selection - Mind Map

11 Tricks To Design A Blog

Now let’s see some other tricks. These can be applied anytime you want, not necessarily while you create the templates.

#1: Your Audience

Your audience audience selectionconsists of those people who want and need your content, products, and/or services to solve their problems.

You have to research and find all you can about your audience – so that you can create better content for them.

Try to figure out:

Are they married or single?

What do they do for a living?

What is their yearly salary?

What’s their age?

Where are they from?

Are they mostly male or female?

What are their problems/issues/needs and wants?

And more…

Forums are a good way to get to know what they’re talking about (their needs, problems, questions, etc). You can search Google for the keyword “forum”

The more you know about what they want or need the easier it will be to create content.

This video shows you how to use the “Facebook Audience Insights Tool” and Review Sites (Amazon, Yelp, etc) to learn more about your audience.

Surveys can be used to learn about your audience by asking them questions.

You can use Google Forms to create surveys. 

You can put a link to your survey in your header, footer or sidebars. 

You can put it within or at the bottom of your blog posts e.g. with a simple box like this:

Example - Take A Survey
Example - Take A Survey

You can send it via email to your list or put on social media platforms.

Keep the survey as short as possible, not more than 3 questions so they don’t get intimidated and bored.

Ask them what they need to learn more about, what solutions or advice they require, etc.

For example:

1) What are the toughest challenges you’re facing right now about _______

2) Is there anything, in particular, you’d like to learn more about?

3) Which topics would you like to learn more about? (Give them several options to choose from)

If you’re not getting enough answers, try to experiment with different questions to find out what works best for you.

Or you can promise them a freebie if they complete the survey. This could be a simple but useful Information product e.g. checklist, cheatsheet, video, etc.

Give More Valuable Content

Your content is the main reason your audience visits your blog. They want to learn to solve their problems, issues, challenges, and so forth.

So it’s important to create high-quality content that they’ll find useful!

Quality content shows your audience you’re an “expert” in your niche.

People like to learn from “experts” that they trust. 

If you’re perceived this way you’ll be able to convert more visitors into leadsIt will also be easier to sell the products and/or services you recommend on your blog or to your email list.

Articles or videos (with transcripts) are the most common and best formats for your content.  Because you can optimize them with SEO techniques so they rank in Google and get “free” traffic.

You can refer to my content creation course to discover the ins and outs of creating content.

There’s a complete guide that shows you how to write articles as well.

Sell Products You Can't Make Yourself

Another way to help your audience is to give them all the products and services that can help them.

They may need products that you don’t have (or want to make). 

For example, if you’re in the golf niche, no matter how good you are at teaching golf maybe you don’t want to design and sell your golf clubs.

That does not mean you should not sell them.

You can try to become an affiliate with companies that sell those products. 

It is important to provide the most value and help your prospects succeed even if that means selling someone else’s product as an affiliate.

If there’s a good product but they don’t have an affiliate program you should still recommend it even though you won’t get paid commissions. 

You’ll still benefit because you’ll be seen as a trusted advisor.

You’ll build a positive relationship with them and you’ll earn money from other products and/or services that you promote.

Just make sure you review and recommend only good products.

Motivate Them

Your audience needs also some motivation to help them succeed. This is more important in some niches than others.

For example, in the “language learning” niche they need more motivation than in a hobby niche like “model making”.

Model making is fun. They don’t need the motivation to do something they love! But it is more difficult and takes a long time to learn a language.

Example:

Motivation Post
Motivation

One way to motivate them is to show them you understand their problems and situation. 

If you’ve been through the same issues they’re facing you can share your experiences. Let them know you’ve gone through the same difficult time.

This can be done with a simple paragraph at the end of a blog post.

You can use motivation quotes within your content, in your emails, etc. 

You can use case studies. Case studies are very detailed stories of how someone became successful in some areas of their life e.g. how he/she learned a language.

You can find and recommend motivation gurus.

You can create content specifically about motivation. For example, “37 Awesome Inspirational Quotes For Language Learners”.

You can also make a list of their typical excuses. And then try to help them overcome these barriers in your content/emails.

Example:

“It is really hard to learn a language”.

“I don’t have enough time”.

“I may be too old for this”.

“I’m too shy to speak”.

Once again that can be done with a simple paragraph every now and then, or you may want to create an entire blog post to tackle each excuse.

Motivational Words
Motivational Words

Find out what works best for you.

#2: Increase Trust

It’s important that people trust you. It makes selling much easier. Giving helpful and valuable content is the best way to increase trust.

But there are some other techniques you can apply.

Credentials

These include any awards, certificates, trophies, badges, competitions you’ve won, and any other accomplishments as proof of your expertise on a particular subject.

You can take screenshots, pictures, or videos of this kind of proof. You can put it on your homepage, header, footer, sidebar, or on an “About” page.

Award

If you don’t have anything yet you can search for websites in your niche that allow you to enter the chance to win an award. 

Search Google for your niche keyword and the word awards, competition, or tournament e.g. drawing award.

For example, you can submit your work for a possible award at the “Derwent Art Prize”. 

Consider entering real tournaments or competitions if you’re in a hobby niche like golf, table tennis, etc.

Logos

If you have worked with some well-known companies or you publish content on other popular sites you can feature those companies.

Example:

Company Logos
Company Logos

Bio

If you have nothing of that sort to show off at least write a simple bio.

In a bio, you can tell people who you are and why they should listen to you.

The facts you should mention depend on your particular niche.

For example, in the “Affiliate Marketing” niche your audience will be impressed by how much money you made and how long you’ve been an affiliate.

But in general, it’s all about your experience. You can mention who you’ve worked with and/or for how long. Or how many people you’ve already helped.

That part is used to showcase your expertise.

The bio should ideally also show them how you plan to help them. What sort of benefit can they expect from you? A kind of mission statement.

Here are some examples:

Bio - Experience
Bio
Bio - Experience
Bio - Click image to expand
Bio - Experience
Bio - Click image to expand
Bio Mission Statement
Bio - Click image to expand

Of course, you don’t need as much experience as some of those examples to write a bio!

And if you have any awards, certificates, etc., you can also mention them in the bio. 

Your bio doesn’t have to be perfect. You can tweak, modify, and improve it over time.

You can give it a professional touch by using your signature.

Examples:

Signature Author
Bio Signature
Example #1
Author Signature
Bio Signature Example #2

To do that write your signature on a piece of paper, scan, and save it in a common file format: .gif, .jpg, or .png.

You can also include a much longer biography/story in an “About” page.

Social Proof

If you have a lot of email subscribers or a big audience on your social media channels those are also proof of your expertise.

Social Proof

Photo With Popular "Expert"

If you’re seen with the “experts” of your niche especially if they’re popular, you’ll be perceived as a friend of an “expert”.

That will also boost your credibility.

This can be a simple photo or an audio/video interview.

Here’s an example of a Fitness Trainer with Brian Tracy a popular personal development guru.

Photo With Expert
Photo With "Expert"

You can find offline events, groups, associations, or memberships in your niche where you can meet influential people. Ask to take a photo with them and put it on your blog e.g. in the bio or the “About” page.

Conferences, where leaders in your niche give presentations are also other places to meet them face to face. For example, the IAABC Conference may be a good one if you’re in the dog/cat niche.

This is not the easiest option to increase trust but it’s possible.

Photos and especially videos of just yourself are additional ways to quickly build a friendly rapport with them. Use them whenever you can.

Show Your Physical Address

If you provide your physical address you show them you’re a real person, not someone hiding behind a website.

This can be added in your footer and the “Contact” page.

In addition, you can embed google maps e.g. on your “Contact” page. It will display your actual street location.

Facebook Customer Chat

On your “Contact” page (or other pages you deem appropriate) you can also include the Facebook Customer Chat box.

Your visitors will be able to send you chat messages. If you’re logged into Facebook you’ll be able to chat with them live.

If not, you can reply to chats later. They’re saved in your Facebook page Inbox.

You can also create custom auto-replies.

To install this Go to your Facebook Page Settings > Messaging

In the ‘Add Messenger to your website’ section, click the ‘Get Started’ Button.

Facebook Messenger Chat
Setup Facebook Chat

Use SSL (https://)

Another easy way to increase trust is to use SSL (https) for your website URL.

Your business will look more professional. 

Using SSL is becoming a norm. In any website without SSL looks a bit unprofessional and perhaps even suspicious.

Website Using SSL
SSL

Many web hosting companies e.g. Siteground give you free SSL for all your websites.

Use Testimonials

What people say about you will influence your audience more than what you say about yourself.

That’s why testimonials are powerful.

Some of the good places to use them are your sidebar, footer, homepage, contact and about pages.

Experiment to find what works best for you.

I used to put them in the footer of every page of my blog. But since there’s a bio, share icons, and a comment section I realized there’s too much stuff.

So now, I only use them in the footer of the homepage.

Here are some ways to get testimonials:

Positive Comments

As get you more traffic to your blog you’ll receive positive comments via email, on your blog, and perhaps on your social media channels.

As long as the comment is more than a sentence long ask the person for permission to include it in your blog.

Tell them it will be very helpful for you.

Also, ask them to provide a photo. Most people will oblige because they feel proud to be featured on a blog.

If you have a lot of testimonials without a photo they can look a bit fake and shady. It can damage your reputation.

Forums

If you have a product search Google for “keyword forums”, for example, dog forums.

Join them, and either find an appropriate section to promote your product or contact members via private message.

Either way, tell them you have a new product that you’ll give them for free in exchange for a positive review/testimonial if they like it!

Contact Your Audience

Contact an existing source of prospects if you have, e.g. an email list, Facebook page fans, Twitter followers.

And tell them for a limited time, you’ll give them your new product for free in exchange for a testimonial if they like it.

Keep the message simple and straightforward.

Don’t give them one of your older products because some people may have already purchased it. And they might feel disadvantaged that you’re giving it away for free.

Be Helpful

If someone contacts you with questions to learn something or about a specific product, be very helpful.

Answer their questions to the best of your ability. You never know where it might lead. If you notice an opportunity try to get a testimonial.

For example, if they say some kind words ask for permission to use them on your blog.

I got testimonials this way. Once, I made a quick video to explain something to someone and they wanted to pay me $50.

Google Alerts

You can search Google for anyone talking about you or your products/services.

Perhaps a blogger posted a positive review of your product. Contact them and ask if you can use their review as a “testimonial”.

You can set up a Google Alert to be notified when someone mentions you or your products.

Product Testimonials

If you sell your products and/or services and you’ve got testimonials you can certainly include those on your blog as well.

#3: Headlines

Headlines are the H1 Headings or the title of a page/blog post.

A good attention-grabbing headline is important for your blog posts. You only have a few seconds to capture your visitors’ interest. A big, bold headline is used for that purpose.

You can use a headline swipe file to help you write better headlines. In my other free guide about copywriting, I have a chapter entirely about headlines and a headline checklist.

For other pages such as the “Contact” page, you should use a descriptive headline. So your visitors instantly understand what the page is all about.

This will keep them happy. Remember, a confused visitor can easily decide to leave your website.

#4: Copywriting

Everybody can learn how to write great copy. There are many tools and resources to help you, such as templates or swipe files – these make it even easier to write good copy!

Your copywriting skill can be used to write blog post titles, subheadlines, the bio, stories, call to actions (such as at the bottom of a blog post), the text for popups or optin forms, ads, the content of your blog post itself and more…

It can be used pretty much any time you’re communicating with your audience. 

It helps you convey information and knowledge with words in a more interesting and attractive way.

The result is your audience is much more likely to take the actions you want them to. Such as read your content, click on your ads, subscribe to your list, and so on…

It’s a valuable skill. I have a separate free guide on how to write great copy.

#5: Logo

A logo adds a professional touch to your business and it’s a form of branding.

Branding (whether it’s a logo, color, etc.) is a unique thing that you keep using over and over again. 

It has a positive impact on your audience because it sets you apart from your competitors. You have a unique way to be identified. It helps them remember your name and your business.

A logo can be included in the header, footer, sidebar, or the blog favicon.

Find out what works best for you. Experiment, try things, and see how they look. If you want you can ask people for feedback.

For example, I tried my logo in the header but it didn’t look quite right perhaps because it has an elongated shape.

You can find ideas for your logo from any website within or outside of your niche. You can do a Google Image Search for “company logos” to find a lot of logos.

I got the idea for my logo from a business coach, Dan Pena. Mine is very similar.

dan pena logo
Dan Pena Logo
Jack Sarlo logo
Jack Sarlo Logo

You can use freelancing websites to find designers or perhaps even Fiverr. Of course, if you have the design skills you can design one yourself.

Try to use your website template main color in the logo, that’s why mine is green.

#6: Entertaining

The overall atmosphere of your blog should not be too serious. It’s good to have some entertaining elements.

This can calm people and help them learn from your content much better. It also motivates them to succeed.

An extremely successful entrepreneur once said:

Dan LokYour audience wants to be entertained and motivated just as much as they need good content.

Dan Lok

Caricatures

Once way to have this entertaining atmosphere is with a caricature.

I suggest you don’t make a caricature that’s extremely funny (e.g. with an extra-large chin or super large eyes).

But you can be a bit creative. For example, create a caricature with arms wide open displaying superman’s outfit underneath your shirt.

Do what you like and think is appropriate for your business.

Caricature

Fiverr is a good place to hire someone to make a caricature. First, look at their portfolio to make sure they can design something you like.

You can also use Caricatures By James if you want to make sure it’s really professional, but it will not be cheap.

You can also take an actual photo with some kind of funny outfit. This photo is of marketing strategist, Bill Glazer.

Bill Glazer
Bill Glazer

Being entertaining doesn’t mean you have to tell funny jokes or use a tone of crazy Gifs all the time.

The point is don’t over do it. You also want to display some authority in order to be taken seriously.

A good place for a caricature is the sidebar, bio or about page.

Mascot

Mascots can also be used for entertaining.

It’s like a logo so I suggest you use either one or the other. Otherwise, you’ll have too much going on which can be confusing.

People remember mascots. They make your website a bit more unique and original.

Here are a few examples:

Keithcakes.com.au use this mascot:

Mascot #1

Hostgator.com use this mascot:

Mascot #2

You can search for “mascot design” on Pinterest to find a lot of good mascot examples. Mascots usually look like animals or humans.

You can place your mascot anywhere you can think of not just on your blog – for example in the email signature, in ebooks, etc.

Ideally, you don’t want to modify or change your mascot over time (if it’s a frog you can make it look better but keep it a frog) because your audience will get used to it.

Once again you can use freelance websites or Fiverr to find a designer.

#7: Favicons

Favicons are those small (16 by 16 or 32 by 32 pixels) images you see in your browser tabs and bookmarks next to the website title. 

Example:

Favicon - Tab
Favicon - Tab
Favicon - Bookmarks
Favicon - Bookmarks

 It’s like a symbol that identifies your website. So if you have a logo or mascot use that as the favicon image.

It makes your website stand out when they have a lot of browser tabs. And in their bookmarks.

You can use favicon generators to make one.

#8: Free Space

There’s plenty of free space on your blog that can be used better. 

For example, these pages usually have little content:

  • The page someone views if they unsubscribe from your list.
  • The page someone views after contacting you.
  • The page someone views after submitting any form.
  • The page someone views after taking a survey.
  • Thank You pages – the page someone views after they subscribe to your list!
  • 404 Error pages – this is the page someone views if they go to a page on your blog that does not exist.
  • Your blog footer – this is the bottom part of your blog where you’ll usually have a bunch of links pointing to terms of service, privacy policy, etc.

On these pages, you can place a testimonial, promote a product, feature your latest or one of your best blog posts, an optin box, and so on.

But you’ve also got free space at the end of every blog post. This is the most important. You should always tell your readers what to do next at the end.

Here are some options:

  • Ask them to leave a comment.
  • Put an optin box.
  • Place a list of related/featured articles.

    Example:
Related Blog Posts
Related Blog Posts
  • Put an ad to promote a relevant free or paid product (yours or affiliate).

    Examples:
Blog Ad
Ad Example #1
Blog Ad Example #2
Ad Example #2

Whichever optin you use comes down to personal preference. 

Find what works best for you and your audience. You may have to try different things before you find the most suitable option.

#9: Search Box

A simple search box can be very useful for content websites like blogs. This is typically added in the header, footer, or sidebar.

In most page building plugins you can fully customize the way the search results page appears. Here’s how to do that with Elementor:

#10: Page Load Speed

Most website pages load in about 3 – 6 seconds or more.

Nobody likes to wait for a page to load. Google likes fast loading pages so speed matters if you’re doing SEO as well.

Tom Dupuis has every guide you need to improve your page load speed

His pages load in about 0.7s. 

The 3 most important tweaks you can do are:

1. Use a better hosting provider e.g. SiteGround.

2. Use a cache plugin e.g. W3 Total Cache 

3. Use a content delivery network (CDN) e.g. Cloudflare

You can watch his free video:

You don’t want to install unnecessary plugins. Too many, especially those that have low ratings can slow your page loading speed.

#11: Pen Name

If your name is hard to remember or pronounce you can consider changing it.

My real name is Karl Sultana.

“Sultana” isn’t very common. Long story short I tried to find a name and surname that sound better.

Many business owners do this and you can too.

As a general guideline pick something easy to pronounce and remember. And if possible something that’s somehow related to your niche. 

That will make it easier for people to remember you.

For example:

  • If you’re in the Internet Marketing niche you can use last names like Cash, Banks, Penny, Profit, Moneymaker, and even Dollar. These are all real last names.
  • If your business is in the cat niche you can pick one that has the word ‘cat’, e.g. Cate or names pronounced like that, e.g. Katrina or Katy. You can also use last names like Kitten or Paw which are all real last names.
  • Dating guru Eben Pagan used David DeAngelo, the last name can be associated with angels and love.
  • Criss Angel is a magician popular for his "levitation" trick. This could be why he chose Angel - his real last name is Sarantakos. He also uses a short, easier to remember version of his first name which is Christopher.
  • Dynamo is another magician. His real name is Stephen.

Using Kitten as the last name in a cat niche may be overkill. Just do what feels most comfortable for you, a name you like.

You can use Google to find lists of first and last names and do your research to find a new one.

Conclusion

You can design a blog using any or all of these techniques. These are not rules, they’re guidelines. You should always try to find what works best for you and your audience.

Remember, the actual content you put on your blog is significantly more important than the design.

And you don’t have to design a perfect blog right off the bat. You can always tweak, change, and modify things to improve it.

You can drop your questions or comments in the box below. 

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About The Author

More than 7 years ago Jack made his first few sales online as an affiliate marketer. His site ranked on Google for dozens of keywords, so later on, he built courses and software to teach his SEO “secrets”.

He also won a Flip Camera in an affiliate contest.

Now he reveals all the insights he’s discovered throughout the years about Internet marketing, in his free guides and products!

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