In this article I will discuss the features that one (a blogger) must have or include in his/her blog to make a fully functional blog that would benefit one’s self and its readers. But before that, let me tell you something. Do you know that your blog design can affect much on driving traffic to your blog and even boosting up your blog readership? Well certainly it does. As we all know, actors, models and actresses are selling out because of their looks right? because of their figure. Its just the same with your blog.
Making your blog presentable is a big promotional factor. You need to make a first impression to your audience. There’s a popular saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” but come on, we all know that cover plays an important role for a book to get noticed. Its marketing and if you’re a blogger.
You need to consider that one. Grabbing the attention of your audience is a top priority before anything else as basically when you have done that, everything else follows. When someone browse the internet and happen to land on your page or blog. The first thing that they will notice is your blogs design. If you have good looking blog, the more likely that your audience are going to stay a bit longer as they like what they’re seeing. Nobody wants to stay in an ugly blog. Its not being mean but its being realistic or practical. People wants something that is beautiful in the eye. That’s human nature. Also, having a good looking blog can build credibility as basically, having a good looking blog means effort and dedication. Which tells your audience that you are serious on what you’re doing which is blogging. On the other hand. A good blog design can be simple yet rich in features. Its not just about being intricate nor fancy. But also, it must be feature Enrich.
What is a good blog design? and what does it compose?
In my own opinion which I hope you guys would agree. A good blog design isn’t just about the layout or theme but its also about the features it contain. These features are “must have” as it will make your blog design complete and fully functional. This features makes your blog useful and gives convenience to your audience as each feature plays an important role and have a unique purpose. Without further ado. Here are the must have features that makes up a good blog design that you should include on your blog to make it as one.
1. RSS Subscription option (in a reader)
Having an RSS subscription option in your blog is a must because it enables you to syndicate your blog content, making it more convenient for you and for your readers. When you have an RSS subscription option (in a reader), you are able to send a fully summarized text, or content in a form of RSS feed to your readers or to those who subscribed on your blog.
This feature gives total convenience to your readers specially those who are so into the internet as they can easily stay informed on the latest contents on your site and even on other sites to which they subscribed without having to visit each site individually because information are sync into one place which is the “RSS Reader or feed aggregator”. So this saves a lot of time and effort and for that, many people love to use it. Another good reason why people love this feature is that it ensures privacy because you don’t have to give your email address upon subscription.
The other benefits you can get from adding an RSS subscription option to your blog is that. You are able to get in touch with others or to be specific, with your readers as they get informed whenever you create or update an article right? For this, a high chance that you will get a returning visit from your readers as they might want to comment and express their thoughts, opinions, reactions on a particular article you create.
Note that every visit is a counted traffic so having an RSS subscription option in your blog is really good because it does a lot of good things both for you and for your readers. Also, If you are promoting a product through your article. These returning visitors/readers can become a potential sale. Whether you’re promoting a product or just simply writing an article. You always make your readers informed about it. Having a subscription option on your blog will also help build your credibility or popularity because every subscription will be added on your readers count. The more subscribers/readers you have.
The more that your credibility will become stronger and the more that your popularity will grow as basically, it determines how many people likes your blog and writing.
Tip: Having a subscription option on your blog needs a proper placement. You should place it on the most visible part of your blog where people can see it right away. This will help increase your blogs subscription.
2. RSS Subscription via Email (powered by Feedburner)This feature is similar to the first one. Only though, this feature allows you to send your syndicated contents or updates straight to the email inbox of your subscribers who subscribe via email. For others, they find this subscription option more convenient because they are able to read the latest information on your blog right from their emails which is the first thing they open upon setting on their computer.
Do you agree? Well, its hard to generalize but in my case, its the first thing that i do when i open my computer. Also, this feature allows you to build your list as basically you get the emails of your subscribers by managing your feedburner email list because of this, you are able to get in touch with your subscribers even more. But , also remember to manage your list properly if you don’t want to get unsubscribe or get banned from using this feature.
You should consider and respect the privacy of your subscribers. Having this feature on your blog is a must not only because of its benefits, but also because it gives your audience the total freedom to get updated with the latest information using the subscription option that they find most convenient for them.
3. Navigation Bar–
Having a navigation bar on your blog is a must because this feature will guide your audience to the most important pages of your blog very easily. This gives your audience a convenience on finding information on your blog, specially those information that are not shown on your home page or landing page. With the use of navigation bar, these information can still be access by your audience without having a hard time. Also, navigation bars are placed on the top part of your blog and therefore its very noticeable by the audience.
4. Featured Post–
Featuring something on your blog is one of the things that you should consider. Its like telling your audience to check or read something that you want them to, in a nice manner or without being demanding. Featured posts can be in a form of recommended reading, popular articles, affiliate products review. Having this on your blog is a must because it implies confidence. This feature will also benefit you a lot specially if there’s something that you really want to be noticed by your audience.
5. Recent Posts–
Adding a recent posts feature on your blog is a must because this feature shows or gives your audience the most recent or freshest articles on your blog. Yeah, the can dig the archives for current articles but allowing your audience to get a handful of the most recent and freshest articles on your blog without having to dig is being formal and that’s what they basically like. Giving your audience the ease and convenience should be included on your top priorities as a blogger. This “recent post” feature is much the same with “featured post” but the only difference is that, this feature shows the most recent and freshest thing on your blog only.
6. Top Commenters
Top commenters feature (plugin), which is available for wordpress bloggers and in some point, to other bloggers that uses a platform that allows plugin, is a feature that will show you and your audience the persons who comments most on your blog. Typically, on your sidebar. Adding this feature on your blog if possible is a must because this will help you track very easily the persons who are so active commenting on your blog by showing you their names and even the numbers of comments they have. Knowing those who are interested in you and likes your ideas is a must, and its made easy by Top commenters feature.Another good reason why you should have this feature on your blog is that, it will attract more commenters. Specially bloggers and other webmasters because they get free exposure on your blog whenever they make a comment as their names are going to be shown on your “Top Commenters list” which is located on your sidebar. They don’t just get plain backlinks but also they get a sort of text link ad for free.
7. Ad space
Having an ad space on your blog is a must because it gives the you chance to generate more income from your blog and from your affiliate promotions. If you have a quality blog with a good amount of traffic, then you can monetize it by selling an ad space. Typically, a 125 x 125 banner ad on your sidebar or even a text link ad. Many small businesses out there are looking for this kind of advertising because they find it so convenient and they can save lots of money. Which is why having this feature on your blog is one that you should consider specially if you have a quality blog with huge traffic.
Also, you can place your affiliate promotional banner materials on your ad space and therefore, it becomes more transparent on generating a potential income.
8. Favorite Related Blogs
Having this feature on your blog is one of the things that you should consider specially if you’re just starting out because this feature will help you build relationship with other bloggers. If you add a particular blog related that you like on your list of “favorite related blogs” the owner of that blog gets a one way link from you and he/she will definitely become happy with it.
If that person finds out about what you have done, the more likely that he/she will contact you to say thank you or more, that person might return the favor as well by adding your blog on his/her list of favorites and for that, you get a free backlink which is good for search engine rankings.Now you know the 8 features that you should include on your blog to make it fully functional. Again, a good blog design is not just about the theme or template but its also about the features it contain. I hope this helps. By the way, anyone who wants to guest post on my blog? Feel free to contact me:)
Thank you and more power.
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