You know the old saying, “Work smarter, not harder?” Well, it applies in blogging, too. Only maybe not in quite the way you think. If you want to engage your visitors, keep them on your blog and encourage them to share, you have work smarter so they don’t have to work harder. Here are three elements of your blog design you should simplify for your visitors.
I’ll admit, I’m attracted to fancy premium themes. But I also know two things: They have their place, and you really can have too much of a good thing. If your theme is colorful and busy and loaded with lots of interesting images and elements then it detracts from your content, and that’s not a good thing. You don’t want you visitors to be so entranced by your theme that they never get around to reading your content.
Your theme should be lean and clean and compliment your blog posts. Be sure it has good formatting for H1 and H2 tags, and nice font colors. Make sure you visitors can easily find and read your blog posts instead of getting lost in your theme.
Spammers have made it tough for bloggers. These days you have to be a contortionist if you want to leave a blog comment. You have to click here to sign in with Facebook or Twitter, then you have to click here or fill in this captcha and maybe, if you’re lucky, your comment goes through and then you have to wait for approval and… whew! Is it really worth all that trouble?
I’ll share another secret with you… I’ve skipped leaving a comment more times than I care to count simply because you have to jump through too many hoops.
I know you need to be concerned about spammers but make it as easy as possible for your visitors to leave a comment and moderate your comments as often as possible. Approve comments quickly so your visitors can see your blog is active, and let’s face it – your readers enjoy seeing their comments on your blog. That’s one of the reasons they share.
Your Social Sharing Buttons
I’ve heard a lot of bloggers comment that it’s just not worth the time and trouble to deal with the social networks. They spend all that time socializing and posting their links and they don’t get any traffic. But then I visit those blogs and you have to hunt for their social sharing buttons, and sometimes they don’t even work.
Your visitors will rarely copy and paste your link into Twitter or Facebook or whatever network they belong to. Most don’t even know how to do it. But if you have easy-to-see social sharing buttons – that WORK – they’ll be more than happy to share your content.
Instead of using teeny, tiny little buttons that blend into the page, use larger buttons in high-contrast colors. Which would you rather have – a pretty theme with no traffic, or a clean, bold theme with buttons that stand out and attract those shares and likes you need to bring more new visitors to your blog?