Don’t take this literally but you need to give your blog a little exercise once in a while to keep it looking fresh and healthy just like me! If you keep your blog the way it is and let it be that way forever, your visitors may get a little bored eventually. The only thing that could keep them coming back is great content. Look at Problogger for example, he recently went through a complete makeover and his blog is still highly successful. Considering that his RSS counter is over 27,000 subscribers, it was a no-brainer that a design change was the last thing turning his visitors away. Forgetting the JohnChows and Probloggers of today, lets look at most start up blogs. You have to know that working on updating the look and feel of your blog will help with keeping your blog alive in the long run. Here are some workouts you can do for your blog:
1) Design Changes – if you notice, my blog went through quite a few design changes before I settled on this one. You have to realize that templates are a great start but a certain degree of customization is needed to personalize the design to meet your needs and to reflect your style. If your design remains the same as the day you downloaded it, then your readers and visitors won’t have anything to remember it by. For example, when you think of JohnCow.com you instantly think grazing cows and thats because of the image at the top. If they kept the “Misty Theme” header you might haven’t taken the site as seriously. You need to keep up with the times by maintaining a certain image for your blog. If you talk about money and your website has a “Halo” template installed then you just aren’t appealing to your target audience. Work out the design kinks and ask someone for help if you have to, but personalize your template to suit your needs.
2) Plug-in Extravaganza – nowadays, its almost as if you wish for a certain WordPress feature and the next time you look, theres a plug-in that meets that need. You have to keep your plug-ins updated because sometimes there may be new feature additions that you might have hoped for. Making sure everything is updated means that you won’t have security threats to your blog. Also, adding plug-ins can help make your life easier. For example, Better Comments Manager, is a plug-in I started using recently and it allows me to leave threaded replies to my commentators without having to fill in any information and those replies can be made with a simple click of the mouse! Plug-ins can even make it easier for your visitors and thats why if you feel a plug-in can help improve blog performance and productivity, then do not shy away from giving it a try!
3) Graphical Use – graphics can slow down your page, but if you use simple graphics then they can be as small as 2kb and as large as 10kb and still add a nice visual appeal to your blog. You should rotate the graphics on your page to avoid appearing stagnant. If you see the graphic for promoting my contest, its only 6kb and it helps promote my contest and adds color to the page. You don’t have to be a graphics expert to create nice graphics. Look at Prija from CashForComments.com, his graphics are highly information and in some instances quite hilarious! You need to brighten up your blog with images that will be entertaining and also help break the text apart. This way, your readers won’t get bored too easily.
So there you go, those were a few workouts to help you while you are on your way to blogging success and even though there are many more to come. These tips can help you regardless of whether or not you are a new blogger. So in the end, design, plugins and graphics are what need to be looked at to help your blog always look its best. Hope you enjoyed the post and I wonder, how many of you customize your themes to personalize it?