December 30, 2011 By The Blog Designer Network
As the New Year approaches and we begin setting goals, our blogs and websites should be part of our plans! So here are some tips to better your blogs for 2012!
1. Try New Fonts
Since Google has released almost 400 fonts free for use on your blog or website, a simple switch to trendy new fonts can help liven up your site. We all know the tried and true staples that became increasingly popular in the last few years…Century Gothic, Arial, Trebuchet for paragraphs, and a funky handwriting font for headings. This year it’s all about the mix of simple serif fonts with modern sans-serif fonts. Tall and narrow is replacing short and fat. Serif fonts are no longer “outdated” and slab serif fonts are even better. Instead of illegible handwriting fonts, try a clean and upright scripted or calligraphic font. Read our post on how to implement these fonts, and choose what’s best for your blog!
Lately design preferences are leaning towards crisp, clean, compact designs with lots of great color combinations and subtle patterns. Instead of huge prints and scrapbook-style designs, or large headers with cluttered graphics – try to liven up your site by taking away some items instead of adding them. Make your header smaller and remove unnecessary graphics. Make your background a small repeatable pattern in order to both save on load time, and focus attention to your content.
3. Make a Schedule
Decide how many posts you can reasonably write in a week, and stick to it! If you’re in a writing groove one week, write more posts than usual and schedule them for next week. Consistency is key in retaining and gaining new blog readers!
Use the WP Editorial Calendar Plugin to Easily Schedule Posts
4. Make it Accessible
Almost every page on your site should be easily accessible from the home page. Rather than having users click through to one page, then another…then another – consolidate your pages and posts, and outline your menu bar, sidebars, and footer to give visitors gateways to all your information.
5. Start Something New
If making improvements and changing up your blog isn’t quite satisfying your need for change, start up a NEW blog! A good practice in any industry is making sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin, or creating too much work to handle. However, if your interests have changed or your previous blog or website’s content is starting to be lackluster or even going in a different direction – you (and your start-up) could benefit from a whole new concept.
6. Hire it Out
We would ALL love to hire people to do the things we just hate to do! (Dishes, washing the car, taxes, website coding…) Even though we attempt to do it all ourselves in an effort to save money, hiring people to do some things FOR you can actually save you money and time. This doesn’t just apply to hiring someone to help you with your blog, but perhaps you can pay a babysitter/maid service to clean your house for 2 hours per week in order to work on your blog yourself and have some “alone” time. Maybe the entire idea of creating an online business was meant to give you more time with family. In that case, hire a blog or website designer to do it more quickly and efficiently than you’re able to. The key to hiring someone is to choose a person that is good at what they do, so you can be good at what YOU do.
If you are a blog or website designer, check out our list of services offered for designers.
If you are a blogger, check out our list of blog designers.
7. Learn It
In this case “it” refers to whatever you truly wish to learn. Whether it is how to improve your writing, or how to design your own blog – pick one thing to research and learn until you’re comfortable and confident. Invest your time, and money if necessary. No, not until you’re perfect. Not until you’re the best. Just until you know it well enough to be confident in your skills. With persistence, it will happen in a shorter time than you think.
We offer a wide range of classes you can take from your computer in a live setting that allows you to listen and view as the instructor teaches. You can see a full calendar of classes, or view the catalog!
8. Don’t Wait
Many of us like to wait. Wait until we are ready, wait until the New Year, wait for spring, wait until next month, wait until it’s just right, wait until Monday… Being afraid to do something, launch something, change something, or learn something doesn’t need to wait. Force yourself to start NOW and not only will time be on your side, but the imminence of being in the middle of your project will force you to push yourself to complete the task. Better your blog, better your website, and better yourself….and start now!