Request for your FREE: JO-ANNE VANDERMEULEN: SELF-PROMOTION- 9 ESSENTIAL DESIGN TIPS FOR YOUR SITE Why pay for a professional designer when *** You can do this yourself. ***
SELF-PROMOTION: NINE ESSENTIAL DESIGN TIPS FOR YOUR SITE With: JO-ANNE VANDERMEULEN – PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT NETWORK FOR WRITERS AND ONE OF THE INDUSTRY’S TOP PROMOTERS
1.) Title Your Niche. Your audience must know what the site is about in seconds. Remember, the secret is to be quick and user friendly. >Speed and Easy<
Example: Title: JO-ANNE VANDERMEULEN’S BLOG Niche: PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT NETWORK FOR WRITERS Brand: “Conquer All Obstacles”
Caution: Stay away from the paragraphs of explanation or introductions. Do not annoy the audience or have them ‘work’ for the content they are about to receive. You may have a lot of credentials but only promote on topic. Example: I have a B.Ed. Degree, but listing that right now won’t promote my site. Rather, list information relevant to the promotional item. Hook the audience with the unique content immediately.
2.) Stay away from paragraph and long sentences. Make the content scannable so your audience can filter your information quickly.
Example: Use bullet points, headers, subheaders, lists. Anything that will help the audience filter what they are looking for.
Caution: Avoid long pages. Absolutely no horizontal scrolling. And be consistent in your format but scramble the presentation a tad. Example: Don’t have lists in every blog.
3.) Again, use simple large fonts that are readable.
Example: Times New Roman – 12 font size.
Caution: Cute doesn’t cut it. Do not use fancy fonts. Avoid underlining text and using different colors.
4.) Clean, crisp sites are attractive and allows for the audience to focus on the content.
Example: White backgrounds with black print. Think of calming colors for around your border.
Caution: Do not use harsh vibrant colors. You’ll want the audience to stay as long as possible.
5.) Keep the widgets to a minimum and avoid badges.
Example: List the maximum of five categories and the past ten post titles. Think of short and sweet. Assume your audience won’t scroll down.
Caution: More doesn’t necessarily mean better.
6.) Show content first. Assume the audience won’t search for your information.
Example: My first page is my blog content. I have visual tabs listing ‘All About Me’, and “Contact” page. If you want to generate discussion and audience participation, then make each comment visible right under each post. This is where you will receive valuable feedback.
Caution: If your audience doesn’t feel like they are contributing, they are likely to leave and may never return. Don’t come across as controlling. Allow them to push the buttons and contribute. This is where you may want to include the words: “invite”, “welcome”, and ask questions or advice without sounding less than an expert.
7.) List functional pages as visible tabs. Again at the bottom of the page (footer), is a great idea.
Example: Bio (All About Me), Content (Blog Post), Advertising (Book Cover and Preview), and Contact (Exactly how to get a hold of you) Pages.
Caution: No pull down. Don’t hide important information. We don’t want our audience having to search for information.
8.) Make all information you provide easy to find by including a ‘Search’ button. Make sure the audience can search the entire site.
Example: I use a google search button. Improve navigation.
9.) Provide tags and links. Make links visible and contrasting colors (even underline) so your audience will click this easily.
Example: I link keywords, then add these same words as ‘tags’.
Caution: Don’t re-link words. Once is enough. Any more will hinder your links rather than help.
When hiring a professional, make sure they include these 12 points:
Good luck and please comment back on the blog what worked for you. We’d love to hear back from you.