10 Steps to creating an awesome blog for yout business

PHOTO BY OHTILLY.COM

Your blog is an integral part of your website.

You can find a lot of advice on the internet as to what to write on your blog, but how to choose the right layout, so you can make the most of your content?

Your blog should be branded and adjusted to your needs. It should also be easy to use and help you streamline your content creation processes.

Well designed layout + user friendly back-end and you will love blogging again!
In this post, i will talk about 10 steps that will help you create a killer blog for your business.

1. Brand it.

Well branded blog uses your logo, brand colors and fonts. Apart from that, though, it is also set up properly, so your type of images and content look best on it and you don’t need to struggle to give your audience a piece of your work.
Your blog post featured images need to also be well designed and branded so that they all look great on the main blog page and people can recognize it’s YOU from simply looking at them (more about those later in the post, so keep reading!).

2. Choose the right layout.

Depending on your business and what content you post, you may need a different blog layout.

Full width
With big images, sidebar up top and blog posts content below each blog cover image, this is a perfect layout for most blogs. If it’s important to you to share beautiful images as well as content, choose this one.

The sidebar at the top of the page works great for this layout because it lets people see who you are and what categories you have on your blog, while they’re browsing the content.

Multiple posts, with a sidebar
This is the most common blog layout out there. It displays multiple posts with a short summary for each and a sidebar on the right-hand side of the page. On this layout, the sidebar is quite long, so it’s perfect for you if you’d like to insert your email opt-ins, archives, multiple categories and social media links there.

Single post, with a sidebar
This is second the most common blog layout out there. Similarly to the one above, it has a sidebar on the right-hand side of the page, but it only displays one post and it’s full content. You can also choose a template where you show the first post in full and the rest as an image, short description and a Read more link.
On this layout, the sidebar is quite long, so it’s perfect for you if you’d like to insert your email opt-ins, archives, multiple categories and social media links there.

Full-width, grid layout
If you’re an infopreneur, this is a perfect layout for you!
You can display multiple Pinterest worthy blog post covers, so people can easily browse through and find what they need.

I this layout, you can place your sidebar at the top of your page. Why not use it to promote your newest webinar, lead magnet, or e-course?

Grid layout, with a sidebar
Perfect for infopreneurs, or designers who love to get creative with their blog posts covers.
You can display multiple Pinterest worthy blog post covers, so people can easily browse through and find what they need.

I this layout, there’s a sidebar on the right-hand side of the page, so you can insert your bio, lead magnets and categories there.

If you’re a photographer, you will surely need a blog what allows you to showcase your beautiful images and text will probably be a secondary thing for you. It could be a full-width layout with the sidebar up top (instead of the classic right-hand side) and your categories as a divider section between posts.

If you’re a coach, on the other hand, it will be best for you to have a simple blog layout with a right-hand side sidebar, where you can tell a little bit about yourself and add a call to action. The text will be a priority for you and your images need to be easily shareable on social media.

What about shop owners? Your product is your priority! Your blog posts will surely be talking about your products so they need to be prepared for that. Your customers need to know who you are and what they can buy from you in case they have found you via Pinterest and your blog is the first thing they see.

Infopreneurs can utilise the grid layout where they show their blog post covers with a little bit of text below and sidebar at the top. This way people can easily find the content they’re looking for.

3. Design blog posts covers well.

 

When designing your featured images (your blog post covers), you need to think about which platforms you will be sharing them on.

As Pinterest is a go-to platform for most entrepreneurs to share their posts, it’s wise to optimise them for it.
Make sure your featured images are high and narrow (preferably 800x1200px) and put a blog post category and title on it. Don’t forget to brand it with your colours, logo and fonts, so people know it’s you right away!

The best way to create consistent blog posts covers quickly, is to create a template and simply change the title, category and image behind. This way you will save yourself time and make sure it’s consistent throughout your blog.

4. Choose the right blog post layout.

 

After you’ve decided which blog layout is right for you, it’s time you decide which single blog post layout will serve you best. Similarly to the blog layout, you can choose from a full-width to the one with sidebars.

You don’t need to use the same blog post layout as your main blog page. Be creative! You may want to have a sidebar on your blog, but then your blog post may take the full page width so your readers can focus on the content you’re sharing. It’s an awesome way to share beautiful photography as well.

5. Use your prime space wisely.

 

Your blog prime space is definitely the main top banner (if you have one) and your sidebar.
If you’d like people to sign up for your e-course or download your email opt-in, those are the best places to talk about it. Don’t use your main banner as a page title only (to simply say BLOG), share your best content with people there.

6. Design your sidebar.

 

Sidebars are cool places to tell a little bit about yourself, so don’t forget to insert your headshot there and tell people who you are and how you can help. Your services page link should be placed there as well – some people may only just landed on your page for the first time and they have no idea how you can help them. Don’t make them guess!

You can also share your email opt-ins and insert your blog categories, so people can easily find other interesting content.

Social media icons are a must! Maybe you could place your Facebook page preview there? Or if you’re active on Twitter – embed your profile there so people can see your latest tweets.

7. Add calls to action.

I said it above, but I will say it again: make sure to put a link to your services page on your sidebar.

On your prime space (like the banner at the top), don’t forget to tell people how they can sign up for your newsletter, workshop or email course. A call to action needs to be clear and easy to understand.

And as always – don’t put too many different ones! 2-3 is totally enough. Otherwise, you will give users too many choices and they can get confused and end up not making any of them!

In each blog post give people something to do – if you’ve shared a great tutorial, give them a workbook to download. If they liked the content, they will be interested in the email opt-in, and you will gain a new email subscriber, where you can continue the conversation and build a relationship.

8. Optimise your posts for sharing.

Apart from creating a well-designed blog posts covers that are pinnable, it’s also important to optimise your entire blog and each blog posts for sharing on different platforms.

Yoast SEO is a great plugin for that. It will let you choose the title, description and image you want people to post when they click share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. This way you can make sure it will display how you want it to on Facebook and Twitter’s previews.

Apart from that, it will give you easy to understand tips and hints about your blog posts content, so it’s easy to find on Google and Pinterest.

Remember: you should be using SEO for Pinterest as well. People do use search on this platform and if your blog posts are optimised, they will find them easier.

9. Say hello.

This is a very important point many people actually forget about.

For some people, your blog (or any of the blog posts) can be the first way of contact with your brand. They may land on your blog post from Pinterest to learn about something you shared in your post. Make sure you capture those ideal clients and tell them how you can help and how they can contact you.

Check out your posts and main blog page – will people know who you are if they see this page as the first one if they have never heard about you before?

PRO TIP:  It’s a great idea to have newsletter pop-up there as well, but make sure it only shows after people have consumed some of the content. Many pages have pop-ups set up to show right after you land on their page, but they’re annoying – simply because people didn’t even get the chance to read anything yet and they are so not ready to sign up for a newsletter.

10.Be consistent.

As with everything – consistency is key. This especially applies to your blog!
Create awesome content on a regular basis and make sure you post about things your audience wants to learn from you. Share your knowledge, give them small wins and a taste of what it would be like to work with you.

Don’t change your colours and blog posts cover design every week and create a system for you to easily produce and share content.

Not all of us like blogging, but we all know it’s a great way to attract a perfect client. You can use blog creatively to show YOUR content and what YOU do best, present your products and share your knowledge.

 

Well-designed layout can help you make a bigger impact and make the most of your content. Treat your blog as an integral part of your website and give it as much thought and love as your best sales page!
Now that you’ve checked your blog against those 10 points, what can YOU improve? Share in the comments below!

Improve your blog in 10 easy steps!

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I’m a branding & web designer based
in Bristol, UK.

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