IncomeDiary.com

How Pros Make Money Online

Income Diary

20 Design Features That Will Make Your Blog Stand Out From The Crowd!

By:     Topics: Get Web Traffic

Hello Everyone,

Make Your Blog Stand Out From The Crowd!

Today we have a review of some of the additional design features you may wish to consider adding to your blog in order to make it visually more appealing and also to make for a better overall user experience.

I get a lot of emails about design – it appears most people can install a nice WordPress blog – especially when using the easy install feature that is available on the cPanel at Hostgator.com and adding themes such as those available at ThemeForest.net

However it appears a good number of you would like to Jazz up your Blogs – make them more striking and impacting. This post is for those people. For each feature we have suggested, we have also included a screen-shot of that feature in action on some of our favorite blogs.

Just one word of warning here — we are presenting you with 20 different features to consider, but this does not mean you should actually use all 20 features. I am a huge fan of customizing your blog and making it as individual to you as possible (bearing in mind literally 100’s or even 1000’s of people can be using the same Base Theme) – but as with most things in life, everything in moderation ;-)

And one final thought on design and customization – always ask yourself:

Does this Design Feature actually improve the User Experience?

And if you are running your Blog with the goal of making money then ask:

Will This Plugin, this Design Feature Help Me Make More Money?

If the answer to either of these questions is NO, then really you should not be doing it.

OH and as with all businesses, TEST, TEST, TEST

Every-time you add any new feature to your Blog you need to check how that new feature effects (improves) your conversions, wither that be sign-ups to a newsletter, affiliate commissions or sales of your products.

Enjoy the post – be inspired!

Best Wishes

Michael

PS: I am also aware a number of my readers, outsource all Blog Design work to their own tame Techie – go and impress them by suggesting they incorporate some of the features blow in the next redesign.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

20 Ways To Make Your Blog Stand Out From The Crowd!

#1 Attractive Website Navigation

Having a noticeable website navigation that looks really really good can make your users explore your blog more.

The

The Website Navigation That David Hell Mann Uses

* * * * *

#2 Splash Header

In Freelance Switch’s header, they mention the most important parts of their blog and use it as a kind of splash area to make sure people go in the directions they want them to. Here at IncomeDiary we do the same sort of thing on our homepage, we mention our most important content and give brief intros to the most important pages on the site.

Freelance Switch Uses This Splash Header To Direct People Where To Go

Freelance Switch Uses This Splash Header To Direct People Where To Go

* * * * *

#3 Have A Fantastic Footer

Your probably thinking whats the point, no one looks at the bottom of my site. But its surprising how many people actually do. That’s why having a decent ending to your blog is a nice touch.

yo

The Beautiful Footer That PSD Tuts Uses

* * * * *

#4 Next & Previous Posts Feature

Once you read a blog, you are often wondering where to go next, if you enjoyed the post, you definitely want more. With WebDesignerWall, they have a simple customization that sends people to the previous or next post, a great addition every blogger should consider to make their blogs stickier.

The Next & Previous Posts Listed Within Content Over At Web Designer Wall

The Next & Previous Posts Listed Within Content Over At Web Designer Wall

* * * * *

#5 Use a Popular, Breaking & Featured Widget

The sidebar can very often become cluttered up with un-useful widgets and text. That’s why merging some of it into one widget can be the solution. Having a widget that features Popular, Breaking and Featured posts can be really handy, and encourage user interaction.

The Popular, Breaking & Featured Widget That Autoblog Uses

The Popular, Breaking & Featured Widget That Autoblog Uses

* * * * *

#6 Feature Your Best Post Within A Slider

Having a best post slider on your homepage with nice big splash images can really be a good way to greet your visitors. This way, they can see the best content, and catch up on what they have missed out on since they last visited your blog.

tutorial9

The Featured Slider Used On Tutorial 9

* * * * *

#7 Create a Custom Heading Using Typography

Using a custom font and colours that make headings stand out can work wonders on your blog.

The Custom Typography Used In UxBooth's Posts

The Custom Typography Used In UxBooth’s Posts

* * * * *

#8 About The Author

When someones finished reading a post, its nice to display a small Author bio. Nothing too long, but its better that just having “Posted by Rob”. A small avatar can make the bio look good too!

About The Author Box Used On Tutorial 9

About The Author Box Used On Tutorial 9

* * * * *

#9 Add a Breaking News Feature

Breaking news is a really cool idea that gives content urgency and importance. This could work for any type of blog that offers up to date content.

autoblog1

The Breaking News Bar On Autoblog

* * * * *

#10 Add a Popular Posts Feature Within Your Content

When listing your forever growing archive of blog posts, its nice to display something that “breaks” the list up. Having a popular posts bar is a perfect idea to break up content. And it can gain you more traffic too!

 Popular Posts Are Listed Within Content On The Web Designer Depot Homepage

Popular Posts Are Listed Within Content On The Web Designer Depot Homepage

* * * * *

#11 Author Comments

Admin comments should stand out because you have something important to say that people should take note of, UxBooth have done a great job at customizing theirs!

UxBooth Styles Their Author Comments In A Different Color

UxBooth Styles Their Author Comments In A Different Color

* * * * *

#12 RSS And Twitter Count

Displaying your Twitter and RSS count can be handy, especially if its big. You can display this anywhere on your site, and design something nice and subtle, or big and bulky that shows your count off. Personal touches like this can make a good blog great.

Smashing Magazine Uses A Beautiful But Simple RSS And Twitter Count

Smashing Magazine Uses A Beautiful But Simple RSS And Twitter Count

* * * * *

#13 Use a Collage as a Background

Using a collage style background can really make your website stand out. Many websites do it, but only some do it well. You don’t want an insane collage that distracts readers from the content.

mashkulture

The Collage Background That Mash Kulture Uses

* * * * *

#14 In Content Adverts (That Fit The Site Design)

If you want to keep your advertisers, why not make their ads stand out more?

WebDesignerWall Uses In Content Adverts, That Just Blend In With The Site Design

WebDesignerWall Uses In Content Adverts, That Just Blend In With The Site Design

* * * * *

#15 Comment Style

Having a good comment style that looks good, appealing and fits your design can really make your users comments stand out that little bit extra.

Productive Dreams Have A Really Beautiful Comment Style

Productive Dreams Have A Really Beautiful Comment Style

* * * * *

#16 Sidebar Adverts

If you accept advertising then the Sidebar is a great place to put them and if you have the traffic you can earn you a nice sum of money – but please make them fit in with your design. Don’t make them look like an afterthought!

sidebarad

Open Source Templates Use In Design Sidebar Adverts

* * * * *

#17 Top Search Bar

I hate it when I’m on a really great website, and I go to search for something and I can’t find the search-bar. Having a big search-bar that doesn’t take peoples eyes away from the main design, but is easy to find is a real winner, and can take your blog from being good to great.

searchbar

Engadget Uses A Nice Big Searchbar At The Top Of Their Website

* * * * *

#18 Favicon

Using a distinctive favicon is important. I know its only 16px x 16px, but those 256 pixels are valuable real estate, so you want to design your favicon with thought.

jk

WebDesignerWall Uses A Note Style Favicon

* * * * *

#19 Quotes In Blog Posts

Everyone quotes things when writing on a blog. Styling your quotes differently from the rest of the content is a key. This makes interviews look ten times better!

quotes

UxBooth Styles Their Quotes Differently From Normal Text

* * * * *

#20 Post Images

Selecting your post image is an important decision. After all, you want something for each post that stands out and makes readers want to click it. You can also style your post image with a border or some sort of foliage to make it work with your blog design.

k

On IncomeDiary, We Display Our Post Images With A Rounded Border & Padding

Email Marketing Gets Us More Traffic & Sales

Aweber is an industry standard. By far the most well known email marketing tool. We use it to collect and send emails. To setup autoresponder series. To split test subject lines. To email unopens. To make more money and get more traffic!

Keep visitors coming back, time after time, by emailing them updates from your site. We personally use Aweber to manage over 100,000 subscribers.

Visit Site IncomeDiary Review

Sell More Products to More Customers

The only shopping cart built for boosting revenue is finally here. SamCart’s mission is to give marketers a shopping cart that not only looks beautiful, but also helps them sell more of their products and boost profits so they can make a bigger impact for their customers.

Visit Site IncomeDiary Review

Do Not Write Another Blog Post Until You Watch This Free Video…

Instantly discover how we got over 10 million people to visit our sites, the types of content that sends all that traffic, and how to outsource the entire process for cheap!

Visit Site IncomeDiary Review
  • Scott

    Excellent post Michael, thanks for the tips. Working on a few designs at the moment, these tips will help out.

    Thanks again.

  • Fazreen

    Having those design is great for a weblog. But the problem is the cost to have those design. Especially when it comes to newbies who just begin to know about blogging stuff. The amount to hire designer and programmer to do that is cost them much. Do you have an advice for those who just want to set up a blog an have a good design for their blog? A simple and direct advice is just enough.

  • http://siyudis.com diez

    nice michael, I am going to build a website on my own, and your tips are really helpful, I’ll take some of them into consideration :)

  • http://www.shadesofadream.com Heather

    Thanks Michael, working on setting up my first main blog at the moment (posting from HubPages just now) so this’ll help me out :)

  • http://collegefallout.com Vivek Krishnan

    These are truly great template features that make your blog stand out of the rest!

  • Suraj Gogoi

    Excellent information! Thanks for shining the light and showing us the way Michael. Had been wondering about key design customisations, your post will be of great help certainly – thanks for the nice blog examples too…

  • http://www.howtospoter.com Alex Sysoef

    Cool list, what is even better it is closely aligned with my own thoughts and design guidelines when I was implementing my last blog design last summer.

    Thanks!

  • BeyondRandom

    Great information! Some of these I have been wanting to add to my blog and a few I have never thought about. thanks for sharing such great information.

  • Tammy

    Cool tips michael, thanks so much!

  • http://www.emiliokaram.com Emilio

    Awesome post… just retweeted it to my followers :)

  • Ms. Freeman

    I like #10 because I always like to see the Author bios at the end of posts. Now I need to figure out how to do that on my blog…hmmm :)

  • http://www.learnsmallbusiness.com DeAnna Troupe

    Great post. I guess I’ve got some work to do on my blog!

  • http://www.bebop-ad.com BebopDesigner

    Brilliant! this comes really handy. Cheers

  • Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

    Awesome post Michael. I’ll be working on a redesign of my site soon and you’ve pointed out a few areas that I would love to add.

    Just would have been handy if you linked to a few of the plugins mentioned in the list! Nice blogs you previewed :)

    Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

  • http://richquickreview.com/ Shane

    Great post! I’ve been pondering over how to redesign my blog for quite a while and this post has given me some excellent ideas!

  • http://thejourneyisourgoal.com Casey

    I really liked a lot of those. Now I just need to figure out how to create many of them, haha. Cheers!

  • Daniel Meade

    Very useful post Indeed! I’m starting to work closely with designers and coders on a full site re-design ready for next summer, these will come in handy.

    I particularly like the idea of making author comments stand out from others. Thanks Michael.

  • http://www.davidhellmann.com David

    thx for featuring my page.

  • http://www.formge.com Angus

    All very good points!

    And obviously good content.

  • http://www.moinid.com Creative ideas

    Nice article. Cool points. Thanks Michael!

  • Nikunj Tmaboli

    Really Good Post was thinking of writing about it but you have covered everything will use all these points while creating my professional blog

  • Byron

    Another great post Michael. You are the man!!!!!

  • Elliot condon

    What a great post. I’m off to add to blog righ now! Thanks

  • Kerry

    These are excellent tips. Geesh my blog needs some serious work now. Lol. Thanks so much for the info.

  • http://www.goldfries.com goldfries

    Great post here. :) Now it’s just a matter of people integrating them to their existing theme. :P

  • Josh – A Phoenix SEO

    Wow nice list of “flare” elements. Youre right about too much flare though…

  • http://www.destinyislands.com/ Destiny Islands

    These are some amazing tips, you’ve always got the best ideas at Income Diary. Keep up the great work dude!

  • http://samdaddycool.blogspot.com samdaddycool

    Nice tips especially for me- newbie in wordpress.

  • http://blog.publishedandprofitable.com Roger C. Parker

    Michael:
    This is a remarkably useful compendium of ideas, as are a great number of previous posts.

    Your blog is a wonderful resource I shall be sharing with my Published & Profitable authors, friends, and clients.

    Roger

  • Johnluffa

    Nice selection of resources Michael,
    I am actually in the process of completely revamping my blog – thanks for sharing.

  • Lakhyajyoti saikia

    I am going to build a new web site.Definitely your article will help me lot.Thanks Michael…

  • Nibras Bawa

    While i appreciate your tips, i however beg to differ. There’s nothing like minimalism, and yes minimalism pays. Why clutter just because you want to stand out?

  • http://www.uxbooth.com Matthew

    Thank you for drawing so much attention to our design at UX Booth :)

  • Gianna

    Great Ideas overall! However, I’ve always believed less is more. Too much clutter and the user gets “sensory overload”. Too little and the user gets bored. So, there is a fine line when it comes to user functionality.

    Thanx for the info,

    Gianna

  • Sasha Gilberg

    awesome tips Michael! Will implement some soon

  • Nitesh

    great ideas!!!!!!!! awesome tips. thanks all the way.

  • Ian

    Really great article, I will defiantly be implementing most of those soon…

  • http://webylife.com Weby Life

    One of my friend suggested to check out your website. I really happy to see articles that are really helpful

  • http://www.oe-design.com/ Danny Dyson

    Thank you so much! I have bookmarked this article to use for my blog re-design.

    I especially like number 5. I think clutter can be a website’s biggest enemy,

  • http://gamescompare.blogspot.com/ dave

    Thanks for the info, any ideas on how to improve my blog.

  • Pingback: The Ultimate Guide To Building a Successful Blog | Your 30 Day Plan!()

  • http://www.LasAzucenas.com Mikey

    I always get really into the design stuff alot,
    anyways good points.

    Mikey

  • Ron

    Hi Michael-
    You have the epitome of a well designed blog.

    I saw at WooThmes which template you started with, but yours looks nothing like it.

    To create and develop something that looks like this from an original theme- how much work and money (mainly money) would I need to allocate to get to this level of design (looking for very rough estimates)

    Any guidance would be appreciated.
    Thanks for all you do.

  • Adwello

    Every original feature with a modern professional look will add credibility to your blog. Clean design builds credibilty and improves your search rankings. Credibility increases your readership and sets you apart immediately as an expert. I currently use a standard wordpress design but will look to upgrade to something more eye catching in the near future. Thanks for sharing these designs above with us Michael! :)

  • http://www.moneymakersites.com Julius

    Hi Michael,

    I just started out my paid blog by taking your free 7-day ecourse. I have a free blogger blog before but it’s just a waste of time after they suspended mine. Right now, I am trying to dress up my blog by reading and learning your post here. Thank you for help and hoping to copy your success in the future :)

    Cheers,
    Julius

  • http://giberbecerra.tumblr.com Giber

    Simply…amazing and useful post! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Pingback: 18 Things You Need To Do To Make Your Website Bulletproof!()

"Do Not Write Another Blog Post Until You Watch This Free Video..."

Traffic Domination

Watch this free video to learn...

  • How I got over 10,000,000 people to visit my websites.
  • The types of blog post that got me all that traffic.
  • How to get someone else to do it for you!

Where should I send your video?

Your privacy is safe I will never share your information.