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8 UX Design Mistakes Too Many Bloggers Are Making

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If you’re a dedicated blogger, you probably have a lot on your plate. You have to generate content, grow your followers and email list, form valuable partnerships, promote your blog, and so much more – all before breakfast. There’s no rest for the weary when it comes to blogging, so crucial components of your blog can easily fall by the wayside.

One of these crucial components, perhaps the most crucial of them all, is design. Sure, you probably know that your blog should look good, but have you thought beyond simple aesthetics? Design is an important aspect of so many parts of our lives – mobile, eCommerce, and more – yet we often forget about the importance of implementing quality UX design in blogs.

But failing to consider UX design can mean huge headaches for your valued readers. No one who runs an eCommerce website would dream of letting UX design fall by the wayside, so why do so many bloggers ignore this critical piece of the blog success puzzle? Perhaps, they are unaware of the problem or the mistakes that result from poor UX design. So in the name of improving the internet for readers and bloggers everywhere, here are eight mistakes that too many bloggers are making, due to a lack of focus on UX design:

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1. Ignoring the importance of white space

Many bloggers feel a strong pressure to fill the page with endless information and entertainment to keep their readers amused and on their site. However, this often results in a cluttered blog that leaves little room for the reader to breath. Instead, identify your most important elements and surround them with appropriate white space so you don’t overwhelm your readers.

2. Poor navigation

Navigation can be one of the hardest parts of web design, for designers of any level. To achieve great navigation, you have to think about how the pages flow together, what should be included on the same page or separated, and how everything should be labeled. Depending on your blog, you probably have a number of different areas or specializations that need to fit together seamlessly, so don’t ignore the importance of good navigation. Spend some time browsing UX portfolios from experienced designers to see what you might be able to implement in your blog to make navigation easier for your readers.

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3. Overloaded and cluttered sidebars

Again, you don’t want too much on your site to distract readers from the reason they are there, which is reading your content. When your sidebars are overloaded and cluttered, it can result in poor navigation, as discussed above, and just general confusion. Visual clutter, whether it’s in sidebars or other areas of your website, negatively affects your readers focus by increasing their cognitive load. It’s science: keep your sidebars simple.

4. Your links don’t look like links

If your readers can’t tell which text contains a link, then they’re going to miss out on the relevant background and additional reading that your links provide. Simply adding CTA color is one of the easiest ways to fix this mistake and alert readers on the location of links.

5. Poor readability and legibility

Successful blogging can only come if your readers understand your content, so readability and legibility are huge factors to consider. This means a lot more than simply using a legible font, however. In order to ensure readability, bloggers should also stay away from using too many different fonts and colors throughout their site. Instead, focus on giving readers a uniform and coordinated experience. Establish your blog’s color pallette, pick no more than three fonts to use throughout the entire site, and don’t stray from these elements. Finally, make sure the sizing of all the elements on your site works across platforms. In a mobile first era, you don’t want to have content that is easily legible on a desktop but not a mobile device or vice versa.

6. Unorganized content layout

Don’t worry, we’re not trying to get you to forget about content completely, since that’s obviously what drives traffic to your blog. But while you should definitely be focused on providing readers with quality content, you should also focus on structuring that content accordingly. Many readers just scan the page without really taking in its substance before deciding whether or not to read, so make sure to use headings, sub-headings, bullets, keywords, paragraphs, blockquotes, and more to guide your reader to the most important parts of your posts, and don’t forget to name every page.

7. Inconsistent interface design

As a blogger, you’re probably a creative person, but at a certain point creativity can become excessive. You absolutely do not need to create different designs for every web page or section of your blog. This will only confuse and annoy your readers, no matter how amazing the designs are. Instead, use a standard, consistent template for every page that links back to all of the important sections of your site, and don’t be afraid to keep things simple.

8. The wall of text

Many blogs revolve around written content, but that doesn’t mean that your layout should accost readers with a giant wall of text. Even if readers come to your blog specifically for your written content, that’s not all they want to see. Break up your text with images, videos, or animations – anything to engage your reader all the way to the end of your posts. Giant walls of text are both intimidating and unattractive to look at, so don’t force them on your readers.

If you feel out of your depths when it comes to incorporating strong UX design techniques into your blog, just remember that simplicity is the name of the game. As long as you keep these nine mistakes to avoid in mind and prioritize simplicity, your readers will find the design of your blog’s website, as well as its content, utterly delightful.

David has been working in the online media industry for over 9 years. He writes about technical SEO & content marketing for bloggers and startups and is also a Python coding enthusiast. You can follow him on Twitter @davejonesbkk

Blogging

Writing: Your Best Blogging Friend

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Writing helps you succeed with blogging. Because writing gives you credibility. Credible bloggers land clients, sell eBooks, place sponsored posts and drive steady traffic, too. Write your rear end off. Write 500-1000 words daily. Write to be confident. Write to be clear. Write to gain credibility in your blogging niche. Of course, most bloggers struggle because few bloggers practice writing offline, daily. Bloggers only write when they publish a blog post or guest post. BIG mistake. Most bloggers publish posts infrequently, meaning you get in little writing practice. Not good.

Why do you believe you can just show up, write and publish a post and become successful quickly? If blogger were this easy, guys like me could have gone pro within weeks of buying my domain and hosting. Alas, it took me thousands of hours and years to go full time because I had to practice writing, creating and connecting to be REALLY good at blogging. Skills, exposure and credibility flow to bloggers who tirelessly practice all aspects of blogging. Everybody else fails and quits.

All money you make through blogging flows to you because people trust you and your blog. Writing skillfully – with confidence and clarity – is the only way people trust you and your blog. The more you write, the more skilled a writer you become. The formula is genuinely simple. But quite uncomfortable to put into action, sometimes. Few bloggers want to practice writing with nobody watching. Some bloggers foolishly skip writing practice because they believe writing offline for practice wastes their time. This is like saying you waste your time practicing shooting hoops in a lonely, empty gym if you aspire to make it to the NBA. NBA stars practiced 10,000 hours or more, often times in quiet, lonely gyms, and always *in private, out of the public eye, with nobody watching*, to become skilled enough to go pro. Expect to take a similar journey in order to become a professional blogger.

Writing is your core skill. If you write well, you make money online. If you write poorly, you do not make money online.

Buy my eBook:

15 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Every way to profit – out of these 15 strategies – can work quite nicely if you practice writing offline daily. Practice to become confident. Practice to become clear on your writing. Confident, clear writers write with authority. Writing with authority inspires trust in your readers. Again; this is a simple process. But sometimes, this process feels uncomfortable. Nudge through discomfort. Write, write and write some more. People who trust you based on your writing skills tend to buy your eBooks, hire you to coach them, hire you to freelance write for them and buy sponsored posts on your blog. Be diligent in writing. The money flows to you based on how much you practice writing. Plus, practicing your writing makes you prolific. Being prolific increase your blog traffic and blogging profits, too. No downsides exist to writing offline daily. Only upsides. So….write!

Practice in private. Shine in public.

Any successful blogger you envy now practiced writing so diligently that you would never envy their writing practice. After having written millions of words both online and offline, nobody envies the work I put into going pro. But being free to circle the globe? Worth it!

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Blogging

Do You Assume too Much?

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One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.

These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.

This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.

A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.

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Blogging

Blogging Success Is YOUR Choice

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Blogging success is your choice. Blogging failure is your choice. YOU choose. Never blame anyone or anything for your blogging failure. Everything in life begins and ends with you because life follows your thoughts and feelings. People or things may *appear* to slow you down or get in your way. But all appearances are illusions. Illusions are not real, not true. You and you alone choose to succeed based on your chosen thoughts and feelings, independent of situations or circumstances around you.

For example, I had a tough time falling to sleep last night. Didn’t pass out until after 6 AM and only slept to 9:30 AM. Tossing and turning, my mind raced with fears. I feared being exhausted and getting sick. I feared work I’d be behind on, today. I also feared simply sitting with my racing thoughts and feelings, being in bed for hours, since I lay down in bed at midnight. I could choose to lay in bed to observe the fears or I could watch Netflix. I chose to observe fears. Eventually, I chose to get up and write my first blog post of the day at 5 AM. I feared waking to work due to fatigue. But nudging into the fear allowed me to create content, positioning myself to expand my success.

I also chose to wake at 9:30 AM after limited sleep to do 20 minutes of intense Kriya yoga, to meditate for 30 minutes and to spend 30 seconds in an icy cold shower. Heck yeah I feared doing each on 3 hours of sleep. But successes CHOOSE to BE the people that succeed. Life unfolds as a series of personal choices. Either you make comfortable choices based on fear, struggle, fail and quit blogging. Or you make uncomfortable, freeing and usually fun choices based on love, leading to your blogging success. You choose. No one can choose for you. No one can wade through fear for you. No blogger can glide through the discomfort for you. This is an intimately personal experience that you need to face, embrace and live, to succeed in blogging, all based on your choices.

Check out my eBook:

10 Reasons Why Fijian Fruit Bats Would Be Absurdly Successful Bloggers

I observed these cute little – actually big – guys during my 4 month trip to Savusavu, Fiji. The little dog men swooped in every night like clockwork, working the papaya trees on the front lawn on dusk. The fruit bats never missed a night; their survival depended on feasting at sundown every single evening. Develop the same attitude with your blog to guarantee success. Be like clockwork. Show up daily. Work. Shine bright in a world of blogging failures who choose to work in fits and starts before choosing to quit. Blogging feels uncomfortable but the journey gets easier success-wise by choosing to wade through scary, unpleasant periods. You have a personal choice to make: generously help people for hours daily over years to succeed online. Or choose not to, guaranteeing your failure. You choose. I believe in you. I know you can choose success. Choose not to fear burnout. Choose to be happy about your future blogging success.

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