Sure, it is important to have a nice logo, and have a pretty website. But, are your design choices beneficial or detrimental to your efforts?
Weirdly, even if your blog looks like a million dollars, it might be the look that just doesn’t suit you, your message, or your audience. That’s why professional designers cost so much, and why you can often hear their complaints on nightmare clients that want to guide the design process themselves.
In affiliate marketing, or any kind of marketing for that matter, if you want to monetize your work, two things are important:
Simply put, how many people see what you’re offering, and how many take you up on your offer is dictated by a number of factors, not the least of which is how appealing does your offer look, literally. This is something I recently covered in my previous article on how to create a successful affiliate blog.
The psychology behind the color and other design choices
It has long been known that we, as visual beings, respond to certain visual cues in a certain way. That is why red has been traditionally considered an aggressive color, why blue is considered calming. Now, this is quite a bit more complicated, and how experience the color depends largely on context.
For example, that same red that is considered aggressive, or hot, can also be seen as youthful, passionate, and bold. That’s why companies that want to seem full of energy, or cater to young audience use it. McDonalds, Lego, Coca Cola use it. ESPN also, as sports is also associated with passion and energy.
On the other hand, blue is identified with reliability, strength, and trust, green with tranquility, growth, and health. To further understand how important color selection is, consider the following:
Blue is considered to diminish appetite – you don’t see many fast-food brands use blue. Likewise, green is considered to increase productivity and many energy drinks use it in their design.
On the other hand, shapes and fonts play a major role, too. There have been actual studies that have shown that we prefer rounded design to angular one, as we perceive angles to be a threat on a subconscious level (they are sharp, after all), and rounded, smooth lines give us a better sense of the “whole” which has a soothing effect.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that angular and geometric design should never be used – if used properly, the angular geometry can leave an impression of cleanliness, order, and no-nonsense approach. For example, this guide from Designhill shows how various fonts can be used to your benefit, both angular and smooth.
In addition, creating a good user interface is a science unto itself. All the pretty colors are of no use to you, if your audience is frustrated because they are never able to find what they’re looking for.
Poor loading times, hang-ups, counterintuitive layout, and broken pages can lead to an amount of frustration that no amount of pretty can fix.
How to figure out what works for you
While there are numerous studies in this field and some sound scientific principles, this isn’t an exact science, and web design is still a mix of applied psychological principles along with the intuitive “feel” of the designer (usually, mostly focused on the latter, since most successful designers rely on the intuitive understating of how human psyche reacts to the visual stimuli).
Still, there are certain simple steps you can take here to help you in your design choices:
- Get to know your audience. If you know who your blog is aimed at, it can help you understand what emotions you want to evoke, or what kind of stimuli works best. This is best done by engaging your audience to write comments, creating surveys, and listening to social media feedback.
- Take a look at successful blogs in your niche. Try to figure out what works and why.
- Design your blog around the basic principles, thinking of your layout, color scheme, shapes, and so on and what psychological effect they have.
- The least popular, but always necessary step:
Test. Play around with your blog and design, and see what works best. Get feedback from your audience, it is invaluable. When you test, make sure to create a methodology and stick with it. You can’t change 5 things at the same time and expect to make sense out of the results. You always have to change one, or two variables at the time, so you can understand what effect they have on the success of your blog.
Too often overlooked, design of your blog is of incredible importance, and even the littlest of tweaks could see your traffic numbers grow. While your content is still the most important aspect of your website, do not overlook the importance of how you present it, and what kind of impression you leave.
What Does Your Blogging Network Look Like?
I do nothing on my own.
Everything is a team effort.
As I teach in my blogger networking eBook, the way to increased, ever-expanding blogging success is to look for, grow and tap into a huge, loyal network of blogging friends through the power of generosity. Be generous. Help people. Shout out fellow bloggers. Release expectations. Get super connected. Most of us understand this is how to succeed online; be generous and get connected because 100 is better than 1. 100 friend efforts are far better than your effort alone.
One basic problem arises for most new or struggling bloggers: overcoming the deep fear of networking. For odd reasons, humans cling to pulsating fears concerning reaching out to other human beings. Bloggers fear being rejected, failing, being criticized or giving up credit for their blogging success. Honor that fear. See how far you get on your own steam. Not only that, the agony of micro-managing makes you sick, broke and quite dumb, if you are honest with yourself. How silly of you! Why do everything on your own today? Why not comment genuinely on a few blogs, retweet a few blogger blog posts and mention a few bloggers on your blog? Begin networking. Build a network. Succeed online.
What’s It Look Like?
Be honest, my blogging sweet robbins. What does your network look like? Is it even there? Do you even have a network? Many bloggers publish a post, share it to Twitter and Facebook and sit there, dumbfounded. Do you honestly believe your network just materializes out of thin air? Nope. But if you buy my eBook, follow my 13 steps and build your blogger buddy network by being generous, you can land on famous blogs, earn coin and drive traffic to your blog, too. Everything hinges on your honesty. Admit having only 1, 3 or zero blogging buddies. Truths set you free to network generously and successfully.
How to Grow Your Network
Simple. Be generous. Begin now. Publish a thoughtful, personalized comment below. Be seen. I cannot read all comments but the thousands of people who read blogging tips tend to read comments. Somebody eventually reads your blog comment if you comment genuinely and generously every day on Blogging Tips after reading posts. Someone clicks your link because they love your comment and want to meet you. One visit to your blog later, you may have a blogging buddy, or even a client or customer. Or maybe you have a loyal reader. This is networking 101; be generous, engage people and you build your network.
But do not stop after commenting on Blogging Tips. Branch out. Go wide. Read and comment genuinely on other blogs in your niche. Make more friends. Life gets easier and easier if you have more blogging friends in your corner because these folks inspire you to keep going, plus your friends amplify your presence exponentially.
Be generous and genuine. Reach out to more bloggers every day. Networking is a bit uncomfortable sometimes if you look for immediate returns but gliding through these temporary feelings helps you tap into something special with your blog. Connected bloggers have no issues growing their blogging business because 100 is better than 1. Remember that they next time you try to go lone wolf with your blogging campaign.
Are You Leveling Up with Your Blog?
Every time I reach a new level with my blog, I notice another level invites me. I do not work harder. I never work longer. I love what I do and keep generously helping people but think of how to go wide as I level up. Think of that one for a moment: consider how to go wide, and what it means.
I write and publish multiple posts to my blog. Each post gains views. Going wide. 4 quality posts beats 1 quality post. But I go even wider by writing and publishing multiple guest posts daily. I speak to 2 or 3 or more different blogging audiences, going wider and wider, increasing my exposure and expanding my presence online. But I go even wider as I level up; I contribute on Quora and on the Warrior Forum daily. Leveling up is uncomfortable sometimes but always freeing. Leveling up helps you see greater success versus hitting blogging ceilings.
Be More Generous to Make More Money and to Avoid Lulls
I speak to bloggers who suffer lulls. One client signed up 4 months ago but no clients signed up since. The appearance of a 4 month client drought, or lull, simply indicates a lack of leveling up and a lack of generosity. Even if no clients signed up during your 4 months of leveling up, your eBook sales would triple. Audio book sales would jump, too. Plus you would open 2 new income streams. This just happens. Be generous and blogging will be generous to you.
Being more generous by helping more folks across multiple platforms feels uncomfortable sometimes. Who wants to go wide when doing so means leaving your comfort zone on a daily basis? I love blogging. But I feel uncomfortable writing my third post on a train ride to Connecticut. I will go super wide when I reach the destination though, publishing a combo of posts and guest posts to level up effectively, reaching more people in less time.
Most Bloggers Never Level Up
Most bloggers write and publish a post to their blog weekly. Struggles ensue because they never level up after publishing weekly for 3-6 months. Be more. Serve people generously. Go wide. Publish blog posts and guest posts more frequently to expand your reach. Increase blogging traffic and profits.
Why do you think most bloggers never make $100 during their careers? Few bloggers regularly level up, playing small to be comfortable, dodging their fears. Of course, their fears manifest as 0 dollars and 6 blog visitors daily for the next 12 months UNTIL they level up, go wide, be generous, leave their comfort zones and face their fears. This is not a fluffy, pleasant process but we all pay a fear tax to level up and to become successful bloggers.
Pay Up to Level Up and to Play Up
Pay up by spending time and generous energy reaching as many people as possible through blogging. Guest post. Publish more frequently to your blog. See increased blogging responsibility as more fun and freedom and service. I enjoy freedom offline because I level up online. I pay up, level up and play up in higher blogging circles because all top bloggers paid the same dues to reach the top. Why do top bloggers hobnob with one another? Top bloggers respect how other top bloggers pay their dues on this blogging journey and connect deeply with one another, co-promoting each other’s success.
The fun and freedom you experience through blogging is well worth the effort and discomfort of leveling up.
If you need a guide for facing blogging fears, grab my blogging mindset eBook on the way out.
1 Warning About Blog Site Speed and Successful Blogging
I know blogs should be fast loading for becoming a successful blogger.
But successful blogging depends not on site speed alone.
Before you go bananas trying to make your site as fast as possible because you believe you cannot succeed sans a razor sharp, lightning fast loading blog, get this: a handful of bloggers I came across yesterday made $10 grand, $20 grand or $30,000 monthly – or more – running relatively slow-loading sites heavy with ads and images. Far from being lightning fast loaders, the blogs took a while to render on my Chromebook. Why does someone make $30,000 monthly with a kinda slow loading blog? How clear you are on your blog determines how much you succeed with your blog.
I feared publishing high volumes of content for worrying the posts would slow down my lightning fast blog. I held back. But hugging the fear of slowing down my blog, I decided to publish more content and experienced greater blogging success. Traffic and profits rose. Even though my blog slowed down a little bit, people did not care. Like the $30,000 a month bloggers, I got clearer on my blog loading more slowly and saw greater success because I hugged the fear of having a slow loader, and proceeded in that direction.
My blog does not load lightning fast and I experience increasing success. But when my blog loaded blindingly fast, I did not see as much success because I stopped posting generously due to my fear of posting too much and slowing down my blog. Do you see how insidious fear is? Do you see why I wrote an entire blogging mindset eBook? Blogging struggle is fear. Blogging success is feeling fear and letting fear go, to blog from abundance, love and trust, being generous with your time and talents.
Slow Blog Big Bucks
I have seen legit slow loading blogs run by bloggers who make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. The blogger proves: if you let go fear in any area of your blog, success is yours. I betcha these bloggers did not have the fear of a slow loader in their ear; these bloggers have posture, knowing loving readers read their content if said content loads in under 1 second or in 10 seconds. Seriously; some blogs load 10 seconds or longer for me and the bloggers owning these blogs make serious bank and have serious clout online
By all means, speed up your blog. But do not make the common mistake of trying desperately to preserve lightning fast load times at the expense of increased blogging profits, increased blog traffic and stunning success over the long haul. You can always upgrade hosting too; the option is available at any time. But do not foolishly believe blogging success is a simple speed test. I vividly recall feeling proud how fast my blog loaded, publishing 1 post every few days, and seeing my lukewarm to not so hot at all blogging success. I had fun generously increasing my posting frequency, then, voila! My blog slowed down some but my traffic skyrocketed and profits grew fast too.
Never allow someone’s fear – including your own – dictate your blogging campaign direction. Bloggers who make serious coin run some slow-loading blogs. People stick around and read your blog if you fear not it loads slowly. Simple energy thing. But the clarity needs to come from within if you want to make a lasting change and get super clear of this destructive, failing energy.
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