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.
Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?
Writing and self-publishing eBooks scares bloggers.
I piddled in my eBook writing pants until 2012. People told me I should write ’em. I looked for every reason in the eBook NOT to write eBooks. Nobody would listen. Nobody would buy. Nobody would care.
Turns out, people listen, buy and care enough to publish 5 star reviews for my eBooks. Look at the featured image for this blog post describing this eBook:
I locked down five, 5 star reviews because I taught my readers how to write successful eBooks fast. But years prior, fear clouded my mind concerning writing eBooks to the point of me refusing to write one. You may be in the same cyber boat; but you better not miss the eBook writing boat. Lucrative profits serve as one part of the picture. Digging deeper, writing eBooks brands you, distancing you from the herd. Plus you feel good writing short reads and gain trust and extra credibility in the eyes of readers.
Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?
Fear is the core reason. Fear of failure, criticism or wasting time sit near the top of eBook-related fears. I did not know how to sit down and write the darn things. Fear arose in my mind; how would I do it? Who would teach me? Could I find the process? Would I need special editors? How could I learn the technical steps for conceiving an idea to shipping the eBook on Amazon? Tech stuff really scared me; I had no idea how to save Word files with different, web-based extensions, let alone creating covers with proper dimensions via Canva to meet Amazon’s diligent standards.
Rather than learn how to do these things I allowed fear to get the better of me, refusing to write eBooks. But during a trip to India I met a reader and friend who begged me to write eBooks for a while. He had been on me for a minute. Meeting in person, he finally convinced me to write and self-publish an eBook on a lesser known digital platform. Later, I went with Amazon, and never looked back.
I had to dive into and nudge through deep fears related to failing and being criticized because I believed nobody would buy what I offered in eBook form. As my friend convinced me, I waded through ideas like wasting my time, getting terrible reviews and promoting my eBook to the tune of zero sales. Did it feel good to embrace these fears? Heck no. But the benefits of self-publishing far outweighed a few unpleasant emotions experienced during these fear-feeling sessions.
Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain
Gain by writing eBooks; if you take experience with you, loss is impossible. Even if you sold not a copy you take valuable writing, marketing and selling experience with you any time you write and launch an eBook. But if you generously help people and make friends, you will sell eBooks and help more people, reflecting gain back to you in physical form.
Digging even deeper, facing and releasing fears associated with criticism and failure benefit you across the board with your blogging campaign. Apply that same fearless nature to other aspects of your blog to boost your blog traffic and profits.
Write and ship.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering Blogger
possesses an interesting cover for anyone not familiar with my eBooks.
For anyone familiar with my 100 plus eBooks, my cover is par for the course. Every single one of my eBook covers has been personally snapped by me. Images of paradise preserved by yours truly fit my brand, blog and eBook covers perfectly. Blogging From Paradise means retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Sometimes I visit islands. Sometimes I visit mainland spots. In all cases, my eBooks and courses – as well as my blog – bleed travel images because this approach fits my brand and is unheard of in the blogging tips niche.
I totally respect any blogging tips blogger who posts featured images for their blogs and eBook covers consistent with content titles. Imagine a light bulb and dollar sign for the above eBook cover, for starters. But I went with a photo I snapped in gorgeous Rawai Bay in Phuket, Thailand for my cover image. Why? Nobody else on earth uses their travel photos as eBook covers and featured post images in the blogging tips niche. If nobody else does it and the move completely aligns with my brand message, this is the starting point for being an intelligent and prospering blogger.
Smart and Prospering Means Different
Every successful blogger I follow sticks to basic fundamentals but deviates from the norm in some regards. Different means bigger bucks and smarter prospering because readers notice that different flavor stepping away from normal. Folks enjoy my covers and blog post images, even though the content and eBook title technically have nothing to do with travel images. Guess what? Adding my brand logo aligns the eBook cover with my blog and brand. People clearly see I am about blogging from paradise. Why not add travel images to each eBook cover?
I follow a high number of basic blogging rules; create value, build connections, be generous and have fun. But if you do EVERYTHING just like most bloggers, you get lost in the herd. Nothing makes you stand out if you do not choose to stand out with at least one element of your blogging campaign. I stood out with eye-popping eBook images I snapped myself, in a blogging tips niche. How do you stand out? Ask yourself the question. Be straight with yourself to answer.
Bigger Profits from a Smarter Energy by Being Different
Cindy Crawford kept her mole. Muscle Man Arnold kept his accent. Steve Jobs made computers and peripherals outrageously expensive and designed quite weirdly compared to other computers and peripherals. Guess what? Crawford, Arnold and Jobs are legends who we won’t forget for a long time. Different makes you a serious fortune because people notice folks who stand out in some way, shape or form. This different approach bleeds intelligence; why work your butt off if you look just like the next guy and offer a mimicking service?
But Make Sure You Follow Some Fundamentals
Steve Jobs did not attempt to make computers out of cardboard. Arnold did not try to speak German in Hollywood movies. Cindy Crawford did not try to rewrite the foundations of modeling by wearing a fake beard of photo shoots. All icons followed basic rules for their industries because being too far out in left field usually makes you forgettable, or, impossible to spot. Follow blogging fundamentals to stay in the game but find that one thing that distances you from the herd.
Why Should You Help Other Bloggers Succeed?
If you build it AND if you help other bloggers build it, then they will come.
We have all seen the famous line from Field of Dreams rehashed many times, regarding blogging. Building a blog solo ain’t good enough. Platitudes of content being king and networking queen get bandied about, and I do not disagree.
But I wanted to put a spin on the line; if you build your blog and help other bloggers build their blogs, THEN people will visit your blog, hire you, buy your stuff and endorse you.
A few moments ago, my friend and power house blogger Julie Syl Kalungi tagged me on Facebook with kind words. She mentioned a common mistake we both see often; bloggers pitch us content with nothing else to show for the pitch, other than mediocre or OK content from an unknown blogger. If it were that easy to get featured on Blogging From Paradise or on Julie’s blog, we would both place 5 to 10 to 20 guest posts daily, or a helluva lot more.
Of course, landing features on established blogs is not easy at all. But struggling, failing bloggers mistakenly believe it *is* as easy as tempting pros with a helpful post, or some other lukewarm incentive, and wonder why they never get featured on top blogs. Plus bloggers do the silly thing of offering a $1 or $3 bulk discount for 25 posts. Having a poverty consciousness makes you do silly things.
Anyway, these strategies NEVER work because the pitching bloggers are trying to build it – aka their blogs – before building other blogger’s blogs. Build your blog and other blogger’s blogs. Grow your friend network. Be genuine. Be generous. Help. Expect nothing. Ask for nothing. As you help other bloggers succeed and improve your writing skills, something neat happens; you befriend a bunch of skilled bloggers who boost your traffic and profits through endorsements, promotions, by buying your stuff and by hiring you.
This is why you should help other bloggers succeed. Make friends. Profit. 100 is better than 1.
100 Is Better than 1
I learned years ago the efforts of 100 blogging buddies beats my individual efforts. I am not super connected to 100 plus blogging buddies, but at least that many folks promote me or endorse me routinely across a wide range of channels. Imagine how much 100 bloggers can expand your reach, compared to your individual, singular efforts?
Why do 100 plus bloggers help me out? I have helped thousands of bloggers grow their traffic and profits over a decade online by commenting genuinely on their blogs, by promoting them on social media, by endorsing them, by promoting them on my blog, by inviting them to guest post on my blog and by guest posting for them.
I benefit too, of course. This marks my 6th guest post of the day. As I promote my 71% blogging course discount (use the discount code in the first paragraph) across a slew of these guest posts I gain profit potential and boost my blog traffic too. But I also drive free, passive traffic through each guest post. My 3 blogging buddies living in India who I guest post for wake up to free, passive traffic. I help them succeed. My blogging buddies help me succeed by giving me platforms for reaching their readers.
Do you see why building it and helping other bloggers build it makes you incredibly successful over the long term?
Julie became a wildly successful blogger by generously helping other top bloggers succeed. Now, her blogger friend network expands her reach far and wide.
Give What You Want
Do you want money? Help other bloggers make money. Promote them on your blog. Link to them. Buy and review their eBooks. The number of friends you make by being generous will astound you. As this loyal tribe grows in size and scope, and helps you make more and more money, you will be even more astounded.
Blogger Outreach Resource
Are you looking for bloggers to help? Buy my eBook:
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