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Advice For Newbie Bloggers Obsessed With The Designs Of Their Blogs

Advice For Newbie Bloggers Obsessed With The Designs Of Their Blogs

Abdullahi’s Note: This is a guest post by my writer friend, Muhiz Ogunwomoju (MOAB). He believes that to write is to break one’s silence and inspire lives beyond one’s border. He breaks his silence with his pen and helps other people break theirs, too, for the purpose of creating change. He blogs at Thoughts By Pen and you can also follow him on Twitter.

I know and understand that things are quite difficult for you as a newbie blogger.

Don’t ask me how I know, because I was in the same position like you some months ago. You’ve been working tirelessly on your blog because you want your blog to look beautiful and outstanding like Naija Writers’ Coach or like other super star blogs out there.

Yes, we all want our blogs to look great. But the question is, “What drives us to keep coming back to our favorite blogs?” Is it the design or the content? The answer is obvious.

Photo Credit: Automaton Pictures via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Automaton Pictures via Compfight cc

Content is king

We’ve heard this many times that content is king and it’s not overrated. It’s the reality. The feelings that your audience gets after reading your content is what matters. Your content will decide if your audience will yearn for more or be disappointed in you.

The difference your content makes in your audience’s lives is what counts. Any other thing is just a cosmetic.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

This popular idiom is a reminder that beautiful things take time to build. Don’t be intimidated with the beauty and figures of other blogs. Yours will come if you persist enough, but it’ll take time.

As a newbie blogger, your job is to focus on your writing. Write, write, and write. It’s that simple.

Avoid plugins

Before you put on your gloves for a fight, let me clear myself here—plugins are good. Without them you won’t be able to do some awesome things on your blog.

What are plugins, anyway? In simple English: Plugins are software component that helps to extend the functionality of your site. Plugins can do almost anything you can imagine on your site.

If you’re running a fully hosted site, you can’t use plugins because it’s just not possible. And for those who are running a self-hosted site, you can install as many plugins as you want, but you must be careful before installing them.

My experience: last month, I installed some plugins on my blog while trying to create a landing page, but was not satisfied with the result until I stumbled on the wrong one which made me lost access to my WordPress admin page. Thanks to iPage 24/7 live support. They came to my rescue.

Note: If you’re to install a plugin, be careful and read the warning it shows before activating it. If your theme has been used with the plugin before, there will be no warning. But if not, a warning will show up telling you that your theme has not been tested with the installed plugin before.

Plugins are very important in self-hosted sites, but too much of them can be dangerous, which can make things more complicated for you.

Keep it simple

Your blog is not a contestant in a beauty pageant contest. So why waste most of your time on beautifying your blog? Maybe you need a reminder why you started blogging in the first place. Is it to make a difference, to inspire lives or is it to flaunt its beauty?

Go back to your purpose if beautifying your blog is taking most of your time. Blogs that look simple are scannable and readable. Simplicity will make your content enjoyable for your readers.

What you should do instead

Focus on the content of your blog. What you should always think about as a newbie blogger is how you can come up with ideas that’ll resonate with your audience. Remember, you’re a writer not a designer. Your words are all that matters and not the look of your blog.

Wrap up

  • Write often
  • Build an email list (start with GetResponse free trial or MailChimp)
  • Read more blogs including the comments section
  • Write more guest posts
  • Be generous (Sorry, I can’t overlook this. I live generosity every day)

Questions: What are your experiences so far when designing your blog? Does it take much of your time and energy? Share your experiences in the comments.

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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

Comments

  1. Hi Muhiz,
    I think I’ve found myself trapped in this. It took me sweaty nervous hands, a hanging question of ‘what happens if I click this’…and then, I finally changed the theme design.
    I agree with your thoughts of design obsession. Though, having a good, neat and structured design reduces the bounce rate of a blog but like you said, that’s not to be overwhelmed by it. Well said.

    Vanessa,
    🙂

    • Thank you for the compliment, Vanessa. First, I must confess that this post was born after battling with the designs of my blog for months, then I realized that I’ve lost touch with my purpose of blogging, that is, to write and make a difference in people’s lives.

      I’ve learned a great lesson afterwards. And as a writer, my job is to share my experience with others who might be locked up in the same position I was before and save them from this so called design obsession. Thank you for sharing your experience, Vanessa.

      • At the end of the day, simplicity wins. In fact, a research I recently read revealed that clutter, colour riot and complexities immediately make people distrust a website. That translates into higher bounce rate, lower revenue and bad image.

        I used to be guilty. I’ve gradually simplified over time. It was just last week that I ditched the CreateSpace and The Laptop Millionaire banners in my sidebar. My readers are here to consume my content and I don’t want advert banners making my site look like a marketplace.

        Thanks for the subtle reminder, Muhiz.

  2. Abubakar says:

    Very great guest post. Those of us, who are now in the process of owning blog, benefited immensely here .We learned something advantageous. Thanks to coach who provided the author with a platform…

  3. wow. Thanks a lot guys. I was worried that my blog looks simple and ‘un-tush’, but i think i now know what to focus my mind on ! A purpose-propelling write up . Thanks a lot

  4. You are right Sir! I discovered so much a time i focused on developing the outlook and design of my blog rather than its contents, it later dawned on me when i stumbled on simple blogs with creative contents and massive traffic. There is nothing wrong in keeping your blog appearance cool but i think more energy should be directed to the contents.

  5. Nwachukwu Somto says:

    Great piece… Thanks
    Please, how does one earn from blogging?

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