Do you cringe when you look at your blog’s homepage? Do you avoid sharing your website URL with potential clients or at networking events? Is your website blog yawn-inducing? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, and if you’ve clicked over to your site to give it a quick peek, stick with me because it just might mean your blog needs a makeover.
A blog makeover doesn’t mean you need to toss everything out and start from scratch–although, in some cases, that might be just what you want to do. A blog makeover can mean changing the theme, adding a new font or font color. A blog makeover could be as simple as switching from a one-column to a two-column layout, or switching up the graphics you use for your posts so you have uniformity in branding.
The blog makeover you determine you need will be based on myriad factors, which could include:
- How much money you have to spend
- How much time you have to devote to the change
- Whether your niche has changed
- If your branding has changed, but your site doesn’t reflect those changes
- If you’re simply bored of it and want to re-launch
Does Your Blog Need A Makeover?
Trends in blog design and themes come and go; that doesn’t mean you need to stick to a “tried and true,” but it may mean you don’t jump on a trend that will burn itself out. Blog makeovers aren’t typically small undertakings, and this means you need to be thoughtful in your approach. It’s easy to throw up your hands and just say, “I want something new!” without understanding what the “something new” will mean for your business for the long-term.
Maybe you’ve made changes over the years–added a widget here, used a plug-in there–but you haven’t refreshed your logo or the design of your blog in a few years. Your tired blog look could be (unintentionally) weighing you down and dampening the excitement once felt when you logged in to write a blog post. A tired blog could also be limiting the money you make in Influencer programs.
I get it. I also get that it’s not cheap to re-do a website or blog, nor is it something that can be done in an hour or two. BUT if it’s fear of making the change that’s holding you back, you need to commit to yourself to push back the fear and see what needs to be done. I recommend soliciting the assistance of a trusted colleague. Walk through, with that person, what you feel is wrong, get their feedback then discuss items you’re considering changing. At the end of the day, it is your site and you need to be happy–scratch that–you need to be thrilled and proud of it!
How to gauge whether you’re ready for a change
- Have you changed your niche? Does your site reflect those changes or are you cobbling pages together to make them appear to fit the mission and vision, aka your “why”? If your blog, its colors and even your logo no longer reflect how you’ve grown since you started your blogging career, it’s time to determine what design would more appropriately represent you.
- Your blog or website embarrasses you. If you make excuses for your site, it’s time for a makeover. You should be proud of not only the content you share, but the overall look and feel of your blog.
- Do you have “blog envy”? Let’s face it, at some point, most everyone will feel a twinge of envy at another’s site. If you have that on a regular basis, though, you need to look at your site and make some changes. I caution people not to compare themselves to others, but it might be inevitable you will see other sites you love more than your own. Don’t jump onto a theme or a re-brand simply because you have seen one site you love more than your own. You may discover those blogs you envy have undergone a recent redesign. There are new, incredible blog designs and site themes, and if you continually compare your site to others instead of being happy with yours, consider a makeover.
What are some elements that make a blog look “tired” or in need of a makeover?
- Font choices — Comic Sans anyone?
- Drop shadows
- Having a site that is not mobile responsive
- “Sticky” navigation. This isn’t horrible for a website, but is not good for a mobile responsive site, and you want to have a mobile responsive site. Enough said.
- Slow site load times. Studies have found that more than 40 percent of all site visitors will bounce off your site if it takes more than three seconds to load.
How to jumpstart your blog makeover
- Make note of features you cannot live without.
- Make note of features you love but don’t currently have.
- Know what you do not want in your newly redesigned website.
- Know how these features mesh with a potential blog theme.
- Set a budget for both what you can afford financially and in time spent in the makeover process.
- Find a designer who “gets you” and understands what you’re seeking in your blog makeover.
- If you have the skills and can DIY it, what are you waiting for?
- Create a Pinterest board where you can pin elements you would like to see in your new blog.
Market your newly redesigned blog
- Make the unveiling of your site an event.
- Plan giveaways.
- “Tease” your social media followers with the fact that there is something new and exciting in the works.
- If you’re truly struggling between various design elements, ask your social media followers to ask for advice: “Do you like design A, B or C?”
- Don’t forget to update your social media profile images and banners to reflect the redesign.
Does your site need a makeover?
What makes you think so? If you recently gave your site a makeover, what prompted it? How long did it take? What advice can you offer to help others make the decision to jump into a site makeover?
Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. If you’re interested in learning about my new 30-Minute Writing program, email me, let’s talk. (Robbi AT PositivelyWoof DOT COM)