The technical side of blogging can be frustrating. A lot of blogging newbies labor over every detail of designing a blog and the fact is, there are some things that are necessary on a blog home page and some that really just aren’t.
I’m hoping this post clears up some of the confusion at least when it comes to your blog’s home page design. What are the essential things that you need to display and what can you forget? And when you decide on those critical elements, how do you get your blog to look pretty, like all the other blogs you follow?
Grab your note book and some warm tea, we’re about to go in.
How to Design Your Blog’s Home Page
There are some key things that I find are missing from blog home pages the more I do blog audits for my clients. If you want to grow your blog traffic, grow your email subscribers, show your credibility as a blogger, and make money with that blog, these are key considerations when designing your home page.
To get started, I always pull up other blogs in the same niche that are already doing well. One of my favorite sayings to my clients? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. We like to think we’re going to conquer the industry by being a trailblazing innovator and you might, just not when you’re starting out. When you’re starting out, you do your research to see what’s already working in your niche then decide how you can better that template for your own needs.
So pull up Pinterest, put some topics you feel like you will be covering on your blog in the search bar and open up some blogs. Filter out new blogs like yourself and gather a list of quality blogs with good traffic. You can identify them by their ad network. If they are in Mediavine or Adthrive, these ad networks require loads of traffic for you to get in so that’s a pretty good indication that they’re getting decent traffic. Once you have your list of blogs, here are all the things I bet you’ll find they have in common on their home page.
1. A Succinct Banner or Logo with a Punchy Tagline
Quite often new bloggers get carried away with humongous banners taking up all the space at the top of the blog. You have to understand that that space at the top is prime real estate that should be used for something that’s actually going to contribute to the growth to your blog. That’s really where you want to put an email capture or promote your most popular blog post.
Keep your logo small and cute. Put it in the top corner even, there’s no rule that says it has to run across the center of your blog.
Also, a tag line should add to the blog’s experience. Use a tag line if your blog’s name isn’t immediately understood, but don’t feel as if you absolutely need one. If you choose to use a tagline, try and keep it on one very short line. Think 5-8 words, no more.
Here’s what the top of my keto blog looks like. It’s still not perfect. I really need to change the font color of my tag line. I’ve been lazy to do that. But you get the idea.
2. Email Capture
One of the first things I like to see on a blog home page, preferable without even having to scroll, is an email capture.
In my screenshot of my keto blog’s home page above, you’ll see me pushing my free 7-day keto meal plan two places: in the menu bar and right after you read my little blurb about my journey. That’s all before you even scroll.
My email list on that blog is one of my biggest money makers so it’s super important to me to have many places where I am marketing my email list and giving people the option to jump on.
If you scroll up to the very top of this blog post that you’re reading, you’ll see an email capture there. That’s on the top of every blog post of mine, regardless of topic. I go into detail about what kind of email captures work best for all of your blog posts and where to position them in my blog audits. You should book one if you’re still struggling with growing your email list.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a professional blogger completely review your blog? Let me help you with that! I’ll check all aspects of your blog, tell you what’s working and what can be improved upon and I’ll give you 5 actions to take right this minute that can help you make MORE MONEY, increase your email subscribers and grow your traffic on your blog. Sounds great? Grab a blog audit here.
3. Easy Navigation
I have seen blog menus that break lines. You don’t need a menu with 10+ items. Nest similar categories under each other or contract your categories. Again, have a look at the blogs that are doing well in your niche. What are the categories and pages they have on their home page? Take your cues from them.
This also applies as you scroll down your blog’s home page. It should tell the story of your blog. You want it to be a static page and not just a running list of your blog posts. Let’s discuss a few other things that belong on the home page to tell this story.
4. About You
Yes, you should have an about page on your blog, but depending on your niche and the goal of your blog, you may want to include an about you blurb on the home page as well. This can be a photo in your side-bar with a few lines and a link to your about page or as I have it above, a small blurb at the top of the blog.
This is important to establish authority and the human element. If you’re giving advice in health, wealth or personal development especially, people (and search engines) want to know immediately who you are and why they should listen to you. Establish that trust right away by having your welcoming face and story feature on the home page of your blog.
5. Product Highlight
This will not be relevant for new bloggers but you won’t always be new, right? Hopefully by the time you’re seasoned enough to put a product out, you’re an expert on your own blog’s design but I don’t want you to overlook this.
Have a place on your home page that promotes your product directly. It’s fine to do this with your favorite affiliate product until you offer your own or even perhaps with your most popular post. Which brings me to…
6. Sticky Posts
On your home page, you’ll want to highlight your most popular posts. You don’t have to label them as such, you just want to put your best posts somewhere on your home page to spread the link love to these pages.
These posts shouldn’t move, they should always be on your home page. This is because your home page is usually the strongest page of your blog. It’s the one with the most backlinks and highest domain authority. Passing some of this authority on to your strongest blog posts or the ones that make you the most money will help to lift those pages and boost their traffic.
If you’re still unsure of why you should do this or how to go about doing so, perhaps by Beginner SEO course is for you.
Your Blog Home Page
Other things to consider are the links in your footer, your social media presence, and any dedicated ad space you want to allocate. I won’t go into detail with these, I think they’re pretty self-explanatory but remember you can book me for a 1-on-1 session if you need any help making your blog work for you.
Always consider the goal of your blog when designing your home page. Ask friends and family members to look at it and give you any feedback. Join blogging groups like my free one here and ask for feedback from other bloggers.
And when all else fails, a great theme will help you to design a home page in a few clicks. Themes like Divi from Elegant Themes and those from Bluchic and Blossom themes will make your life a whole lot easier. Their themes already come with most of these listed elements so all you’ll have to do is change up the photos and text and input your own material. It couldn’t be any easier. These themes also have great support should you run into any problems.
Now it’s time for you to have a look at your blog’s home page. do you love it? Does it have all these elements? How does it compare to the big bloggers in your niche? Here’s how to do your own blog audit and if you need help, my coaching packages are below.
Struggling to monetize your blog and start earning real money from your blogging efforts? You may need to work with a coach. Instead of following an impersonal course, a coach can tell you the exact things YOU should focus on to build YOUR uinque blog. Here are my blog coaching packages. Let’s work together on your blog strategy so you can finally start earning income from your blog!