As human beings we are a pretty shallow bunch sometimes, things that look visually appealing often attract us to take a close look, rather like Magpies that are attracted to bright shiny objects. So what I’m trying to say here is that if your blog looks dull and boring, even if you’re content is comparable to Shakespeare, people will tend to not want to read it.
The good news is that making your blog look nice is really simple. Now when you first upload your blog to your hosting account, you will be given a default theme, and believe me when I say it’s dull, it really is! So what you can do is to upload a new theme that compliments your content, and one that you like the look of, generally if you like it so will others.
You can search the internet for a custom theme, these are really nice but you will have to pay for them. Or you can upload a FREE one, and there are some real crackers, here’s a link…
Some 1435 themes to choose from or you can get to them by clicking on the ‘Add New Theme’ button (in the appearance box on the left side bar) from your blogs dashboard. Obviously these are WordPress themes so if you’re using a different platform you can do a Google search for the free themes for that.
You can search for different themes using the search bar, to look for themes based on colour, width, the number of columns, features etc. Once you find one you like click ‘preview’ to get a good look, then if you’re happy with it, just click ‘install’ and it will overwrite the default theme for you, then click ‘activate’ and it’s done.
Now that your blog looks the way you want it to you can add some ‘plugins’ that will make it a lot more Google and user friendly. Adding a plugin is as easy as changing your theme, a true ‘plug and play’ experience. Click on ‘plugins’ on the left bar and then ‘add new’ from the drop down menu.
If you already know what plugins you want that’s great, just follow the on screen instructions, if not then here’s a list of plugins that I would recommend.
Askimet. A useful anti spam plugin to help combat those spam comments.
Platinum SEO. Will help to automate your on-page search engine optimisation.
Easy Contact. A quick and simple way of adding a contact form to your blog.
Google XML Site Maps. Google loves this one, an automated method for creating your XML sitemap.
There are many others that do all sorts of things for your blog, doing a Google search will open up a whole world of possibilities. They are very simple to install, just don’t forget to activate them.
Now you’ve got a blog that looks good, that Google likes and is user friendly, in the next post I’ll add the meat to the bones and talk about your content, and how to write it.