Your wedding business website is slowly gaining traction, but you want to skyrocket that growth and blogging is how you plan to achieve that. Here’s the thing, without a well-designed blog that appeals to your target audience, you won’t be making the most of such a powerful tool. By following these simple tips, you’ll be designing a WOW-worthy blog that will have your dream couples logging on for your knowledge, in no time!
Setting up your blog
The first step to designing a blog is the initial set-up. I chose to host my DIY design blog with WordPress. I find it a really usable platform, for both newbies and those with experience. Their plug-in area allows for enormous growth, enabling almost any features that your website might desire. It is a platform that I can personally recommend.
Setting up a WordPress.org blog can be done with most domain hosting companies, so the chances are that your existing host will have a WordPress Installer that you can fin in your C-panel. If you are purchasing hosting for the first time, double-check that this is offered within your plan.
The WordPress Installer will walk you through a series of questions, to set-up your blog to suit your audience/ company/ brand and purposes. Once complete, you will be directed to your WP-Admin. This is the back-end of your WordPress website. Within the left-hand toolbar, you will find a ‘blog post’ tab. This is where you will write and publish your blog posts. Simple!
Now, let’s shift over to the design side of things.
What do you want to achieve from your blog? You want to ensure that it appeals to your visitors and target audience by presenting your knowledge in the best way possible. Focus on your design being clear and concise. You want the design to enable a smooth read for your audience, without distracting them from the words. I recommend keeping your blog minimal.
Keep it simple
Make sure every element on your blog has a purpose and shows your brand personality. Your blog homepage should focus on your most up to date blog topics and very little else should be featured. I often put a call to action somewhere on the page, that compliments the posts I blog about.
Generally, I use a feature image and possibly one more image throughout my post somewhere. Your feature imagine is important. It is the image that will be displayed with the title of your post in most locations that it is featured (your blog homepage, a facebook link, LinkedIn etc.) It’s important to include the name of your blog post, your website address and opt-in incentive within this image. If it is ever seen without text, the viewer will still know where clicking on that image will take them.
Make your reader feel at home. Using repetition and familiarity create a space for your reader to focus all of their wedding day thoughts and questions. Your logo and navigation are probably what create their first impression, let’s make it a good one! Have you put thought into your logo yet? Check out this post, maybe it’s time for a rebrand?
The key here is to be consistent. You want to show up, be recognizable and remembered. To do this it’s important for your logo and navigation to repeatedly be the first thing that your readers see on every page. Don’t let your potential clients walk away forgetting who inspired their first dance song or where they found that DIY up-do tutorial. Make your brand known by highlighting your logo at the top of your blog pages.
Something that in recent years has become a real focus amongst branding and design is your brand face. More often than not, that is who is doing the talking - that’s you. Like on a Jimmy Choo shoe we feel confidence, trust, and reliability in seeing their logo on the box, It is the same concept with your readers seeing the face behind the writing. Giving your viewers a visual representation of you, whether that's a photograph, an illustration or a painting, is a really effective way to instill confidence in the topics that you write about. Your writing becomes more relatable and your readers immediately feel a connection, creating an extended level of trust in your knowledge.
I have found that an effective way of including an author area on my blog is within my sidebar. This allows the main focus to be on the blog post topics but offers my brief bio close by, available as and when my readers chose to read it. This also includes a friendly headshot: mine features smiles and coffee!
If you don’t have any web design skills, you can still create that professional, dreamy look to your blog. The trick, a page builder - build your blog homepage and design your blog posts from your readers perspective with a simple drag and drop system. I recommend using one of the two plug-ins. I have used both, so below I will summarize each of them.
Page Builder - is a plug-in that is based on a drag and drop, page building system. It’s mobile-friendly features make it ideal for optimizing SEO as well as keeping your website user-friendly on all devices. This is a back-end editor, making it slightly more complicated to use, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of.
Visual Composer - does much much of what is mentioned above. It is a little less mobile friendly, BUT if tech isn’t your strong point this may be more up your street. It is drag and drop focused, from your audience's perspective and gets rid of the need for any of the complicated back-end stuff! You build as though you are viewing your website, making this plug-in super simple to use.
Neither of these relies on having any HTML coding knowledge and if you don’t feel either is a good fit, there are plenty more that you can have a play around within the plug-in library!
The finer details
Now we’re talking, the fun stuff! Using your chosen page builder plugin, you will find numerous options to edit the colors, fonts, sizes, margins, placement and SO much more! Don’t get to overwhelmed, it’s relatively self-explanatory. Be consistent, consider your brand and who you are trying to appeal to. Say we’re talking young brides? I’d focus on a minimal vibe using increased white space, with wider margins or a pastel feature color to stand out against a sharp black and white concept. Whatever style you choose, ensure that it compliments your existing brand and appeals to your dream client.
It’s important to have a play around. The more time you spend working within your page builder, the quicker you will become at using it and understanding the features.
Once you have laid down the foundations to your blog design, setting up your blog post template and blog homepage using the page builder tool, there is very little to do other than write! You can forget all about the visual side of things from this point onwards. Every time you publish a new post, ensure that you select your blog template and you will be forever adding to a cohesive and professional looking blog to stun your prospective clients without having to worry about the finer details. Be consistent with your feature images and you are set for success.
Every blog post is the first step and the possibility of gaining a new client. Remember that first impressions are often visual ones. Make your words shine with design to match and see those newly engaged couples looking to you for their wedding day advice!
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This post was written by Kat Fraser, Owner of Fraser & Co Design, is a professional graphic designer specializing in brand and website design for wedding businesses. She focusses on getting straight to the heart of your brand-because that's what sells it. Pinpointing your brand identity, guided by what you believe in and makes you unique, who you want your brand to speak to and what you ultimately want to achieve. She uses this in-depth information to create the visual identity to make your brand strike a chord with couples and stand out.