BlogSuccess: What’s Above Your Fold?

by Trish

When visitors arrive at your blog, what do they see without any scrolling of their mouse? Do they see something that will compel them to stay at your site and read more?

Go ahead, comment on my blog while you’re here. I know. The reason I’m mentioning this is that my blog designer and I are working on a new design and this is what he has me thinking about.

1. Do they see a lot of text that does not explain what the site is, who you are, how to subscribe by RSS or email?
That’s a problem.
Move your subscription options to the top of the page. Write an about me page, consider a static blog page or a static FAQ post. Consider your design. Can your readers see content? Can they quickly make a comment?

2. Is there a lot of art at the top? Art just for the sake of art is great, but for a blog that encourages traffic, large art is static, it doesn’t propel a reader to stay or continue to scroll. What about a large headline that doesn’t do much? A headline needs to draw in a reader. How about adding a subtitle? How about making it linkable? How about adding some menu buttons right underneath that title?

3. When your readers finally scroll, does music start to play or does the large amount of art or ads make the site slow to load?
If you can avoid music (if you’re not a composer or dj), don’t add music to your blog. Folks are usually listening to their own music or their own podcasts or they are at work and a quiet office is not amenable to loud trance music coming on automatically. The auto-play on some blogs drives me crazy.

4. Do all your links work? If you haven’t updated your blog roll in a while, why not do that this week? Nothing like coming to a person’s blog and then hitting a list of dead ends. Also, a helpful WordPress plugin allows your blog readers to connect the comments on the post to the commenter’s most recent blog post (I’m adding that function) and that is a great idea. Why would your readers want to click through your blog roll unless they kind of knew who those people were and how they respond to you?

5. Is your blog mostly pictures? That’s fine. No problems, but you might consider captioning. Decide if you want captions above the picture or below it. Do you want to name real names or just cite initials (if people are in the pictures)? Do you have permission to post their images on your blog?

Just a few things that I’m working on this week. Hope they are helpful.

Any comments? What would you like to see on this blog? I’m redesigning, so go right ahead!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr Rus Jeffrey March 2, 2009 at 10:57 am

First off, let me applaud you for having a mobile friendly blog. I follow you on Twitter and I clicked on you blog link from TwitterBerry. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when people, marketers and coaches no less, whom should no better do not have mobile friendly blogs. Then they get mad and rude when I point out they should do so. That is a certain unfollow from by the way.

Secondly, thanks for saying no to music and other forms of force feed feeds. I even hate those stupid flash intros that give an option to skip the intro. I never sumply skip the intro, I skip the entire site.

My design guy has a rule of them drilled into my head – Keep it simple!

That reminds, I should look at my sites and see if they’ve gathered unneded junk over the months.

Great post!
Dr. Rus

admin March 2, 2009 at 11:06 am

Hi, Dr. Rus, thanks for the props. I am sure trying.

Yes, flash intros are sometimes worse than the autoplaying music.

Simple is a great rule of thumb. I think a lot of bloggers will jump on that bandwagon this year. It’s exciting. Just doing my small part to help.

Trish

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