How many times have you traveled around the mom blogging community and discovered that a lot of mom blogs look alike? Yeah, I know. There’s nothing worse than blending in with the crowd when it comes to your blog design. What you want is your blog to be memorable, eye-catching, and striking.
I know, you’re looking at this blog and thinking, “What is so striking about this blog?” Nothing. This is my admittedly bland, vanilla industry blog, but my “mom blog” and mom blog community have a little bit more va-va-voom and I don’t think there are many mom blogs or Ning communities that look like it. I refuse to blend it, if at all possible.
Here are my keys to standing out in a growing sea of mom blogs.
1) Turn Off to Templates: Yes, I know templates are tempting to use. I use them. Most people use them. Try, though, not to use a template that everyone else uses, or customize it as much as possible so people see a difference when they land on your blog. Give your readers the quick impression that your blog isn’t a template, but rather a well-designed, customized blog.
2) Hire a Designer: In order to really stand out you sometimes have to plunk down cash unless you have a great handle on Photo Shop or an innate design sensibility. Really look at a designer’s portfolio. Do all of their clients’ blogs look identical? That’s a clear indication that your blog will look like all of their clients’ blogs as well. You might even want to look outside the mom blogging community to find blog designers you really like and hire them. They’ll bring a different look to your blog and help you stand out.
3) Product Shots: When you are writing product reviews only review those that have great product shots. Ugly product shots make your blog ugly. Yes, I said it.
4) Stock Photography: If you want to add flair to your blog posts you can always grab stock photography unless, of course, you are uploading photos of your own. I use istockPhoto (who doesn’t?). Here’s the key, though. Don’t buy images that are on fire and have been downloaded a million times no matter how good they are. Spend a little extra time hunting for equally beautiful stock photos that have been downloaded only a handful of times.
Getty Images — the supreme site of stock photography — now sells photographs as low as $5. I know! When I saw their new campaign, “Small is Powerful” I almost fell out my seat. Thank you, recession, for making Getty Images’ photos affordable for people like me who have been salivating over their images for years and years and years!
5) Match Those Colors!: Colors are key to the feel of a blog. I chose orange for The Mom Salon because I wanted it to be infused with an energetic and exciting feel. I chose a light green for the Mom Bloggers Club because I wanted it to have a calming, soothing feel. I’m very deliberate about such things.
I also always use the Color Schemer to perfectly match colors. I do have a great eye for color matches and can usually do it by sight, but if I want to be precise I always consult the color wheel.
Remember, like I said a few days ago good content is queen. But people will only get to your good content if your blog urges them to stick around. It’s your well-written, thoughtful content that will bring them back. That’s why book publishers and record companies spend so much time and money on cover art and design. It’s just as important for them as it should be for you!