Warning: Your Blog Is Being Forgotten!

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Stand out and be remembered. This is the 3rd article in our attempt to answer the question of What Makes a Good Design?. We’ve already covered site goals and user goals, but those only take effect when the use is actually on your site. What about when they’re elsewhere? Or even offline?

A purpose-built, usable blog is great, but if it isn’t strikingly designed, it will be forgotten! If a visitor reads your iPod article today, what is it that will make them think of you the next time they’re looking for iPod info?

Be different. Be unique. Be memorable. And here’s how:

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Elements of a Uniquely Personal Blog Design

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Unique In yesterday’s post I discussed how the design of a personal blog can be an enjoyable experience because of the many design freedoms it offers. The key with a personal blog design is to let your personality shine through.

There are a number of ways in which this can be done through your writing and commenting style, but it can also be done in your design. Listed below are just some of the different might use to go about making a design that little bit more unique.

  • Header design. The blog’s heading is arguably the best place to be creative. Let your heading reflect who you are. What are your hobbies and interests? Why not put photos of them in your header?

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The Personal Side of Personal Blog Design

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Personal blog design. In the hubbub of blogging advice and tips, personal blogs often get overlooked. Business blogs seem to take all the attention, even though there are a good deal more personal blogs than business ones online. This seems to have extended into design advice as well but let’s change that.

What makes personal blog design unique?

To answer this, ask yourself: what makes a blog a personal blog? The answer: anything and everything! Your personal blog can be whatever you want it to be. It’s yours. The level of freedom you have with your content is unparalleled and that same level of freedom extends into your blog’s design.

That is what makes personal blog design unique.

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Design Review: Darjan Panic

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Darjan Panic Darjan Panic is a freelance designer, with a very unique looking blog. There is nothing conventional in this blog’s design. It’s different, and it’s bold. What better candidate for a review?

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Logo. The Darjan Panic logo is perfect. It is easily memorable, clearly shows the site’s initials, and looks great as part of the actual design. It is the very first thing you will notice upon arriving at the site, and for good reason. You’ll even find it being used effectively as a bullet point! In short, it meets all of David Airey’s criteria for a great logo.

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Make Your Template Unique

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Unique Template
Image by Thiru Murugan
There are some obvious dangers to using a template, like malicious coding and such, but there is another, not so obvious danger. What if your template causes your blog to vanish into the blogosphere? What if it makes you boring?

The very best looking template in the world is the very worst template you can use, because everyone else is already using it. If your blog does not stand out from the dozens of others in your niche, how will your readers remember you? And if they do not remember you, why will they come back?

The key to successfully using a template is to make it your own. The great thing about a template is that the bulk of the work is already done, but the finishing touches are still up to you. You need to make enough adjustments to make your version clearly distinguishable from the original.

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Personalise Messages and Stand Out

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Personality
Photo by Aki Jinn

There are millions of blogs out there. You need to stand out from all the rest; be different to be remembered. However, standing out doesn’t just mean using a custom theme, it means customising every part of your blog, including the default messages.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2007 at 9:17 pm and is filed under General Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

We’ve all seen that message on blogs before, and what opinion does it give you of said blog usually?

It doesn’t. That’s the problem. The owner hasn’t bothered to put some personality into the blog, and as such, you have nothing to remember it by.

This is the most extreme example of course. The quoted paragraph is usually changed (removed?) by blog owners, simply because it is so over-worded and unfriendly to readers. What other lines in your blog can be given a personality of their own?

Encouraging Comment Messages

When your post has 0 comments, you want to do everything you can to encourage that to change. Wordpress offers an easy method of doing this through comments.php. Simply enter the message you would like to display where you see the line:

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