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Do you want to make people say “wow, I need to connect with her or him” as soon as they land on your blog?
Instead of having just a blogroll as your homepage you should create a static homepage. I discovered that I needed to do this after talking with a business coach very early on when I started this blog. She went through all of the steps that I could take in order to make this happen.
Unfortunately, I was still new to the WordPress platform after switching from Blogger, so it felt intimidating.
Once I learned how to do it, new visitors began to tell me how much they like being on my site. It’s true! New readers will have a better time choosing what they want to look at first if you direct them in your homepage.
If you don’t know anything about a static homepage or even how you can create a great looking one then you should definitely check out this course. I know how frustrating it can be when you have just switched from using the Blogger platform to WordPress, or if you have just signed up for WordPress and don’t know what to do next. That can be overwhelming.
The WordPress Academy course will definitely help you lessen the overwhelm so you can create a beautiful blog homepage.
No design experience necessary.
In this post, I want to share with you ways you can make your blog standout from the crowd with a beautiful, static homepage.
1. High Resolution Photos
I know budget is a factor when you are just starting as a blogger. You may have discovered that you will need photos to help you get started. High resolution photos will always work best when you are presenting your thoughts with photos. That is one of the reason bloggers use them.
There are several sites online for you to find free high resolution photos you can use on your blog. You will need these photos for:
- Your blog header.
- Images within your blog.
- Images for social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest).
- Email header.
For a comprehensive list on where to find free high resolutions for your blog see The Motherload: 80+ Free Stockphoto Websites.
The budget friendly thing to do is to create your own logo. Less is always best. You don’t need a bunch of stuff on a logo to let people know about your blog’s brand.
I particularly love this logo from Blogging Buttlerfly. It’s simple and straight to the point.
You can actually create your own logo in Pic Monkey. That’s how I created my logo.
I actually want to create another one.
Anyway…If you need some really great instructions on how to create your own logo in PicMonkey, here is a video tutorial from my dear friend Nina. She coached me too. She’s awesome! Check it out.
The tagline of your blog should be very simple. It should tell readers what your blog is about and who you are able to help. It also gives clues about your ideal reader. It is usually one sentence with 8 or 9 words. The tagline to my new blog, Inspired Women With Purpose is “Inspiring women to live complete lives with purpose.”
4. Clean Navigation
Contrary to what many believe, most people don’t like a whole lot choices. It can be overwhelming. If you have more pages to include in your navigation that might not very significant, you can put those pages in the footer. I like to limit my navigation or menu bar to 4 pages otherwise it will look messy.
5. Brief Bio and Summary About the Blog and Photo of Yourself
People really want to connect with a real person when online. I always want to know what the blogger looks like so I can find something I have in common with the writer in their summary.
That’s just how I feel about knowing what the blogger looks like, you might have a different reasons.
Anyway, doing this is very welcoming to your readers.
If you go to Amazon you will see a slider of offers that can direct you to different areas within in their site to help you find exactly what you want.
I happen to use a slider on my blog Inspired Women With Purpose so visitors can see the featured posts of the month. The slider will then take anyone who clicks on the photo to a specific blog post.
This is good if you do a post featuring products or any important information. I use a plugin called Site Origin and Site Origin Widget to achieve this.
You can always do this directly with your theme, depending on which theme you choose. The WordPress Academy course can help you set all of this up on your blog.
7. Pillar Posts Displayed on Your Homepage
Pillar posts are those few posts that solidify your blog topic. For example, my pillar posts are on turning your stories, passions, and talents into a business. Another post is on the ways you can use blogging to get others ready for your business.
These are the first few blog post that I added to the Desk of Katina Davenport and they are the main posts for my this blog. Check out my homepage to see what I have done.
8. Products or Services you Provide
If you have a main product or service you provide on your blog you should list it on the homepage to let your new visitors know what you can offer them. This gives them an opportunity to be directed to a blog post telling them more about the product or service. It will be an opportunity to direct them to your product or work with me page.
9. Way to Sign Up for Your Email List
Your homepage is one of the main gateways to gaining new subscribers. When you lead people to your blog by sharing one of your posts, it is probable that your email sign up form will be on the sidebar or within the post.
You never want to forget about the many opportunities you can use to get new subscribers. Make sure you offer a way to subscribe on your homepage through a link to a landing page, form at the header or footer, or pop-up box. Just be sure the pop-up box goes with Google’s new guidelines.
One of my favorite bloggers, Regina has her email subscription box at the header of her blog.
Check out Blogging Butterfly to see an example of having a way to sign up for your email list at the footer of the blog.
10. Testimonials (if applicable)
Testimonials of someone who found your blog to help them in some way will help build trust in new readers. Also, using testimonials of a customer who used your product on your homepage with tangible results will build trust in new readers as well.
One my blogging buddies, Darci Lopez from Life Unplanned includes testimonials about how people have been helped from her blog posts.
You don’t have to be a professional web designer to have a great looking blog that is easy to navigate and makes visitors want to stay.
It may seem intimidating to take on such a task and attempt to go at it on your own. However, with a step-by-step instructional on how web designers do some of the simple things with WordPress you will be able to create a beautiful homepage.