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New website visitors decide to stay and read—or click away—in a matter of seconds. To create a sticky first impression, it’s critical you consider the site design just as carefully as you choose what to write. A well-designed site not only keeps readers on your page, but also establishes credibility for your brand and recommendations.

Consider these tips as you design your website or blog:

Balance cost, quality, and convenience

The cost of a new site design varies vastly. If you choose to have your site professionally designed, you will get a truly unique layout adapted to the specific requirements of your blog or business—and that can be just what you need. Remember that in addition to paying high design fees to start, you will need to pay for future development, updates, and changes you require.

Alternatively, many website building platforms offers free design templates that are simple to use and populate with content. You will want to make sure that your site and brand are unique, so be sure to implement your own visual content design and create your own brand style using the platform’s customization tools.

Of course, if you’re familiar with web design, you can create your own layout or adapt an existing one to your liking—getting a custom site without the cash outlay. Ensure that the template is up to date to take advantage of the latest features when the CMS is updated.

Keep the design relevant to your content

Think carefully about how your site’s design elements visually represent your content. The theme of your website—from the design to your choice of colors, fonts, and other individual elements—should be appropriate for your subject. It probably doesn’t make sense to use a stark, minimalist layout for a gardening blog or multiple bright colors and playful fonts on a blog about legal issues.

Optimize for usability and mobile

As a rule, your site should be intuitive to use and easy to read. Ask yourself:
  • How easy is the navigation to use?
  • Do visitors always know where they are?
  • How easy is it to find important content?
  • Are there too many or too few choices for visitors to make?
  • Are there any confusing elements?
Make sure your site is mobile-friendly since so many sites are now browsed on mobile devices. Most sites are now responsive: similar to the desktop site but expanding and contracting based on the resolution of each viewer’s device.

Design with monetization in mind

If making money through affiliate marketing is your primary goal, you need to design your site for effective merchandising. Make it easy for visitors to browse your site and see the recommendations related to your stories and posts. All content should be logically related, which not only is better for the visitor experience, but makes affiliate links, banners, and products more effective.

Get online and start sharing

Remember that the layout and design you start with can be refined over time. Get started with a simple, well-designed site and enhance your site’s design by adding new content and monitoring where readers are engaging. Don’t lose valuable time tinkering with minor layout details but focus on elements that will drive more traffic.
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