First impressions matter. They matter when you’re trying to pick up a girl. They matter when you’re trying to get a sale. And they matter when you’re blogging. Even if your blog gets everything else right, the wrong first impression can kill your chances of success. Why? Because bad first impressions make people bounce.
And people that bounce don’t click ads, they don’t buy informational products and they certainly don’t make you money. Therefore if you want to blog for profit, you’ll be wanting to make a good first impression. Here are seven tips for introducing your blog so doing just that.
Start Every Post with a Bang
First off, there is the small matter of your blogs content. If the first thing that a new visitor reads is a paragraph full of typos, don’t expect them to keep reading. That first paragraph has to make them want to keep reading. This is why you need to take special care when it comes to the opening paragraph of your posts. You never know which one is going to send an otherwise loyal reader heading for the back button. It also wouldn’t hurt to keep your post titles snappy.
Go Easy on the Ads
The battle between click through rates and a professional appearance is one that most bloggers are all too familiar with. And even if you don’t make money on a per click basis, there’s still that tendency to sell one more ad block. If you want to profit from blogging, you obviously need to monetize your content. But there’s a line that must not be crossed. And if the first thing that your readers notice is your ads, you’re likely to have crossed it.
Introduce Your Blogs Purpose
One of the many things that Google has thought the world is that when people head online, they are usually searching for something. You might turn on the television to kill the silence but when you open your browser, you are looking for something more specific. One of the first things that your blog should tell new visitors is that they’ve found what they are looking for. If you don’t tell sci-fi fans that they’ve found a sci-fi blog, why are they going to stick around? Define your blog and make that definition immediately clear.
Everyone knows that content is king. But dress that content in an ugly theme and who is going to read it? Unfortunately, looks matter. They play havoc with bounce rates and they play havoc with your profits. You don’t need to invest in a premium theme if you don’t want to. But you can’t install a theme that looks like a child designed it either. Aim for a clean, professional look.
When one of your repeat readers visits your blog, you want them to feel at home. You want them to be familiar with your blogs layout and color scheme. Such familiarity is welcoming, comforting even. But new visitors should never feel that way. If they do, it’s because your blog is so unoriginal that first time visitors are getting a false sense of déjà vu. Don’t look like everyone else. Take a look at your primary competitors and stand out. Choose a theme, a logo and a personal statement that demonstrates your blogs individuality.
Don’t Be Irritating
When somebody visits your blog for the first time, the last emotion that you want them to experience is irritation. It’s an emotion that not only leads to a bounce but also a subconscious decision never to return. If you don’t want the first impression that your blog makes to be one of irritation, avoiding including any of the following.
- Automatic video/audio.
- Full screen pop ups.
- Flashing advertisements.
Arrive on Time
Finally, don’t be late. The worst first impression that any blog can make is taking half the day to load. Poor loading times receive this coveted title as they are the only first impression that no blogger can recover from. Take more than ten seconds to load, and most web users will immediately bounce. No amount of fancy logos or perfectly crafted content can save you. Check your loading times and fix if applicable.