After about one month it’s time for me to think this whole blog through and how I can improve it during the next months. I really like the simplicity of this design and I went for a very small sidebar by choice. I was so sick of everyone having a huge sidebar saying nothing at all, but somehow I think a wider sidebar could be useful, or a bigger header. I haven’t decided on this one yet. Anyways sidebar blindness is one of those things that I hate, don’t make your sidebar a trashcan, make it useful for the visitor!
Determine what I need
Actually there is not a lot that I want to add right now, which was a big surprise when I thought about writing this post. Let’s first start off with things I am not going to incorporate into my site and why!
- At the moment I am not looking to get a lot of advertisement spots, but maybe I should plan ahead and leave myself the possibility to add some of those mighty funny 125*125 buttons, which I think are pretty useless. There are better forms of advertisement, that will probably work better for both sides. Let’s be honest, who clicks on those ads?
- A top commentators widget won’t appear on my sidebar as well. To be honest, this site has a pagerank of 0, happens to all of us when we start out. Yes that’s right, so far the pagerank strikes at that amazing figure that my income was last month… ZERO. The more annoying part with a top commentators widget is that you have to fight spam comments like no good once you hit a pagerank of 2. There are far better ways reward people for comments, and to be honest, do you really want to make people comment for that? I prefere unique and useful comments over some useless guys hunting comments to up their own pagerank.
- Follow comments via mail & comment luv, I am not sure if I want to integrated those, and as I am not sure I will stay away from them until I made up my mind if I really like those things or not.
Those two things were on my mind when I started out, but I am glad I did not ad both of them.
After a few weeks of writing, there are things that I’d like to add.
- First of all I really want to put my best content forward. There are great post, for example when I compared word of mouth with viral marketing, but then there are simple posts telling people to join twitter and adding me. So I really would love to add some sort of featured posts with a short extract on the front page or in the sidebar.
- After writing quite a few articles it might be smart to add some more stuff at the end of every single page. For example an invitation to subscribe to my feed, similar posts that might be of interest and stuff like that. Besides the actual usefulness for the readers it would be beneficial from a SEO point of view as it would be good for the interlinking of my page.
- Some sort of advertisement that is a direct fit for this page. I have no idea how to do that yet, but I’d really like to add some space on this blog that offers an unique advertisement space to sponsors. As I am a firm believer that 125*125 ads don’t offer a lot value, I really think there are better ways of visual advertisements. This is something that can’t be fixed with a plug-in that easy though.
Making it happen
Actually those points are just tiny tweaks, and once I have a bit of time at my hands I will just fix it this weekend. Adding a few plug-ins to increase the usability might take some time, but it’s one of those investments that will show instant gratification.
Staying away from clutter
My main point of improving a blog is that I don’t want it to be cluttered. It should be easy to find everything you are looking for, neither do I want a sidebar that loads longer than the rest of my content. The nice part is that I am really happy with my design right now. It is exactly what I want right now and I will work on it within the next months. Sometimes it’s far better to just start out and get something going than to wait for that perfect spot. So, don’t wait to create that perfect design, blog or whatever and just get going. You will get there along the way.