The Seven Deadly Sins Of Web Design

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Web Design

Designing a well-built website is more than just pretty colors & fonts. There are do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of. If you spot these don’ts on your own website I’m hoping you will recognize and fix immediately. It will benefit you, your readers, your pageviews and your followers.

#1 FONTS

Fonts that are too small or too light are a pain. I wear glasses and there are times that I can’t even read a piece of content because I literally can not see the font. Compose great headlines, write interesting content and use headline fonts that can grab attention. Also, line-height is an important factor. Give your text room! Big sections on content can overwhelm. Keep sentences & paragraphs short,

Think about it as an elevator. What do you do when the elevator door opens and it’s packed

#2 MOVING SLIDERS

A year or two moving sliders were all the rage, but as with everything else we began to see the drawbacks immediately. Slower sites, annoying movement or site bloat. Today moving sliders are so 2018 and if you’re still using them stop it!

#3 TOO MANY ADS

Listen, you’re never going to get rich running ads on your website BUT they can cost you big time. Site speed is so important these days and ads slow your site WAY DOWN! Not only that they’re annoying when there are so many you can hardly find the content. I assure you, your readers won’t. They will click off faster than you can say WAIT What?

#4 CONTENT OVERLOAD

I know it’s hard to create compelling content consistently (that’s a lot of c’s), but when you use long sentences and even longer paragraphs I can guarantee nobody is going to be reading it. People skim, they no longer read.

The best way to get more eyes on your content and lower that bounce rate is to write short complete sentences. Small paragraphs (no more than five sentences but even better three). Use your headlines correctly and space out your content so that it is easy to read quickly.

#5 BAD IMAGERY

As a designer, I think that imagery is so underrated. In my opinion, it’s the most important part of your content. Finding the right images isn’t easy but with loads of free stock photo sites, it’s a lot easier than before.

Think about your piece of content and find images that say what you mean. By that I mean if you write a post about blogging don’t use an image of a national park or if you’re a food blogger don’t use images that are money-related. I wrote the Essential Stock Image Guide that will show you what to use and where to find them.

#6 CONFUSING CONTENT

This is a little harder to explain, but what I mean is stay within your niche. If you’re a food blogger don’t suddenly throw in a travel piece. Or if you’re a travel blogger don’t suddenly start writing about crafting. It confuses your readers and a confused reader won’t be engaged.

I get it writing about the same things day after day gets boring and there are ways to incorporate different aspects. Maybe as a food blogger, you could write about the food in a city you just visited. Recreate the recipes or even build on it. If you’re a travel blogger write about the culture and display items of local color.

#7 COLOR & FONT HOARDING

This one is a constant fight. I get bored easily and changing things up keeps your site fresh and interesting BUT you can overdo it. Believe me, I can be the Queen of overdoing it. Using the wrong fonts in the wrong places or using too many different font types. Never use cursive in your main content. I seldom use serifs either just because it’s harder to read. A good crisp sans-serif is a great idea for your main font.

Limit yourself to no more than two different ones. You can always use different weights to help your content stand out. The more fonts the slower your site and the more confusing it can be to your reader. #thestruggleisreal

The same thing with color. Limits people! I never use more than three colors and seldom use that many. A good accent color and another to stand out against the rest. Any more can be confusing and choosing your color combinations is important.

It should be based on research for your niche and of course something that you AND your readers will relate to. Color psychology is real and it’s a very important step in the design process. For more information check out this post.

 

BONUS TIP

You should treat your website like the piece of prime real estate that it is. What I mean about is this;

When Google reads a website it goes from left to right just as you would read a book. So it stands to reason that the top left part of your website will be the most important space on the whole site. I’ve made a little illustration to show you exactly what I mean.

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Looking For Some Blog Post Inspiration? I Found A Fun New Game For That!

Looking For Some Blog Post Inspiration? I Found A Fun New Game For That!

The struggle is real! Coming up with compelling content is not always as easy as it seems and sometimes it’s downright impossible! If you’re a content creator you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Recently, I came across a whole new way of coming up with new content & it’s as fun as your favorite card game! Introducing:

The Blog Inspiration Deck by Renae  Gregoire from INeedCopy.com & BlogPostInspiration.com has completely changed the way we can create content that will have readers flocking from miles around to gobble up your content gold!

This Blog Inspiration Deck comes with 60 cards in a deck and an ebook to show you exactly the best way to come up with blog post inspiration, but today I’m going to show you exactly how it works & how to get your very own set!

This would also make a terrific Christmas present for the blogger in your life!

Creativity, once nurtured, tends to grow like a weed, so you may want to keep a notebook or journal to record your ideas and inspirations. I keep a spreadsheet called “Blog Post Ideas,” which I open each time an idea for a blog

post comes to mind. On the sheet, I collect images, URL’s, quotes, and anything else that inspires me and that I think will inspire or help my audience. Spreadsheet, journal, notebook…the format doesn’t matter. What does matter is being prepared to capture the ideas that will come to you as you use The Blog Post Inspiration Deck.

I believe each of us is creative; sometimes it takes but a spark of inspiration to set that creativity on fire!

Qoute By Renae Gregoire

The first thing you do is to separate the cards into three piles.

TYPE  |  TOPIC  |  VIBE

After separating the piles you want to pick a card from each of the three piles. You will then have three stacks of 20 cards.

The first “TYPE” is the different type of posts such as (20 INCLUDED):

  • Behind The Scenes Post – With the behind-the-scenes post, give your tribe a peek at what makes you tick, or what it takes to bring your products or talents to the world.
  • Challenge Post – Could be either a post that challenges your audience or a challenge your audience might face.
  • Cheat Sheet Post – Recaps or summarizes instructions or information.
  • Checklist Post – Helps people move through a process while “checking off” items on a list.
  • How-To Post – Tell or show your tribe how to do something you know they want to do.

 

The second group “TOPIC” is pretty self-explanatory (20 INCLUDED):

  • A Hairy Best Your Customer Faces – A major problem your prospects & customers face.
  • A Bit Of Industry News – What’s your favorite industry news source, check that source and scan the latest topics.
  • A Bit Of Practical Advice – What is something that you regularly tell prospects or customers to make their results or life better?
  • A Common Mistake – What common mistakes plague your prospects or customers?
  • A Current Event – An event in your neighborhood, or an event worldwide that is big news to your prospects or customers.

The last group “VIBE” describes the feel of the blog post (20 INCLUDED).

  • How you feel when creating the post.
  • The spirit you wish people to feel while or after reading the post.
  • An underlying theme of the post.
  • The topic of the post itself.

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Abundance – A copious supply or quantity; overflowing.
  • Balance – A state of equilibrium; a harmonious arrangement or adjustment; a just proportion.
  • Buoyancy – The quality of floating in or on; relative lightness; light-heartedness; cheerfulness; elasticity or spirit.
  • Compassion – Is suffering with another; a feeling of sorrow or pity awakened by the sufferings or misfortunes of another.
  • Courage – The quality of mind that enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear of depression of spirits; valor; boldness; daring resolution.

You would then pick one card from each pile for example:

My three were:

TOPIC= A COMMON MISTAKE

TYPE=REVIEW

VIBE=WONDER

What could you come up with for this in your own niche? Give me an example in the comments below. For me, I could create a post about how surprised I am by the number of people who never back their sites up. I could create a post where I review how to successfully back up your website or I could even create a list of common mistakes that I see new bloggers make.

See how easy that was?!? Plus it’s also really fun!

Do you want your very own Blog Inspiration Deck? You can order your very own set or even as a gift right here!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase the product or service listed above I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost.

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Women In Biz #6 Karen Schifman

Women In Biz #6 Karen Schifman

 

Welcome to the sixth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.

The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.

This month I want to introduce Karen Schifman from Artful Amphora. I have longed to be an artist my whole life. I think that people who are given those gifts are spectacular & Karen is a prime example. Karen is also one of my longest clients. I maintain her website for her so she can concentrate on teaching & creating.

Artwork Property of Karen Schifman Artful Amphora.com

The piece above just tore at my heart. Even if you don’t live in California I think the massive fires they have experience tears at the heart of all Americans.

Tell us a little bit about you

I am an art historian, college professor, and mixed-media artist.

What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site?

I was writing a monthly column for an organization that I belong to entitled SCWCA (Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art). It seemed like a good place to archive my articles and then it developed from there.

‘Honoring Virginia’ property of Karen Schifman ArtfulAmphora.com

Amazing work! I  love this one as well. Well, actually I love them all! Check out the rest of her pieces HERE

What is your niche?

My column is “Women Around Town” and for the most part, provides details about women artists who are exhibiting in So. California. I also write about art that I encounter when traveling and things of special interest. I write once a month. I have an email list but also post on Facebook for a larger audience.

‘California Girl’ property of Karen Schifman Artful Amphora.com

Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?

N/A

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Facebook. That is where most of the people I know post. I have an Instagram account, however, I am not used to it quite yet.

Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?

I avoid the back end.

Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?

This is definitely a passion project.

If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?

N/A

What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

The one thing that I would like people to know about me is that I am passionate about art and supporting women artists.

Ladies can I get an AMEN?!? We need more people like Karen who want to build women up instead of tearing them down. Mentoring the women coming up behind her. As a woman, I just want to say thank you.

TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

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Why Now Is The Perfect Time For A Re-Design

Why Now Is The Perfect Time For A Re-Design

Pink & gold flatlay desk

Are You Tired Of Looking A The Same Old Tired Website?

When you visit other websites are you green with envy?

I get it! I love color, all colors, and when I come across a pretty new color palette or an amazing font comes across my desk I start designing in my mind automatically and before I know it I’m putting the changes on my own sites or those of my clients.

I’m going to tell you a secret…

I can trust you, right?

I don’t always practice what I preach! SSHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone, but I struggle with branding because I get bored so easily. You’ve heard me and a whole lot of other experts tell you that consistent branding is necessary for brand recognition, but nobody tells you that IT’S SO DAMN HARD!!!

I’m constantly experimenting and if I could spend my days making graphics I would. That’s my favorite thing in the whole world! Speaking of…Did you know my DIY BLOGGING/TRAVEL site WanderingWebDesigner is having a grand opening sale and now until Jul 31st you can get 30 custom graphics for $30!!! That is a hell of a deal 50% off of the regular price! Better hurry though this amazing offer ends 7-31-19. If you looking for web design tips, travel recommendations, or your just trying to figure it all out by yourself then this is the site for you!

Anyway, back to branding. I get bored easily so changing out designs for graphics or website graphics seems like a necessity to keep my business looking fresh and user-friendly. I love pretty pictures (can you tell) so whenever something catches my eye I have to have it. I have a fabulous subscription to Styled Stock Society where I get all of my images exclusively for this site. I pay a small fee once a year and every month I get so excited to see the new images in the library and there’s no limit. As you can see I’m a huge fan of the flat lay desktops.

The best place to find professional images, videos or music for your website or social media is Shutterstock. You’ll find anything you’re looking for from foodies to fashion. You can use free sites like Pixabay or Unsplash, but free doesn’t always cut it when you need to create consistent & professional branding. As a special gift to you, they are going to give you a 10% discount just for being a loyal reader! Use this link and bump your game up!

Best professional stock images on the market.

Choosing the right imagery & graphics is just as important, if not more important than copywriting, color palettes & font choices. When creating a brand you want your ideal customer to feel a certain type of way when they see your content. Let’s face it, today’s world moves at warp speed and we need to keep up. People no longer read, they visualize and scan so having the right imagery is really the only way we have to stand out and grab attention.

For example, I want my clients here on The Blogging 911 to feel confident & empowered. The way I accomplish this is by connecting the technology to run their businesses and setting up system automation to save time & money while giving their clients & customers great user experience. I work with mostly females because I love what I do so much & I want you to love what you do just as much. It’s life-changing. For me to be a success you need to be successful.

So, Why Is It The Perfect Time For A Re-Design You Ask?

Because when you purchase our design or branding package you don’t just get a fresh, modern look. You get the full experience where you’re in the driver’s seat to your own destiny. Right now, I’m throwing in a lot of Summer bonuses that don’t normally come with the design/branding package.

  • A full video tutorial teaching you how to use your new site + a Skype session to answer any additional questions. ($150 value)
  • You know that you’re building on one of the best website frameworks on the market thrown in at NO EXTRA COST! ($60.00 Value)
  • Your choice of child themes from StudioPress from my theme library (A $49.99 to $149.99 Value).
  • Things like SSL Certificates are always included. Provided by Bluehost.
  • You also get one full year membership to the website maintenance plan ($149.99 value) so that you can use your new website knowing that someone is there to help, to answer your questions, to keep the site updated and backed up. To hold your hand through the whole process for A WHOLE YEAR!!! Who does that?!?

It’s like having an insurance policy for your website!

You won’t have to:

  • Worry about conflicting plugins.
  • Worry about backing up your site.
  • Worry about updating WordPress.
  • Worry about backing up your theme.
  • Worry about backing up your plugins.
  • Worry about optimizing your database on a monthly basis.
  • Worry about running a monthly malware scan twice a month.

If you’re new to WordPress you will receive a detailed video explaining the various parts of your new website and best practices when it comes to using it. Even if you’ve used WordPress you might like to watch it and maybe find out things that you didn’t know.

Another reason now is a great time for a redesign is because we’re in the Summer Slumps, those few months every Summer where people have nothing on their minds but spending time with family & friends, enjoying vacations, or just lounging by the pool! Get ready for the busy holiday seasons now. Create a plan from publishing new content to creating a sales funnel, email sequence or setting up a shopping cart & Facebook ads.

I only work with one client at a time so that I can give them a 100% personal service. So you better hurry, spots fill up fast! A re-design is more cost-efficient than a build because the foundation is already there which means it costs less & takes less time than a standard web design/branding package. Turn around is generally 2 weeks instead of the 4 to 6 weeks it takes to build out from scratch.

Pageviews always decrease during the Summer months.

Which means it’s a perfect time to freshen up that website, dust off the cobwebs, add a much-needed enhancement, upgrade your website security, or just move things around. It’s the perfect time to put a content marketing plan in place.

I’d love to talk to you about your ideas, dreams or wishes! Need something other than web design? Need to connect analytics or maybe set up an email sequence? Check out the shop over at WanderingWebDesigner.com

Right now I’m offering a web design/branding package for over half off the usual pricing! This is for established websites only.

Get a consistent, beautiful new look that will be shared across all platforms.

Have you been dreaming of carving out a brand for your products or services that will turn sales on autopilot!

You better hurry!

I don’t know how long I can afford to keep this pricing!

$500

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase I will earn a small commission. It will in no way affect your pricing.

 

 

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Step-by-Step Sales Funnel Planning

Step-by-Step Sales Funnel Planning

 

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of setting up your sales funnel? You’re not alone. Many online business owners fail to properly plan out their funnel, and it shows.

They have an opt-in incentive that doesn’t appeal to their audience.

Their follow-up emails don’t flow naturally from the opt-in.

Messages are unbalanced—either too many sales pitches or not enough. Even worse, the offers don’t match the market.

Making these mistakes is common, so if you recognize yourself here, don’t feel bad. The good news? There’s an easy fix.

Step 1: Survey your market

All too often we think we know what our readers and potential buyers want, but in reality, we’re simply guessing. We make the mistake of believing that we are our market, but that usually is not the case.

The only way to know for sure what your market truly wants and needs is to ask them. Set up a simple survey (even a Google form will work) and ask your blog readers, social media followers, and email list to give their opinion.

Do this right, and you’ll know exactly what you should be offering your audience, plus, you’ll know that language to use on your opt-in page.

Step 2: Create your opt-in

Now that you know what your market needs, it’s time to create your opt-in incentive. Keep in mind that readers today seem to prefer simple, easy-to-digest offers rather than 200-page eBooks or 7-part video series. This makes your job a bit easier, too.

Some popular choices for opt-in incentives include:

  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Resource guides
  • Video training
  • Webinars
  • Audio downloads

 

Step 3: Map out your autoresponder

Every good opt-in incentive should be followed up with a series of emails that build on the material. If you’ve offered a resource guide, for example, then your follow-up emails might include usage tips for each of the resources, or case studies that show how others have benefited from using the tools.

Step 4: Make an offer

Arguably the most important part of your funnel, your offer must be the logical next step for readers to take. They’ve worked through your opt-in incentive, read and acted on your emails, and they’re hungry for more. Time to make your offer.

Just like the other pieces of your funnel, your coaching offer needs to be the answer to your readers’ most burning questions. If you consider your opt-in and follow-up series to be the “lite” version, then your coaching offer is the premium package. Bigger, beefier, and the perfect next step.

Before you post your first opt-in code, take some time to map out your funnel according to these steps, and you’ll not only fill your funnel faster, but you’ll close more sales along the way.

 

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Top Tools For Building Your Sales Funnel

Top Tools For Building Your Sales Funnel

Ready to start building out your sales funnels? There are just a few things you need before you can get started. Here are some of the most popular options when it comes to putting together both free and paid funnels: 

Lead Pages—when it comes to building opt-in pages, LeadPages.net is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. They’ve tracked and tested a variety of page styles to determine which ones convert best, and they make it easy for you to build similar pages for your funnel.

It does come with a monthly fee, though, so before investing, you’ll want to be sure you can recoup your investment.

Instabuilder—similar to LeadPages, but without the monthly investment. Instabuilder is a plugin for WordPress that allows you to create your own funnels. It includes several funnel templates and a drag-and-drop page builder that makes it easy to get just the look you want.

AWeber—Probably the easiest email manager on the market today, AWeber is the choice for many small business owners, not only because it’s simple to use, but because it’s also economical. Starting at less than $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers, AWeber offers both autoresponders and broadcast emails, list automation, and segmenting, so you can send emails exactly when—and to whom—you want.

AW Pro Tools—an add-on to AWeber, AW Pro Tools gives you added control over your list management by automatically removing unsubscribes, moving subscribers from one list to another based on the link they click, and other useful automations. 

PayPal—The simplest of all payment processors, PayPal allows you to take payments online for a very reasonable fee. It will also act as a simple shopping cart.

Ontraport—Another email manager, Ontraport offers shopping cart functionality as well, so you can create powerful funnels that are fully integrated with your sales process. The benefit here is that you don’t have to try to synch your cart with your email system, since it’s completely self-contained. 

Infusionsoft—Probably the top tool for any business model, Infusionsoft is an all-in-one solution for customer management, funnel setup, mailing list, and even membership sites. It’s priced at the high end, but if you can (and will) use all its power, then Infusionsoft is well worth the investment.

You can see that you have a lot of options when it comes to building out your sales funnels, but what are the must-have items? At the most basic level, you must have:

A way to create web pages. A simple WordPress website will fill this need, with a little bit of work. LeadPages or Instabuilder are nice to have, but not essential, especially if you’re just getting started.

A way to capture email addresses. AWeber is definitely the top choice here, but others include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and iContact.

A shopping cart. PayPal is as easy as it gets when it comes to shopping carts, but other options include 1 Shopping Cart, Woo Commerce, Infusionsoft, and aMember.

 

I recommend you start small. Build the funnel framework as simply as you can, using tools that don’t cost a fortune. Once you have a few funnels up and running, you will be able to see where they can use improvement, and how the tools available to you can help make your funnels convert better and work more efficiently.

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