When was the last time you gave your art blog a design overhaul? Three years ago? Five? Well, it may be time to spruce things up a bit!
Below are seven signs that your art blog may need a re-design:
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1. It looks outdated
While “outdated” is a general term that can mean so many things to so many people, here are a few things to consider when deciding if your art blog is outdated:
• Your header isn’t a banner showcasing your art or logo but rather simple text on a plain background.
• There are no buttons or text links to social media outlets.
• Your sidebar still has a random list of tags to use for navigation instead of category listings, or some other form of easy-to-navigate linking structure.
• You’re asking others to “swap links” with you instead of displaying a “guest posts wanted” page or a “guest blogger available” page.
• You have music playing in the background, or animated gifs that have absolutely nothing to do with the posts or the overall theme of the blog.
• Some of the most recent topics covered on your blog are “old news.”
• Instead of being centered on the screen, your blog sticks to the left side.
2. It doesn’t reflect your current business goals
When you first started your art blog, you had one goal in mind: to get readers, and to get your art noticed.
You blogged about the life of an up-and-coming artist, and you shared insight in how you created your art. You desperately tried to connect with your readers in hopes of earning their trust; trust that would later result in sales.
Now, some years later, you have a following and a fan base, and many of your goals have changed. Your posts today should reflect these changes and what’s going on in your career right now. If they don’t, your blog desperately needs an overhaul.
3. It’s full of broken links
Whether the link is to another page on your blog, to another website, or to a painting in your online store, broken links always send a poor message.
A blog with too many broken links feels abandoned, with content that is old, outdated, and unimportant. You don’t want your blog to come across that way, do you? So when you see a link that doesn’t work, fix it!
(And it doesn’t hurt to go looking for those broken links at least once a month.)
4. It loads too slowly
Pretty blogs are wonderful eye-candy, but if they take too long to load, you’re losing more potential (and returning) customers than it’s worth.
Blog designs don’t have to be image heavy to please visitors; in fact, the simpler the design, the better! You want readers to focus on your blog posts (including your products and services) not the beauty of the design.
If you like to share a lot of photos of your art, you have two choices:
Option A – create a slideshow, load it to YouTube.com, and then insert the code into your blog post.
Option B – resize and save your images as web-friendly, low-resolution images, and limit yourself to no more than five images per post. (Click the following link to read more about how to prepare your images for the web.)
5. It isn’t updated frequently enough
Blogs should be updated a minimum of once a week, preferably three times a week. If that kind of blogging schedule is too difficult for you to maintain, it’s probably better to change the overall theme of your blog and keep readers coming back than it is to continue posting to a blog that can’t maintain its readership because your posts are too infrequent.
6. It lacks focus
When people visit your art blog, they won’t understand that you’re an accomplished artist who sells your art for a living because you write posts that are all over the place and have absolutely nothing to do with your art or your art business.
The fix is simple—tighten up your blog’s focus and talk about your art!
7. It lacks an up-to-date copyright notice
Okay, so this is a minor tweak, but it’s one that drives me batty. . .
Thankfully, most of these changes can be simple to make.
If you’re using Blogger or any other major blog hosting company (like WordPress, for example) you can probably revamp your art blog in one afternoon, while still keeping all your blog posts and other content online.
Or, take a cue from me. . . after 4 years of whining, I finally revamped my resume site, online magazine, and art blog—totally restructuring everything. If you’ve got the time to spare, you might as well start from the bottom up and give yourself an art blog you can be proud to tell others about!
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