5 Ways to Improve Your Blog for User Experience

July 11, 2018

Full disclosure: starting a blog is one thing. But sacrificing the time, money and effort to maintain, grow and improve your blog is another thing entirely.

After all, there’s so much work involved, from choosing an aesthetically-pleasing, easy-to-navigate design to creating high-quality, consistent content.

That said, there should be one thing on your mind when you’re trying to make your blog better – your readers.

After all, they’re the ones that are going to provide you with traffic and (hopefully) keep tuning into what you have to say.

Need some help building a blog that factors in user experience? No problem. Read on to find out how to improve your blog and create a space that will engage new visitors and loyal readers alike.

Ways to Improve Your Blog

1. Pick a Self-Hosted Platform

Improve your blog 101: go self-hosted.

Sure, you can start out on a free platform because it’s super quick and convenient. (The most popular ones being Blogger and WordPress.com.)

However, if you’re serious about blogging and potentially turning it into a business someday, pick a self-hosted platform to blog on.

Why? Well, self-hosting means that you completely own and control your blog

The benefits include:

Personally, I started with WordPress.com and then moved to WordPress.org via SiteGround. This is mostly because their plans are cheap and their customer service team rocks.

But it’s completely up to you which platform you choose.

SiteGround

Pro tip: build your blog with SiteGround from the star and you can also obtain a professional domain name from them for free! Handy, right?

2. Invest in the Right Theme

Newsflash: the way that your blog looks to the average visitor is really important.

How come, you ask? Well, if it’s a hobby blog, it forms part of your personal brand identity.

And if it’s a business blog? Think of it like your shop window.

Therefore, your blog theme needs to be clean, attractive and IMMEDIATELY reflect who you are and what you do through the visuals. If you don’t have a logo yet, make sure you come up with a design that matches the overall feel of the website.

(And keep in mind that sometimes less is more!)

Your blog design should also be easy to navigate around by featuring posts, categories and pages that are organised in a clear and concise way.

In essence, you want to make it as simple as possible for visitors to engage with your blog, because then they’re more likely to want to return.

(Struggling to find a pretty yet practical theme? Check out my Dream Scribe blog, which uses BluChic. FYI, I can heartily recommend any of their themes in terms of design and functionality!)

3. Include a Contact Form

In addition to creating a self-hosted blog with a simple yet attractive design, you should include a contact form on one of your pages.

After all, there’s no point having readers if they can’t get in touch with you! Right?

That’s where JotForm comes in.

Using Jotform

Improve your blog by using JotForm to create and design a contact form literally within a matter of minutes.

In fact, they have tons of wonderful online templates you can use quickly and easily. I made my contact form using JotForm in a few simple steps, which you can find below.

1. Firstly, sign up to JotForm.com and verify your email address.

2. Choose your form layout. (I used the classic form where all the questions are on one page. However, there’s also the cards option where questions are asked one at a time and the user can swipe up on a mobile to get to the next question.)

Improve Your Blog

Then, choose a form according to your needs (I chose “Use Template”) and filter your search by “Contact Forms.”

Improve Your Blog
Improve Your Blog

3. Scroll through the options until you find the perfect contact form for you. Click into it and press the “Use Templates” button.

JotForm 4

4. Afterward, click on the “My Forms” section of the JotForm website and you’ll see the name of your contact form sat in there. Click on it and select “More” and then “Publish.”

JotForm 5

5. Select the “Embed” tab and copy and paste the HTML code. Go to your blog’s back end and insert the code into the HTML section of your “Contact” page.

JotForm 6

You’re then left with a professional, cool-looking contact form, and an easy way for your readers to reach out to you.

#Winning

4. Add a “Categories” Drop-Down in the Main Menu

All of the best blogs have different categories. The idea is to break your main blogging niche down into smaller chunks for your reader that help them pinpoint exactly what they’re looking for.

And do you know what’s even better than just having categories? Including a “Categories” drop-down button in your main menu.

As well as keeping your blog organised, it means that your readers can access your categories quickly and efficiently.

Improve Your Blog With Categories

The alternative? They have to scroll through your entire stream of posts to get to what they’re looking for.

As a result, they might lose patience and decide to click off your blog. And this is precisely what we don’t want!

5.  Use Social Media Sharing Buttons

Lastly, it enhances user experience if you include other ways for your audience to get in touch with you other than your contact form.

After all, your visitor might not want to message you directly. However, they may want to share a blog post they enjoyed on social media.

Whether you’re active on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (or perhaps a mixture of all four), include the relevant buttons in your homepage’s top navigational menu to encourage social engagement.

You could also include social sharing buttons in your sidebar and/or under each post to make it even easier for your visitor to find them. Then you’ll make them happy, which will consequently make you happy too!

Improve Your Blog

Taking the Time to Improve Your Blog

Providing a good user experience is one of your core responsibilities as a blog owner.

After all, when done correctly, it makes your visitor want to stick around, thus increasing your clicks, reducing your bounce rate and improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Therefore, take the time to improve your blog in any way you can.

And don’t feel discouraged if you make mistakes. In the end, these mistakes will only make you a better blogger.

How do you think you can improve your blog? Did my tips help? Let me know!

The Trendy Tourist Signature

{Please note that this post is in collaboration with JotForm and contains affiliate links. To read my full privacy policy, click here.)

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