Your blog’s design is important. It needs to function properly. It needs to look pleasing and showcase your content. It also need to work for you – meaning, it needs to push your audience toward your goals.
So here’s a bold statement: Your individual blog post pages might be the most important design element on your blog.
Here’s why …
Judging from the largest two blogs I personally control and run, individual post pages (also known as “single posts”) are, by far, the largest content destination … NOT their respective home pages.
Granted, home pages and direct traffic still account for a significant amount of a blog’s traffic and is also the single largest “page” on most sites.
However … looking at my blog stats, an overwhelming majority of people find my sites through search engines or links from other blogs or sites, which all point to … single posts.
(I talked about this some of this in my post titled, The Long Tail of Blogging.)
Therefore, your single post page design may be the most important design elements on your site.
A large percentage of your site guests aren’t arriving on your blog on the home page for their vital first impressions. They are, likely, arriving on these individual post pages.
For this reason, I beef up my single post pages on all my blogs.
Here are some things you can do to ensure your guests do what you want them to do and find what you want them to find:
- Email newsletter subscription form – This is the chief strategy I urge my clients to do. Why? Because if a site guest lands on an interior page on your blog (which the chances are they will), and they find great content that they are looking for, then you have already qualified them to opt-in to whatever offer you present at the end of that post. This one tweak has benefited me (and my goals) greatly.
- Feed Button – Yes, this might be an extension of the first one, but it’s still worth a mention. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest putting a HUGE feed button, but simply show that little orange button somewhere. My assumption is that you probably don’t even have to say “This is my feed.” Those who know what feeds are will know what to do with that orange button.
- Related Posts List – Today, this is almost standard practice for serious bloggers. Along with my email subscription form, I experiment with switching places every so often with the Related Post list and Email Form.
- Advertisements – I’m not talking about AdSense, but ads touting YOUR products or services. And if I’m announcing a new product or service, I will often place a nice little graphical ad above the items I’ve already talked about in order to push it more.