Design 101 for Bloggers

You don’t have to be a professional designer to have a slick-looking site. With a little strategy, even amateurs can turn their websites into clear, organized, attractive spaces.

So with that in mind, here are some basic tips to consider. Follow these to turn your site into the kind of online space that can keep up with the best of them!

1. Make Choices Based on Goals
The best design choices you can make are the ones backed by goals. So before you do anything with your site, design-wise, stop and evaluate what you want from your blog. Who do you want to be? What is the main message of your brand, and how can you communicate that with your design? If you back everything you do with overarching goals, you set yourself up to have a site that works.

2. Only Use 2 to 3 Fonts and 2 to 3 Colors
Too many fonts and too many colors make a website feel like it’s got too much going on. When in doubt about design choices, simplify. As a best practice for blog design, use only a couple different fonts and a couple different colors repeatedly throughout your layout.

3. Embrace White Space
The best websites make the most of white space in order to create a sense of harmony and balance throughout the design. When used appropriately, white space sets apart different components of your website and helps frame your content. So make sure your site has enough empty space to make the content clear and understandable.

4. Be Strategic about Advertising
The last thing your site needs is too many advertisements. While choosing to use ads is okay, overdoing it will harm your site in the long run. Readers will come to see your site as inauthentic and gimmicky, and they won’t want to stick around.

5. Prioritize Information
Some parts of content are more important than others—so make sure those aspects are the ones to get the most attention in your design. The moment someone comes to your site, he or she should know your blog’s name, what it’s about, and what you want him or her to do with that information. Likewise, if gaining subscribers is your chief goal, add a signup button somewhere prominent. If getting blog comments is your chief goal, highlight the “add a comment” button at the end of each post. Make the hierarchy of information line up with your objectives.

6. Create a Good Mobile Experience
A large percentage of Web users today are accessing content on mobile devices—so be ready for them by giving your site a mobile-friendly design. Test your site on a smartphone or other mobile device, and pay attention to how the content appears. Is anything stretching? Are the words hard to read? What happens to the images? Whether you design a full mobile site or just set up your main design to perform well via mobile browsers, give it the best chance to reach readers by creating a good mobile experience.

7. Shoot for Fast Page Loads
Slow websites lose readers, plain and simple: a visitor comes to your page and gets stuck waiting for the information to appear, so he or she leaves. This should not be the case! Go to Google PageSpeed Insights, enter your site’s URL, and see what speed score it receives, as well as tips for improving that score. Use this information to take steps that improve your site’s overall design.

Your Thoughts
What are your thoughts on the above site strategies? Do you think using them could improve your blog? What other design tips have you found to be important?

John Day 2013- Full Movie

Released : Sep 13, 2013
Genre : Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Starcast : Naseeruddin Shah, Randeep Hooda, Shernaz Patel, Sharat Saxena, Vipin Sharma, Elena Kazan , Makarand Deshpande, Bharat Dabholkar, Anant Mahadevan
Desc :
The film blurs the thin line which separates the beast from the saint. The film`s story revolves around the mysterious death of a young girl. The god fearing father of the girl and a lawless cop get trapped in the case and should save themselves, but how will they?
Duration : 2:10


Download Now

9 Social Media Tactics That Will Increase Your Site’s Traffic

You have uploaded a really informative article or re-designed your blog, but no one will really know about it unless you market it well.

Since social media users are projected to increase by up to 18 percent this year, this is a good avenue to increase your site’s traffic.

These nine social media tactics can help your content to stand out and secure a place in the World Wide Web.

Go out of the usual platforms
Facebook and Twitter may be the popular ones, but social media is not confined to just these two.  LinkedIn and Google+ can be used to establish a more professional connection, while Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are geared towards a more hip and trendy audience.

Quora is also a rising platform, where users answer questions based on their expertise. The idea here is to pick a social site that would best suit your niche, so you can reach out more to your target audience.

“Please RT”
According to Dan Zarella, Hubspot’s social media scientist, including the phrase “please retweet” at the end of your Tweet would give you 4x more shares.You have to encourage your audience to share your content because it signifies necessity. An influencer you follow may not have the time to read your article or watch your video, but once he shares it on social media, people who follow him may be interested in your content.

Follow and be followed by the right people
Follow not only influential people in your niche but also people who follow them. Most likely, they are people who are in the same industry as you who are also seeking the same social media exposure as them. Some will follow you back and will ask you to drop by their website. Do support them because when it’s time for you to ask for a favor, they will gladly help you out too.

Put more hashtags
Utilize Twitter and Instagram’shashtag ‘feature’ and type related popular keywords to enable users to find your content easily. The more people use hashtags, the higher the possibility of making it to the trending topics which can rake in more retweets, regrams, and reposts. Facebook recently launched hashtagsin status updates, photo uploads, and even in comments so feel free to utilize that as well. Note, though, that overdoing hashtags can be annoying to some users so keep it to a minimum.

Design visually-appealing images for image-based sites
Make Pinterest-worthy graphics and images that can be embedded in your article to encourage visitors to continue reading. The same images can be uploaded in your Pinterest account (and other image-based social sites like Tumblr) with links leading to your website. Compose witty descriptions and captions or even include quotes whenever possible. If you recently published a post, plug it with a nice image that will trigger the community’s curiosity.

Participate in forum discussions
Forums are an effective way to actively share your thoughts on a specific topic. It is also a way to find people who share the same interests and views as you. Increase your visibility in forums by commenting on an opinion, answering a question, and discussing an issue. Make sure to continue replying and posting as it will make you gain friends and followers who you can ask to view your blog or read an article you have written recently.

Film YouTube videos
Never underestimate YouTube’s power to make you an internet superstar overnight. Promote your content through YouTube videos. Be creative: make use of moving texts, homemade funny videos, or produce a 2-minute film or advertisement complete with props. Expect an increase in your website’s traffic once your video becomes viral so put some effort in creating out-of-the-box concepts. Remember that high-resolution videos have higher chances of converting viewers so invest in HD camcorders.

Put up visible social sharing buttons
Social sharing buttons should be visible and easy to locate. This is considered as a tiny detail but crucial to social media shares which some websites leave out. The basic buttons should be located ideally on the leftmost side of the content. The eyes read from left to right and placing social sharing buttons on a strategic place will allow users to click it at once. Users tend to share content when they see that a number of people have already shared it.

Build your online reputation
These days, anyone and everyone can post online and claim to be experts on certain topics. Because of this, more and more users tend to screen who to believe to avoid getting the wrong data. This is why you have to appear and be credible. Your posts should reflect the knowledge you have on a topic. Avoid composing offensive content, posting tweets with profanity, and commenting negatively on other posts. Also, make sure that the photo/s you use for your profile is decent and appropriate – no tasteless hand signs, messy hair and or inapt clothing.

Social media will help increase your site’s visibility by selecting the platform/s that would best fit your target audience then applying the right strategy. Which of these tactics can you start doing today?


While your definition of success is probably different from someone else’s, not all bloggers are successful. There are so many blogs out there that it would be difficult for them all to make it big. Whether your definition of success is lots of followers or readers, or making tons of money on your blog, keep in mind these things that all successful bloggers do.

1. Write From the Heart
No matter what you’re blogging about, if you don’t believe in it, your readers are going to sense it through your writing. You need to make sure that you’re blogging about things you’re passionate about. When you write from the heart, you’re going to make an impression.

Whether you love what celebrities are doing, or your passion is your family, make sure this comes across. Remember, it’s never a good idea to blog just because you think you can make money on a specific topic. You’ll lose readers quickly, or you may never even gain traction in the first place. On top of that, you could get a reputation as a sell out.

2. Learn About SEO
If you really want to be successful, you need to be able to market your blog. There are many SEO strategies you can use for your website, no matter what blogging platform you’re using. Make sure you fill out all of the meta information. Ensure that you’re writing quality content that people are actually interested in.

Work on developing quality inbound links for your site and don’t forget to link to relevant information on other authoritative sites — this shows the search engines that you’re actually relevant to the topic you’re writing about. And if you don’t have a presence for your blog on social media, remedy this immediately.

3. Update Consistently
If you don’t update regularly, your readers are going to dwindle away. If they never know when you’re going to update again, they simply won’t come back. However, if they know that you’re going to update every Thursday, you’ll get a more consistent reader base. Even when you’re on vacation it’s a good idea to post at least small posts. No contract cell phone plans can help with this, since you can update to most blogging platforms from your cell phone. Readers will get a kick out of seeing that you’re posting from elsewhere in the world.

4. Interact With Readers
Let’s be honest here. If you’re not willing to take the time to interact with your readers, you shouldn’t be blogging for them. If this is the case, take your blog private and make it a journal. It’s just not worth it to anyone if you’re not going to respond to anyone. The most successful bloggers read comments that their viewers make, respond to them, and start conversations. Without your readers, your blog is not successful, no matter your definition of success. You won’t make money if you don’t have people coming to your site. And if your definition of success is readership, this will go away if you ignore them.

5. Give it Time
Your blog will not have 100,000 readers in the first week. You will not be making full-time pay in the first month. In fact, most bloggers don’t see anything near the success they’re looking for until they’ve been at it for at least a year. So, if you think that this is a great way to get your name out there and/or make money, you’re right. However, if you think it’s a get rich quick scheme, you couldn’t be more wrong.

In fact, many advertisers won’t even work with you until you’ve been around a while. How long this is depends on the advertiser. On top of this, search engines consider how long the site has been around in their algorithms, making it more difficult to get to the front page if you’re a new blog. Just be patient, success will come.

6. Interact With Other Bloggers
You know that you have to interact with your readers, but what about other bloggers? Did you know that you can make a name for yourself, either in a good way or bad, by how you interact with other bloggers? Read and comment on blogs in your genre. Offer guest posts, or ask others to guest post for you. This will increase your standing in the blogging community, which will in turn bring you more readers, and better success.

7. Keep Up With Equipment
It’s imperative to make sure that your computer and gadgets are current. Software and hardware updates are necessary if you want to take blogging seriously. Keep an eye out for Lenovo laptop deals and other sales to make upgrades. Your machine will need to operate fast with multiple tabs and browsers open and handling images and video files.

5 Simple SEO Tips for Better Blogging

Search engine optimization, or SEO as it is more commonly called, is simply the process of setting up each post on your blog so that it will rank high enough in search engine results for potential visitors and readers to see it and hopefully click the link to visit your site.

In order to help you do this better, here are 5 simple SEO tips for better blogging.

Include a Relevant Image
We all know by now that post images — especially featured images — are particularly important.  The best way to catch a potential reader’s eye and get them to click through to your post, besides a catchy title, is with a great, high quality, relevant image.
There are many ways to find images, both paid and free, so there is no reason you can’t have an eye-popping picture featured on each and every post.  In fact, with the growth of Pinterest, your pic should be considered pin-worthy.  In addition, you should check out this post from Lisa Buben about the lasting power of Pinterest pins.

Create Internal Links
Assuming your blog is as finely focused on your niche as it should be, it stands to reason that you would have other posts on your site that are related in some way to the post you are currently writing.  That being said, you can boost your overall SEO strategy by linking to other posts on your blog within the body of your post.  For example, here is a post on this site about better blogging.

Keywords are Key
First, keyword density is important.  Google might penalize you in their search rankings if you over stuff your post with the same keyword.  Keeping your keyword density around 3-5% should keep you safe.  Second, it’s not enough to just have your keyword density correct.  Your meta description, post title, and post slug should all contain the keyword as well.

Set Up Google Authorship
With the recent changes to Google’s algorithms (again) and the strong growth (finally) of Google Plus, it is now more important than ever that you set up Google Authorship on every post to ensure you get the proper credit for your awesome, original content.  It’s a rather simple process to connect your blog to Google Plus and then link your post back to the social sharing site — especially if you use a plugin to help you out.  Here is a post on the benefits of Google Authorship in your SEO campaign.

Create High Quality Content
Last, but certainly not least, we all know that content is still king!  As with keyword stuffing, Google will also penalize your blog in their search rankings if you don’t follow other writing rules as well — namely, write your own original content and use your keywords in organic, natural, dynamics ways.  While you want to rank highly in search engines, your posts should still be written for human readership, which means it should flow and be easy to read.