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Dress Your Blog For Success

This post was most recently updated on August 1st, 2016

Dress Your Blog For SuccessDress Your Blog For Success, hidden keyword is impress.

Yes, yes, yes.

You want people to be happy when they find you.

You want them to say

  • “this is what I was looking for”
  • “this is what I needed to hear”
  • “this is exactly the information I needed”
  • “this is a fun place to be”
  • “this is where I can find solutions to my problems”
  • “I love this blog… now let me see what it’s about”

You see, bloggers often focus on…

Hello. My Blog Is About This.


People want information, of course.

But they also want something alive.

It doesn’t have to be fun and bubbly, but it has to be something inviting and something that people feel connected to.

You want them to feel like they’re not wasting their time and they’d better hurry up and click on to something better or more appealing.

Hidden keyword: impress.

Dress Your Blog For Success

I love shopping.

Especially clothes shopping.

I go into the department stores and look at all the new “wow” styles.

Then I run to the thrift shop to see the old styles… some of them are really “wow.”

I’ll even shop online for things that I just can’t seem to locate in the stores… but that’s such a nuisance because I can’t try them on and you know… you try on 50 things that look great on the hanger, and cash out only one, haha.

If you really want a “different” look, or something special, though, you don’t really need any of the glitzy styles.

I think the most popular clothing item for women is still the “little black dress.”

How could that be?

Everyone’s seen the little black dress, it’s nothing new.

Hold on, though.

If you accessorize, a cute little bag or bold piece of jewelry, you’ve suddenly transformed that same old little black dress that everyone’s seen already, into YOU.

Your personality comes through, not from the dress itself, but by what you do with it.

Your bag.

Your heels.

Your makeup.

Your jewelry.

And most of all… your personality.

That very same little black dress that every woman in the world has worn, is suddenly unique to YOU.

Hey, bloggers, there’s a lesson here.

Special: Learn To Blog… (My Video Inside)

( Same lesson for you guys, too, by the way. Sorry for the girl talk. Sidenote: I guess I could have used a football story instead of the little black dress… well, use your imagination, here 🙂 because I don’t know football stories).

Here’s the lesson.

Your blog has to “look” like a place that people want to be.

It has to really welcome your visitors with a visual appeal that tells them to pull up a chair and hang out for a while.

That means, it has to have some life, some charm, some personality.

The substance is important too, of course, but nobody’s going to even get that far if they find the welcome mat embedded in the design, look and feel of your blog.

Make A First Impression That Will “Impress”

So, how do you impress people through the design of your blog?

I’m not going to answer that.

You have to.

I mean, if you put on your new little black dress and ask me who to impress, I’d have to say… whoever you want.

So know who you’re trying to impress first.

Then decide which blog “accessories” will do the job.

If you have a blog about money and finance, it will be far different than if you have one about fashion.

In either case, you must first consider who you want to impress and what it is that actually will impress them.

Then you can decide what color scheme fits, what sort of images or header to use, where to put your category list, or your opt-in form.

Will you chase people down with a circus of pop-ups, or a single exit pop?

All these things will reflect who it is you want to impress.

Let me give you two examples, here.

Take Action

Blog designs certainly seem to be trending toward this model.

Your visitor is greeted at the door and told where to go, what to do, and when to do it (translate… “now”).

These are the Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 designs that I’m sure you’ve seen all over the place.

The assumption is that your blog visitor is a prospective customer or client.

If you’re using this model, you don’t want them to leave your blog without either buying something or signing up for something.

So what impression does this convey?

To me, it looks desperate and self-serving.

You can see I’m not a big fan 🙂

When I visit a blog that has a big splash page that says “Sign Up For My List” and at the bottom there’s a teeny weenie little hyperlink anchored to text that says “visit my blog”, you don’t really care if I visit your blog or not.

You just want me on your email list.

As a “visitor” I’m tempted to think,

“hmmmm… you want me on your email list… this is for your benefit not mine.”

So I’d be a bit uncomfortable even clicking the little “blog” link because I’d expect more of the same.

My first impression… this blog is designed to benefit the blogger, and probably at my expense.

Click away.

Special: Learn To Blog… (My Video Inside)

Pull Up A Chair

This kind of blog is designed to give a different impression.


And that impression needs to be very obvious, right out of the gate.

If you’re going to use this kind of design then you aren’t going to pester people to buy something or join your email list until you’ve given them a walk-through.

Let them see who you are.

Your About Me page should be clearly available.

Your postings should be up front and easily accessible, not hidden behind a bunch of “action” gateways.

After all, you are in the business of blogging to help people.

You want to give them value and you do.

Ideally, you help them solve a problem that you know they have.

You are clear on that because you know exactly who your readers are and what their challenges are.

You see, now you’re speaking their language, and impressing on them that you really care about them.

After you’ve established a bit of rapport through giving some value, THEN you could ask them to sign up for your email list to “continue” the valuable relationship that’s already in motion.

You could even ask them to buy something at this point… as long as it’s something that will help them solve the problem you’ve been helping them with (so-called “native adverts”).

Elite Coaching Program

So let’s talk about your blog.

Does it have the look and feel that reflects accurately on you, and on what you’re all about?

Have you contemplated any changes or modications that might make your voice, your brand – more authentic?

Please tell me your thoughts in the comments below, and share this article on your social sites.


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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50 Responses to Dress Your Blog For Success

  1. Gurunath
    May 16, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    “First Impression is best and last impression” and if you can’t make a good feel out of your new visitor, and they don’t return back with the pale design. Blog appearance has been one of the deciding facts for blog bounce rate and I have tried about 50 plus themes on my blog and I got very good experience on which design looks professional.
    So also to make a blog have a good impression, as you brilliantly shared, we need to make sure that our blog is sending the right message and looking good in design.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome post 🙂

    • Donna Merrill May 16, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

      Hi G,

      Indeed, visually our blogs have to make a good impression. A nice clean white space where people can read is pleasing to the eye.

      Too much color can be distracting and don’t get me started on pop ups lol. When I see them, and I cannot read and comment…I head for the hills.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Run Your Blog Like You Would Run A StoreMy Profile

  2. Debarpan Mukherjee
    March 29, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    It’s been really nice to go through your awesome post.You’re very true that our blog should reflect our own personality and also the design and look of our blog to impress our blog readers,just per that saying “First Impression is the Last Impression”.That’s why I always love to update my blog design whenever I can with some catchy looks.By the way it’s been also great to went through your video where you also used a nice dress code to impress the audience,hope I could also get into such video blogging soon.

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extraordinarily terrific possibility to read articles and blog posts from here. It is always very terrific and also full of fun for me to visit the blog whenever I got time to find out the new guides you have got. And definitely, I’m certainly satisfied considering the astounding things you give.I appreciate the time you spend behind this amazing article.Totally worth reading it.I think other people should also read this awesome blog post very seriously because this will help them to learn something new which they need. Hope this post will also help others when they will read it.Also
    I would be very thankful if you continue with quality what you are serving right now with your blog.
    Debarpan Mukherjee recently posted..Top 10 Ways to Get Traffic on Your SiteMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi Debarpan,

      Yes, first impressions do count. Our blogs have to be clear enough for people to navigate. The design is so important. Keeping things simple usually is the best way to go.

      Then the content…we have to give it the best we can so people will learn something or get something to take away from it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Getting To Know Your Target AudienceMy Profile

  3. Ikechi
    March 28, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Donna

    Love your illustration to show the fact blog’s first impression do matter.

    If one needs to impress a person, he will go all out to do necessary things that will make him to achieve his goal.

    So also to make a blog have a good impression, as you brilliantly shared, we need to make sure that our blog is sending the right message and looking good in design.

    Thanks for sharing. Take care
    Ikechi recently posted..4 Personal Pledges for Success That Will Change Your LifeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi Ikechi,

      Just like ourselves making a first impression, our blogs need to do the same.

      The first time someone comes to our blog, they want to see some good information and a clean design that is easy to navigate.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Momentum And Ride The WaveMy Profile

  4. Mary Sloane
    March 27, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    Hey Donna… You certainly walk your talk.

    What I get is YOU Fun, Passionate and Alive

    With you blogging is fun and your passion and in the process you help a lot of people. what’s not to love.

    I think I’m finally finding my passion, which is all about financial wellness, personally and for a country. Now maybe I’ll have some commitment to write.

    To the top


    • Donna Merrill March 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

      Hi Mary,

      Yea…I have to walk the talk otherwise I’m just doing a theoretical post lol.

      I sure hope you will make that commitment my friend. It sounds amazing. Thanks so much for coming on by.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Ways You Can Market OnlineMy Profile

  5. Ben
    March 20, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

    Hi Donna. I understand what you are saying about the black dress. I’ve had to hear my wife talking about that same idea over and over. It is easily customizable to fit whatever the occasion is, and your blog should be the sam, except that the intent of your blog isn’t likely to change as often.

    I’m kind of like James, a little weak on the design part, so I go for simple. I don’t go for the popups, slide-overs and all that other stuff. Some blogs are so cluttered with debris (ads) that it’s hard to find the content, and then once you do find it, it disappears again under another pop-up. If I have to click more than once to get to the content of the post then I just leave. It’s like walking into a car showroom. I don’t want the salesmen swooping in like vultures. I want to look around first. If I find something I like then I will look for a salesperson.

    Let’s get to know each other first, build a relationship, then if there is an opportunity to work together, that’s great. If not, we can be friends. That’s how I think a blog should be.
    Ben recently posted..How To Choose the Best Water Filter for YouMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 21, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi Ben,

      I like the style of your blog. It is simple and easy to navigate.

      I know how you feel going to those blogs with so much stuff on it that it is difficult to read the content. I’m not a fan either.

      I like your analogy of walking into a car showroom…that is exactly how I feel to.

      Indeed, the best way to go is to get to know each other first….build a relationship and then either work together or just be friends.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Ways You Can Market OnlineMy Profile

  6. Mark
    March 20, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    You’ve shared a ton of extremely practical advice as usual Donna!LOL!

    And I love your points about, not setting our blogs up
    in a manner, that might convey, that might convey, we are far more interested
    in building our lists than we are in helping our target audience solve
    their particular problems!

    It’s so easy to get sidetracked online! You see and hear all about
    all this money the gurus and guruettes are making, but you forget,
    that’s typically the case, because they’re serving their customer base!

    I like your analogy of an offline store, which no serious business owner would
    place a ton of potential road blocks in front of some consumers,
    that wanted to try on something, before actually buying it.

    Thanks for the reminder, and showing us how to get out of our
    own way!LOL!

    I’m definitely sharing this one!
    Mark recently posted..How Some Extremely Savvy Small Business Owners Generate 300% More Profit From So Called Dead Assets!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      So glad you enjoyed this post. That analogy of an offline store putting road blocks in front of it does ring a bell doesn’t it? No one in their right mind would ever do such a thing.

      You said it….The gurus and the guruettes are making it big because they are serving their customer base. And that is what we all need to do.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Ways You Can Market OnlineMy Profile

  7. Dana
    March 20, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    After reading your post, I read Marquita’s comment and I have to agree with her about the pop ups.
    They’re incredibly distracting and to be honest, I’ve NEVER signed up for anyone’s list after seeing one.

    I completely understand that people to encourage their visitors to stay in touch. We give so much away with our content, it makes sense to look to do business with those with who we’ve made a positive impact. But to not even allow someone to get through a post before it shows up – to me, it screams “me me me.”

    As far as my own blog, I’m happy with the design. I guess the only thing I go back and forth with right now is having a static home page with posts vs. a descriptive home page (which is what I have now).

    I’ve heard the pros and cons of each – and I’m still a bit undecided. I want people to have an easy time finding what they’re looking for, but I also want them to get a good sense of what they might find there before having to try to figure it out.

    You’re so natural in front of the camera. That’s awesome.
    One day I will be too. Just have to practice 🙂
    Dana recently posted..What is the Ego (and is it our enemy?)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      Hi Dana,

      Come to think of it, I never signed into a pop up myself lol. It does seem self serving, especially if it is a splash page. But people do say it has improved their business. What is comfortable for us is what we need to go by.

      Hey, some might not like my embeded links on my post but I know its working for me 🙂

      I like the design on your blog. i went back and looked at it again from the home page and it is easy to navigate…just my two cents!

      Oh as for the camera…it is only practice. The more you do the easier it gets just like anything else in life….but you know that quite well.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Ways You Can Market OnlineMy Profile

  8. Jeannette Paladino
    March 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

    I revitalized my blog a little over a year ago. It was starting to look dated. I’m happy with my new look now and I do think it communicates immediately what I do and how it benefits the reader.

    • Donna Merrill March 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

      Hi Jeannette,

      I went over to your blog before answering you here and it is beautiful. Easy to navigate and a lovely design. It sure does communicate what you do. What a good choice!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Ways You Can Market OnlineMy Profile

  9. Sherman Smith March 19, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    You know what’s good about blogging.

    We can be ourselves and from that we attract the right people to our blogs.

    This is why having a great design to have our personality shine through would be a winner for us.

    I can remember some 5 years ago there was a “blog template”. At least for network marketers that is. And this wasn’t very unique for each blogger. It was more so to get subscribers and sales.

    Now days, there’s more diversity in blog design that reflect the blogger more so. Having a particular design is a part of branding yourself so that whenever your audience see’s it, they know that it’s actually you and the type of content and value they’re going to get from it.

    That’s what counts as you progress. You are definitely unique with your blog, and the videos you put on here helps to make you stand out from the rest Donna!

    Thanks for sharing and great video as well. I didn’t know about the black dress until now 😉 Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Importance Of Branding Yourself Online When You’re Broke With Little TimeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 20, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      Wow..you brought me back to that “blog template” years ago. I never did that one even though it was always “pushed down my throat” lol.

      They were just terrible because it did not reflect the person, but the company they were in.

      Aha…so you learned about that little black dress that all women do know about lol. But the analogy holds true to our blogs. I am glad you liked the video as well.

      As always, thank you so much for your input,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  10. Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
    March 19, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    Our blogs certainly do reflect who we are and that is why I am so excited for my new design which will bring my mismatched outfit into high fashion with wonderful accessories.

    • Donna Merrill March 20, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

      Hi Elise,

      Our blogs sure reflect who we are. Oh boy…getting a new design done? Can’t wait to see it.

      I always love visiting you because I walk away with something I can always use in my life.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  11. Peter Beckenham
    March 18, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    First impressions are just so vital to get right in this day and age of people seemingly being in a rush to go anywhere.

    We have so little time to not just get peiple’s attention but also their interest to hang in there with us for a few minutes so we can share with them.

    Donna you walk to walk as all your posts are not only inviting and full of your personality but as well you convey awesome valuable messages that resonate with your targeted blogging audience.

    Many thanks as always for being uniquely you and for creating a place online where we can all gather with you to listen learn and implement with confidence the messages you share.

    Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger

    Peter Beckenham recently posted..Affiliate Marketing – A Guide for Complete Beginners Part 3My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 20, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

      Hi Peter,

      Indeed, first impressions count! And it only takes a very short time to grasp someone’s attention to our blogs.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It makes me feel like I’m doing my job as a blogger, teaching people. Love your feedback.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  12. Chris DeeWaard
    March 18, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    Hi Donna.

    Great post as usual.

    I wish I could fit into my little black dress, but I would lose at least 100 pounds first. 😉

    I’m more or less a laid-back person, jeans and tees, sweatshirts in the colder weather, and I think my blog kind of reflects that. It’s pretty basic. You’ve seen it many times, what do you think of how I have it set up?

    I don’t use pop-ups, personally. If it’s a way for the blog owner to tell me a little about him/herself and their blog, it’s not that bad, as long as it happens before I start reading a post. I do hate it when I’m in the middle of reading something and the old “Join my email list and receive this free gift” or “Sign up for my newsletter” pop-ups appear. Very annoying.

    Like you said, smells of desperation when they keep popping up every few minutes.

    I’d rather have a call to action at the end of my post sending them to something relevant to what was mentioned and let them decide for themselves whether they want to opt-in or not.

    Thanks for sharing this excellent information.

    Have a great weekend…….Chris

    P.S. I like the black and white and the shoes. 🙂
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted..How to prevent hackers from logging in to your WordPress BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      As soon as I see you I know I’m going to laugh. Thank you for always keeping a great sense of humor. You know I can order you a black dress in your size lol.

      I love visiting your blog Chris. It is plain and simple to navigate. If I want to know something, I want to go right to it and that is what you have given to us.

      No pop ups where we have to search for the x, no intrusion at all. You are the steak and not the sizzle which I love. Some are all sizzle and no steak. Yuck!

      At the end of the post you do have your call to action and it helps people to comment. It is perfect!


      P.S. I love those shoes too…got them at a vintage store brand new and a low price! 🙂
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

      • Chris DeeWaard
        March 21, 2016 at 3:15 am #

        Hi Donna.

        I’m glad I can make you laugh. With my legs, even a black dress in my size wouldn’t cut it. Lol.

        Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I was taught to keep it simple and that’s what I did. I try to make it a pleasant, fluff-free and informative experience for my readers as the last two posts have shown. They were the beginning of a new approach from what I had been doing. I’m hoping it comes across that way.

        As Homer Simpson would say, “Mmmmm. Steak.” Lol.

        Have a great week…..Chris
        Chris DeeWaard recently posted..How To Prevent Hackers From Logging In To Your WordPress BlogMy Profile

        • Donna Merrill March 21, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

          You are too much Chris!

          Keeping our blogs simple is key for any reader that comes to it. I have many readers, most who never comment, but do opt into my offers. I deem it to the simplicity of the blog.

          OK…I won’t send you the black dress he he he.

          As for Homer Simpson..I can hear that voice in my head.

          Enjoy your week as well,

          Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Ways You Can Market OnlineMy Profile

  13. Atish Ranjan
    March 18, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    Always great to read different kinds of topics here on your blog, Donna.

    The analogy of black and white dress is what I liked the most.

    Oh let me tell you, in the video, you look great.

    keep up the Good Work.

    Weekends are coming, Enjoy!

    • Donna Merrill March 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

      Hi Atish,

      Maybe it’s because I love clothes, I just had to use that analogy lol. Thanks for liking that video. I’m trying to do more videos in my blog posts.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  14. PJ Zafra
    March 18, 2016 at 12:17 am #

    Hey there Donna,

    I love how your blog posts always have your personality in it. I like to believe that blogging is how we can connect with people on a more personal level. What we share and how much we share is up to us.

    First impressions sure do last! With blogging, it sure is critical that we make the best first impression before someone clicks that bright red X button on the top right of the page. lol

    I like to see our blogs as a part of our home. We welcome people and it should be our responsibility to make them feel that energy and not make things awkward. I mean who would want to sit down staring eye-to-eye with someone whom you have nothing in common with, right?

    It’s important as bloggers, to make sure that our blogs are user-friendly (meaning the blog is actually meant to deliver value…not just sell stuff), presentable and full of value.

    I’d like to say that the more valuable we become, the more valuable our blogs get as well.

    I love your blog post Donna.

    Keep it up!

    PJ Zafra recently posted..What’s Your Biggest Regret? See People Fearlessly Turn Painful Regrets Into DustMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 20, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi PJ,

      You described a wonderful “Welcome Mat” for how our blogs need to be. Yes, it sure is our home. And we do want the feel of it to be just like sitting in our own living room talking eye to eye for sure.

      Indeed, we must be giving value and make it user friendly. I cannot agree more that the more valuable we become the more valuable our blogs get…it is so true. Thanks for that!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  15. Chery Schmidt
    March 16, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    Hello Donna, Yet another wonderful topic my friend! I guess I really never thought about dressing up my blog for success, HUM!

    Well you did a great job with the little black dress analogy and I now get it!

    It is true when I stop by a blog I do look around and do notice if they have any pictures, or a video, or something that tells me who they are.

    This blog post really got me thinking, and not about shopping either HEHE
    Loved your outfit and your Awesome Black and White Shoes..

    You Go Girl!
    Great Share
    Chery :))

    • Donna Merrill March 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      Good to know you liked those black and white shoes lol. I do look at my blog as the little black dress and what I want to stand out.

      When we have that perspective, we can give it a little bling for people to notice. So you got to thinking…great..

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  16. Kim Willis
    March 16, 2016 at 6:57 am #

    Hi Donna

    Very sweet post.

    They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression. And to some extent, it’s true

    People have such short attention spans these days that if we don’t grab ’em quick, they’ll be gone – like the thief in the night (well, not quite!)

    So our websites need to convey the right signals to visitors by way of attractive aesthetic values, and of course, good messaging that hits the spot with the target audience.

    To me, good marketing is like a seduction process. It is not rape. It is not ‘wham bam thank ya ma’am’.

    We need to instil confidence before we ask people to buy. This is particularly the case if we’re promoting services such as consulting packages and the like.

    You mentioned the example of site owners who almost hide their blogs. Why do they do this? Perhaps they don’t understand the transformative potential of a well-developed blog. If they had this understanding, they certainly would put their blogs front and center on their website.

    You mentioned the About page. It’s imperative that websites display a potent About page. It needs to talk directly to the visitor and should be devoid of standard ‘me too’ cliches, that don’t satisfy the ‘so what?’ test.

    Thanks again for another thought-provoking post, Donna

    Kim Willis recently posted..What My Friends Taught Me About Blog CommentingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 17, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

      Hi Kim,

      I’m glad you mentioned the About Me page because it really is far more important than most bloggers realize. It is almost always the most visited page on your blog.

      I find that many people just stick up a quick About Me page to get their blogs started, and then, they forget it. You really should try to re-visit your About Me and update it and dress it up a bit on an ongoing basis. Mark your calendars!

      When you have a boring or detached About Me page, and on top of it you blast people with splash pages and popups, I really believe that you’re killing the engagement potential of your blog.

      I know people disagree with me, and they may be right that they get more signups to their email list by being aggressive, but I think that’s more of a numbers game than a people’s game.

      I like people.

      I like talking to them and interacting and just having some fun.

      I see that engagement carries over to my email list so that, no matter what the number of subscribers is, the engagement level is always high.

      That’s my style, it works for me.

      Everyone’s got to find their unique way. When you do, make the look and feel of your blog conform to that.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kim 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  17. Stella Chiu
    March 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    Hi, Donna

    I love that analogy of the little black dress and the blog. The main goal to dress up our blog is to reflect the unique personality of the blogger.

    Come across some blogs whose owners have only one purpose in their minds – my e-mail address. Instead of ‘click’, I ran away..

    Generally, I feel good about the trends in blog design. The only element that I don’t like is the pop-ups. They distract me from fully engaging to read the post. This trend seems like to be continue for a while. I really don’t feel good about that.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu recently posted..3 Risky Medical Practices in Western MedicineMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 17, 2016 at 10:07 am #

      Hi Stella,

      Glad you liked the analogy of the little black dress. When I was thinking of writing about blog design this came to my mind immediately.

      Indeed, the main goal to dress up our blog IS to reflect our unique personality. It is quite transparent when we come across a blog that wants your email address first before you even get to know who they are.

      There are so many trends blogging designs go through. As for the pop-ups, if people like them, fine… but it always distracts me.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  18. Monisha Kapur
    March 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    L-O-V-E this post Donna!!!!!!
    I talk / write/ dream about “dressing one’s style” and first impressions but I never thought about how it relates to my blog / website. But you are so right (as usual :). Your website and blog are someone’s first impression of you and you have to dress the part!

    Thanks so much for this very insightful post!

    • Donna Merrill March 17, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      Hi Monisha,

      Of course you of all people would resonate with “the little black dress” I just know you would. You have a keen eye for fashion because it is your business. But this analogy goes far.

      We can dress our blogs the way we want to show our own uniqueness. We just have to and never choose the run of the mill kind of design.

      As many different things work, they have to reflect us and the business we are in.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  19. Adrienne
    March 15, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Love your analogy too and I’m sure even the guys can relate to this one.

    I agree what our blogs need to be inviting and welcoming. They should be about how we can help our audience and be here to serve.

    As I did my makeover at the end of last year I struggled with how I wanted mine set up so that it would be appealing to those who are regular visitors and those who have never heard of me before.

    I know we all have different views on what we like and how things should be but those full page opt-in boxes once you hit someone’s site really annoy me big time. They are shouting at me to sign up, sign up when I haven’t even had an opportunity to find out who the heck you are. Give me a chance darn it. Of course I clear my cookies and cache every single night so every time I go back to their blogs, if they’ve set them to not appear if you’ve been there before I’m going to see them every single time.

    I do hope that those who may be struggling with this will really listen to what you’re saying. It’s become more important as time goes by mainly due to all the people we have to chose from these days that are sharing a lot of the same information. Although we’re all very unique we certainly don’t want to turn anyone off before they’ve had the chance to get to know how awesome we are.

    Love your video and you’re looking as adorable as ever. 🙂

    Enjoy your week my dear.

    Adrienne recently posted..How to Stand Out and Stop Worrying About Your CompetitionMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 17, 2016 at 9:58 am #

      Hi Adrienne,

      I remember when you were on the fence of how you wanted to change your blog format. I love the way you have the blue on white motif. I see how the blue brands you even on Facebook and all social media when you share a quote or just about anything else. Awesome work!

      As for that splash page pop up, especially when you can’t find how the heck to get out of there, is annoying. Like you mention…..I don’t even know you…why should I sign up first? Some say it is working but I’m not a fan.

      Thanks for your kind words about my video lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  20. Corina Ramos
    March 15, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I love the analogy you gave between the little black dress and our blog. I love watching your videos. I wish I could be like you and get in front of the camera!

    You’ve made some great points here. I know how you feel about some blogs coming across as only wanting our email address…I’ve seen them and I click away too.

    It’s funny you mentioned our blog should reflect our personality. I revamped my blog over the weekend. I think it’s catering to what my visitors are looking for, well, I hope so. 🙂

    I love when you said “let your personality shine through your blog.”

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

    P.S. Loved your outfit!! Your shoes are definitely groovy baby!! 🙂

    Hope you’re having a great day!

    Corina Ramos recently posted..How To Increase Blog Traffic FastMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

      Hi Corina,

      It’s all about the personality… sometimes. I guess it depends on the individual really.

      I mean, you know I’m a “people-person” so I like reaching out to people in a friendly and engaging manner. It’s not everyone’s style, but I think it’s one that works really well.

      The most important thing, though, is that you let your readers know right up front what you’re about. Your design and style on your blog should show them that right away.

      And… glad you like my “groovy” shoes… hahaha

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  21. Akaahan Terungwa
    March 15, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Hi Donna,

    When I was a professional blogger, my blog, I sincerely believe, was clearly what you have described in the second option.

    However, things have changed now…

    Now, I no longer run a conventional blog – what I now run is an information portal where I provide valuable, detailed and mind blowing entries on just anything my visitors might be interested in…yet, with this, the reader is still first – and the interests of those who land on my site, paramount.

    Thanks for offering awesome value as usual, Donna.

    Do enjoy the day!

    Akaahan Terungwa
    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..How To Write An eBook In 7 Days (For Beginners)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

      Hi Akaahan,

      I see your new blog style is very interesting. You give lots of great information for your niche, but don’t really seek to build conversation or engagement.

      There’s nothing wrong with that, and as you point out, a lot of blogs are going in that direction these days. I think a lot of that is because it clearly takes a lot more time and effort to build relationships instead of supplying information and resources.

      It’s not that one method is better than another, it’s more that one method is better for some audiences, and it’s a matter of where you choose to invest the majority of your time… relationship building or content development.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  22. Harleena Singh
    March 15, 2016 at 3:57 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Wonderful post indeed 🙂

    I loved the analogy shared here, and you look fab in the black and white outfit – not to miss the matching shoes!! You sure are dressed to kill my friend!

    You are so right in all that you mentioned. The way you dress your blog depends entirely on you, so make it the best way – showcase your personality through it. You can add any accessories to the black dress, just make sure you learn how to carry it off well, isn’t it? Automatically, you’d attract the right people towards your blog if it’s all done up well.

    Yes, there are many blogs that put up things, which are not to our liking and those put us off. But again, who are we to judge – we can just let go or leave or ignore those things. I know those pop-ups and sign-ups can be so annoying. Yet again, so many well-known bloggers are the ones who feel they work and that’s how the newbies learn and try to tread the same path, which doesn’t work for all. I guess people learn from hits and trials, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..4 Ways to Unleash Your True SelfMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Harleena,

      Glad you enjoyed the outfit he he he.

      Seriously though, our blogs do reflect who we are. So our design has to be us. Not something people tell us to do.

      When it comes to pop ups, many swear by it and it works for them. Indeed, we cannot judge it but just leave if we find it annoying. I really don’t have anything against them, but when I have to jump through hoops trying to find the content, it does drive me crazy.

      It gets back to that little black dress. We can dress it up any way we can and let our personalities shine through.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  23. James McAllister
    March 15, 2016 at 1:36 am #

    Hi Donna!

    Design has always been one of my weak suits so I’m always interested in topics regarding it. I do feel like it’s easy to get to where you want to go on my site but I do need to clean up a little bit, and make it a little less… I don’t know, boring.

    They say don’t judge a book by its cover but the sad reality is that people do and good content will not make up for it if people don’t stick around to actually read it.

    Agree with you completely on those blogs that encourage people to sign up right away. I am sure they are working but I wonder if the trade off is worth it? Anything that prompts for a signup before the visitor has actually had a chance to do anything on your site can’t be too fantastic – especially in the MMO markets where readers are more prone to this kind of stuff. Even if they do generate leads, I question the quality.

    I do use a pop-up but it only shows when the reader has finished the article or they’re about to leave. I couldn’t imagine ever using an entrance pop-up for the very reasons you mentioned here.

    Business always has and always will be a two-way deal so let’s all leave a good first impression and pave the way for future sales…
    James McAllister recently posted..The 7 Rules Of Selling All Bloggers Must FollowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 15, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

      Hi James,

      I love your site because it is easy to follow. I don’t think your site is boring at all! It shows the content and what’s it about immediately. So if someone is searching for something particular they will find it right off. No jumping hoops.

      Oh and the blogs that encourage you to sign up right away…people say they do work, but when I get to that kind of blog, I just go on to the next.

      Your pop ups are not intrusive at all. The entrance pop up is too annoying. It’s like having a guard dog barking at you before you enter the house. he he

      Have a great week,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic To Your Blog For FreeMy Profile

  24. marquita herald
    March 14, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    This is a great topic, Donna. Like you, I follow many blogs so it’s pretty easy to spot shifting trends in blog design and, for reasons I will never understand, the pop-up is more popular than ever and now there’s the full page version. Talk about first impressions – just this morning I visited a new blog and before I ever got through the first paragraph I got hit with the full page pop-up (sorry, can’t remember the proper term but it’s still a pop-up to me), after clicking the “no thanks” I went back to reading and a second pop-up came from the bottom and it was big enough to block part of the article. Again I clicked the X and went back to reading when (I kid you not) a third pop-up zoomed into the center of the page. It was at that point I gave up and left. I know some people swear by these tools, but I guess I’m just not the audience that can appreciate them.

    For me, look and function of my site is extremely important. By the end of this week, I’ll be finished with a project that included a major article audit and preparation to introduce several new features. Everything has a consistent look, color scheme, and theme. What it doesn’t have is a single pop-up. 🙂
    marquita herald recently posted..Reflections on the Hidden Beauty of SilenceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill March 15, 2016 at 11:13 am #

      Hi Marquita,

      I kept nodding my head reading your comment because we must have been on the same blog or a very similar one. Yes…three pop ups and pressing the X and the “no thanks” is extremely distracting.

      I like to go to a blog, and read the post. Especially a new person. I want to immediately get a feel from their writing of who they are and what they do. Some are just cut and paste PLRs.. Some, original content, that is beneficial in their niche. Those I can enjoy, All without interruptions of those darn pop ups.

      Can’t wait to see your new site.


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