In blogging, removing distractions from content is always the utmost priority. But for many, the first impression that is being given is causing people to focus more on that giant zit on the nose of the content rather than all the amazing content being presented.
In an effort to remove all barriers, the first impression of a website gains major priority in the blog development process.
Today we are going to look at 5 different bloggers who have put forth a great first impression.
Each site presents a different strategy and approach, but each leaves you with a great first impression.
Jeff has a heavy focus on a couple of features. The feature that really sticks out to me is his sign-up box for his newsletter. This is a great first impression for anyone looking for great content delivered to them daily, and he makes sure to play off that with is title “Get Regular Inspiration To Your Inbox.” He then follows up that first impression with a word of endorsement from Michael Hyatt who has authority in this space of blogging.
Jeff’s main focus on his first impression is to get you to sign-up for his email newsletter. This happens well before you even start to read his content. This might be the first impression you want to make. Immediately go into closing, making that sale. For Jeff this works well because he already has a large audience and is well respected in the subject of writing, marketing, and blogging.
For Michael Hyatt, his content is a very important part of his brand. He wants you to see his latest blog post but also to know the important resources that he has developed and wants to share. And let me tell you, these resources are worth their weight in gold. Not only does he have the authority on publishing, but he has the content to back it up. As you land on his page you as the reader have options to choose where you are headed.
Michael’s main focus here is to share his content and let that win you over. This is a great strategy to bring you back for more. He has a portal that can take you down several tracks. Offering up free resources, paid resources, and eBooks. If you want to have a site that has plenty of options, Michael Hyatt is a great resource.
ZenHabits is one of my favorite sites both in content and in strategy. This site is very simple, one meditative, thought provoking post a day. When you hit this site you are not met with tons of content, attention grabbing images, or other options. You have the content ahead of you and a featured post. I took a lot of this inspiration from Leo’s site and added it in to my personal blog thoughtsaboutnothing.com.
ZenHabits can be an incredible example of taking a topic and truly having your site reflect that content. It is not all about the fluff of a blog but truly promoting a zen like life.
Chris Brogan is a great example of someone who has a lot of streams coming in to one place. The common problem I hear from a lot of people is that they have more then just their blog. Because of that they do not want their blog post to be the only thing that is seen. Chris does an amazing job of displaying how to do this. Being a speaker, hosting a podcast, and writing content all over the web can become very messy to try and display to an online audience. But Chris’ site really catches all those streams of content and brings them to the most important place, the landing page of his blog.
Chrisbrogan.com is a great resource for anyone who is wanting to run multiple businesses but also have a hub of communication. He has a personal landing page that displays his product, speaking opportunities and latest blog post. You can find all the information you need in one place.
Blaine Hogan provides the most aesthetically appealing site. His combination of typography, images, and simplicity provide an easy site to navigate as well as look at. A couple of key features pop out to me and hopefully to you. His content is easy to read and consume. With a simple Post-Meta content on the left (time, date, category) and navigation at the top, you have some choices to make as to where you want to go. For people who have never read Blaine’s content (which I highly recommend), learning more about him is easy to find and looks great. As well you can grab some free backgrounds for your desktop. This site is a beautiful example of what a blog can look like.
Blaine provides inspiration as to what design/development can do for ones overall site. It makes you want to see his site more and more and less and less in a reader. Blaine’s site is a great example of thinking layout first and simplicity. Much like Zen Habits, Blaine’s site does not give you a ton of clicking habits and instead takes you down one or two paths. One thought for his site that I would suggest would be to give a suggested reading section. Allowing all new users to his site a place to go and find out more about his site and books. Because his site is so pretty many will give him the authority on design and creativity, with that opportunity he could drive readers to some of his more popular post and grab more eyeballs for future post.
These are 5 examples of the first page of a blog. They all have different purposes, ideas, and content. Hopefully you gained some inspiration as well as some ideas. But most importantly, you take action.
I would love to hear more from you, what did you take away from these examples? Was there anything that stuck out to you? Any sites you would like to share for inspiration?