How to Create an Effective Design (Even if you’re on a shoe-string budget)

Designing a blog seems like a nightmare for many.

Especially new bloggers who want to kickstart online marketing and build their presence online.

As we know, the design of your blog is essential to prove your authority.

You can have the most epic post on the internet, get tons of traffic, but then they leave your site because of your design.

I’ve written about this in the previous post here, HOW DESIGN COULD IMPACT THE SUCCESS OF YOUR AUTHORITY SITE.

The question now is how to create a design for your blog that really have a great impact on your authority. This is what I’m going to cover in this post.

Are you ready?

Before you continue, make sure to read the previous post first to know more about the importance of design.

The options you have

You have 3 options when it come to designing your blog.

You could save yourself all the hustle, hire a designer to design you a custom theme (recommended if you’re a big brand, but it’s not recommended if you’re still starting out and on a tight budget. If you’ve the budget, go for it.)

Or you could learn web design, take few courses and then design your course (Recommended only if you’re planning to make a living designing… i.e work as a freelance designer… other than that, the time commitment is not really worth it. Continue reading to know why.

You could bring a premium theme that could suit you, and then edit it to be unique for your site and suit your brand. (The options recommended for most bloggers. Low time commitment and no need to pay thousands to get a custom design. You could also do it if you’ve a big brand, but if you’re earning more than six figures, consider the custom design options.)

I won’t go a lot about the first 2 options.

If you want to hire a good designer, you could ask for recommendations, or go to freelancing sites like upwork, or check dribble.

If you want to learn about design, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of courses on Udemy.

But I’m sure that 90% of you don’t have the money or the time to apply the first 2 options.

And that was the main reason why I wrote this post.

I thought about writing this post to help anyone have a design ready for their blog today before tomorrow. That’s my goal for today’s post.

And I’ll talk about the 3rd options in more details.

Choose a premium theme that suits your needs

I could write tons of posts reviewing premium themes, and the thing is that everyone’s needs are different.

The theme that suits you, your personality and your topic is not necessary to suit me too.

But there are specific criteria that need to be in your theme. After all, you want to choose a theme that proves your authority.

Here are these criteria:

  1. Speed: The theme should load fast on most browsers. Every second matter.
  2. Mobile-Responsive: Mobile is trending now and mobile visitors will increase, so care about them.
  3. Simple: It’s not a fashion blog. You need to keep things simple.
  4. Easy navigation: Don’t annoy people who want to check more of your awesome work.
  5. Fonts are big and clear
  6. White spaces: You need to increase it for better reading experience.

If you want to read more about these, check out the previous post, where I talk about each one of these in details.

So you already understand these criteria? The question now is where to find the theme.

I’m using studiopress on my blog and I really love the designs. It meet all the above criteria + many others like seo optimized themes and many other things.

I’ve used it for more than 5 years and I don’t regret my decision. I actually regret not using them earlier.

With their big library, I’m sure you can find a theme that suits you.

Another great place to look at is thrive themes. Zac uses thrive on this blog and he really likes it. I see many others using it, so it looks promising.

I’m sure that you could find a design that suits you on these 2 sites. I don’t want to make you overwhelmed, so I won’t recommend other sites.

After you purchase a design, go to the next step.

Customize your site or hire someone to do it for you

You could customize the colors of your theme to make it fit your site. You could remove unnecessary things, modify things and so on to make it customizable for your needs.

So maybe you think it’s hard, and I thought so, but it’s really easy.

The good thing about studiopress and thrive is that they have tutorials to help you with every step. You can really do it.

But what if you don’t want to touch any code and you’re really terrified?

You could hire a designer to do all the editing you need for 50$ or so. It won’t need to cost you. I’d recommend going with this option to save you time when you need to focus on other things.

They’ll get you a better job in faster time.

Conclusion

Having a great design doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, or cost you time.

You could really get a good design without all that hustle by following the process I share here.

Do you still have any problems having a great design for your authority site? What is your excuse not to have one? So take action now.