Publish Your Content First & Design Later
How many of you have a blog chock full of content but are afraid to publish it because your still tweaking your designs?
Changing that logo so the lettering is perfect, going through various hues in the color wheel just looking for that perfect match.
What about you without content who keeps changing header settings, trying to find the perfect side bar width or the next coolest thing but hasn't written a singe word?
Many of you don't even know why you are doing this but for some reason feel it needs to be done.
I'll let you in on a little marketing secret, from the day you are born you are bombarded with colors, textures, patterns, and sounds designed to trigger responses in your brain that would appeal to not only you but the masses and as you continue to grow it doesn't stop, it registers further and further into the recess of your brain.
We are a society that judges all too often by visual appeal, so much so we have that saying "Don't judge a book by its cover."
Yet advertisements, magazines, and media use visual appeal to get us interested in their brands, products, or services and it work really well or at least long enough for them to make a pretty profit.
Don't believe me?
That movie you saw last week on DVD or Netflix, did you watch a trailer of it before hand or did you read the reviews before ordering it?
All too often we are taken in by pretty and shiny objects that lack any true value or depth because the visual aesthetics grabbed our attention first.
When we allow ourselves to get so caught up in just pure design we inhibit our online growth because were so worried about what's wrapping the box instead of what's inside the box.
We the artists, the authors, the creators of our digital dominion and assume visual appeal is the major key aspect of any great website, but that's because we are led to believe that is the only thing people really care about - visual appearance.
Visual appeal should be factored into your website but it should not be thesolitary focus that's holding you back from publishing your blog.
Ask yourself this question "Do people come to my site because it's pretty or do they think I have something of value to offer them?"
Most people want value. It doesn't matter to them that your site is plain as vanilla ice cream or that it doesn't have fancy graphics.
No, they come back because what you are offering is more than just a shiny object. You are offering them something that's important to them.
Publish your content first and then modify your site design as you build your site.
Let the content you publish become the catalyst for the design of your site and not the other way around. Build off of what you publish and then tweak your settings around that.
If you are a dead set on designing first before publishing the best advice I could give you that was given to me was to design your site to where you are 80% happy with it and then
LEAVE THE DESIGN ALONE.
Use the remaining 20% to add your content, proofread your articles, correct spelling errors, and test all links to ensure everything is working correctly. Then once you have added your 20% go back to your design and continue modifying it until you are happy.
Personally, I'd leave it at 80% and ask for input from your readers or family members to get a view from another perspective and tell them to be honest.
You do need to keep in mind that constantly shifting layouts and changing colors may drive your reader base away. Readers tend to prefer stability over colored chaos and if you can't find that harmony in your site than neither will your visitors.
There is a saying that an artist never really finishes a painting he just quits painting.
Your blog is your canvas but don't let colors and layouts consume you to the point that your all your designing ends up costing you your readers.