I started technosanct.com on Blogger platform. Although I was familiar with WordPress, the question that I was grappling with was whether I need to spend more money on domain and hosting. I had two earlier websites struggling to find voice of their own, and I did not want to add further to my weekend workload.
But as it turns out – I had enough of Blogger in 10 days. I created a domain, bought hosting, and wrote 3 to 5 articles on the exciting stuff in the Internet marketing space.
I was quite excited about sharing my own Internet marketing journey with others, And I ended up sharing this website with a host of my friends, peers, and anyone who bothered to listen.
Only then, I started realising there was something wrong.
People took a look at the Blog, they had one or two kind words of encouragement, and moved on. The worst part – they never returned.
It was then that I did a couple of things that I had never done before:
- Bribed a couple of my friends to coffee and movie tickets
- Created a survey on surveymonkey.com, and invited my online friends to leave anonymous feedback
- I was even daring enough to share the website in a couple of review sites.
The two big things that I learnt from all this hoopla –
- My writing style was direct and dry. I never told the story that readers wanted to read
- People who did like the writing style there was something missing in the blog
I could get the first point. And, I could initiate corrective action right then and there.
I read more than a few copywriting books. I tried to follow the same style of writing in the blogs that I read. Although the topics that I deal with are close to my brain, I learned to talk/write from my heart ( cheesy, I know).
The second point baffled me. I could not quite put my finger on what exactly readers wanted to see on the blog.
I had what I believe to be a professional style – readable fonts, decent colour combination, and a lot of whitespace (fan of copyblogger).
At that time I did not really know a lot about heat maps. Or, I could have just installed the plug-in (Crazy Egg tool even), and try to narrow down the issue.
It also didn’t help that I did not have access to professional reviewers 🙂
I started experimenting with the layout of the Blog. I moved around things quite a bit during those days. And in one of these experiments I hit the jackpot.
My blog did not have a logo.
I had just depicted “technosanct.com” in a weird font, and threw it in the header. I did not quite bother about the logo after that because the header of the Blog was quite transparent to me.
Readers who came to the website intrinsically new there was something wrong with it as compared to other blogs. Although they could not find out the absence of the logo, the common feedback that I received was “somehow the blog has to look more professional.”
The first logo I created was just a screenshot of the weird font that I had used earlier.
Although I quite never really liked it, but it did add that completeness to the website. I left it at that.
But when the time came to move the Blog to the next level, one of the immediate priorities I had on my checklist was to change the logo.
I looked around on the free logo creation websites, and try to make a more professional logo on my own. But I was never satisfied with any of them.
Finally, I ended up spending money for a brand-new logo. I did not quite spend a lot – no not the $99 on 99designs.com. All I did was to head over to Fiverr.com, and outsource the logo creation to the best of the lot For a mere $5.
Although I never consider the current logo to be complete in the true sense, it looks and feels much better than where I was earlier.
Logos can build or destroy brands. Your blog is one of your biggest brands.
I came across quite a number of posts in other blogs that outlined the importance of the logo. But I continue to find a lot of people making the same mistake as me.
Logos pull in respect for your blog. Period.
It is one of the first things that people notice when they start building opinion on the blog. For good or bad, the look and feel of the blog seem to matter more than the content – at least from the initial impression.
But wait, there is more.
Story of the favicon
Once I started looking at the websites more granularly, I observed that most of the professional websites have the fav icon as well. Although you hardly notice that little icon, it provides that feeling that the website is well taken care of. I see it as an assurance of the Blogger to give attention to detail in all aspects of the Blog.
Creating a favicon is really easy. Head over to favicon.cc, feed in your logo, and download the icon.
Most of the WordPress themes allow you to specify favicon for the website. If not, you can always replace the favicon.ico in your theme folder or mess with the PHP code to do exactly that. Once done the shows up as the icon of your website in the browser.