Ugly Blog or Pretty Blog?

25 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
  • |
Hey Guys,

Haven't posted in a while because I've been working on a new project.

However, I have a question for all you info marketers.

My sites on the 1st page top spot of google now and it's funny because I'm using a regular optimize press blog template...Didn't know that was possible.

Anyway, my primary objective is to build my list.

I find that the blog templates in OP are for lack of a better word UGLY.

Real plain, and Real straight to the point.

Part of me knows that if my main objective is to build a list that I shouldn't worry as much about how my site looks, rather than the quality of the content I have on there. But at the same time I'd like my viewers to have a real pleasurable experience coming to my site, staying on my site, and opting in to my list.

I saw this pretty nice WP theme Yamidoo and thought about getting it.

All of you who market info products out there what are your thoughts on this topic?

should I just KISS (keep it simple stupid) or try to do both???

All thoughts are appreciated,

Thanks
#info #product or blog #question
  • Profile picture of the author Greedy
    Keep it simple whens it comes to the layout, but making things look eye pleasing is always important.

    KISS doesn't mean things should be ugly.

    When people refer to an Ugly Landing Page, they just mean it is Ugly as not fancy. Not Ugly as in looks like crap. lol

    Just use your gut.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh880
      Your gut is ALWAYS best right lol

      Thanks

      Originally Posted by Greedy View Post

      Keep it simple whens it comes to the layout, but making things look eye pleasing is always important.

      KISS doesn't mean things should be ugly.

      When people refer to an Ugly Landing Page, they just mean it is Ugly as not fancy. Not Ugly as in looks like crap. lol

      Just use your gut.
      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author CalinDan
    Hey,

    If you could do both sometimes it's a plus. Definitely a plus in other niches outside IM. Us marketers get away with '80s looking websites all the time because of the valuable content.

    What I tend to go with every time is clean. Nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary, just clean. A nice visible navigation bar, clean content area with easily readable fonts. Sometimes I pack in many ads, and sometimes I keep the ad space clean too.

    Pretty much try to make it look professional, with a web 2.0 feeling to it. Again, this is usually a huge plus in niches other than IM.

    Hope this makes sense!
    Regards,
    Dan
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh880
      It does make sense.

      And my niche is outside of IM so that's why I thought I should switch it up.

      My biggest problem is making that decision.

      Pro's of having a plain site:

      1) Easy to read
      2) Straight to the point
      3) Draws more attention to my optin box

      However,

      Cons of my plain site:

      1) not as appealing
      2) not that good on the eyes

      But don't get me wrong it's not UGLY just plain.

      Just having a hard time deciding if I should use a different theme that's may be more user friendly.

      My only problem with that is, if I did go with a better looking blog theme that I would give all my viewers too much to look at, and that would take away from my primary objective which is to build my list.

      It's a small battle that I'm dealing with that's why I prefer some second opinions.




      Originally Posted by CalinDan View Post

      Hey,

      If you could do both sometimes it's a plus. Definitely a plus in other niches outside IM. Us marketers get away with '80s looking websites all the time because of the valuable content.

      What I tend to go with every time is clean. Nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary, just clean. A nice visible navigation bar, clean content area with easily readable fonts. Sometimes I pack in many ads, and sometimes I keep the ad space clean too.

      Pretty much try to make it look professional, with a web 2.0 feeling to it. Again, this is usually a huge plus in niches other than IM.

      Hope this makes sense!
      Regards,
      Dan
      Signature

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      • Profile picture of the author CalinDan
        Originally Posted by Josh880 View Post

        It does make sense.

        And my niche is outside of IM so that's why I thought I should switch it up.

        My biggest problem is making that decision.

        Pro's of having a plain site:

        1) Easy to read
        2) Straight to the point
        3) Draws more attention to my optin box

        However,

        Cons of my plain site:

        1) not as appealing
        2) not that good on the eyes

        But don't get me wrong it's not UGLY just plain.

        Just having a hard time deciding if I should use a different theme that's may be more user friendly.

        My only problem with that is, if I did go with a better looking blog theme that I would give all my viewers too much to look at, and that would take away from my primary objective which is to build my list.

        It's a small battle that I'm dealing with that's why I prefer some second opinions.
        If it's outside the IM niche I would go with some esthetic enhances whatever those may be.

        Perhaps create a nice header with some simple shadow borders. That will always give the impression of a professional Web 2.0 site, and not just some blog you crafted over the weekend.

        The rest, if it's clean and full of value, nobody will care about pretty graphics.

        What I like to do with 'list building sites' is make my opt-in box match my header. These will be the only pieces grabbing 'aggressive' attention, without being to pushy.

        Best of luck,
        Dan
        Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I prefer nice looking blogs, but if mine were in the top spot on Google, I would not change a thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh880
      I think you're right.

      Thanks

      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      I prefer nice looking blogs, but if mine were in the top spot on Google, I would not change a thing.
      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Mikey D
    I'm with sbucciarel. Most of the time I start with fresh, inviting, and clean blogs adhering to current design trends. I do have one site, however, that is ugly, black and white, and lacks any style altogether. Nonetheless, I am not going to change the design, as this one seems to work.

    If you feel the layout if affecting conversion or click thru rates, then you might want to slowly make tweaks.

    That #1 spot is far more valuable than any design you might choose for the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author icoachu
    Most of my moneymakers have ugly designs. It's not about looks but how you incorporate the CLUES your readers are sending you to boost your click through ratio. here's an explanation: Boost Your Blog’s Success With Feedback Loops | webmaster resources
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  • Profile picture of the author picnic
    Banned
    I think aesthetics do play a role in readership and conversion rates. You should at the very least be using a professional WP theme. Content is king but you still want a site that's navigation-friendly and readable. Most people do judge the authority of a site based on how it looks, whether consciously or subconsciously
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    You could always create a squeeze page using a different HTML editing tool. But Optimize Press's "Real plain, and Real straight to the point" templates work well for alot of people. Make a decision soon and dont spend days rambling your brain about it.
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  • Test! It's all about testing! See which one get the most optin!
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    • Profile picture of the author JoeyElmore
      Originally Posted by Mreese601@gmail.com View Post

      Test! It's all about testing! See which one get the most optin!
      Test, test, test. Try out a couple different layouts and see which converts best and go for it.
      Signature

      "The grass isn't always greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it."

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  • Profile picture of the author nasuryono
    Stick with OptimizePress and maybe install Popup Domination? It will give you a nice touch in terms of getting leads.
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    • Profile picture of the author WraithSarko
      pretty blog that you can show off in public

      ugly blog kept hidden but available when ever u need it
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      SuperExpensiveNUKE...SubmitterEnvyNUKE...SENukeXCRaptastic
      I've spent the last 59 months building 412 MFA sites. Each site averages 8 cents per day...I said average, some make up to 17 cents per day, PASSIVE INCOME! This income allows me to live comfortably and buy ANY flavor Jolly Rancher or Skittles I desire. Don't give in to fear, it CAN be done!
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      • Profile picture of the author IMcoder
        If your site is already converting well, you might not want to mess with it. Keep in mind, one of the ugliest sites around is also one of the busiest... and extremely profitable... I'm speaking of course of craigslist. Would making that site prettier increase traffic and/or profitability? Probably not. The appeal is in how useful it is to people.

        If you decide to make any changes whatsoever, there may be a significant cost associated with doing so... even if you make use of a free or low-cost theme. If changing the look and feel, adding "eye-candy" to make the site more attractive could have the unintended consequence of distracting people from the various calls to action that already exist on your site and prompt them to opt-in and buy. There's nothing wrong with having a "pretty" site, and I always do try to make my sites aesthetically pleasing... but remember the purpose of the site... it's not a work of art, people aren't going to print it out, frame it, and hang it on their walls. The purpose is for it to make you money, and if it's doing that... then it's probably wise to go with the "if it ain't broke... don't fix it" approach.

        On the other hand, one could argue that making it "prettier" could potentially increase conversions, and that is indeed possible. You might be leaving money on the table by NOT beautifying the site, and the obvious suggestion would be to do some split testing. Ordinarily I would say that would be a great idea. Rotate two versions, and see which one converts better... then leave the higher converting version in place.

        HOWEVER, you are in the enviable position of having a number 1 on page 1 position in Google. If you change your content in any way, shape, or form... you do run the risk of losing that spot the next time your site is indexed. Obviously Google really likes the page as it is, and while it makes no judgment on aesthetics, if you start modifying look and feel, using a different theme... then you will inevitably modify the content as well. Even a subtle change in the position of text on a page might have an impact... nobody can say for sure... Google is nothing if not fickle. There are also items that aren't necessarily visible without looking at the source of the page... meta tags, use of H1, H2 tags and so on... and changing your theme might result in changing these other page elements from how they are used and placed by optimize press. For you... split testing carries some real risks. In theory, if you see your position drop in Google after switching, it would logically follow that switching back to how you had things before might restore your position. I have nothing to offer that would contradict that theory, but of course... Google is fickle, their algorithm is top-secret and can only be reverse-engineered to a certain point. Nobody outside Google knows 100% of the rationale for placing one site in one position and another in a different one. It is a big unknown. I say play it safe, enjoy that top spot for as long as you can.. and do NOTHING that could anger the Google Gods and possibly have any impact on that position. It would be a real shame to make the site more attractive, only to have it moved to page 10 simply because your new theme no longer causes a certain line of text to be wrapped in an H1 tag, thereby making Google think that text is now less important than it had been, and re-indexing accordingly... bumping up "more relevant" sites into what was your top spot.
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  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    The nicer, and the more professional your blog looks, the more leads, and signups you are gonna generate period!

    If it looks like crap people are not going to take you as serious.

    You can always keep your content the same just make your site standout and say look at me I know what I am doing signup lol
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  • Profile picture of the author YourBusinessEye
    Look and feel is important as apart from quality content if the visitor comes to the blog or site and finds it ugly he will go towards another competitor. I know your main objective is list building but having a good design does attract more traffic and they will bone to take the call to action that you may have

    Good luck

    Saniya
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    Business Coaching Services, Business Performance Improvement, Internet Marketing, Online Brand Reputation - Ask me for a complimentary business gap analysis!

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  • Profile picture of the author rising_sun
    Banned
    Characteristics of nice blog:
    -attractive user interface ,
    -easy operating system
    -quality post,
    -quality members
    characteristics of bad blog is opposite of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author galmiar
    Well if i was a visitor and had to be parted with my email, when i know all to well that i could be getting lots of spam through it so im very cautious, i tend to trust more professional looking sites with of course great content.

    A good looking site looks like they are a trustworthy buisness as aposed to someone who has quickly put something up and wants your email. But of course there is plain and functional looking and careless and ugly, two very different things that give off different feelings so it depends on which one is yours.

    But again it also depends on which niche you are in to what you can get away with. For example if you are a medcal or a computer software review site you want to look very professional and clean but if you are a gaming site or something then you can get away with a less fancy design.

    hope this helps

    sorry if this has confused anything.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      IMO, a really well-designed blog does not draw attention to the design. If I go to your blog, and my first reaction is either 'the designer should be shot' or 'the designer is an artistic genius and this design belongs in a museum', you have problems with your design and your content.
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  • Profile picture of the author icoachu
    Pretty does not mean money. That's the long and short of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh880
      Thanks All For The Replies

      Much Appreciated
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  • Profile picture of the author icoachu
    You're welcome, Josh. It would be nice if you posted feedback re how it all worked out.
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