I wouldn’t bore you about what minimalism means, I bet everyone here gets the main idea. Less is more, and more often than not, less is better.
So what does this have to do with your blog?
You don’t really need to be a believer of minimalism to try out these practices. But don’t let that stop you though from harnessing the power that lies beyond it’s “less is more” motto.
What you’ll find here is, in fact, a practical guide to blog enhancement. And here they are:
Rule #1 – Simplicity
How often have you craved (and succumbed) to add in a new sidebar, footer column, sparkly button, social media widget or whatever kind of new counter there is?
Right, I know there have been lots of those moments.
The core idea of minimalism is simplicity, and there’s a very good reason for that.
Back in the post World War II era (and yes, I’ve researched), the trend was to produce more and more complex forms of art and buildings. It came to a point where an artisan movement stood up to the growing complexity and said ‘No. Let us go back to basics.’
If you observe your own personal trend as a blogger, the longer you’ve been one, the more you want to build up and create a complex atmosphere at your site (perhaps because you think it will better reflect your own growth).
Why is this necessarily bad?
Because what you’re doing isn’t good for your blog.
First, all the clutter makes your loading a pain for everyone, and most of all, it dilutes the attention of your readers.
Which perfectly connects with our second rule…
Rule #2 – Functionality
Remember, your priority are your readers, and it ALWAYS has to be them.
Every opportunity you get to attract a visitor should be focused on retention (making that reader stay, and even better, making them come back).
How do we achieve this? Here are some pointers:
- Make sure navigation or menu buttons are easily spotted.
- Showcase the best you’ve got. Display popular posts.
- Enhance site speed. Everyone isn’t a fan of long loading time.
- Use appropriate images (sparingly) to attract readers’ eyes.
- Get rid of the clutter/useless sections to give leeway for the important areas.
When in doubt, just repeat the keyword.
For example, on your home page, the function should be to make a reader dig into your content. If you check your traffic stats and see your page view count almost close to your traffic count, then you obviously have a problem there.
Your blog elements should work together to point to content.
That’s why it’s good to do things like featuring your best posts, placing in-text links in your posts (SEO link building value is a plus), and enabling related posts plugins.
Rule #3 – Stripped to Essentials
Okay, so this might be a bit extreme (though actually this is a prerequisite to achieve minimalism).
What this idea suggest is that you have to do away with everything except what you really need (i.e. your content, nav links, a header, and a few other important details).
If you look around Tumblr for example, you’ll see a lot of minimalist themes.
Though if you want a more familiar example, how about heading over to Seth Godin’s blog? See how it’s stripped to it’s bare essentials?
Then again, in professional blogging, maybe it takes a Seth Godin to pull that one off?
Or if you look at it the other way around: maybe having less actually did him A LOT MORE. Seth says so himself right? He disabled comment because he doesn’t want to distract himself with that. And what did that do? It pushed discussion outside of his blog. Hello Twitter, Facebook and inbound links.
All in all: Minimalism isn’t about being in or not. It’s actually a way of doing things better and possibly getting better results. Whether it’s postmodern art, architecture, design, or blogging, the guidelines remain to universal.
After all, you can never go wrong with basics, right?
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