I am friendly with a retail store owner. It's interesting to know how much thinking some implementations warrant. Think of a store as a Web page, only larger and obviously more interactive. Where should he place his goods to recruit attention and make conversions?
There's a whole lot that goes into the process. So much in fact, one can start to think about placement a lot; yet, mere thinking doesn't garner results. We must take action; so, those thoughts become compulsive actions. He engages in the thinking/doing so much, one may wonder about his mental health.
Of course, I'm kidding. His thinking, action, and rinse/repeat rituals are warranted. It's akin to online A/B testing.
Online readers are fickle; in some cases, we don't even know if we can deem them 'readers'; many are more like 'browsers.' Browsing can turn to reading when the level of interest is raised. How can you rearrange some implements to possibly attract raised interest?
When was the last time you thought about your design? Is it dated? Do the colors, fonts, and images POP at readers? A lot of people (including me at times) will write about producing great content. Unfortunately, sometimes the content is good but the packaging is bad. The latter spoils the chances of the former.
Take a look at some of your content pages' bounce rates. Readers must invest at least a few minutes to peruse content. If not, they're bouncing due to lost intrigue as a result of poor content or poor design. Your design will host future content. Why invest resources into great content when the 'cover' of the book is being poorly judged? Reconsider your design.
I think many Web masters do not consider the value of space. I myself love reading; but, there is a difference regarding a page's initial reception. Accessing a page with blocks of text is intimidating. It 'tricks' the brain into thinking the process requires more 'work.' A page, offering a good portion of white space and line breaks is not as intimidating. The line 'breaks' denote an intellectual 'break' as well.
Some people will encourage the use of multiple visual elements , like pictures to accompany written text. Added implements are great (if they support learning or a message). Otherwise, they are not needed, but white space is.
Let's take a look at how Copyblogger formats posts. You'll notice it is all text with one, little picture at the beginning. However, notice the liberal usage of white space throughout. The information is segmented into 'breaks' or 'chunks,' which makes the post easy to initially engage and mentally grasp.
Sometimes my retail-store friend gets tired of looking at the same mannequins. He'll dress them differently, rearrange their hand gesticulations, or put them 'in the back' for a bit of mannequin hibernation. The hibernation is good for consumers too, the owner thinks. "People respond to different whether they know it or not," is one of his philosophies on the topic.
Regardless of the authority or popularity of your regularly-scheduled writers, think about giving your regular writers a rest and invite others to you write for your site. It's a beneficial process for several reasons:
- It offers your readers a fresh, unique voice/perspective
- Outside authors can bring their readers to your blog
- The guest author may enjoy new 'fans' due to their guest appearance
- The notion of 'accepting guest writers' intrigues more writers/industry people
- IT IS NEW, DIFFERENT, AND USUALLY ELICITS A RESPONSE