These Are the Design Elements Your Blog Needs

These Are the Design Elements Your Blog Needs

To make it the very best it can be.

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Does your blog seem like it's missing something? You look at others that inspire you and can't help think your blog isn't anything like theirs.

While you shouldn't compare yourself, you won't be satisfied with your work if you aren't happy with your current blog design. To bring you out of that slump, here are a few blog elements you should include.

Let's get into it!


A Mobile Responsive Website

These days, everything is done on mobile devices. We reach more for our phones and tablets than we do our laptops.

That said, you need to ensure your blog is responsive for mobile. That means no walls of text, images with reduced file sizes, and buttons fit for fingers.

Easy Navigation

No one wants to spend hours trying to find a specific page on your site. We doubt anyone would spend that amount of time searching for one thing anyway.

The takeaway is that your menu should clearly state what pages you have. And if it wasn't obvious, make sure it's in a place where people will see it. Who likes to play hide-and-go-seek with a menu, anyway?

Snippets

To keep your blog looking clean, don't include the full posts. You want to entice readers to continue on passed the headline.

Posting the whole things derails that because people have short attention spans. If that wasn't the post they wanted to read, it'll just seem like endless scrolling.

11-point Font Size

Who likes to squint at computer screens? Our eyes are sensitive enough when it comes to the blue light emanating from them anyway.

Don't make readers suffer by making the font size almost impossible to read. 11-points or larger is plenty to keep readers reading comfortably and for longer periods of time.

Add Images

Even adding one image to each and every blog post is enough to attract readers. They want a visual element that'll enhance what they're reading.

You captured them with your headline, now it's time for them to follow through and that works by adding images. However, avoid using overly-edited photos. Not only do they look fake already, it cheapens the look of your site.

Include a Landing Page

When you take out ads, you'll want to give those who click options as to what to do next. Whether you promised a detailed guide or a discount on your new book, you'll want to direct them to a landing page.

To make sure readers click on your CTA, use a landing page builder so it captures their attention.

Social Media Buttons

If a reader enjoyed your post so much, they'll want to share it! The best way for them to do that is to include social media buttons.

These customizable buttons allow the reader to post your content directly to their feed. In a matter of seconds your post will be shown to all of their followers, family, and friends.

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Happy National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month, and it just so happens to be the month I was adopted!

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If you didn't know, November is National Adoption Month! It's extra special too because November happens to be the actual month I was adopted! In honor of National Adoption Month, I wanted to share my adoption story.

When I was little, my mom used to read me a book called Horace. The children's book was about a cheetah cub who had been adopted by two tigers. Every night when his mom tucked him into bed, she would tell him "we chose when you were a tiny baby because you lost your family and needed a new one. We liked your spots and wanted you to be our child." (Keller 1991) Horace, the cheetah cub, always fell asleep before his mom could finish his adoption story. Horace feels out of place - he loves his mom and dad but wonders where he came from, so he goes on an adventure to find where he came from.

I have never felt like Horace. I am the only African-American in my family, yet I have never felt out of place. I have never not felt loved and accepted by my family. I have always known this family is my family, and exactly where God wanted me to be. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I have what is called a closed adoption. What this means is, I do not have direct contact with my birth parents. When I turned 18, I was allowed to reach out to Bethany Christian Services, which is the agency I was adopted through, to attempt to meet my birth parents. However, 23 years later, and I have yet to do so. But I will get to why later.

Before I came around. My mom, Constance, had a very difficult pregnancy with my big sister Kathryn. My sister Kate turned out healthy and gorgeous! But her doctors advised her to consider things strongly if she wanted to have another child. My mom and dad both wanted another child, but they kept this in mind. Both my mom and my dad Gary felt called to adopt.

If you are not familiar with how adoption works, first a disclaimer: every story is different! So I am not stating that this is exactly how it works each time, I can only speak to the process my parents went through. For them, my parents were interviewed by Bethany Christian, and then their information was sent to many different people who were seeking to put their children up for adoption. My parents did not specify gender, race, ethnicity, etc. Typically, you do not know who is interested in you until further down the line. My sister was five years old at the time of my adoption. Before I was born, my sister started to pray "Dear God, please let my little sister or brother arrive here safely. Amen." My parents were pretty confused... while they were going through the process of adoption, they had not been selected to be parents yet, let alone would they have told my sister she was for sure getting a sibling. My parents would say "Kate, mom isn't pregnant! You aren't getting a little brother or sister." She would reply "Yes we are. God told me so just trust me." Closer to my birth, my sister decided she definitely wanted a sister. She even then described what I would look like. And she started to give me a name: Anna.

Finally, my parents got the call that they were going to be parents again. My birth mom had met my parents once during the interview process. She said she picked my parents because my mom resembled my birth mom - both are blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and fair skinned. When my parents came to meet me for the first time, I fit the exact description my sister had been praying for - and although I did not have a name, they knew right away that I would be Anna, just as my sister had decided.

I was born on November 11th, 1995, and I was born with a staph infection. This kept me in the hospital for eleven days. Once I was healthy enough to go home, my parents brought me home on November 21st. While I look different from my family and I am not their biological daughter, I have never questioned my place in their family. I love my family so very much. My adoption is the biggest blessing of my life, and every single day I feel so lucky that I get to call my family mine.

Adoption is such a gift, and it is a true sacrifice for those who choose to give their children a better life. This month honors those in need of adoption, those who have adopted, and those who have been adopted. It is such a special thing to be a part of that. I know my parents love my "spots" and I love their stripes. To those who were adopted, Happy National Adoption Month. Share your stories - they are special and so are you.

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How to Plan for Your Financial Future

It's never to late to start.

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One of the best things you can do for your life is to be financially stable. You don't have to be a celebrity, a high-earning influencer or royalty to live a lavish lifestyle when you're older.

It's all about working towards it. The hard work you put into your financial future will be worth it in the end. Here are some ways you can start today.

Make Your Saving Goals Realistic

That house on the corner that comes with a huge infinity pool and marble countertops? Most likely, it's expensive. Like celebrity-status expensive.

However, that doesn't mean it isn't achievable. For saving goals, make sure they're realistic.

Getting that fancy, state-of-the-art dream home won't be grasped in two years. Thinking realistically, five years is a good measurement instead.

You want to give yourself plenty of time to save up accordingly. Instead of giving yourself a headache by trying to figure out the math, it's easier if you break down into increments. To start with, figure out how much you would need to save every month and go from there.

Reduce Expenses

Sure, that cup of coffee from Starbucks every morning is what you need to get the day started but that $8 each time starts to add up. Rather than shell out nearly $10 for a cup of coffee you can make at home, invest in a coffee-making machine.

It's a one-time price and you can buy ground coffee for half the price of a venti latte every day. As for other expenses, see what else can either be axed completely or reduced significantly.

When it comes to a gym membership, think about how much time you can really dedicate to working out. If your work schedule has you busy then maybe it's a good idea to cancel that membership. Instead, start working out from home.

Pay Off Credit Cards

Whether you have one or ten cards, they need to be tended to. And why not?

Think about it: paying off credit cards is one of the best things you can do for your financial future. When you pay that debt off, that money becomes available right then and it goes towards improving your credit.

If possible, see how many bills you can put on your credit cards. That'll allow you to focus on what's important (like paying necessary bills) while improving your credit score at the same time. Doing that doesn't allow for much room to put unnecessary expenses on your cards.

Borrow Money to Invest It

It can be pretty tempting to go to a loan agency to pay for that new handbag or new car rims. Instead of borrowing money for lifestyle gains, use it to invest.

What's one good way to invest borrowed money? Stocks!

The stock market is constantly changing which can make it risky but can also pay off big. You want to be a wise investor so be sure to read this article when it comes to the debate on whether to invest in Kellogg stock or General Mills. The answer will surprise you.

The future may seem far away now but focusing on it today will better help you financially later in life.

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