The Constant Challenge of Reducing Your Blog’s Complexity

I had the pleasure of writing a guest post over at DailyBlogTips this morning titled 3 Elements of Your Blog Design That Need Simplifying.

If you have a moment please feel free to head over there and not only give it a read but also see if there are any areas of improvement that you can execute on today! Love to see some TentBlogger-love on the post as well (drop a comment, or two!).

In typical fashion I wanted to spend a few moments expanding on this topic here for the benefit of my awesome readers.

Do Not Outpace Your Blog’s Growth with Complexity

As your blog grows and as your audience widens your blog will naturally follow the same course, especially if you’re a blogger that wants to continue the upward trend to the right in regards to traffic!

You’ll want to use new systems, services, and technologies from multiple different providers that tell you that their particular product will “increase engagement” and “multiply pageviews overnight” and other such marketing material.

The temptation is great.

And this is not to say that they are all bad – in fact, many of them are quite decent! But my experience has shown (and many blogs that you read have shown) are way beyond where they should be in terms of complexity – they’ve got this and that and everything in between on their sidebars, content areas, and 50+ plugins installed.

But they only get about 50 visits a day. See, there’s a disconnect!

Newer bloggers consume the lie that their blog needs to be at the complexity level of a professional blogger’s blog so that they do get those traffic numbers – I submit that the oppositie is more profitable: Start as simply as you possibly can with the most simple WordPress Theme that you can find (try one of my free WordPress Themes) and focus on what matters: Content and community engagement.

If you outpace your blog’s growth and make your blog more complex than you (and your community) need at this point you’ll most likely be wasting time in areas that are, at this point, that aren’t optimal or beneficial. You only have so much time to work on your blog each day so why would you waste it in areas that don’t contribute to the most important elements of your blog?

Reduce complexity and make an effort to simplify every step of the way – you’ll find it much more satisfying and your community will thank you for it.

I believe in you guys! You can do it! Again, feel free to head over to DailyBlogTips and give my thoughts a second or two. If you want another good read you can read this similar post about keeping your blog light and not heavy.

  • Loren Pinilis

    I’m guilty of confusing complexity with good design. It’s easy to focus on bells and whistles. It’s like detox getting back to a simple blog :)

    • John Saddington

      ;) it’s a challenge even i have!

  • Eric

    You seemed to have hit the nail on the head. As a toddler blogger I look at other great blogs and want all the chrome and rims that they have on their blogs! I am constantly reminding myself to work on my content and focus on building a community. I guess the old adage is not true, “Build it and they will come!”

    • John Saddington

      oh. i love this comment. you’re right, lots of bloggers feel the pressure of starting with all that bling and you don’t need it!

  • Jeff Goins

    Wow. Impressive. I’m a fan of all things Daniel Scocco.

    • John Saddington

      daniel has done some pretty impressive stuff. i’m a fan, for certain.

  • Patrick Thunstrom

    I actually just started the process of redesigning my blog to get a more unified design and link structure. The goal is quite literally ‘Simple, but useful’ using Pages to organize series and reducing my categories to make finding similar content even easier.

    I know, eventually the complexity is going to go up, but for now, I’m happy with what I’ve got.

    • John Saddington

      wow. i love this! great start!

  • Dewitt Robinson

    Great post John on the Daily Blog Tips site! When I upgraded to the current version of Standard Theme I lost the background I previously had. Now I just have a plain background without any design.

    • John Saddington

      thanks dewitt!

      the background you had originally was a bit heavy…

  • Michael

    I alluded to this on my comment at DailyBlogTips. Finding a happy medium between simplicity and the desire to look “different” is tough for me. Though I have managed to get rid of a lot of the plugin bells and whistles I was messing with and I am striving to keep it simple more and more :)

    • John Saddington

      thanks for commenting michael! appreciate it!

  • Atria

    Hello there,

    I totally agree that “less means more” but also, sometimes it is so hard to avoid temptation just to add some plug in here and there..

    I’m moving to my new WP blog and I was so hard for me to decide what functions my new blog should contain.

    I’ve also read about simplicity of layout. Generally I do agree but when it comes to layout, comments etc. I think it is good just to add some visual juice like styling comments or add some extraordinary graphic or just make some fancy button, but still keeping in mind that functionality is the key.

    • John Saddington

      yes, you are right! i’m trying to keep it simple on this blog and just focus on content… but have one or two elements that shine a bit.