Home page essentials for a wine blog [free checklist]

What are the essential elements you should remember about when creating your wine business website or wine blog Tips delivered to you by Wine Lady

The wine blog home page is the first page your readers and customers see when visiting your website. The first impression is very important, as your home page may interest your visitors so they want to stay longer with you.

The home page not only shows what your online activities focus on but also has a bunch of elements that may help you to engage the visitor for longer by reading interesting articles, signing to your newsletter and visiting other parts of your website.

Let’s get through some of the basics that may help you to increase the interest in your website.

Your current wine blog home page

Go to your website. Yes, I’m not kidding, please, do it now; go to your wine blog home page and try to look at it as your readers do. Be honest with yourself while answering a few simple questions:.

What does your home page say about you? Does it show what you’re interested in and what you do? Is it easy to navigate? Is it easy to read the posts/news? Does it have any pictures that attract the attention? Does your home page look nice? Does it work properly?

 

 

General vision

What exactly you want to show to your readers? Are you an expert in your niche, do you sell products or services, do you educate others about your niche? What type of content your readers are most interested in?

If you know your audience and their needs, you provide the content they look for. It means they will be keener on coming back to you for more information or other products and services. You can give them exactly what they want and you can show the highlights of it on your home page, so it is clear what your offer is. It will make their lives (and yours) much easier.

Do you prefer to write or to talk? Will you provide to your readers a text to read, an audio to listen to or a video to watch? Or perhaps you would like to mix them all?

Your readers may like the way you write about the subject, they may love the way you play in front of the camera (if you do a video blog), or they may appreciate your voice while listening to your wine podcasts.  These ‘likes’ built the engagement and that means your audience will stick with you for longer. This is what you want, isn’t it?

Think what type of devices you have and how could you use them for your wine blog purposes. As an alternative to writing articles, try to record an audio or make a short video about your niche. Check whether your readers like it or not and, mostly, check how you feel about it; you never know, you may find yourself enjoying video blogging more than anything else ;)

 

#WBTips 9

If you create a strategy for your wine blog at the beginning, it will be easier for you to constantly build a strong brand.

 

What is your mission for your wine blog? Do you have any vision of where your website could be in a year, five years or ten years? How do you wish your readers to benefit from the content you share with them? How can you and your website develop in next few years?

I know, we’re talking about ‘just a wine blog’, not a business, but there is a risk you will turn your blog into an online business one day ;)  Consider thinking about the benefits of knowing where you’re approaching to with your online activities.

If you create a strategy for your wine blog at the beginning, it will be easier for you to constantly build a strong brand. You will know what to expect from yourself and other people involved in your wine blog; you will know where to look for your customers and what to add to your website to engage them even more with your wine brand.

 

Latest blog posts vs. static home page

If you have only a blog, consider your home page showing the latest posts as it is the best way to inform your readers there are new articles to read. It is also the best way to inform the search engines that you offer a new content for the internet users. Fresh content equals frequent indexing and you have the opportunity to achieve higher rankings based on the quality content you provide.

Static home page, on the other hand, will be more practical for those of you, who write a blog as an addition to products or services. It gives you the opportunity to promote other activities, and, apart from that, you can still have your latest posts shown somewhere on the home page, with blog with all of its articles being a separate subpage.

 

Logo

By sharing your wine knowledge on your website, you show that you are an expert in your niche and it is obvious that you want people to read more of your content and you want more people to visit your page. That’s why it is so important to constantly use a logo, your name or the name of your website, so people can remember it and link it with you. This is how you start to create your personal brand.

 

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It is so important to constantly use a logo, your name or the name of your website, so people can remember it and link it with you. This is how you start to create your personal brand.

 

You don’t have to have a professional logo – at the beginning just a name will do the job. Create it using a nice font and place it somewhere at the top of your website, so people can see it straight away when viewing your home page.

Remember to place it somewhere at the top of your site in an appropriate size. Remember: too small logo will disappear among the rest of the content while too big one may overpower it.

 

Menu

Think what you want your readers to find and what you have on your website.

Do you write a blog? Do you have categories? Do you sell any products? Or participate in other projects you want your readers to know about? What is the most important for you? What is the most important for your readers?

Try to be them for a second and think about the parts of your website your audience is interested in the most. You may consider adding them to your menu, so your readers have an easy access to them.

 

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I suggest not adding too many tabs to your menu as too much choice makes people confuse. Chose a few most important elements and place them in your main menu.

 

I suggest not adding too many tabs to your menu as too much choice makes people confuse. Chose a few most important elements and place them in your main menu. Then you may redirect the audience to other parts of your website.

Depends on the theme you’re using, you can have one or more menus. Also, the way the menu looks like depends on the WordPress theme you are using.

If you have more than one menu, consider using one as a website menu (for example, you may add sub pages, such as: about me, contact, shop, newsletter) and the other menu may consist of most popular categories of your wine blog; it is really easy to set up. This will make your website clear and easy to navigate for your readers.

 

Related post: How to create a category menu on your wine blog?  check out my short tutorial that will help you to create a menu out of your blog categories.

 

Remember that you can remove ‘home’ tab from your menu if you have the logo linked to the home page.

 

 

Colours

You can use colourful background on your wine blog home page or leave it white. You can use a picture, a photo, an icon, or a logo, or just play with fonts to create an artistic design and make it more original. You can make a slideshow in your headline, so each few seconds there is a different picture showing on top of your wine blog home page; that will also bring some colour and some life to a white colour based page.

It is absolutely up to you.

 

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If you want to use some colours on your website, I recommend choosing 2-3 colours and stuck with them.

 

If you want to use some colours on your website, I recommend choosing 2-3 colours and stuck with them. The most important thing is to keep your website clean, readable and attractive; it is not a Christmas tree ;)

When you use colourful pictures with every post, the one colour background (in my opinion white is best) will enhance them. Too many colours may not be a good idea in this case, but the best way to decide whether it looks nice or not is to check how colours fit together and chose the one, which in your opinion is the best.

 

Fonts

The same principle applies to fonts. Choose 1-2 fonts (or more but from the same family) and stuck to them so the website looks consistent.

I don’t recommend using the handwriting or funky fonts in the post content as they are very difficult to read. Some of them look really nice, but you have to remember the more difficult it is to read your content the fewer people will do so.

 

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Choose 1-2 fonts (or more but from the same family) and stuck to them so the website looks consistent.

 

Contact details

In my opinion, you should always give your readers a possibility to contact you, no matter whether you are a blogger or a company.

You may insert your full contact details, create a simple contact form or just attach the email address. It doesn’t matter which way you chose as long as your audience may contact you.

If you don’t want to place it in the footer of your website, then consider creating a separate subpage for this purpose.

 

wine blogging tips newsletter

 

Sidebar

Is there anything you would like to promote? Maybe you couldn’t fit some categories into your menu? Do you look for a good place for your e-mailing list sing up form?

Consider having a sidebar, especially when you use ‘the latest blog posts’ as your wine blog home page.

In my opinion, it is a practical solution, as it gives you the opportunity to promote and/or redirect your readers to other parts of your website.

 

#WBTips 14

Consider having a sidebar, especially when you use ‘the latest blog posts’ as your wine blog home page. It is a practical solution, as it gives you the opportunity to promote and/or redirect your readers to other parts of your website.

 

So, what could you promote using the sidebar? You can introduce yourself shortly to new readers, you can place the opt-in for your newsletter; you can promote latest or most popular posts, categories or archives. You can put a nice CTA (call to action) button in there. A search box is also a good idea.

Lots of people place the socials media plugins or widgets in their sidebars. I don’t recommend doing it, as you want your readers to stay on your site and built your own traffic instead of redirecting them to other websites. If you want to tell your readers you’re available on social media, insert them to your contact page or place small social icons in the footer or the bottom of your sidebar. I think you should do as much as you can to keep your readers on your own website.

 

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Do as much as you can to keep your visitors on your website instead of redirecting them to your social media pages. Remember that you don’t have any control over your social media pages and profiles as they don’t belong to you.

 

Moreover, a sidebar is a great place for promotional banners. You can place an advertisement of your own eBook, your own wine course or someone else’s. You can create a nice widget with fields to fill in when someone wants to sign up for your e-mailing list. A sidebar is a great place to do so!

 

Conclusion

I recommend sacrificing one hour of your time to think about your wine blog home page. Maybe it has been already done the way you want it to be, but maybe you are not happy with it and you would like to change something, you just don’t know what should be changed. I hope this article will help you to see that there are possibilities of better using of your home page.

 

wine blogging tips home page essentials free checklist

 

You are very welcome to print or download the free checklist I’ve prepared for you as the base of modifying your wine blog home page. To download the checklist, simply click the picture to preview it and then ‘save picture as…’’.

I wonder how you use your wine blog home page for promotional purposes. Do you prefer a static home page or a ‘latest blog posts’ one? Why? Is there anything that annoys you in the home pages of others? Or maybe there is something you love? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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  • Kim

    Great tips! Many of these are applicable to so many blog topics. I would add that having a beginner’s section or something very basic for people that want to get into wine but do not have a deep understanding or experience would be helpful as well :)

    • Ela

      Hi Kim! Thanks for commenting!
      Yes, I focus on the wine writing, but at the same time I try to write the way so everybody can adapt it for their niche :)
      That’s a great idea with the beginners section, it could be applicable for many of the wine blogs :) although it depends on the target group for the blog readers.
      regards!

  • Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie

    These are good tips as people get started. I agree with Kim. There things here that are helpful to many blog topics. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ela

      Thank you for commenting, I’m glad you enjoyed it :)