Years ago I remember hearing someone speak about marketing and the Wall of Black.
Chances are you’ve probably never heard of this concept, but once you learn about it you’ll notice it a whole lot more.
The Wall of What?
The person was speaking about Coke and how they market to their customers. He was saying that its Coke’s goal to have a Coke fridge full of Coke products on the wall directly opposite a shop’s doorway so the first thing you notice as you walk into the shop is the wall of black – a fridge full of Coke.
Once I heard about this I began to notice it in stores that I went into. If I went into a deli or takeaway shop the wall of black was usually there. Sometimes it wasn’t quite in line with the doorway, but it was usually pretty prominent in the store.
I never appreciated how competitive the soft drink market was until I learnt about the wall of black.
What Does Your Wall Look Like?
In the blogging world, you have your own ‘wall of black’.
It’s your blog’s homepage.
In particular its the portion of your home page that’s visible when someone first lands on your page. It’s like when you walk into a shop – you don’t notice everything in the shop straight away, but you’ll notice the wall of black if it’s there.
When someone lands on your blog homepage, what do they notice?
How does it look? If I looked at the top part of your homepage (the bit above the fold), is it obvious what your blog is all about?
Does it look inviting and interesting? Is it easy for me to work out what to click on and to find things that interest me?
Think about when you go into a shop for the first time. You probably don’t know where things are or where to look, so having the store laid out in a logical manner is a good start, as are signs and posters advertising the products.
Building Your Wall of Black
Find some websites that you like reading and look at how they are laid out. What is above the fold on those sites? How is their navigation designed? Is it easy to work out where to go?
Now compare these sites to your site and decide on improvements you can make.
I think there are a couple of ‘essentials’ for a blogger’s wall of black.
- A very clear blog title and tag line. When I land on your blog for the first time, I want to know what it’s all about. I hope you’ve taken the time to think about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – an elevator speech that sums up what you’re about. If you look at my blog, under the title it says ‘Helping you turn your blog into a business’. If you landed here for the first time, I think that line sums up what I’m about.
- Where do I go? Make sure your navigation menu is easy to understand. Don’t clutter it up too much, but make sure you use titles that are enticing and make me want to click on them. Writing this article has made me review my navigation menu and I’m planning on making some changes to it to simplify things.
- Sign me up. One of the first things a new visitor should see is the sign up box for your newsletter. Mail services like Aweber make it easy to design and install good looking sign up boxes.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression. What can you do today to improve the look of your blog?
Do you have a ‘wall of black’? What does yours look like?
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Photo Credits : ReneS, Ali Burçin Titizel / Gti861
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