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Elements of a Great They Ask, You Answer Website

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  • What content and features your website needs to succeed with inbound marketing
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  • How to gradually make improvements or redesign entire elements of the website

The 13 Best and Most Powerful Blog Header Designs on the Internet

By Marcus Sheridan

Marcus Sheridan also recommends this free course, Elements of a Great They Ask, You Answer Website.

The 13 Best and Most Powerful Blog Header Designs on the Internet Blog Feature

Over the past few days, I’ve looked at hundreds of websites and blog headers. I started with Brankica Underwood's incredible list of 199 blogs you should be reading and worked my way from there. And as I looked around, the more I realized this sad reality—Most blog headers fail to induce any emotion and connection with the blog, and it’s a shame.

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Why is it like this? I’m not sure really. I guess folks think that content will save the day. But with a gabillion blogs out there, each calling for one’s attention, you’re kidding yourself if you think you can take a cheesy header and expect it to help you, your brand, and your website’s success.

Like my friend JK on Hustler’s Notebook once said, ‘Don’t fool yourself. Looks matter.’

And boy is JK right. A blog’s header is the first impression a new visitor gets when coming to a site. From the get-go, it says whether you’re a serious player in your field or simply ‘dipping your toes in the water’.

Shortly after I started The Sales Lion in late 2009, I knew I wanted a header that would be different, memorable, and represent my brand. Not being a graphic guy myself, and not having loads of excess money lying around at the time, I bit the bullet and hired a professional designer to create the TSL header that you see today.

Some of you may think the header on this site is great. Other may think it stinks. Either way, I’m OK with diverse opinions, but one thing is for sure—it’s memorable. Oh, and if you're wondering, it cost me about $300.

Is that a lot of money? To some, yes(it was for me at the time). For others, no. But if your blog is meant to garner money for your business, why in the heck wouldn’t you drop a few dollars to create a more professional and memorable feel?

All About Feelings

You may be wondering what makes a blog header ‘great’. Well that’s a dang good question, and I’ve narrowed it down to this simple question:

How does it make you feel?

Yeah, sure there are many other qualities that are important (some of which I’ll mention below) but when it comes down to it, feelings carry the day. Is it warm? Cold? Professional? Classy? Happy? Boring?

The list of ‘feelings’ go on and on but one critical component is the ‘personal’ feel one gets from a header. And when I say 'personal', I mean in particular an image of the blogger.

Stop Hiding

I’m always amazed how bloggers will name a website after themselves and then not even show a personal photo on the home page, much less the header. The way I see if, if someone’s brand is their name and they’re trying to make a living from their site, this age of social media and ‘trust’ requires one’s face to be prevalent. (More on this in the coming weeks)

So that’s what this article is about. It’s a list of the 13 best headers in the blogosphere. And although it goes without saying, this is simply my opinion, and if anyone would like to mention another header/blog worthy of recognition, please do so in the comments section. Here goes:

The 13 Best Blog Headers on the Internet

 1. Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Cafe

Why it rocks: Ana's personal touch and feel to her header are awesome. The image of her face is pensive and professional, and the cup of coffee integrates her goal of 'community' and relaxed discussion regarding her topic of internet traffic.

Ana Hoffman Header

2. Dave Ursillo, Lead Without Followers

Why it rocks: I briefly met Dave at Blog World New York this year and at the time I had no idea who he was or what his blog was all about. But as soon as we met, he gave me one of his business cards and immediately I was impressed with the personal branding of its design, as well as his mission statement. Shortly after this meeting, I took a moment to visit Dave's site and was struck by his excellent header design-- personal, relaxed, and message driven. Dave Ursillo is an excellent example of someone who understands personal branding and the power of simple imaging.

Dave Ursillo Header

3. Mark Schaefer's {GROW}

Why it rocks: Mark's is one of the few blogs on this list that does not include a personal image on the header but it certainly does leave one with two main impressions: professionalism and creativity.

Mark Schaefer Header

4. Adam Baker, Man vs Debt

Why it rocks: Adam has created quite a community around his excellent blog, and his header is a perfect reflection of his style and brand-- A happy guy who travels the world with his wonderful family and manages to experience financial peace in the process.

Adam Baker Header

5.  John Aguiar, Money Dummy Blog

Why it rocks: Although John's could almost be considered a 'double header', I think it's easily one of the best in the business. Not only does it have a professional and sleek feel, but it's quite personal with John's photo and loaded with calls to action---from all his social media buttons to his Free Blogging course, this header is an example to anyone trying to do it the right way.

John Aguiar Header

6. James Chartrand, Men With Pens

Why it rocks: When it comes to a professional design that is simple yet powerful as they come, the Men With Pens header is just that. Ever since entering the blogosphere 2 years ago, this design has always been one of my favorites.

Men with Pens Header

7. Pam Lawhorne, The Social Maven

Why it rocks: I love Pam's header. It's personal, professional, classy, and really represents Pam's brand well. The color scheme (black and white with the light blue integration) is also a perfect mix and feel.

Pam Lawhorne Header

 

8. John Falchetto, Expat Life Coach

Why it rocks: When John Falchetto went to Bonsai Interactive recently for a new site design, I'm not sure he knew how his header would end up, but this much I do know: He's dang happy. As an expat life coach who has clients literally all over the globe, John's header shows the vastness of his client geographic reach and also manages to integrate a personal photo that is clean, confident, and representative of a man who knows how to help those that are abroad.

John Falchetto Header

 

9. Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income

Why it rocks: Is there anyone online that doesn't like Pat Flynn?? ;-) Over the course of a few short years, Pat has developed one of the most successful and profitable blogs in the world, and his header (which is more a 'double') does a tremendous job helping new visitors know where to start, know more about Pat, and clearly see what the site is all about.

Smart Passive Income Header

 10. Jay Baer: Convince and Convert

Why it rocks: Not only does Jay Baer have one of the best social media sites on the web, but his header is top notch as well. It's great because its message is simple, the personal photo is excellent, and his book offer is a perfect call-to-action that's impossible to miss.

Jae Baer Header

11. Pamela Slim's Escape From Cubicle Nation

Why it rocks: I was first introduced to Pamela Slim when I heard her on BlogcastFM, and since that time I've been very, very impressed with her blog. As for her blog's header, it fits her style perfectly--- simple, relaxed, personal, and professional.

Pam Slim Header

 

12. Mitch Joel: Six Pixels of Separation

Why it rocks: Of all the personal images I've seen on headers around the blogosphere, Mitch Joel's is arguably the best. I'll let you interpret the 'feelings' this photo induces, but in my opinion it's as professional, thoughtful, and creative as anything online.

Mitch Joel Header

Danny Brown

Why it rocks: Along with Mitch Joel's personal image, none are better in my opinion than Danny Brown's on his header. Along with an incredible tag line, his image(and the rest of the header) induces a very professional, thoughtful, and trustworthy appeal to viewers.

Danny Brown Header

 

So there are my top 13 blog headers, folks. As I mentioned above, I'm sure there are a many that I've missed, so I'd invite you to mention them below, but the main thing I hope readers will take away from this article is this:

  • Don't go cheap on your header, it's your brand, so represent yourself well.
  • Be real. Be personal. And don't be afraid to show the world who you are.

Your Turn:

What are your thoughts on blog headers? What qualities do you like in a header and what qualities turn you off? Also, if you haven't made a serious investment in your header yet, why not? As always, I'd strongly invite everyone to share their thoughts, questions, and comments below.

Have a great week!! :-)

Elements of a Great They Ask, You Answer Website
Elements of a Great They Ask, You Answer Website

Free Course:

Elements of a Great They Ask, You Answer Website

Transform your website into your best salesperson and get set up for inbound marketing success!

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • What content and features your website needs to succeed with inbound marketing
  • How to design your website to best educate your audience
  • How to gradually make improvements or redesign entire elements of the website

Topics:

Content Marketing
Website Copy
Published on August 15, 2011

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