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First Impressions Matter on a Blog


First impressions matter in the day to day real life relationships that we all have. Like it or not, people are making decisions about who you are in the first few seconds that they meet you.

The same is happening when they come to your blog too!

In this Video post I explore five aspects of your blog that first time readers are using to get their first impression.

  • Titles
  • Design
  • Taglines
  • Post Titles
  • Opening Lines of Posts

Video Length – 7.40

Update: to those wishing to use the video – you can grab the code to embed it on your own blog at it’s page on blip.tv

Further Reading on the Creating Strong First Impressions:

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Nice video on first impressions. I learned a lot.

    About making MP3s, Macs should come with Garageband where you can make podcasts. Eitherwise, you can use Quicktime and only Export Sounds To AIFF. Then, get this free program called Audacity to convert the AIFF to MP3. Should be simple and quick.

  2. Darren,

    Love the new look of the blog. The first impression I got of your blog, when I started reading it several years ago was that you seem like a really nice guy. The story of your success as a blogger was very inspirational at the time. That story isn’t quite as easy to find as it used to be, but you do link to it from your about page which does make sense.

    Anyway, love the new look. Nice video, loved the opening scene. It had me wondering what you would be wearing once you got to talking.


  3. Great tips, Darren. I’ve recently launched my blog focusing on musical instrument accessories. Although my background is in product marketing, and not graphic or web design, I fought the urge to launch before I had a website that was visually acceptable. It was tough to wait, but I know it was a good move.

  4. tdkage says: 08/24/2007 at 2:57 am

    Hi, I can’t watch the video. Am I missing some software or it isn’t up anymore??

  5. Super tips!

    p.s: Beautiful new design – not better than the old one, but different :)

  6. hey Darren,

    Sorry but you look alittle creepy in your suit and ummm your teeth are yellow~

    just don’t smile so much-

    Love your blog though!!! You Rock!

  7. I like the video posts. Always wondered about the man behind the blog.

  8. ‘Kat’ – gee you know how to make a good first impression don’t you! :-)

    btw – just a heads up that when you leave an anonymous comment it gives an IP address which can reveal other comments you might have left under your real name. ;-)

  9. Darren,

    How about removing those dates in your URLs and posts (even dates found with comments), so that a new reader will have a minty fresh feeling on your site even after years?

  10. I hope you get back to me with a convincing reply!

  11. Medical Transcriptionist – depends what blog platform you’re using but you’ll need to look for the date tags in your blog’s template. They will vary depending upon which platform you use to run your blog

  12. He he he, I was suggesting you to remove the dates. I have already removed mine except for the comments.

  13. By judging your monotonous tone and your eye contact, I got an impression that you were reading texts in this video. Am I right?

  14. Sorry to have come across as monotonous – I’ll try to inject a little more excitement and tone into things especially for you next time!

    Am I reading it? Not at all. I did have the main points jotted down under the lens (about 10 words) but think I kept pretty good eye contact for 99% of the video.

  15. Great post D, I realize how important the first impression is, over 2 weeks I have a job interview at a famous Dutch bank, I am applying for a traineeship as a mortgage advisor, this video give me clear idea on how I got to present my self to get the job. So far my blog goes. I got to implement all the knowledge you dropped on the subject ‘ First Impression’
    thank you for the info.

  16. Hi Darren
    I like the video blog concept.

    Why not post if on and from YouTube to increase ability for people to “find” your blog?

  17. I finally realized after over a year of visiting this blog who Darren reminds me of….Phil Collins! Especially now that he has been using video it has become even more clear…just a little observation Great new format…and as always….great blog!

  18. Billy – that’s very amusing. Haven’t had that one before!

  19. Billy, glad you said that about Phil Collins.
    I was thinking the same thing when I
    first watched the video. Now he needs to play
    his music too.

    Darren, are you friends with
    Craig Harper the Exercise-Motivation Speaker,
    TV, Radio, Writer in Australia?
    If not maybe check out his blog

    Thanks, Elizabeth G.

  20. I know of Craig but we’re yet to meet. I met one of his offsiders though at a recent meetup.

  21. great video.

    And I can really feel the importance of the first impression by looking at your blog new design: compared to the new one, the old one looks messy and crowded… the new one better support the “pro” in problogger name ;)

    One thing I noticed is that a new blog redesign can help the author himself to change his blogging style to match the new design.

    I recently went through a blog redesign as well… and my own feelings and approach slightly changed accordingly (or so it seems to me ;) )

    and that’s the real reason behind your suit ;)

  22. Great advice once again Darren, this really does help people like myself.

    Can I ask you (the readers) to tell me what you think of my website http://www.WhichWebsite.com and feel free to give me your feedback using the contact form on my website.

  23. Hi Darren,

    Thanks again for providing such an inspirational post Darren for bloggers like myself to learn from. I regularly follow your articles and its great to know there is a site ‘ProBlogger’ that keeps us Bloggers on the right path.

    If you can Darren (when you get the time) can you check my website out http://www.WhichWebsite.com and tell me if and where improvements can be made, Thank you.

  24. Graeme Mac says: 08/28/2007 at 7:49 am

    Question for Darren & all video bloggers.

    What equipment would it take to produce and edit a video post like Darren’s “1st impressions”?

    Do you do this yourself and how long did the whole process take?

    I am looking at producing video posts but don’t want to put something out that gives off the wrong first impression.

  25. Wonderfully useful insight in this post. I especially love the opening of this blog. It was such a powerful way to show how some simple changes can really change the look and feel.

  26. Graeme Mac – this post was produced using:

    a basic Canon Video Camera
    iMovie for editing – it comes free with any Apple Mac computer
    Blip.tv – for hosting the video on the web

    It took me an hour to shoot and another hour or two to edit it – but I’m slow and not very good at it yet so I suspect I cold get that down in time.

  27. Graeme Mac says: 08/28/2007 at 2:38 pm

    I think you did a bang up job – it really gets the message across. So it was just a video camera not anything special like a HD or DV format?

    Thanks for replying so quick. Half the blogs you comment on you never get a reply.

  28. Its just the magic that rolls from your mouth delivers the traffic to you site. Pure talent. Of course everyone aren’t born with it, you may argue that you can develop it due time but it ain’t the reality. Many of them have ended as losers. You might consider myself to be one of them…;-)


  29. Applying ideas like first impressions– something so intrinsic to human interaction– to blogs is a wonderful concept. You touch on a lot of ideas that were mentioned in a really great book by Malcolm Gladwell, Blink. Judging from this post, I bet you’d love it.

  30. Whoa, Darren, you clean up good!

    But at first I thought I’d slipped in a typo and landed at the wrong blog… which just underlines the importance of deciding on the image you want yourself & your blog to project, earlier rather than later, right? Branding, again…

  31. Darren, Best video post yet. I really think that first appearance is everything in life and in blogging. Having an attractive blog that reels people in from the moment they first see it, makes all the difference.

  32. I’ve just redesigned my site and it the process of adding all new content.

    Any comments / hints or tips would be welcome, positive or negative as long as its in a constructive manner.

    Eclipse Online

  33. Hi Darren
    I Love this new looks of your website. I wish can get PR like you LoL. Good Luck And Keep Share.

    Get Your Blog Listed Here

  34. You have been nominated by Evomend to be added to The Personal Development List. (See my site for more details), I would love for you to participate.

  35. Nice post. Got me thinking. I had a Leaderboard unit stuck up above my mean header graphic. After listing to your post and hitting my blog I realized how crappy it was – and really wasn’t a great performing unit. Definitely now worth sacrificing that first impressions. Needless to say the leaderboard’s history.

    Thanks. and nice redesign

  36. hey darren,
    Nice video. I am fully agreed with your statement.First impression matters alot.It is quite similar with blog too

  37. Honestly, great tips and articles!

    If anyone would like to discuss blogging or money making online, please visit my forums. The address is my name. Anyone is welcome!

  38. Great post! You have excellent insight and got me thinking.

    Questino for Darren:

    Did you use WordPress or another blog service when Ben redesigned Problogger? Please visit Platomedia.com and tell me what you think.

    FYI…if you like video posts check out Mogulus — gives you everything you need to launch your own 24/7 television station on the web for free (just need camcorder and high-speed internet).

  39. Jerome – it’s all done on WordPress.

  40. Darren – Thanks! I liked your “31 days…” post so much that I’m considering redesigning my blog. What do you think?

  41. Congratulations! You look great!

  42. AUGHHHHHH! I want to watch the video but it’s too choppy. I am totally frustrated.
    I’ll come back another day and maybe I’ll succeed then :-(

  43. I simply can’t believe how fantastic and handsome you look in that black hoodie :-)

  44. Hey Daren
    I really like your blog and have been a reader for about 2months. I like the new look of your blog but the old one was cool to.

    I thing I like best about your site is it’s content. If you get a chance check out my site and please give me some feedback.

  45. Nice idea. I need to start publishing video blogs for my bariatric product release.

  46. Hi Darren,

    Great content in the video, exceptional tips. I am going to post the video on my own site, it’s for new internet marketers/blogger, with the text you have below describing whats on the video (hope that’s okay).

  47. Great video Daren! I have learned some things which I will use in my future blogging. I agree with you that before running your blog, you should ask your friends, what’s their first impressions about it, only it will be very hard to get a real answer, because your friends you already know. I can only suggest then, that you ask your friends to they ask their friends.
    Anyway thanks for the video, I think I will use some of this tips.

  48. Really insightful, I love your 31 days to build a better blog program, and I try to follow it as much as I can.

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