People are creatures of habit, meaning that change isn't always welcomed. In fact, most people resist change and want nothing to do with it. Don’t believe it? Consider the complaints every time Facebook revamps something. Your blog makeover is no different, so it pays to prepare your fans before the big reveal.
You could simply let them know you're going through a blog makeover and the new design will be up and ready to go shortly. But why not take this a step further and make things fun by involving your readers? Get them engaged in what is going on. You could do this by asking their input about a header or other design element. For this to work best, you will need to create a few different ones and then have them vote on which one they like best. This is a good way for you to get a feel for what your readers like and what seems to evoke more excitement out of them.
You might even host a contest, asking your readers and fans to submit new designs. Choose your top 3 or 5 favorites, then put them up for a vote, with the designer of the most popular header winning a prize.
If you're changing or adding a tagline, ask your readers to vote on some different ones you came up with to see what resonates with them. Or ask them to make their suggestions of what a good tagline would be. A simple survey is a good way to collect a lot of responses fast.
Here’s another way to know exactly what readers need/want from your site: your analytics. What search terms bring in the most readers? What pages get the most traffic? Those are the elements you need to make more prominent. For others, split testing will tell you exactly what readers want. You can set up a split test of your opt-in form, home page layout, even your entire site design by using the tools in your Google Webmaster account or email management system.
Remember, your readers are important to your blogging success so you should value them enough to make sure your changes are what they want and need from your site. This will be especially important if your blog is going to look completely different than what it used to.
Just because people are creatures of habit and tend to not like change, don't let it deter you from doing a blog makeover, though. This can be a positive and experience for you and your readers, and can help bring in more traffic – especially if your current design is outdated.Whatever you're doing - a makeover on a personal blog or professional - just have the courtesy to give your readers some warning about what's going on. They’ll be thrilled to be included, and you’ll end up with a design that’s much more engaging and attractive to them.