When you’re a blogger who specializes in communicating through words, visual design isn’t always your top concern.
But it should be.
We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but the truth is, we do.
If a book’s cover features a collage of cheesy clip art or a bunch of blaringly loud, clashing colors, we immediately make judgments about that book’s contents. It could be the next great American novel, but if its packaging is poorly designed, it’s unlikely to find much of an audience.
The same is true of your blog.
If you want to develop an audience, you need to consider whether your design is actually attracting people to your work. With that in mind, here are 5 simple tips to help you design a blog that will look as high-quality as the content you create.
1. Use no more than three fonts and colors
When you’re brainstorming design ideas, there’s often a temptation to try and include as many of them as possible in the finished product. But too much variety can be a bad thing; it overwhelms and confuses audiences.
It’s generally best to use no more than three fonts: one for your headlines, one for your body text, and maybe a third for your logo. The same goes for your color scheme; any more than three colors and your blog will likely end up looking like a huge mess. Be sure to choose a color scheme that’s pleasing to the eye; colors that contrast or complement one another work best.
2. Include plenty of white space
Leaving parts of your blog completely blank might seem like a waste of space. But white space is actually a very important part of focusing users’ attention on your most important elements.
Note that “white space” isn’t necessarily white at all; it’s any negative space that gives your design elements some breathing room. A blog with too little white space ends up cramped and uncomfortable; viewers won’t be sure where they’re supposed to look.
Adding extra white space around certain elements that you really want readers to pay attention to (such as a call to action to join your mailing list) will help them stand out more.
3. Create a unique logo
It can be tough making your blog stand out in a crowd, especially if you’re writing about a subject that has a lot of competition.
One way to set yourself apart is to design a unique logo. If you don’t feel confident creating a graphic from scratch, consider consulting a seasoned logo design expert; even if they don’t create the entire logo for you, they can provide helpful guidance.
Your logo should obviously appear on your website, but if you have any other marketing materials for your blog (such as business cards or promotional products), keep your branding consistent by including your logo there, too.
4. Make your posts scannable
An intimidating wall of text tends to drive people away. As you create blog posts, it’s important to keep them scannable in a way that readers can easily digest and engage with.
Creating subheadings is the first major step towards making your posts easy to skim; divide your post into sections and label them in a clear, descriptive way.
Audiences will be able to get a sense of what your article is about with a single glance. It’s generally best for subheadings to be capitalized the same way you would a normal sentence; avoid capitalizing the first letter of every word.
Keep your paragraphs relatively short, and make use of bulleted or numbered lists to add visual interest. Add images wherever possible; this breaks up your post’s visual monotony and acts as a visual landmark
5. Include calls to action
A call to action is vital if you want to convert blog readers into customers, or even if you just want them to share your posts on social media.
Make sure that your calls to action are prominent on your blog. It could be a pop-up that appears the first time the website loads, for instance. Just don’t constantly call your audience to action to the point where it becomes annoying.
Don’t use the same call to action with the same language every single time. This will make readers feel like you’re reading from a script and view you as less sincere. Keep them consistent but diverse; find several different ways to communicate your message.
Designing your blog doesn’t have to mean transforming it into an artful masterpiece. It’s simply about ensuring that your audience easily reaches the elements that you want them to see.
Do you have more blog design tips you want to share? Leave them in the comments below!