Lately, there’s been a lot of emphasis on how high-quality blog content is not only more engaging for readers, but it also ranks better in search engines. However, making an impact in the blogging world is about more than just writing posts people want to read. That’s important, but there’s another very important element to consider: design.
Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to have some design expertise under your belt and don’t mind using those skills on your blog. If that situation doesn’t apply, you’ll soon see why it’s such a good idea to hire a designer.
Make Your Blog’s Template Your Own
Think of a template as an expression of your blog’s brand. Although it’s possible to purchase premium templates, wouldn’t you rather have one that’s all your own? A designer can be a great resource and create one that immediately gives readers clues about what to expect when coming to the blog for the first time.
Templates are also useful if you participate in themed blogging, where the majority of your content relates to a niche topic. Take 12 Keys’ blog, shown above, for example. As a recovery center, their blog reflects the bright and cheerful colors of their logo and their relaxing beachside location. Think about recruiting a designer to help you make small alterations to a template to reflect seasonal changes, as well.
Google’s Transcribe app recently did that by adding a Santa hat to the “e” of the logo in their transcription editor. Small changes like that can show readers you’re a blogger who’s not afraid to play with new themes throughout the year, and competent designers should be able to get different themes ready to go very quickly.
Use Images to Brand Your Site
It’s also a good idea to add images on every page of your blog. They’ll serve as visual reminders to orient readers, and can also continue to build your brand, especially if you’re known for accompanying posts with pictures that feature corresponding characteristics, like vintage styles or landscape views. This will help give your blog its own visual branding. Try using your logo on every page to stimulate brand recognition, too.
Social Media Examiner is great at branding. Their little explorer mascot is featured numerous times on each page – in the header and footer, beside the newsletter signup, and at least once in every blog post. At the same time, every element of their design channels the “charting the unknown” theme, their take on how reporting on social media is often exactly that.
If your blog posts feature a lot of information or data, it can help to present it visually. While there are free tools to do this, if you have some design skills of your own or have access to a designer, these visualizations will be far more customized to your site and needs.
Without the help of a designer, you might find more time gets spent figuring out how to smoothly incorporate images into the content than actually writing it. For more help, think about teaming up with professionals from an inbound marketing company.
Make Sure Your Interface Is User-Friendly
Even if your blog’s content is interesting, you might be unknowingly driving users away with aspects of the site that are unnecessary, hard to use, or just not attractive. Readers want to become immersed in what they’re reading, and a poor design can prevent that from happening.
A designer can demonstrate how adding new features doesn’t have to mean your blog will look cluttered. He or she can streamline things to promote visibility and also give readers access to archived content. Both of those changes could urge readers to stay on your blog longer, and have more enjoyable experiences while there.
Smashing Magazine is the ultimate in user-friendliness. Their fully responsive design fits together in different ways depending on the size of the window. Shown below on a desktop and on an iPhone, different pieces are highlighted depending on the importance of each element. Besides their great adaptability, the design is simple and attractive and definitely great for getting immersed.
Extend a Consistent Design to Social Media
If you are hoping to build up a following on social media in addition to on your blog (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), it is important to give your social sites a consistent look and feel to your own site.
The ubiquity of Twitter and Facebook have given rise to a lot of fake and “imposter” accounts, and if your social pages are too plain, you may actually be mistaken for a fake! Be sure to customize where you can, by being sure to set a profile image and connecting to your site. On Twitter, you can and should upload a custom background, and on Facebook you can customize your page with tabs and other settings. Victor Mouse Traps features a consistent design across their social media accounts, as shown below.
These are just a few reasons why your blog could benefit from a designer. Competition in the blogging world is fierce. Access to a designer may help you thrive in this challenging landscape.
What do you think? Does having design skills or a strong friendship with a designer benefit you and your blog? Share in the comments below.