Writing awesome content for your blog is essential to earning your readers’ trust and attention. Yet there’s another overlooked element that can largely increase your blog traffic: design.
Studies have found that 60% of us are visual learners, while only 46% of blogs are actually using visual content.
Design often gets a bad rap for just “making things look pretty” (which it should, don’t get me wrong), but more importantly, it guides your reader in their overall experience. In fact, design can even guide your readers’ decisions since 67% of consumers consider images to carry more weight than customer ratings, reviews, and product descriptions.
What do you want their first impression to be? How can you make your reader read more content? What do you want your reader to take away?
1. Remember Your Audience And Purpose
When you start a design, it’s easy to get caught up in all the fun options you have: color, layout, typography, and tons of others. But instead, you should begin by focusing on who your audience is and what you want them to learn.
Begin by doing some research.
What are other people in your industry doing visually? What are they doing well? What are they doing poorly? Are there certain colors that your audience likes or dislikes?
2. Every Good Design Starts With A Good Idea
It’s easy to forget that every good design begins with a great idea. Before even getting into the design, consider what your blog topic should be, do some research, and create an outline.
It’s really important to have your idea before designing, because without it, your graphics will either have nothing to point to or your graphics will only be an excuse to cover up your not-so-great idea, which never works.
3. Design To Draw Attention To Your Content
Your reader is probably drawn to your blog because they love the content, so rather than distracting them with the design, let it highlight your work!
You’ve spent hours researching, editing, and refining your content—so the last thing you need is a distracting graphic flashing in the sidebar.
4. Practice The Fundamental Design Concepts
Within the design world, there’s a few general principles that are known to help any design work to the best of its ability. Here’s a few I’d like to share with you.
Number 1: Consistency
Everyone enjoys what’s familiar. They find it to be safe and comfortable, which is exactly why it produces trust and dependability. Just as producing consistent content is important, so is creating consistent design.
Number 2: Repetition
Everyone learns through repetition. I think we’ve all studied for school or practiced for a sporting activity.
mber 3: Alignment
While some of us may not be organized by nature, nobody wants to stay over at a messy house. The same applies to your blog.
Number 4: Hierarchy
This is a really fancy word for ‘order’. Within your content, there will be some things that matter more than others, such as your headline.
Number 5: Proximity
“You are who you surround yourself with.” This is a common thing we all hear growing up, and it’s also true with design.
Number 6: Color
Everyone has their favorite color, but beyond our general opinion, colors have direct psychological implications.
Number 7: Imagery
In today’s culture, photos, videos, infographics, and charts, are all extremely popular and a great option for helping your audience understand your topic. Sometimes the imagery can even do a better job explaining the content than the text itself since some of us are more visually orientated.
Number 8: Icons
Icons are a great way to communicate complex ideas super fast. They are little, simplified visuals that represent something greater. We can see them every day driving home, shopping at a grocery store, or on our social media platforms.
5. Push Through Creative Block
In every creative project, you’ll most likely experience what is known as creative block at some point. This happens for writers as well as designers. It’s as if all your wonderful ideas have suddenly ran out, and no matter how hard you think, you feel like a new idea will never come.