Does you blog seem to be missing something? Are you pouring a lot of effort and time into it and not getting the traffic you think it should? Maybe your blog is not appealing to your readers. There are many reasons that a blog can be unappealing and some of those reasons are easy to overlook.
Aesthetics are important. We can’t forget that when creating content. Here are five tips to make your blog visually appealing.
The way people consume media has changed. Many of us today get our news via “alerts.” We check our Twitter feeds, our Facebooks, Snapchats and other social media platforms for the word on the street and for special interests.
When people come to a website that is poorly formatted, their eyes tend to glaze over and they move on. If you are a small business owner, or a freelancer you’ll want to make your blog visually appealing to increase engagement with your digital brand. Here are some simple ways you can increase your blog’s appeal without having to start from scratch:
- Make use of color
There’s a reason McDonald’s advertises in yellow and red color schemes. They are warm colors, which studies have shown to stir up feelings of passion and excitement within viewers.
And while you may not be the next Ray Kroc, we can all take a page out of McDonald’s playbook and optimize the right colors for our blog posts and ultimately our digital brands.
- Make quality the standard
Are pictures and videos dark or blurry? Is the subject in focus? How about your text anchor- is it easily digestible or blocky? Do pictures follow the rule of thirds?
You must train your own aesthetic eye and put yourself in the place of the content consumer to distinguish between great work, good work and of course, bad work.
You are the creative director of your own content. You are the only one who can make your blog visually appealing.
- Break up text into bite-sized paragraphs
Try to keep paragraphs to about two sentences when blogging. This was something I had to learn when first starting out.
When you fill a blog post with three- to five-sentence paragraphs, after a while the reader just sees a solid block of text. This is when their eyes glaze over and they either fall asleep or move on to the next search result on Google.
Be concise in your writing. Figure out what you want to say, then say it in as few words as you can.
- Add pictures to illustrate your message
A picture is worth a thousand words. Studies show that when people hear a piece of information, when asked three days later they might remember only 10% of what was said. However, when the information presented is paired with an associated picture, about 70% of what was said will be remembered three days later.
It is not enough to add pictures, though you should add many. To make your blog visually appealing and memorable, the pictures should match reflect your topic and message.
- Get attention with video
A video is worth 1,000 pictures. Millennials between the ages of 14 and 25 spend more time streaming online video content than watching television, according to a 2015 report by Deloitte.
People have shorter attention spans these days. Videos are less of a time commitment than reading through blocky text.
They also look good, even when not playing, and are a great way to make your blog visually appealing, especially when they have a bold text overlay like in the example above.
When you have a lot of text on your blog it is very easy for readers to get overwhelmed and give up. One way to combat this is to use headers. Using headers or titles for different sections is a great way to break up complex blogs so that any reader knows where to go for the information they need. Headers can take many forms. New pages, sidebars, and blog posts can all use headers to identify the content and lead readers through the article.
- Content flow
If content is the issue then read on. Many bloggers have great content on their site, the only problem is that no one reads it. One of the issues that stop readers from delving deeper in your blog is that your content flow is all off. You chop your content off on your main blog page or you link over with broken links or your content is so choppy and technical that readers just can’t get into it.
There are simple solutions to these issues. For one, always reread your content before you post to make sure it flows well and is easy to understand. Define any acronyms or technical terms for new readers. Verify that your links work and feel free to link within your blog. I love to read more in depth articles when I get into a blogger I really understand. However I am not going to hunt them down. Make it easy for your readers to find articles you have written that connect or build on one another.
- List posts
Another way to make your content more appealing to readers and search engines alike is list posts. List posts are very appealing to readers because they can scan the post and read only the points that apply to them. This really helps as far as traffic goes. Also, lists help readers to know how long a post will be. For example a list of ten is going to be shorter than one that has one hundred points. Search engines like lists because people look for them. “Top Ten”, “Five Best” and so on are common search terms in almost every topic.
- Lively content
Beyond just the mechanics of content however is the content of content. Are your blog posts funny? Helpful? Insightful? Persuasive? Make your blog posts something your audience would like to read for pleasure. You have a lot of competition out there, so make your blog stand out with great content in a new and different way. Maybe you are sarcastic or maybe you are motivational, whatever your writing strength is make it a signature part of your blog.
There are a countless number of tips out there for improving the aesthetics of one’s blog. I try to speak from personal experience in my posts, and that means giving you — the reader — what I have found to be most important.
Namely, being concise in your text, including pictures and videos, using color wisely, and ensuring the quality of the design elements you select.
Is your blog visually appealing? If so, please share any tips you might have in the comments below so we can continue learning together.