Do You Want The Best Blog Design? Follow These Tips

A blog should be at the heart of every company’s website. Learn how to design the best blog to build your customers’ trust.

Marketing is more than showing products and describing them. It is about building a relationship with potential customers so that you will be able to sell to them. The best way to build that connection is through adding a blog to your website.

If people trust your blog and your brand, they are going to be more likely to trust your company, which means more sales. With a blog, they get to know what is important to you (or at least your bloggers), whom they assume are aligned with your ideas and philosophy for your business. They also get something from you without you asking anything in return (information they need).

Where did blogging start? Some give credit to Justin Hall, a college student who wanted a place to keep his writing. It's more likely that Justin started it as a blog website in 1994, then others picked up on it until it got to be a "thing" with people wanting to do blogs all over the place by 2003.

Whatever the case, today, a blog is more than a place to put one's thoughts or experiences. It is the lifeblood of a business and if you don’t have one–you should get on board. As Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, once said, "Content is king. Whoever is a part of creating content will be the next billionaires."

Why is a blog an essential marketing tool?

When you run a business, your blog should be viewed as part of your branding and should reflect the personality of your company as a whole.

The content should be rich in SEO and be filled with content that your desired audience wants to see and like to engage with–and, hopefully, come back to. That's what encourages people to buy from you and helps build your credibility. So it needs to be designed well and feature lots of relevant content.

Don’t just let that content sit there once it’s created. Make sure it’s optimized for multiple devices, since a majority view content on mobile devices rather than on desktops. Additionally, you need tools to promote your blog and cross-linking material will also increase your SEO.

With each piece of marketing material you put out, there is another opportunity to use keywords that you want customers to use to find you. And as a result, the right people (and hopefully new customers) are looking at your content!

Improving your blog design

If having good content on your website is important, isn't it just as important to have an attractive design that will keep people coming back? Short answer, yes.

Sometimes, all it takes are a few tweaks here and there to greatly improve the look of your professional website and turn it into a design blog. Don't stress over the technical stuff. That's what we are here to help with. But adding different colors or textures like you would a room in your house can make all the difference to your visitors. At the very least, you need to aim for the idea to optimize your blog content by making the place your visitors go to see it more appealing.

You can decide, perhaps with the help of an expert, which assets of your site should be changed. Maybe the changes will only involve a little tweaking. Whatever the case, make it shine! Like meeting someone for the first time, your blog (besides your website), is the first impression you get to make on your visitors.

Use your sign-up list of the people who have subscribed to your blog so that they will automatically get updates when a new post rolls out! Making your customers feel engaged is one of the main reasons people subscribe, so use the natural tendency of humans to your advantage!

3 Things every blog should have

Share Buttons

Do not forget to remind your members to share the blog with others, especially specific posts that focus on important topics that others will be interested in. Share buttons can be simple or elaborate. The most important thing is that they get noticed so people will use them to share with all their friends.

Author name and photo

Google has gone through a lot of different changes in its algorithms. But a while back, they almost seemed to communicate to authors and blog managers that you should forget the algorithms and just focus on the blogger. The idea of getting to know the blogger is a bit more appealing to people. They need that human connection (as mentioned earlier) to feel engaged with something. If your blog can provide that by getting some information about the author out there with a nice snapshot of them, it will help the process greatly.

Search feature

The search feature allows users to search for topics of other blogs or other search words that will bring up previous posts that are related to what people like. The more material you can provide that is relevant to them, the more you win.

Blog design tips and best practices

To get started on improving the design of your blog, study the points below and think about how they can help improve the appearance of your blog.

Fonts are more important than you think

When changing your fonts, remember that they are one of the first things your readers see on your page. The titles (with fonts) help someone decide right away if you are going to stay on your page or not. Use only 2 or 3 fonts as a maximum, as too many will clutter the look of the page.

Have a color scheme in mind

The color scheme of a blog is critical. Think about how it matches or complements your webpage. colors the same pattern (or at least complementary) to your main website? Think about your favorite dishes set. Do the saucers match the larger plates or are they exact opposites? You get the picture!

Your website and your blog are a pair and they should be complementary to each other and work together to get your message across to the people you want to reach. Don't pick more than 2 or 3 complementary colors.

HTML Tweaks

If you know code like HTML and Javascript or other programming languages, you open up the door to several other changes you can make to your site. Changing up the HTML even slightly can make a big difference in your Google rankings over time.

The algorithm is set to where the "bots" go out every few days to scan the web for new content. Even a change in your font or color background can increase your visibility with your audience.

Arrangement on the Page

Mark Cuban once told a budding online tech company that they needed to change one thing on their blog or website, then let it run for a few weeks to see what happens. By doing this, one asset at a time, you can start to see a pattern in what is driving more traffic. Once you figure out what that is, you can keep doing what works to keep the traffic flowing.

In other words, don't do too much too soon. One thing at a time, then check the results. Owning a website and blog is a continual adjustment experiment based on the changing market and the individual needs of your audience. Take a look at some blog website examples to get more inspiration. Notice the different blog styles and think about how you'd like to design your blog and take your ideas to share with Mailchimp.

Embrace the blank space

One mistake many blog owners make is that they think every space should be used. Instead, blog owners should do the exact opposite and embrace the empty space on the page.

This idea can apply to your blog design also. Don't feel as though every bit of webpage space needs to be used. Use the most important space for content but leave the rest to be a place of retreat. Embrace the blank space just as much as the used space. I know your visitors will, too.

Always include subheads

Breaking up your content into sections is always a good idea. It keeps readers engaged and keeps them from getting tired when reading your text.

The top heading (as we've done in this article) should be at an H1 heading (the largest), the subheading below would be at an H2, and so on. The listicles of items can be written as an H3 heading. But don't forget to resume the H2 and H1 headings to close. This is just one format, but it is a great way to emphasize the main topics and subtopics within your blog. The brain needs organization. If you make it easy for your visitors to do this, they will have a more enjoyable experience.

Learn the importance of CSS

CSS (known to us techies as 'cascading style sheets), is just another type of HTML. But it is arranged differently on the page. Below is a simple example of CSS in HTML.

CSS: a { text-decoration: none; }

What this will do is remove the underline in previously-underlined text. In pure HTML, it would look like this:

<u>I am underlined text.</u>

The first "u" symbolizes the open text to underline and the closed u tells when to stop underlining.

CSS is a shortened form, or a command to tell the browser what to show you when interacting with web pages. But at the same time, especially if you don't have the time to learn the entire HTML code as I did. Keep in mind that a true CSS is an entire "sheet" or line of code written in shorthand HTML (CSS) format. It is more or less a "laundry list" of commands that you are telling the browser as to how you want your page to act and present itself to your viewers.

If you practice CSS and learn how to use it, you will be amazed at the creative opportunities it will open for your site or blog. Now, you can change whatever you want on your page without restrictions through code. Code may seem boring to some, but it is freedom for those who own websites. It gives you the freedom to make your blog or website anything and everything you want it to be.

Include images but don’t overdo it

Placing images on your pages (including your blog page) is a great way to entice your visitors to want to learn more. We are, by nature, visual beings. We want to see and experience things up close so that we appreciate them. If you choose your images carefully, you will increase the level of engagement and also increase traffic.

For example, did you know that Google ranks individual photos you upload and that they are searchable on the internet by themselves? That's right! This means that every photo you upload gets associated with the page they are on, but it is also searchable in a photo directory. Yet another reason you should choose a great blog styles option.

Just be careful and don't overdo it. Photos and videos are best left to understatement and only used when they enhance your material. Too much can clutter the look of your page and make your page take too long to load. You don't want your blog or website to look like the Library of Congress for photos!

When uploading images, consider the following aspects:

Size

The size of the image will affect the download time when someone comes to your blog. Keep it small enough so that download times don't take longer than about 8 seconds on a fast machine or mobile device.

Resolution

Choose a resolution that fits the internet protocol of the platform you're on. A 4000 x 5000 ultra HD image might be fine for the family room in a portrait frame, but it is too much for your websites to handle. Remember, also, that people are already looking at it up close. You don't want them to expand a gigantic resolution photo where they have to scroll from side to side to see it.

People will get frustrated and usually leave a site that does this. Keep it fairly small, say 500 x 750 or 500 x 500 for a perfect square. If you are using a template, make sure and fill up the space in a photo insertion tile.

Quality

The quality is more important than the speed of download but both are important. People want to see beautiful photos when it is relevant to their topic.

Alt text

This is the text that is placed when the visitor hovers their mouse over the image. For people whose browsers do not support the image format, this can help them see what they are missing at least.

Make sure your subscribers get notified

It would be a shame if all this work you are doing or plan to do on your blog would be overlooked or not seen by your target audience. So make sure you use email marketing to add to any email campaign in conjunction with your blog content and use Mailchimp's products and services to get your blog noticed.

In the end, the blog is an extension of your website, (whether it is located onsite or offsite), and it says a lot about your business. Just like your website, it needs to look nice, appealing, colorful, and inviting to the target audience you want to attract.

Start with a great design using some of the ideas we have presented in this blog and fill it with lots of valuable content. Remember, the most important thing about your blog is that it gives you a chance to introduce yourself to your readers and visitors, and you are giving them something of value for "free." This is the way you build rapport with people you don't know but who could come to appreciate what you have to offer.

And don't forget, local people, search for you on your blog, too! Think about how you'd like to reach your local geographic visitors and we'll help you devise a plan on how to do it! At Mailchimp, we are your one-stop for all things tech and blogging!

Come get some help on your HTML, CSS, or blog design and let us show you some of our best blog designs. We are ready and willing to help you watch your blog grow!

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