How to Design a Great Blog

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A truly great blog is so much more than just great content. It’s also great design, creating engagement, conversions, reader loyalty and an integral part of your digital marketing goals and your entire business.

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Here’s a look at some of the ways you can optimize your blog so that it is maximizing its potential.

Design and layout

Regardless of how much content you publish, it’s very important that your users find your blog easy to navigate and understand. Humans are creatures of habit and the way we digest information is no exception. Think about newspapers and magazines; the way the images, headlines and associated copy fit together, typically in a grid format, is fairly consistent regardless of the publication. This is because we have become accustomed to seeing information arranged in this way and we instinctively know what image goes with what copy and in what column. A grid format is also a very popular and effective blog layout structure.

Try to ally your grid layout to a card based layout. Again, cards are a popular blog layout design element because they work; we are instinctively familiar with how the content on a card (think Pokemon, baseball, football cards; image, headline, intro, bullets) is laid out and in a blog format an image allied to a headline in a grid structure very quickly allows your audience to make a reading decision on any given post.

Use your best images

Imagery lends so much value and credibility to your post; it exists to illustrate your point and support the reading experience, but it is also responsible for drawing readers to the post in the first place so make the most of your featured image. There are plenty of picture depositories on the web you can draw from but try to avoid the generic tropes and set yourself apart. If you can use your own photography skills all the better, the more unique and relating to the topic you’re writing about the more effective your image will be, or consider hiring a graphic design service for custom branded imagery. 

Strive for peak performance

Nobody is going to stick around for an ugly, slow moving blog that doesn’t even read well on a mobile device (sorry traditionalists, pretty much all your audience is going to be mobile based before long, it’s just the way it is). Use a fast, light, responsive theme and host it on a managed server. You can get your blog tested at digivante.com, for example, to ensure that everything is functioning as it should because if a post goes viral you need to be sure your blog can cope with all that extra traffic!

Not all content is created equal

Some of your posts are going to be more successful that others; regardless of how much you pump out you are going to find the 80/20 rule is going to rear its head, maybe even the 99/1 rule! A few of your posts are going to become hero posts, the ones everybody comments on, the ones everybody loves, the ones that get shared, liked and generally engaged with on all your social media platforms. These high converting pages deserve their place in the sun so don’t hide them away; carefully curate a list of popular posts and make them easily accessible on your homepage. Try “Our Top 5 Most Popular Posts”. You’ll see this in action regularly on popular blogs.

Most of all, have fun with your blog, find your own unique voice and be brave; write about things you find difficult but also help others and teach. Give value and entertainment and brutal honesty and build that all important loyal readership.

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