Use Design Elements That Complement Your Blog's Message - dummies

Use Design Elements That Complement Your Blog’s Message

By Melissa Culbertson

You started your blog for a reason. Maybe you have funny stories about life to tell or helpful tips to share. Maybe you have a passion for inspiring others or encouraging people to do something. Every blogger has a message to share. Good blog design reinforces that message.

Communicate your brand through design

Even if you never really thought about what your brand is, you still have one. Your brand is how people perceive your blog. Blogs with strong brands make emotional connections with their readers and are consistent both in their design and their voice, even if they blog about many different topics.

Your blog readers probably don’t think that much about the ins and outs of your blog’s brand, but branding works for that very reason. Good branding makes you devoted to a product, an evangelist for a service, or a fan of a blog, mostly for reasons people don’t think too hard about. It’s that emotional connection and that consistency that keeps them coming back.

If you’re unsure just what your brand is or should be, just ask yourself this: What do I want my blog to be known for? Then list a few things that come to mind. Your design should support the things you jot down.

Colors, fonts, and images are obvious ways to infuse a brand into your blog design, but branding extends into the way you format your posts, too. For example, if you write quick-witted, punchy blog posts, your paragraphs should be short and punchy as well.

To what extent you (yes, you!) become part of your blog’s brand depends on your blog’s goals. For example, Brittany Van der Linden’s lifestyle blog That’s Vandy is a play off her last name. Because her blog is about making life awesome “the Vandy way,” her blog’s header design signifies her as part of the brand.

A pink circle around her headshot makes the connection that Vandy relates to her, while the bold blue tagline unmistakably lets readers know what to expect from her blog.

[Credit: © That’s Vandy,]
Credit: © That’s Vandy,

Acknowledge the importance of images

The usage of imagery can make or break any blog design. Great images command attention, and poor quality images lessen an image’s ability to make a positive impression. When using images for your blog design, use those that help tell your story or support your blog’s message.

The header design from the Pile O’ Fabric blog rotates close-up images of fabric. These colorful images make a vibrant impact to reinforce what the blog is about.

[Credit: © Pile O’ Fabric]
Credit: © Pile O’ Fabric

Apply enough formatting to your blog’s design

Formatting often gets overlooked when it comes to blog design. Colors and fonts are way more fun, right? But formatting your content in a way that’s easily readable can be the difference between someone actually reading or sharing your blog post or page and someone just hitting their browser’s back button, never to return.

Even if you aren’t a designer, keep in mind that even text should be visually appealing. If you’re writing a tutorial to make something easy to understand, your tutorial layout should be easy to follow with clearly marked steps and possibly images to support certain steps.

Think about it. What’s easier to read: long paragraphs that say “First you do this. Next you do this.” Or a numbered list of steps? Of course, the clear list of steps is a better way because that makes each step distinct and easy to follow along. Otherwise, your readers may get lost in the instructions.