Well, there is no quick and dirty answer. First of all, most everyone will say content. Some will say design, but I say it's content, audience, message, and design.
To the casual visitor, the design might catch their eye, but to get a return visit, the content had better be engaging, resonate with your target audience (notice I said target). I know of many bloggers that have little to no design for their blogs and have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
So, if you are new to blogging, start with the audience and figure out to whom you are addressing. Learn what makes them hurt, stay up at night or just plain sick. Address those issues with viable solutions and live in their skin for a while. Your message will resonate with them if you speak to them, not at them.
Worry about design last. Just make it readable, visible or audible.
Both are equally important, but I would stress focusing on developing a functional blog without all the bells and whistles. Remember, more users are accessing content on mobile devices than ever right now, and the numbers will only continue to increase in the coming years. I've seen businesses focus too much on aesthetics and churn out boring content, resulting in little-to-no conversions. With mobile sending nearly 50% of traffic to the majority of websites these days, chances are that users won't even notice any cool features you implement on a blog. On the flipside, I've worked with businesses that had functional blogs that generated a lot of traffic, leading to a significant increase in conversions.
In terms of adding features to a blog, I would stress against anything but social sharing and lead gen forms (depending on the type of website you own). Implementing superfluous features or designing an ostentatious blog will only serve to impress people, but not necessarily lead to conversions. However, if you invest your time into creating authoritative and informative content, you'll increase the visibility of your blog via search engines, which can lead to an uptick in conversions.
I hope that helps!
I think you’ve asked one of the internet’s great questions there! Content writers like myself will, of course, say it’s the words that really matter most, while designers may beg to differ.
But let me ask you a different question: “Why would you want your blog to look and sound less than great?”
If you’ve chosen to start a blog it’s presumably because you want to showcase yourself, your company or a product. Even if it’s only personal, you’ve still gone to a not inconsiderable effort to put your ideas out there and invite people to read them. Therefore, you should make it look as good as possible within the budget that you have - and make sure your content is the best it can be. Otherwise, why bother?
That said - and looking at the sub-heading to your question - from a commercial perspective it’s worth noting that design on its own doesn’t really sell anything. It just makes you look good. In a recent article for Webdesigner Depot (https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/06/4-ways-to-improve-your-sites-content/) I argue that “there are two key areas in which only content can really perform: driving traffic to the website, whether by garnering links or attracting bots; and making that final link with customers that persuades them to buy.”
Only great content - whether photos or words - will make you stand out and gather repeat views. Of course, you’ll want it to look good and you should make the effort, but I’m not convinced you need to spend any money: It’s perfectly possible to run a decent-looking blog on a free platform and make it stand out by the quality of your content. As others have said here, the user experience is now very important in Google ranking so, to an extent, you want to keep things simple and in particular, images relatively small to aid page load times.
My advice is: make your design good and your content great and spend any extra resources on promoting your blog. That’s the real hard work!
First of all congratulations for setting up your new blog.
Well, for a blog website you need a mix of several things, you cannot be succeeded by relying on only 1 element. But the question is how much you need to concentrate on each element? The answer totally depends on your niche you are writing for.
I would appreciate if you can share more details here so I can guide you better.
I want to say the most important for a blog is to first set your goal. What do you want the end user to get out of your blog? Then, you can work with content and design to ensure the goal is met. I've seen tons of blogs. Some that are to text heavy and it is hard to follow, others that have too pretty of a design and I bounce all over the place.
If you keep your blog focused on the goal the end user will surely get what is needed out of your content and enjoy your design!
I would say the main element of a blog is the content and the domain authority. The design does play a part but as long as its a usable and readable design, I would not spend a lot of time on it. A design you like may not appeal to the next person. It's just like movies & restaurants, you may love something but the next person may hate it. Design is a very personal thing.
Content, on the other hand, is why the viewer is likely to be visiting your site. So relevant content will have a far more lasting impact on a viewer than design.
Both. User experience is what Google pays its close attention to. Therefore, you need to work on a comfy yet up-to-date design and a content. It has to attract people.
There are many people who generate leads from their blog because it looks awesome and it has a strong voice. Like Ahrefs's blog is in their top 3 for generating leads. Isn't it amazing?
Never stop working on your website design. Install a heat map. For that, I could recommend Hotjar. Their free version allows up to 300 video recordings and data on the heat map. Though you will have a dofollow external link on your website. Collect data on how users behave on your site and work with it.
“Web design and content are like the yin and the yang, perfectly balancing one another. Or, if you prefer to think of it in terms of form vs. function, great website design is the form that creates the vital first impression. Content is the Function, the device that attracts search engines, intrigues your audience, and drives measurable results.”
-Good design attracts people to your website. Good content keeps them there.
-Your web design and written content work together to develop a cohesive branding message.
-Both design and content are key factors in obtaining a better position in search engine results.
So before this turns into a knockdown, drag-out struggle to steal the spotlight, be sure you understand that web design and content marketing are equally important to the development of a successful online presence. Instead of competing, your design and content must work together. A great website can’t have one without the other!
The short and hands-down answer? CONTENT. Remember as well, the title of your post is your "10-second elevator pitch" equivalent but you have a mere instant (pretty much) when it comes to online articles/blog posts to get them to read or pass. #technoage #nopatience #shortattentionspan
Yes, adding some user-friendly enhancements would also be great but that's AFTER you've got great content going on :)
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It is not Content, or Design, but both.
These are not mutually exclusive but work with each other to produce readable content of value to the reader.
Design includes contextual imagery, headlines and subheads that ensure visual hierarchy and readability, pull quotes and images that break the rhythm, drop caps that capture attention, etc.
A great example of good blog design would be:
a] Think With Google [check this blog: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/experience-design/mobile-shopping-ecosystem/]
b] Another would be the long form articles at The Verge [check this one: https://www.theverge.com/transportation/2017/12/12/16651026/faraday-future-investigation-money-debt-finances-yueting]
Content has to spell value to the reader and for stickability. Design eggs the reader to stay on and read - maximizes the value.