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.
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.
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.
Yes, both, but content first. Your great content will have excellent titles like "The 5 most ambitious IT developers in the world" or "Top 10 mistakes every great dentist easily makes". Your website should have easy-to-read paragraphs related to timely news, your business, backstage scenes of your companies, your expertise, and will definitely have to be equipped with good SEO marketing.
However, if your existing blog is not working as well as you expect it to, I would suggest considering your design first and focus on the audience website experience, not just the colouring and the layout.
As for design, it is important to have it offer an easy path to your audience/visitors to come to your service page or whatever the page that you want them to see and eventually to buy your services. Online purchase has a lot to do with emotions and sleek and functional design that's well-thought-out would be absolutely worthwhile investing in.
Hope this helps.
First, go with content and optimize the design as you go.
Both can be equally important.
If you use a blogging platform, such as Ghost, Medium or WordPress, the design is mostly handled for you via templates.
Don't try to get something too elaborate for the blog, there are many turnkey, SEO ready templates available for free or cheap.
That leaves you with being able to focus on content and marketing.