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 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.
Design and content, both are most important for any kind of blog. Because no one will read your content again if your blog has low-quality content.
You can attract your blog readers' attention with the help of the beautiful design of your blog.
Make sure, your content will not be copied from other websites. Always try to be unique. The more you provide meaningful and useful content to your readers, the more they will take interest in your blog.
The design is the very first point that will draw your readers' mind to the blog content. If your blogging platform is WordPress, then there is one way to design your blog without extra effort: https://wordpress.org/plugins/blog-designer/
It is a step ahead WordPress plugin that allows you to modify blog and single page layouts and design.
Making your design more visible to your readers will inspire them to read your content easily.
I hope my answer will be helpful to you.
Without the right keywords used throughout the article and the headings and all over your website - Your content will have trouble being found. When people do find your content it has to look appealing to click through to. So I would say that you have to nail both! BUT do not get stuck in the perfection procrastination circle, you need to take imperfect action and then you will get better with each blog post.
You have to approach this holistically. If you have great content, but it's not visually appealing, you may struggle to keep the audience engaged, or moving further through your site. A story is told visually as well as with narrative. Try to keep that in mind as you seek to deliver a great visitor experience. By the way, there are many good design automation tools on the market, and they're relatively low-cost. Try Canva -- it's probably the best. Before you know it, you'll have lots of visual-impact opportunities that you can plug and play into your blog.
I'll share an example of how great information can be delivered visually and in the narrative: https://www.answerforce.com/blog/people-need-people/
The content in the link above uses a combination of some professional design work, paired with screengrabs, paired with simple but helpful formatting (ie applying bold, quote styling, paragraph breaks, bullet lists).
Remember, really great blogs offer an experience to be savored and returned to! : )
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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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!
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.
As we all know "Content is the King" so considering that, Design is the queen. Yes, quality content is very much required to make your blog successful, yet design delivers the right vibes to your visitors.
“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!
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.
I think it all depends on your purpose in running your blog. If you run a blog to support your main business, create content that can help support your customers. But if you run a blog to become a publisher of a certain niche, make your blog design user-friendly and submit useful content. Both content and web design are important if you want to optimize your blog for search engines. Most search engines rank deep content better and get pages with light web design to the first page of the search results. But if we talk about SEO there are many things to optimize your site design and its content such as on-page SEO, keyword destiny, sitemap, and so on.
The design for sure can attract the attention of the readers. However, it is the content that engages them and can even lead to conversions ultimately. This is the only factor that leads to the readability of the blogs. The design of the blog can be optimized later, but the content should be taken care of first.
It’s like comparing apple and oranges... Both Design and content are important for your blog. A visually appealing blog with great content keeps the reader engaged.
If I talk about my approach, I first work on the content and then the design or look and feel of the blog. Content is what your reader comes for and design is something that keeps the user engaged. I’ll leave a link to an article that really helped me with my approach to writing SEO friendly Blog